Central Dalmatia is among of the most alluring parts of Croatia. Even more so, it is said to be one of the easiest when it comes to exploration. Try to base yourself in Split and, from there, you can effortlessly make dozens of day trips everywhere.
The region can also be easily accessed right from Zagreb, which can be done through buses and trains – all of which are said to regularly depart for Split and the countless neighboring towns.
The region is said to be the most action-packed in Croatia, let alone being a diverse part. Apart from its stunning islands and quiet ports, it is also known for its rugged mountains and a handful of castles. What is more? Well, it comes with a highly celebrated and emerging culinary scene. In addition, the region comes with at least three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Things to do & places to visit in Central Dalmatia
These are none other than the medieval penned town of Trogir, the Diocletian’s Palace in Split, and the antique shred fields of the Stari Grad plain, which is beautifully situated on the island of Hvar. Throughout all of them, if you are looking for a dramatic background, the jagged 1500m-high Dinaric Range will not let you down.
Moreover, there is a sturdy whiff of the Central Dalmatia’s Roman heritage, the type that is visible in the ruins located in Solin, just outside of Split. As far as the Diocletian’s Palace in Split (also deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site), it is worth a visit every now and then.
Tourists may also want to visit another World Heritage site, which is situated in Trogir. This one, in particular, is famous for its vastness of medieval architecture and sculpture. Of course, it is a crime not to include the beautiful Cathedral of St. James.
But hey, what about the beaches? Well, if you are looking for one – which you definitely are – then the Central Dalmatia can help you big time. Just simply take a one-hour drive straight to the southern part of Split, so you can found yourself in Brela.
You will be in awe of the area’s spectacular string of pine-shaded coves. Zlatni Rat, a place seemingly placed by nature in Brac Island, has a number of rooms for everyone. You will also grow fond of relatively “un-touristed” Vis Island, a place known for its many secluded coves.
Lastly, there is the Bacvice (also located in Split). If you are looking for the great urban beach experience, you can most certainly include this on your to-do list.
It is no secret that the attractiveness of the Mediterranean flourishes in the Central Dalmatia. From Murter, you can easily join tours that would take you straight to the Kornati Islands National Park. There is also the Biokovo Mountain (located just behind Makarska) and it has always been a tourist favorite.
Even more so, the latter has become a go-to place for hikers and trekkers. And, by all means, you should not forget to a visit the Krka National Park, where you can be stunned thanks for its lakes and waterfalls.
There are other worthwhile destinations in the region. This includes Omir and Makarska, apart from Trogir and Split. They are carefully detailed below:
The Split is not only the capital of Dalmatia, but it is also known as the second largest city in Croatia. The town is very popular thanks to its 1700 years old Diocletian’s palace. In case you did not know, the latter is hailed as the best-preserved monument, which dates back to the late antiquity in the entire world. This more than a thousand-year-old city has all the qualities needed to fascinate you. From its history to culture to lifestyle, it is definitely every tourist’s dreams to visit here.
The layout of the Roman Palace today is capable of outlining the core of the metro. Now, it has become a place that gave people the ability to socialize, conduct business, and live a life. From PERISTIL, which is basically the main square, you should take a visit to the huge substructures of Diocletian’s Palace.
If not, do not forget to climb the Cathedral of St. Duje bell tower. Otherwise, you will regret experiencing the breath-taking g view of nearby islands and Old Town roofs. There is also the Cathedral – and it is considered as one of the smallest across the planet – and Jupiter’s Temple for a peaceful experience.
The split is also a destination for drinks and lots of parties. Take for example the main waterfront promenade called Riva.
It has become a go-to location for people to enjoy drinks or coffee conversations.
During summer, people go there to enjoy concerts, performances, and other events solely organized on the Riva. The best part of these is wine and snacks. You should include on your go-to list some wine bars like the Paradox and Zinfandel.
But if you want to explore more cafes and bars, just simply take a stroll on the streets of the old town.
Trogir is hailed as one of the most beautiful towns in the world. Heck, it is deemed an artistically inspired town, which is usually dubbed the “miniature Venice.” The town is roughly 3000 years old, with an old center being preserved and protected as a UNESCO heritage site.
