Thousands of years of living history come to life before your eyes in Central Dalmatia, the heart of the Croatia’s Adriatic coast. This history can be found inscribed on every street and in every stone façade. It is in the beauty of nature and the harmonious little towns with buildings made of stone. It is in the strings of islands and the green oasis of the hinterland embraced by rivers. It is in the creative gastronomy and the high-quality wines.
Not more than 30 kilometres apart, two cities listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list coexist in Central Dalmatia: Split, with its 1,700 year old palace of the Roman emperor Diocletian; and Trogir, with its layers of cultural heritage and historic nucleus. Between the two lie the remains of ancient Salona, today’s town of Solin. At one time, this was the seat of the Roman province of Dalmatia, and it is now the largest archaeological site on the eastern coast of the Adriatic.
The impressive fortress of Klis is only a short ten-minute drive north of Split. Nestled precariously on a steep cliff, it evokes the time when the region struggled to defend itself from Turkish onslaughts. Traces of rich history can be found every step of the way on the Central Dalmatian islands. The city of Hvar on the island of Hvar boasts the biggest urban square in Dalmatia and the oldest community theatre in Europe. In Stari Grad, you should not miss Stari Grad Plain, a well-preserved ancient field that is listed as UNESCO World Heritage site.
Another must-visit in Stari Grad is Tvrdalj, a manor that used to belong to the poet Petar Hektorović. Škrip, the oldest settlement on the island, is an unforgettable experience. A pleasant stay on the island of Vis will be enhanced by a visit to the archaeological collection Issa. The mild Central Dalmatian climate, with many sunny days, is ideal for the growth of medicinal plants whose intoxicating fragrances pervade the island air.
The island of Hvar is the island of sun and lavender. When the lavender harvest season comes, visitors can collect their share. The island abounds in rosemary, sage, camomile, fennel and laurel. The island of Šolta near Split and the Central Dalmatian island of Vis both offer the pleasurable sensation of being surrounded by pristine nature.
The island of Hvar is the island of sun and lavender. When the lavender harvest season comes, visitors can collect their share.
Wherever you are in Central Dalmatia, make sure to start your meal with a Dalmatian rakija, which is made from grapes and infused with various medicinal herbs. After that, everything that arrives on the table will be tastier and more beautiful. All wine cellars and restaurants include a choice of fish specialities on their menus, and do not forget to sample the local delicacies. These include prosciutto ham dry-cured by smoke and cold winds, cheese in oil, soparnik (Swiss chard pie), the Dalmatian pot roast pašticada with gnocchi, salted sardines or lamb grilled on a spit. Wash it all down with a glass or two of excellent white or red wine.
And at the end, as the cherry on top of your meal, you can choose from rožata (crème brûlée), kroštule (deep fried dough), rafioli (sweet ravioli), and combine them with the typical Dalmatian fortified dessert wine prošek. To make your experience complete, we wish you a pleasant stay in Central Dalmatia with an old regional greeting: May you be healthy and merry.
Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board