Learn all about Central Dalmatia with this complete Dalmatian Coast travel guide . Central Dalmatia is one of the main resort areas of Croatia. It is located in the central part of the Adriatic Coast between the northern town of Sibenik and Gradac in the south. This resort area has a huge number of islands and national parks. It is a popular place for families, with rejuvenating natural elements and plenty of child-friendly activities. The cities and villages of the Makarska Riviera are considered the most convenient for families with children because there is a flatter beach and not too many steep stairs or climbs. Baska Voda is famous for its easy access points to the water and in Tuchely there are playgrounds with trampolines along the beachfront.
Central Dalmatia is popular among all tourists for its mild climate. There are 285 sunny days a year with the best season beginning in late April and ending in October. The air warms up gradually, without sudden spikes in heat. In June, the temperature reaches comfortable lows with an average daily temperature of 23-28 degrees Celsius. Such weather is good not only for beach relaxation, but also ideal for those looking to explore the area.
When traveling in this region it always seems that the sea is always somewhere nearby. You can already feel the fresh sea air when you leave the airport building in Split. The sea in Central Dalmatia is particularly special. Due to its exceptional purity, high levels of iodine, salts and other minerals, it is said to have healing properties. The therapeutic experience is further enhanced by pine groves framing small pebble and sand beaches and coves. Nevermind the healing properties and the vistas, the sea itself is a remarkable shade of turquoise, thanks to the quartz found at the bottom of the ocean!
Croatia is proud of its Dalmatian beaches, and rightfully so! It boasts diverse landscapes with natural bays of pebbles and sand. The most popular beaches of the Dalmatian coast are along Makarska Riviera, Vodice, the Primosten peninsula, and on the islands, such as Brač. All the beaches are safe to swim in, however be sure to look out for spikey urchins in the shallow waters. Fortunately, the water is so clear they are easily spotted!
Must Visit sights in Dalmatian Coast
The islands and settlements in Central Dalmatia are very interesting. There is an endless list of attractions to explore: the Diocletian palace; the temple of Jupiter; the Procuratie Square; the Silver and Golden Gates, and the city of Tagir which is connected to the mainland by incredible bridges. Festival goers will be interested in the Venetian Sibenik, which was originally a castle-fortress. The cascade of waterfalls in the Krka reserve is not to be missed and offers incredible photo opportunities. Hop on a speed boat or yacht and explore the idyllic Kornati archipelago.
Dalmatian Coast most popular travel destination
Makarska seems to be enclosed on three sides: from the mainland of Croatia – by the Biokovo mountain range, where the Biokovo National Nature Park is located, and along the coast – by two peninsulas – St. Petra and Osejava. Makarska is the largest resort city along the Makarska Riviera. It has a vast range of hotels and is particularly popular among younger tourists for the bustling nightlife. Visitors can walk around safely and explore, stopping in at the many modern restaurants and cafes. Hardly any Dalmatian Coast travel is complete without visiting Makarska Riviera – its most popular and vibrant destination .
The historical part of the city starts at the Franciscan monastery. Here you will also find the Museum of Malacology, a unique establishment which houses a rare collection of shells of mollusks and sea snails from all continents. Other points of historical interest are here such as a local cathedral and a monument to the outstanding Croatian poet, Franciscan Andria Kacic Mioshich. The monument was created by the Croatian sculptors Ivan and Randi.
Museum of Fish and Shells
Surprisingly, there is another seashell museum in Makarask. I suggest visiting both, this museum boasts a range of magnificent sea shells and a collection of stuffed aquatic life for visitors to learn about the natural fauna of the area.
Church of St. Mark
The church is large and does not appear to be all that much too look at, however it fits in well with its surroundings and is definitely worth visiting and looking around inside. It is a convenient stop as almost all roads run past it. From the main entrance of the church you can get a great view of the Biokovo National Park on the slopes of the Dalmatian mountains which rise up just behind. Concerts are often held in the square in the evening and you can come here to sit on benches, admire the St. Mark’s Church, the fountain in the square and mountain views.
This is more of a forest than a park, which is located within the city. The park has an impressive area that you will not get around in merely an hour or two. There are quite a few tourists in the park who rent bicycles and spend the day cycling along the Makarska Riviera. The pedestrian paths here stretch between centuries-old pine trees and rocks and is a wonderful place to explore nature. You won’t be able to swim here but there are great sunsets and a gorgeous view of the sea.
