Dalmatia

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Parc National de Plitvice

Dalmatia is the long Croatian coastal strip situated between Dubrovnik  called the "pearl" of the Adriatic Sea and Pag Island, Paradise partygoers, bathed by the Mediterranean sun, the songs of cicadas and a fine smell of olive grove. It's composed of countless ancient cities with fabulous charms such as Zadar, Split or Sibenik, and a geogeous coastline dotted of 697 beautiful islands and 6 magnificent national parks that leave us speechless as the Biokovo national park or the Krka National Park without forgetting Paklenica and the inevitable Plitvice National Park, true coast heaven on earth. Dalmatia is a region full of rare beauty, a corner of Eden at hand.


Visits

Here our Top 10 :


                      Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik 
(Pic : Elia Locardi Travel Photography )

TOP 1 : Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, located at the southern end of the Dalmatian coast, is a mythical and tourist spot due to its location, its history and atmosphere that emerges. Indeed you can discover its high ramparts long 1980 meters overhanging the sea protecting in itself a treasure! Small narrow cobblestone shopping streets irresistibly charming his joyful port that delights us, its crude coast, all flanked by mountains back against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Strolled in the Stradun, main street and beating heart of the old town still arouses the same emotion. Enjoy the Mediterranean atmosphere subjugated by the color changes of the stones by pivotally sun above this gorgeous city. With its perfect medieval architecture "pearl of the Adriatic" captivates and seduces kings and artists for centuries. Dubrovnik managed to preserve its beautiful monuments, churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains , Renaissance and Baroque. Damaged again in the 1990s during the armed conflict in the region, the city is the subject of a major restoration program coordinated by UNESCO. For a view upstream of the city you need to take the cable car on Mount Srd that offers a breathtaking view of this jewel. That we discover Dubrovnik for the first time or if you come back, it will give you unflagging and almost unreal memory that you will not leave indifferent.



TOP 2  : Plitvice National Park

Plitvice National Park is protected by UNESCO and understandably! Majestic beauty of Croatia, Plitvice is located at the entrance of Dalmatia halfway between Zadar and Zagreb in the Croatian inland. It is also the national park the most visit in Croatia! Difficult to resist the fascinating charm of this place, which seizes you like a siren. It's 16 lakes connected by no less than 92 waterfalls on a vertical drop of 133 meters! These lively colors, its crystal clear water and its totally protected environment will hypnotize you and will offer you a breathtaking scenery, no matter the season where you go. The colors change and vary according to seasons of the year and it's a real treat (be careful, during the winter the boardwalk can be very slippery). Of course it is forbidden to swim and do not expect to be alone during the months of July and August. Several well developed trails will do you cross this little paradise. For the luckiest, it is even possible to see wolves, wild cats, wild boar, deer, badgers or bears! Be enchanted by the Plitvice National Park inevitable of Dalmatia.

Plitvice Lakes

Winter in Plitvice 



Squart in the Slipt center

Split
( Picture by : Lidijalodic photography )

TOP 3  : Split

Second city of Croatia with more than 200 000 habitants, and first city of Dalmatia. Split in the heart of Dalmatia is a good starting point to visit the Adriatic Coast. Split is a wonderful medieval city and  one of the last destinations trendy in Europe. Many airlines offer cheap flights to this city of more than 1700 years of history and this is understandable! You will find for all tastes near Split. Jewels of the Adriatic Sea as the islands of Brac, Hvar and Vis through the sports events like football with the clubs of Hajduk Split and RNK Split leaving a oppressive atmosphere in the city during the derby and is being one of the most dangerous derbies in Europe. But it's also a fine Mediterranean gastronomy and many activities around Split, such as rock climbing or rafting.  During the summer, Split is a great cultural scene with number of shows in the streets and squares. Split is in the list of UNESCO world heritage sites because of its numerous archaeological, historical and cultural, especially Diocletian's palace, located in the center of the city. Split was founded by the Emperor Diocletian, keeping of many traces such as "the iron gate" known as the only surviving gate for 17 centuries, "the golden door" where had returned the Emperor June 1st 305 and "the silver door" or "the brass door" used to escape attack of the palace towards the sea. The mausoleum of Diocletian is one of the oldest in Europe and contains the cathedral St. Duje! Just that ! Made a tour in the magnificent main court, where the peoples prostrated  in front of the emperor.  Discover also the many historic and religious buildings like the Benedictine monastery of St. Euphemia or Chapel of St. Martin. Split has many beaches of sand or pebbles such as Bačvice, Firule, or Kaštelet and Pantan who is our favorite beach. Split, eternally young city is a delightful mix of cultures, cuisines, sport, history all in this amazing décor with a lovely Mediterranean climate!

