Top Things to Do and See in Central Dalmatia
Many travelers will agree that Central Dalmatia boasts a reputation as the most popular and the most visited Croatia’s region. Honestly this region has every reason to enjoy this fame.
For me born in this region (Split Croatia), it will not be easy to choose the most significant points of this region, which as you can see on the map, stretches from old town of Trogir in the north-west to Ploce in the south-east including the large islands of Brac and Hvar as well as the smaller islands of Vis and Solta.
For all looking for pristine nature, beautiful lush islands, rich cultural and natural heritage, exciting adventure activities, and the stunning beaches, you’ve come to the right place.
My magic Central Dalmatia sights
What might be considered the most beautiful sights to one person is completely inappropriate to another. I’ve tried to select few most magic sights around this region to help travelers avoid the mistake of visiting, for example , a beach that doesn’t have the qualities that they are searching for.
My choice includes the following magical places, hoping that you’ll like too:
- Wondering through Diocletian’s Palace in Split
- The ruins of the ancient city of Solin (Roman Salona)
- Admiring the portal of St.Lovro Cathedral in Trogir
- Sunbathing on Zlatni Rat beach in Bol on Brac island
- Swimming in the Blue Cave of Bisevo island, near Vis island
- Visiting the Renaissance splendors of Hvar town on Hvar island
- Stari Grad (Pharos) on the island of Hvar – the oldest Croatia town
- Experience a real adventure in the rafting on the Cetina river
Central Dalmatia Cultural and Historical Heritage
Wondering through Diocletian’s Palace in Split – Central Dalmatia capital
This palace is today the heart of the inner-city of Split where all the most important historical buildings can be found. If you do not visit the palace of Diocletian, you can not say you have been in Split. Take a walk through the city history!
It is hard to imagine Split Croatia without Emperor’s palace as it would be Rome without Roman Coliseum or Cairo without Great Pyramid of Giza. If a city has its heart than this palace is Split’s vital life spot. It is more like a city within a city.
Common Facts about The White House and Diocletian Palace
Do you know what the White House, built in 1800 has in common with Palace of Emperor Diocletian in the Croatian Split,erected in the distant 305 BC
Looking where to spend a night within the walls of Diocletian palace? Would yo like to sleep near Emperor’s residence? Hotel Vestibul Palace is the most luxurious hotel between those found within the walls of the palace. Hotel has seven options, between elegant rooms and suites, all with views of ancient stone walls, wooden furniture.
The ruins of the ancient city of Solin (Roman Salona)
In the ancient times Salona was a very big town (60000 inhabitants) and the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. The remains of its old glory lies today at the outskirts of the town of Solin which is in the close surroundings of Split.
I’ve visited Salona several times and I like to compare it with Naples Pompeii. It’s not so famous like Pompeii but there are some similarities between these old Roman cities.
While Pompeii has had for years problem with torrential rains that had a devastating effects on the ruins (besides the local authorities neglect), Salona’s problem is a poor care for this rich heritage, sometimes complete oblivion.
One of the most interesting monuments still visible is the base of the ancient amphitheater further to the west from the main city area. The Amphitheater at Salona was designed to hold eighteen to twenty thousand people at one time.
Don’t miss to visit Salona the ancient Roman city, once the capital of Roman province of Central Dalmatia and native town of Roman emperor Diocletian. There are two half day tours to Salona and Klis fortress and the one visiting Salona and Trogir town.
Trogir the three-nave Venetian cathedral St.Lovro (St.Lawrence)
Trogir Croatia is situated in the center of Dalmatia, on the eastern coastline of Adriatic sea. Its heart is a small islet laying between the gentle hills on the mainland and the coast of the Island of Ciovo.
The trademark of Trogir is the triple-aisle Venetian cathedral St.Lovro (St.Lawrence), one of the finest architectural works in Central Dalmatia, built from the 13th to 15th.
The greatest value of Trogir Cathedral lies in its renowned Romanesque portal (1240), the masterwork of one of Croatia’s greatest sculptors, master Radovan.
This unique portal depicts scenes from the Gospel and the birth of Christ. The doorway is filled with scenes of everyday life, pictures of saints and apostles, exotic animals, sirens and centaurs.
On the outer edge of the doorway, there are two lions, one on each side, on which are seated Adam and Eve respectively. Trogir Cathedral, as well as the old part of Trogir, are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Central Dalmatia Islands Highlights
Bol, island Brac trademark Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) Beach
Croatia’s most spectacular beach is the vast, golden pebble beach, almost 580 yards long, known as the Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn). It is positioned just in front of Bol town on the island of Brac, opposite Hvar island. Bol town has excellent fast-boat (catamaran) connections from Split town.
The beach has a unique shape, like a white tongue stretched into the sea. It is unique also for the fact that it changes shape and position, depending on the wind.
Whether for its beauty and possibilities of all kinds of water sports, the beach Golden Horn attracts tourists from all over the world, who like to enjoy the sun, the sea and the best place to go windsurfing, water skiing and scuba diving on the Adriatic coast.
Bisevo Blue Cave near Vis Island – divers paradise
Central Dalmatia island Vis is the farthest of the larger Croatian islands, about 24 miles from the mainland connected with daily car ferries and catamarans from Split harbor.
Bisevo is a small island (5.8 sq. kilometers) about five kilometers south west from Vis There are a few caves on the island, but Modra Spilja (the Blue Cave) is the most famous.
Around noon, when the sea is calm, sunbeams that penetrate through the submarine opening in the Modra Spilja, reflect from the white bottom floor and color the cave in blue and objects in the water in silver. The cave is accessible since 1884, and approach is possible only by boat.
Cetina river rafting and adventure holidays
The river Cetina near Omis town is one of the most beautiful places in Central Dalmatia where you can experience the excitement of rafting and adrenaline adventures.
Rafting on river Cetina, near the town of Omis, has in the last few years become the favorite recreation of tourists and adventurers spending their vacations at the Adriatic coast.
In between swimming and sunbathing, the time spent in nature essential for maintaining good health. Taking a day tour from Split is the best way to enjoy the natural harmony in and around this river.
All you need to bring with you is a swimming suite, some shoes suitable for water and dry clothes. If you want to take pictures, it is recommendable a waterproof camera. The rest like paddle, helmet and buoyancy aid will be included.
Splendors of Hvar town on Hvar island
Hvar Croatia is the biggest town of island Hvar, called the ‘Croatian Madeira’. Hvar receives more than 2724 hours of sunshine each year, more than anywhere in the country.
When I think of this town – I think about the island of hot summers, sunshine and crickets, the island of lavender, sage and wine and the island of rosemary and secluded coves.
The most popular beaches are on the Paklina islands connected with regular taxi boats leaving in front of Arsenal (built in 1611) to the islands Jerolim and Stipanska, where you will find the most popular regular and nudist beaches.
Stari Grad, Hvar island – The oldest Croatian town
Stari Grad (Old Town), on the island Hvar is older than Hvar town and perhaps the oldest in Croatia. This old town known as Pharos, was founded in 385 BC by Greek colony. The Romans replaced the Greeks in 219 BC. Later, Slavs settled the town and it became the capital of the island until 1278.
It’s situated at the end of the 5 miles long bay enclosed on the one side with the land and the fields of lavender and vineyards, and on the other side protected by the sea.
Stari Grad has very good ferries connections with Split, the capital of Central Dalmatia. It’s the only port connected with international ferries from Italy (Ancona).