Visitors are encouraged to take a stroll through the old metro center and straight to the St. Lovre’s cathedral. The latter, in particular, was built from the 13th till 17th century. That is why people can easily styles that depict Gothic, Renaissance, Romanic, and Mannerism.
Tourists may also pay a visit to the Cathedral, so they can climb the bell tower on a daily basis (except for Sundays, though). And because of the masses held on Sunday morning, it is almost impossible to visit the Cathedral.
There is also the Kamerlengo fortress, which is located at the very end of the promenade. This one right here is considered an irreplaceable summer stage. And with its qualities, there is no doubt it is considered a worth-seeing destination. It offers some of the best looks in the town.
Trogir Town Museum, on the other hand, is situated in the palace of Garagnin-Fanfogna. It is basically located just next to the northern city gate. Mind you, it has a lot of collections on its resume, all of which depict artistic, cultural, and even political development of the town.
These depictions even rooted from the town’s foundation up until the 20th century. When spring and fall come in, the museum is open for visits until 14h (Mondays to Fridays).
Omiš is very much unlike the aforementioned towns. That is because this picturesque town comes with a true experience of what the Mediterranean atmosphere is all about. It is located at the very mouth of the Cetina River and is in the heart of Dalmatia.
In addition, Omis can be found between the two tourist centers, namely, Makarska and Split. The river Cetina, on the other hand, offers a magnificent canyon that has beautifully found its way to the sea and straight into the inspiring mountain massif. With its beautiful and sandy beach, there is no doubt it can offer the most unique and incomparable Adriatic coast experience!
Occupied as early as Roman times, Omiš was an invigorated town during the Middle Ages. It even had numerous masters and rulers in its past, as well as countless remains of the medieval fortifications. Even more so, it displays various traces of multiple cultures in its art and architecture.
One of the Renaissance-style properties near to the aforementioned parish church houses the local museum collection. The latter, on the other hand, offers exhibits that depict cultural, archaeological, ethnographic, and historical displays that hail from the region of Omiš as well as the nearby Poljica.
Visitors are encouraged to take a walk through the old town center, so they can explore little alleys packed with small bistros, cafes, and restaurants. Also, the place comes with a great number of shops, as well as an interesting and colorful market place.
Lastly, it offers a stretch of historical sites and locations, including historical fragments, artworks from local and/or Italian Renaissance artists, and churches.
Makarska is without a doubt among the most popular tourist resort placed located on the Adriatic. This is made possible thanks to its stretchy, pebbly beaches, not to mention numerous scenic mountains beautifully placed in the background. All of these are capable of creating a specific climate, let alone some picturesque views.
You should visit and explore the streets and/or squares of the town, which are just behind the main promenade. They are all rich in cafes, souvenir shops, galleries, and lots of restaurants. If not, you can always enjoy the therapeutic benefits that you can obtain from the fresh sea air. All you need to do is walk through the green paths that you can find in St. Peter peninsula. These paths, in particular, are wrapping straight towards west. From there, they further themselves to the beach, reaching a lovely walk of about 2 km long.
You can even experience marking trails through the woods; an experience you can get from the eastern side of the bay. If you give this experience a try, there is no doubt it will take you to a stretch of pebbles that is enfolded between nudist-friendly beach and attractive red cliffs.
Of course, let’s not forget the Malacological Museum, especially since it houses one of the massive collections of invertebrate fossils and shells across the world. There are even some that come with quite a remarkable specimen. In addition, it offers a wide collection of flora of the titular Biokovo Mountain, let alone qualities coming from the great Adriatic Region.
The museum first opened sometime in 1963 and has since then become a part of Franciscan Monastery.
Makarska is the go-to place on the Riviera, and this is mainly because of its nightlife and/or partying. You can always start your evening with a drink, which should be done at some of the popular lounge bars and cafés located at Riva. Take the Lištun street, the one that connects to the Kačićev square.
From there, it has a narrow pedestrian that will surprise you for its packed crowds and lively café bars or establishments. If you are looking for cocktails and some dancing, you should try the “Marineta” at Riva. It ensures an awesome experience!