 



TOP 4  : Parc National de Krka

In the back country of Šibenik you can find the beautiful Krka National Park which covers nearly 109 km². Krka is firstly the name of the river that extends over 72km before launching it in the Adriatic Sea. These 7 majestic waterfalls crossing barriers of travertine (limestone formation) make the main attraction. You can enter in the park through the villages of Lovozac or the lovely town of Skradin. The most famous fall is the Skradin Falls (Skradinski Buk, in Croatian) where we can walk just beside these sublime translucent waterfalls with its 17 steps and this slope of 47 meters down. It is also possible to swim at the foot of the majestic giant in a translucent turquoise glow funds. Count 1 hour minimum to go around this peacefully place between woods pontoons and land to discover waterfalls, fauna and luxuriant flora all of this in the heart of the national park. If you have a bit of time, go find the Islet of Visovac which hosts a francilien monastery dating from the 16th century and is still occuped! If you don't want to get there by boat, you can contemplate from the lookout located on the small road of Drinovci to Siritovci. We highly recommend going there early in the morning at the opening of the park because you can have some beautiful colors and a beautiful brightness if you want to take some pictures. And the most important, you will avoid the hordes of tourists who came there to see this magnificent spectacle of nature.

Skradin Falls

Krka National Park 



Šibenik

Catedral of St James

TOP 5 :Šibenik

This town of less than 40,000 habitants located between Split and Zadar is an incredible charm! Sibenik was founded in the tenth century in a deep bay at the mouth of the river Krka and is reputed to be the first city founded by the Croatian people. But Sibenik besides being recognized as an exceptional historic city, who welcome in its heart a unique example of European sacred architecture that was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage. Decorated with a frieze of 72 heads carved in stone, the Saint Jacques Cathedral is the largest Croatian architectural masterpiece of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Once past the many HLM from the communist period, a wonderful city awaits you with many small squares and a beautiful small port and fishing. Go and conquer the fortress St Michel (Sv Mihovil) built in 1066 through the steep cobbled streets and steep steps. From then enjoyed a stunning view of the old town, but also the fortress St Nicolas (Sv Nikola) located at the entrance of the canal, the fortress St John (Sv Ivan) and the Kornati Islands and archipelago of Sibenik! Old industrial and historic city, today turned to tourism and culture between some wonder of Dalmatia as the Krka National Park, Split, Zadar or the Kornati islands, Sibenik will leave you with unforgettable memories that you will not regret it, if you stay during your trip!




Top 6 :  Kornati Archipelago

 Kornati Islands are located off of Sibenik and just south of Dugi Otok island. This group of approximately 150 islands of which 89 are protected as national park looks like a curious lunar landscape coming out of the Adriatic. All of these islands are uninhabited and only has a few lighthouses due to the danger of navigate through the maze of rock. The Kornati islands is the densest Archipelago of Mediterranean Sea and travelers do not come here for the latest souvenir shop or a good restaurant but for adventure and isolation and for its marine wildlife! The easiest way to get there if you don't have your own boat is to go to Zadar, Sibenik or Murter Island, which is the nearest city and inhabited island just at 17 km away. By navigating the turquoise blue waters of the national park, you will meet beautiful and vertiginous cliffs which rises to one hundred meter above the Adriatic. Islands are covered by kilometers of dry stone wall, burning under the sun and between the few properties existing. Some islands are closed to the public to protect the environment. So go and to discover and navigate between Kormat islands, Žut, Piškera, Lavsa, Kurba Vela or Levmaka island all of them are beautifuls and unexpected that make the beauty of Kornati islands and of this National Park!

