The Croatian region of Dalmatia is located along the Eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. Known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history and delectable cuisine. With 79 islands and more than 500 islets you won’t want to miss this area on your Croatian holiday. These are our picks for 5 must visit locations in Dalmatia, Croatia.
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Ston & Mali Ston
The Walls of Ston were built in the 15th century by the Republic of Ragusa. The city state built them to protect the port and valuable salt pans from invasion. They also happen to be the longest defensive system in all of Europe at more than 5km long (originally 7 km), spanning all the way from Ston to Mali Ston.
The seafood in this region is some of the best you will find in the world. The oysters of Mali Ston are the first European flat oyster to receive the protected destination of origin recognition. The region is well known for its wines and the Pelješac peninsula is world famous for the Plavac Mali grape and wine of the same name. It’s a beautiful dry red wine with notes of cherry and plum. The whites in the region are nothing to scoff at either.
This area of Dalmatia is not as touristy as a Dubrovnik, Hvar or Split. You can guarantee some quiet time here making these two locations one of the 5 must visit locations in Dalmatia Croatia.
Start planning your trip right here. Find the perfect accommodations in the Dalmatian region below.
Vis is the most remote of all of the Dalmatian islands, being the furthest inhabited island from the mainland. It’s also has a less touristed vibe due to the fact that for 50 years, tourists both foreign and domestic were not allowed on the island of Vis as it was used as a military base for the former Yugoslav army.
Biševo island just off the coast of Vis is where you will find the famous blue cave and Medvidina cave. You can actually swim into Medvidina cave as it extends 160 metres deep into the rock face. It gets quite dark inside and the water is deep, so enter with caution.
The famous blue cave alone is worth making the trip to Vis. This cave is protected so you’ll need to board a boat operated by the local authority to see inside, but the shockingly blue water caused by a light effect through a gap in the cave is like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
Be sure to check out Stiniva and Mala Pritiscina beaches on the Vis mainland as well. The only way to get to them is by boat or small footpaths and Pritiscina is only 3 metres wide. There are a host of other beautiful beaches on this most isolated of Croatian islands as well.
Make a day of it and stop off at the town of Komiža while on a boat trip. Kožima is a fishing village and its known to be the home of some of the world’s best fishermen. Many of these local fisherman emigrated to Washington state in the United Sates and helped pioneer the Pacific salmon fishing industry.
Referred to as the Pearl of the Adriatic, this city is a sight to behold. Dubrovnik has all of the charm and popularity one could want and the HBO hit tv show Game of Thrones has made it even more popular. Is it over touristed? Absolutely! But don’t let that stop you from visiting. With some proper planning you can make this magnificent city a holiday you will never forget.
Walk the medieval walls for spectacular views of the Adriatic and the city below. Visit the Jesuit staircase for your Game of Thrones fix. Visit St. Blaise’s church that is dedicated to the patron Saint of Dubrovnik. Indulge yourself with some of the tastiest Croatian fare you can find. And if the crowds become a bit much, hop on a ferry to Lokrum Island, a short 15 minute ride from the old town, for a day of relaxation and swimming in the Adriatic.
There is so much to do in this adorable city and I haven’t even mentioned nearby sparkling blue beaches. Whatever your interests are: history, culture, cuisine or just soaking up the Mediterranean vibe, Dubrovnik has something to offer everyone. Definitely fits the bill for 5 Must visit Locations: Dalmatia Croatia
- Want to visit Lokrum Island? Here is Everything You Need to Know
- Want the best food in all of Dubrovnik? Restaurants You Need to Try
- Trying to figure out what to do in the Old Town? Here is Everything You Need to Know
Unforgettable experiences in Dalmatia, Croatia
Much like Dubrovnik, Split is a location not to be missed. The old town of Split was originally built to be the retirement palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. In later years, the nearby residents took refuge in the old palace during the invasion of Slavs and Avars. Eventually making it their home and building their businesses within the old Palace. Unlike most Roman ruins that are fenced off and heavily guarded, Split residents still live within the walls of the ancient palace.
Get lost in the countless cobblestone alleys. Take a walk along the waterfront promenade called the Riva to soak in the very relaxed vibe of the city. Go see Diocletian’s old tomb that has been converted into a cathedral. As with most places in Croatia, try the food. Angela boasts that the best pasta she has ever eaten in her life was in this very city. And the city of Trogir is just a day trip away.
Split is one of those cities I can’t seem to get enough of. Not too big and not too small that you will be bored within a day or two. Tons to do in the area. And some Epic day trips that can be made from this location is why I list it as one the 5 Must Visit Locations: Dalmatia Croatia
This city on the island of the same name is party central. Not that partying is a bad thing, but at our age it’s just not our thing anymore. For that alone we have left Hvar off our list. However, outside of the late night drunken 20 somethings there is a ton of charm to this town.
Hvar has some gorgeous historical monuments such as the fort, theatre and the armoury and we enjoyed some amazing food there. While Hvar town didn’t exactly vibe with us, Stari Grad, Jelsa and Vrboska are definitely worth a visit.
This one was tough to leave off the list. Zlatni Rat beach alone is worth thrip to Bol. In addition, Vusio Restaurant Stina Winery are amazing spots to enjoy the local fare. Enjoy one of their vintages as you watch the sunset over the harbour.
Korčula was a tough one to leave off the list as Angela’s family is from this island, more specifically the town of Vela Luka. We made this island home for 3 months on our last visit and while not tons to do it most certainly has an undeniable charm.
- Visit Vela Luka and go see the ancient cave called Vela Spila. Radiocarbon testing has shown that humans inhabited this cave 22,000 years ago.
- The town of Korcula on the opposite end of the island is a charming old walled town, much smaller than nearby Dubrovnik and locals believe that this was the birthplace of Marco Polo.
- Lumbarda, a short drive from the town of Korčula, is a small fishing village that also has an excellent wine industry. Known as the birthplace of the Grk varietal of grapes and wine of the same name. The grapes only produce female flowers so they must be planted alongside other varietals of male grapes so they can be pollinated
Helpful Links For Your Trip to Dalmatia Croatia
- If you’re going to island hop in Dalmatia you are going to need to catch a ferry. This is the official website of the largest ferry service in the region. Jadrolinia Ferries
- If you want to drive while you are on the mainland we have found great deals here. Car Rentals
- Other Tours and Excursions
Proizd Croatia is as close to heaven on earth as you can get. If beaches, islands and a bit of nature are your thing this is the place for you. We can’t get enough of it. Proizd ranks in the very top of the most beautiful water we’ve seen anywhere in the world. The sea is so clear with a stunning variety of shades of blue and green, it’s truly a sight to behold.
Proizd is a small and uninhabited island just off the west coast of Korcula, so it’s a quiet place. Nature trails, one small restaurant and several beaches are the only things on this island, so its perfect if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. You’ll need to catch a ferry from nearby Vela Luka to get to this, our #1 spot of 5 Must Visit Locations: Dalmatia Croatia
Have you been to Dalmatia Croatia? Did we leave your favourite off the list? Leave a comment and let us know why you chose your locations and help other travellers experience the beauty of Dalmatia!