Central Dalmatia and Islands
The narrow strip of land that runs the stretch of the Croatian coast has some of the most dramatic and captivating landscapes in Europe. The idyllic coast is dotted with the limestone ridges of the Dinaric Alps, emerald rivers, and magnificent falls—with a scattering of islands like gems in the sea.
Just add a happening food scene that is winning accolades with Croatia’s top-rated restaurant in Sibenik. Fabulous seafood and fresh Mediterranean ingredients grace the Dalmatian table. Venetian-style splendor, groundbreaking wines, and some of the most pristine beaches in Europe define the central Dalmatian Coast.
Spring and early fall are the nicest times of year to visit Dalmatia, where we tour and enjoy our time without the hustle and bustle of crowds and heat of the summer months.
- The buzzing city of Split is actually a “living ruin” with the center situated amongst the walls of what was Roman emperor Diocletian’s retirement Palace—absolutely incredible.
- Surprise! The ancestor of the Zinfandel grape has been traced to the Dalmatian coast, in Kastela, a region near Split! Take some home and impress your friends!
- Winemaking reaches 2500 years back to the Bronze Age and the Illyrian tribes that inhabited Dalmatia and the islands—how’s that for experience!
- Croatia’s heart-shaped island, Galesnjak, is known as the island of Love, or Lover’s island. It’s what inspired our Captivating Croatia logo.
- Zadar has the most unique waterfronts, with two unusual water installations: The Sea Organ uses the currents and tides to play music and sound through a series of pipes, and the solar-powered Sun Salutation collects energy during the day, and at sunset comes alive in technicolor.
- The Dalmatian dog breed takes its name from the Dalmatian Coast and dates back to Roman times.
- Nikola Tesla (where the electric car got its namesake), the pioneer of electricity, was born in inland Dalmatia.
- “Fijaka” is likely one of the best Dalmatian expressions – utter relaxation – a Dalmatian state of mind. You should read more about it in this article.
Signature dishes and specialties of Central Dalmatia
- Pag Island makes a world-famous cheese redolent of herbs and sea salt—a taste of the Mediterranean in one bite! It’s a cheesemaking tradition that dates back centuries.
- Peka, translated as “under the bell,” is the epitome of Dalmatian slow food – meat or octopus and potatoes drenched in olive oil and herbs and simmered for hours for a sublime meal.
- Crni rizot—black risotto made from squid ink—is said to have antidepressant properties (amazing, right?).
- Soparnik, a large flat pie stuffed with swiss chard is a specialty from a very specific hinterland area above Omis.
- Prsut ham, made in the hinterland of Dalmatia and dried in the strong “Bura” winds is the country’s finest.
- Everything on the the grill! A ritual of beautiful simplicity—grilled seafood, meats, calamari need only to be brushed with olive oil and fresh herbs. A quintessential aroma of Dalmatia is the scent of a wood fire grill mixed with laurel, bay, olives. Someone should bottle this intoxicating scent!
- Maraska – Maraschino liquors are produced in the Zadar region.