 

Kornati National Park 

Kornati National Park 



Old city of Zadar

Narodni trag Zadar

Top 7 : Zadar

Zadar located north of the Dalmatian coast, will make you the effect of going back in time! This city of just over 70 000 inhabitants is an architectural marvel. Built on a peninsula, the old Zadar accumulates narrow streets, beautiful churches and archaeological ruins. Previously stronghold of the Republic of Venice with ramparts, moats and bastions, Zadar changed hands many times until the end of Yugoslavia. It has kept intense architectural mix between the magnificent Romanesque cathedral and the Church of St. Donat or the Cathedral of St. Anastasia, but also the remains of the Austro-Hungarian architecture and Renaissance style like the national square. Zadar would have been a serious competition to Dubrovnik without the heavy bombing suffered during World War II! Stroll through these arteries of white pavement polished as much by travelers than the locals. Of course going to see the sunset under the musical notes of the Sea musical Organs which is a unmissable and the proudest monument of the city! The steps that border the sea are dug so that each wave who clap produce a sound. A place of great curiosity and give a magic moment. One of the destinations that will rise sharply in the coming years!



Top 8 : Mljet Island National Park

The island of Mljet rather long (long of 36km for 3km wide) located between Dubrovnik and Korcula Island host in the third of the western part a beautiful national park. This beautiful island is an amazing natural environment classified National Park since 1960, and is the most forested island in the Adriatic with a very indented coastlin. This one is as well the largest island in the southeast of the Dalmatian coast. On the island you can find the charming villages of Sobra, Promena or Polače, small village with a single street along the sea and inked in this small bay. These 54km2 of land out of the Adriatic is a paradise of nature. People come here to take the island rhythm and Croatian calm but also to see his monastery set on an island in the heart of Salt Lake and for its rocky and wild mountains. This little island resist to the onslaught of tourists and of the touristic resort, all of that bathed in the turquoise and crystal clear water!

Monastery on the islet of Veliko Jezero



Omiš 

Cetina Gorge

Top 9 : Cetina River

This river of  more than 100 km long taking its source in the village of the same name is the real paradise for rafting and kayaking! Located a few kilometers from Split in an idyllic setting, this river first flows into an artificial lake and then continues its way to the plain of Sinj, which is the largest fertile plain of Dalmatia. After these quiet passages, Cetina River fled to Trilj before entering the deep gorges between the stunning Dinara Mountains and the massif of Mossor before changing path by colliding on Biokovo and take the direction of Omiš. Just after this turning Cetina flows to the bottom of the gorge above a limestone cliff by forming the falls of Gubavica (49m and one of the biggest waterfalls in Croatia!). After the fall past the watercourse that transforms in quick rapids into a deep valley with intact vegetation made up of pine and fern. Some hydroelectric power stations will slow the wild course of the river. The most popular place for rafting is 8 km section between the bridge of Podgrade to Slime and the windmills of Radman, equivalent to 3 hours of descent. Once past windmills, Cetina is navigable to its mouth. Unfortunately rafting on this gem is ultra popular activity so if you want to escape the tourists, change your way! Many companies are located between Split and Omiš and offers more or less security for the same route. Omiš for its part is an ancient town of pirates located at the mouth of the CetinaOmiš and it's 6,000 inhabitants are caught between these big rocky mountains a hundred meters and was the story of many facts of fights and battles between Venetians, Turkish, Hungarian and Croatian, because besides being a beautiful river, the Cetina river was also a natural border during centuries! If rafting is not for you, there are many walks along the Cetina. Explore in the same time the villages of the Dalmatian back-country between delightful valley and high mountains. Cetina between rafting and ride along this river to the many facets will make you forget, for a day or more that Dalmatia is not only a beautiful coast.

 



Top 10 : Korčula Island

The island of Korcula remote of 1.2 km from the mainland is a mix between land and the sea all under one delicious Mediterranean sun! This island located between  Mljet Island and Hvar Island with a length of 47 km long and 8 km wide make the happiness of more than one of us! Veritable outdoor museum, this island south of the Dalmatian coast near Dubrovnik deserves the peek. Most populated island in Croatia (17,000 inhabitants) it share between tradition and modernity with a welcoming face and despite all very touristic! This large island searched by travelers but spared by the ravages of real estate and of mass tourism is amazing! This piece of land could have been created by the Gods of the Adriatic Sea with its wild charm still intact and his beautiful old town of Korcula untouched by the events of history. Hard to imagine that Korcula Island and the 182 km of coasts are in Europe. The north coast as a whole is low elevation, easily accessible and has few natural harbors protected from east and south winds as Korcula, Banja, Racisce, Vrbovica, Babina, Prigradica and few beautiful small coves. The south coast is more indented, but in some places far more steeply, there here and there rocks reaching a height of 30 meters above the sea. Stroll through forests or among vineyards and olive groves for some centuries old, swim in its beaches and coves with azure waters. The old town of Korcula on the eastern part of the island will take you back in time! This historic city seated on his peninsula filled with small palaces, narrow streets and little chapels all protected by the ramparts is a real treasure. Imagine all this in a mountain scenery off the coast and clear and translucent water at your feet! This can make you chuck everything to live here! The island of Korcula today offers a unique example of harmony between beautiful nature, centuries-old cultural tradition and rich history that gives it an irresistible charm!


