A Different Dalmatian

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May 15th 2022
Published: May 1st 2022
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My cycling cruise, originally scheduled for October, was pushed to May of this year. And I am hoping Putin's senseless war does not interefere with my plans. If you have not heard of Croatia's Dalmatian coast, it is about time you learn more about it. From Fodor's: If Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast isn’t already on your travel radar, you’re going to want to add it immediately. Nearby countries like Italy and Greece have long reveled in the spotlight as established European beach destinations; however, Croatia only began attracting tourists after it claimed independence in 1991 following decades of quasi-communist rule. Now, Croatia’s stunning coastline is quickly becoming a European hotspot. Picturesque Islands like Vis and Hvar offer charming harbor towns, fascinating historical sites, amazing seafood cuisine, and beaches defined by the brilliant blue water of the Adriatic Sea. To best experience Central Dalmatia, spend a day or two on the mainland in Split, then set sail for a couple of days exploring the islands. Here are some photos that will have you packing your swimsuit and boat shoes right away.
For good reason, Diocletian’s Palace stands out as the main tourist draw in Split. Emperor Diocletian built the palace in the 3rd century A.D. as his grand, seaside retirement escape. Made from local marble and limestone, the imposing structure features numerous artifacts, including three sphinxes from Egypt which are over 3,500 years old. The palace, octagonal mausoleum, and astounding cathedral remain some of the best-preserved ruins from the Roman Empire.

Šolta is the closest island to Split and, therefore, often the first or last stop for sailing adventures in Central Dalmatia. Palm trees, tavern-like restaurants, and medieval stone buildings line the island’s cozy main harbor, Maslinica Bay. On either end of the harbor entrance, you’ll find a swimming area filled with a few locals and sailors enjoying a morning dip. For lunch, head up the nearby hill to Restaurant Šampjer for fresh fish, traditional shrimp buzara, local wines, and lovely Adriatic views. Sneak around to the other side of the island for dinner at the beloved waterfront restaurant in Rogač Bay, Pasarela.

Of all the islands in Central Dalmatia, Hvar may garner the most name-recognition for its swanky summertime scene, but Vis is where the charm lies. Located further out into the shimmering cerulean waters of the Adriatic, Vis attracts fewer day-trip tourists and more of the leisurely sailing crowd. Catamarans line the bustling harbor of Viska Luka Bay, while Vespas zip past the open-air shops and cafés along up the promenade.

Roki’s, a family-owned tavern & winery, is the best place to experience Peka, an authentic Croatian dish. With Peka, usually lamb, veal, fish, or octopus, is cooked for hours in a metal dome over glowing coals.
Hvar is one of the most enticing beach destinations in Europe, and Hvar Town is the island’s main hub. Begin your experience at the 13th-century hilltop fortress overlooking Hvar Town. The relatively easy 15-minute stroll down into town affords magnificent views of the terracotta rooftops, Venetian bell towers, and glitzy multi-million dollar yachts in the harbor below. Most tourists visiting the island of Hvar stick to the main towns, Stari Grad and Hvar Town. To get off the beaten path, venture away from the crowds on an excursion exploring Hvar’s jaw-dropping coastline. The north shore, in particular, near Stari Grad, boasts electric blue water and plenty of protected inlets perfect for a swim.
Brač is home to one of the most curious and photographed beaches in Croatia, Zlatni Rat. Jutting out perpendicular to the shore like a tiny peninsula, the pebbly beach beckons sun-seekers with its unique shape and piercing blue water. Don’t set your towel out for a seemingly ideal spot at the very tip of the beach, though. The very end of Zlatni Rat is constantly changing shape with fluctuations in the tide and current. More relaxed than neighboring Hvar, Brač is must-visit on any Dalmatian Coast itinerary. Its beautiful coastline is comprised of numerous inlets, which make it the perfect island to explore by boat. Known for dramatic, rocky terrain, Brač is particularly famous for its white stone that was used to build the White House in Washington D.C.
Bol is a relaxed and charming harbor town on the island of Brač. Local fishing boats bob playfully in the marina, brilliant magenta geraniums climb across stone facades, and casual waterfront cafés offer an idyllic spot for a cappuccino. A visit to Brač should include a morning swim at Zlatni Beach followed by an afternoon wandering the peaceful waterfront in Bol. When sunset approaches in Bol, get situated on one of the café cushions atop the wall in front the harbor. Watch the sailboats come and go while the sky turns pink and the island of Hvar begins to glow in the distance. Cheers, or as they say in Croatia: Živjeli!

15 Photos of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, Including Its Best Beaches and IslandsSet sail on the Adriatic Sea and experience the Dalmatian Coast. Leave from Split and island hop to Hvar, Vis, and Palmizana to find some of Croatia’s best beaches, charming harbor towns, and ...www.fodors.comSee you there!!!


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