April 24, 2010
SPLIT, Croatia, Apr. 24, 2010/ Bon Voyage / — Many people don’t know where the Dalmatian Coast is, but this gem of a coastline is not going to stay unknown and “undiscovered” for long.
If you knew that it has old world charm, natural beauty, welcoming people and delicious food, would that give you a clue? How about if you knew it also had warm weather, beautiful beaches and historic towns? Would you guess Greece? Italy? Maybe even Spain? I suppose it could be any of the above, but the Dalmatian Coast is in Croatia and it is fast becoming a hot tourist destination.
Amazing but undeveloped
We drove the Croatian coast on a long leisurely vacation. We drove down from Germany and spent our first night in Pula, which is on the coast although not the Dalmatian coast. Driving on down the coast, we couldn’t help thinking that it was just amazing how undeveloped this whole beautiful coastline was.
Dalmatia occupies the central 230 miles (375 km) of Croatia’s Adriatic Coast, stretching from just north of the town of Zadar to just south of Dubrovnik.
Split is the largest city in the region. a big and busy city, there are some great sights to see in this historic port city, which lies in the middle of the Dalmatian coast. If you want to concentrate just on this part of Croatia, you could fly to Split from several European cities or take a ferry across the Adriatic from Italy. If you have a rental car and drive in, you will find it is a fairly easy big city to drive in.
However you get to Split, head for the historic area around the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace which he retired to after abdicating. After his death, the Romans abandoned the site and over the centuries the people of Split moved into the palace and established homes and businesses inside.
Today it is predominantly home to many restaurants and shops but a few people still have homes in the palace, and that makes it a little disconcerting. It’s not really a Roman ruin, and it’s not really a palace in the classical sense, but it is one of Croatia’s top tourist sights and an interesting complex to explore.
There are many islands just off the coast that will entice you, some with historic towns and some of which are uninhabited. There are dry, rocky islands, and some lush green ones. There are islands strewn all along the coast, but most of the islands you’d probably want to visit are clustered in southern Dalmatia.
If you’re an island person, you’re sure to find one you’ll love. Ferries can take you to many of them or you can charter a boat if you want to spend some time island hopping.
The jewel of the Dalmatian Coast is Dubrovnik which justly deserves its title “Pearl of the Adriatic.” Marble streets lined with baroque buildings and topped with red tile roofs… and all of that surrounded by intact city walls . . .no wonder it’s a favorite holiday destination for almost everyone who visits.
Whether you drive it, sail it or visit with a tour, when you visit Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast you’re sure to have a fun and romantic holiday.
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