( Few ferries from  , Rijeka, Split, Hvar, Vela Luka or Dubrovnik . The best way to get there is from the peninsula of Peljesac (Orebic) )

 

Korčula old city 

Korčula old city



Party :

Pag city

Papaya Club

Aquarius Club

Pag Island- Novalja - Zrče :

Friends clubbers, here the island that you do not miss in Europe and specifically the beach Zrce in the small village of Novalja! But first let's talk about this piece of land north of Zadar. This almost completely desert island peeled, bare, almost lunar crossed by violent continental winds, but still the paradise of clubbers ! A bridge brought together the mainland to the south of the island, and you will cross an arid and poor vegetation landscape bordered by low stone walls and some salt marshes until the city of Pag. While the North, vineyards and vegetation take back a bit of their rights! Everything of that with no less than 30,000 sheep snatching the slightest blade of grass to create the famous and renowned cheese "paski sir". You will find many nice little coves all along the island. At the center of the island and at the bottom of a deep bay is located Pag, which is the capital of the island and a lovely village. In this village you can find beautiful narrow streets, and a delightful waterfront terraces in front of some boats moored in the bay and to finish a amazing turquoise water and a splendid blue sky. But for the night owl, the city that you need to go is Novalja! The Dalmatian Ibiza welcome  from the month of June one of the largest springs-breaks in Europe. Every day thousands of clubbers take the bus at Novalja to reach the beach of Zrce stuck in a bay 3 km away. Thousands of clubbers meet on the beach inside the Open nights clubs and under the best Electro and House music of the moment coming out of speakers 24h/ 24. The greatest Deejays of the world come behind the turntables of these clubs who are for some in the top 50 best nightclubs in the world! Every summer many festivals and concerts are offered to young and less young people who came to enjoy sometimes excessively the huge dance floors under the stars to have fun and to enjoy the life during the day and the night! This beach has gained in reputation and notoriety due to the presence of great nightclubs such as Aquarius, Calypso Club, Euphoria, the Cocomo club without forgetting the famous Papaya who is ranked 11th best club in the world by DJMag. Possibility to drink with the feet in the water in Aquarius because the tables and chairs are installed directly into the pool during the day. It is also possible to sip a cocktail in a net stretched over the Adriatic in the Noa Beach Club. At Papaya it is possible to bungee jump over the crowd during the night .. Great sensation! Unfortunately as everywhere where party is felt, some young people are getting rather in an alcohol debauchery that in a pleasant time spent in one of the trendiest places in Croatia! For wild nights or simply to see rockery landscapes, tortured and worn by time, you need to discover Pag Island, this big rock standing in the middle of the blue waters of the Adriatic.

(It's possible to get there in ferry from Prizna to the east coast of the island)



Bonus :

Trogir :

This small historic village north of Split with some small charming streets, orange roofs and colorful market is worth a glance! Trogir, inscribed on the UNESCO list of world heritage has never been vandalized or even conquered and keeps 2500 years of history and Mediterranean architecture. Its rich cultural heritage from the Greek , Venetian and Roman influence make a cultural destination on the Dalmatian Coast! Its position is quite particulate located on a small island of 1 square km between the island of Čiovo and the mainland. This open-air museum is a great stop for history lovers! These stone houses, these winding streets mauling you, beautiful churches and beautiful palaces fascinate you as to make you love it and sometimes adopting it.

