Located on the southern end of Croatia, Dalmatia is a region lavishly endowed with all the right ingredients for attracting travelers. Facing the Adriatic Sea, dotted with hundreds of islands, it resembles its canine namesake.
Dalmatia is indeed the country of origin of this breed of dogs with striking spots on their bodies.
Dalmatia got its name from the Roman Emperor Diocletian who voluntarily abdicated his throne and built a magnificent palace in the coastal town of Split. It took ten years to complete the massive edifice. He moved in there with his entourage in 305 AD and spent his retired life growing vegetables in the palace garden. Many medieval buildings came up later around the palace. Split is Croatia’s second largest city.
Besides Split, Dalmatia also has some fascinating medieval coastal towns such as Dubrovnik, Sibenik,Trogir and Zadar. These are all popular tourist destinations with desolate ancient and majestic Renaissance buildings, imposing monasteries, grand coastal boulevards and romantic fountains.
Most historic towns in this region follow a similar pattern of town planning. Each town has an old center with stone houses and a few churches. The city center is built around the largest church with the tallest bell tower. Because of their historic and archaeological significance, all the five towns are listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Unlike most other historic towns in this region, Sibenik is considerably younger. Its exquisite Cathedral of St James was built in Renaissance style around 1434 AD. Earliest archaeological relics found here are the 11th century houses at the bottom of the Old Croatian Fortress of St Mithovil. It’s a lively and youthful town. Most narrow cobblestone streets will lead you to wonderful squares bustling with shoppers and pleasure-seekers.
All the above towns have regular flights from the capital city of Zagreb. Croatia has excellent network of roads for comfortable traveling by bus or car. Trains are more comfortable and cheaper. Its slower speed enables travelers enjoy the views of the countryside more when seen through the wide windows of a slow-moving locomotive.
Dalmatia is Croatia’s best known tourist region. The Adriatic Sea is the outstandingly beautiful bay of the Mediterranean. It is a visual treat to watch the waves gently splashing upon the rocky shores. Its sandy and gravel beaches are wonderful for bathing, sun tanning, fishing, yachting, sailing and indulging in various water sports. Even when you don’t do any of these things, it’s a great place for relaxation.
The two things that you need most while traveling – good food and accommodation – you will get wherever you go. Mediterranean cuisine is superb. A wide range of stay options are available – from 5-star and budget hotels and resorts to private facilities.
Come to this region to explore its historic coastal towns, swim in the warm sea, enjoy bathing in the sun and let your hair get blown in the constant wind, relish the local cuisine or – like Robinson Crusoe – get lost in one of the wooded islands! Dalmatia is indeed enchanting.