Trogir old city 



Plakenika National Park

Starigrad 

Paklenika National Park  :

Hiking lovers, here is the national park made for you! Some peaks reaching 1700 meter altitude! Just that! This national park located in the heart of the massif of Velebit that impresses with this long bar of limestone culminating at 1600m which separates into three distinct of hiking zones. Velika Paklenica, Mala Paklenica and finally the one covering the west area of Starigrad are all as beautiful as surprising! the National Park is rich in natural phenomena and conserve a magnificent flora and fauna! Just minutes north of Zadar, these mountains plunging directly into the sea are fabulous natural walls. Classified as a biosphere reserve by Unesco you will find many birds, lynx, wolves and some bears! By penetrating in the park you will find two beautiful canyons which is the Paklenika Velika and Mala Plakenika. For the first, walls can go up to 400 meters high. You'll find in this park a famous cave in the whole region with many stalagmites and stalactites called Manita Peć and a length of 175m with two large rooms inside. Paklenica is the point meets the Mediterranean Sea, the sun and the continental high mountains, providing a breathtaking scenery!

 



Hvar Island :

Hvar Island is one of the most touristic islands and surely the most famous of the Dalmatian coast. Its mild climate in winter and hot in summer, its coves with turquoise waters and its magnificent Mediterranean vegetation make it one of most beautiful islands in the Adriatic Sea! Elongated stretching out from east to west off the mainland, making Hvar, the island's most stretched Croatia (68km). The island of Hvar was attacked by the jet set but it is always possible to find a small corner of authenticity on this little paradise. Stroll between vineyards and olive groves and waste your time in a small beach in the East of the island, away from the crowds! The village of Hvar is known as the Croatian St. Tropez! Restaurant lines, yachts, boutiques and night club will be located around the small port. Still, the city retains a small charm with its white stone houses, small narrow streets, its main square, its rich history and above the the city's two forts that offer superb views. To have a bit of peace, it is possible to stay in Stari Grad which is a call to stroll and rest. An authentic city as we like! Come and discover this island with many facets between nights of madness and tourist beaches and / or authentic taverns and small hidden coves.

View of Hvar from the fortification

Hvar Island



Massif du Biokovo

Biokovo Natural Park :

South of Split and around Makarska, the Biokovo natural park (sometimes called "Bijakova") is one of the mountains constituting the Dinaric Alps that extends along the Dalmatian coast. Real wall between the touristic coast and the isolated and dilapidated hinterland. This massif offers some magnificent and spectacular views diving into the blue waters of the Adriatic and a unique fauna and flora. You will find exceptional geomorphology and a unique biodiversity without forgetting the beauty of its landscapes! The park extends on over 25 km long, starting from the Dubci peak near Brela in the northwest till the Saranac peak in the southeast and offers more than 40 marked trails  who crisscross the 19,550 hectares of the park. The highest point of the massif is Mount Sveti Jure, which rises to 1762 meters and is accessible by car at only 5 minutes from the coast! On a clear day you could even see Italy! In spite of the roads to that give you a headache and dizziness , Biokovo Natural Park remains an amazing place formed by its arid and rocky mountains ending with steep cliffs descending directly into the Adriatic sea.



Brač Island :

At one hour by boat in the south of Split, this long island of 40 km on 12 km wide is one of the largest in the central Dalmatia. The first image you see of this island is a beautiful beach and what's more, the most beautiful beach in the world for some Croatian chauvinists, but certainly the most famous! This pebble beach located at Bol penetrate into the sea and mean "golden horn" (Zlatni Rat). On the island, the vegetation is abundant and you will find many hidden coves. Ferry disembark at Supertar which is a charming town with a beautiful waterfront. Bol for its part is a village "postcard" quite touristy with a shady walk where memories merchants are grouped. Lovers of diving and snorkeling will take the direction of the coast between Milna and Bol. Brač Island attracts many travelers in search of rest and relaxation between nautical sports, exploring marine life or simply to rest on a small creek a few meters of a field of olive trees.

Zlatni Rat



Primošten  

Primošten :

Primošten is a little paradise on an islet which was connected to the mainland at the beginning of 19th century. Ideally located just 30 minutes from Šibenik and 1 hour from Split and a few kilometers from many national parks. It's always a delight to see this beautiful village from the entrance of the city. This  village carved in stone houses surrounded by seven uninhabited islets is a wonder of nature beautified by the hand of humans! At the heart of the island is St. George's Church (1485) and the marine cemetery facing the sunset. We advise you to arrive from the south for a breathtaking view of this jewel! Beaches in the old town, the beautiful houses of stone and tiles, typical gastronomy, authentic charm, small cafes and cozy restaurants .. Brief we love!




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