St. Peter Lighthouse
Located on the peninsula of St. Peter, this lighthouse is located within the city and only 500 meters from the main entrance to the park. The lighthouse is still active and the peninsula itself is a great place to walk along the sea and you are allowed to swim here too. Near the lighthouse there is a cafe and a great view of the city.
Nougal is one of the most beautiful beaches in the whole country. The beach is located at the very end of Osezhava Park and is directly under a sheer cliff. This photo shows how amazing it really is, but nothing quite compared to experiencing it first hand! It is important to note that this is the main nudist beach of Makarska.
Botanical Garden Kotishina
The Botanical Garden is located on a mountainside, at an altitude of 250 meters, three kilometers from the center of Makarska. In the garden there are several walking routes for you to take. In addition to the diverse collection of plants, routes pass through the ruins of the fortress and a dried-out waterfall. From here you will also find amazing views of the city, sea and islands.
Other Dalmatian Coast travel destinations
Duce is a village on the Omis Riviera, located 20 kilometers from the capital. The village stretches along the coast for four kilometers in front of the town of Omis. It is made up of modern cottages, nestled on a hill, across the road from the sea. The beaches in Duce are pebble and offer beautiful views of the Dinar Mountains and the island of Brac opposite.
There are several restaurants, cafés and supermarkets in Duce, which have everything you need. From Duce, you can climb uphill to the Church of St. Mary, from where you will find magnificent views of the island Adriatic.
The Dalmatian Coast Pirate experience
Omis is the infamous pirate city of old. It draws in tourists with its amazing nature, combining the sea, mountains and river. A classic sandy beach with shallow waters attracts guests with children. Those looking to dive into deeper waters can visit some of its picturesque pebble beaches. Omis is a good resort not only for beach-goers, but also for those looking to see some sights. People lived here as long ago as the Roman Empire, later the Slavs settled here, and a few centuries later Omis was annexed to Venice. This rich history means that there are a lot of historical attractions. Have I mentioned the pirate castles erected in the thirteenth century? These are certainly not to be missed! The stone houses with tiled roofs look like toys. In such an interesting and beautiful place, it’s nice to just walk the streets and take in the sights around you. The narrow streets of the old city which was the pirate fortress Fortica Stari Grad is above the modern city. Wonder up to the Mirabella observation tower, from where you can enjoy beautiful views of the city and the Adriatic.
The mountain river Cetina is not only beautiful but fun too – tourists can partake in all kinds of activities such as rafting, zip-line, kayaking, canyoning and boat trips.
In July, right in the courtyards of the old city of Omis, a Dalmatian song festival takes place as well as a variety of concerts and performances. One of these vivid performances is the annual Gusarska Bitka (Pirate Battle), which takes place on August 18 in a small bay at the Omiš Marina.
The Dalmatian Coast best travel destination for families
Pisak is a small tourist village located on the Omis riviera, 15 kilometers outside Omis and about 40 kilometers from the capital. Out of the tourist season, about 60 people live here. In summer, residents of Zagreb, Split and other Croatian cities come here and stay in their summer cottages and there are many apartments and private villas for tourists.
The Omis Riviera has a beautiful coast and miles of sunny beaches. Pisak is located in a picturesque place, a perfect example of the whole Adriatic coast, in a cozy bay with small pebble or rocky beaches.
Pisak is an ideal place for a quiet family vacation and water sports. Here you can go scuba diving or rent a boat. Pisak has all you need to stay in a self-catering apartment. The Studenac supermarket, which has everything you need, a fruit and vegetable shop, a morning fish market, and of course beaches with clear turquoise clear water.
Private houses in Pisak are located on a hill and rise from the coastline to the main highway that runs along the entire coast. The advantage of this arrangement is that cars, except local ones, do not drive through the village. The downside is that without a car from the seashore you will have to climb a steep staircase for about 10 minutes or walk in the scorching heat for about half an hour to a bus stop where you can hale a long-distance bus or a passing car.
In Pisac itself, the main attraction is the Catholic Church and, next to it, a modern monument to Pope Blessed John Paul II. From Pisak, you can take a boat to the source of Vrul, which is beating from under the ground through salty sea water with cold streams of fresh water. By car, you can go to the resort towns – Baska Voda, Brela or Makarska – Dalmatian Coast travel hottest spot , or drive to the old “pirate” town of Omis.
I hope you found this Dalmatian Coast Travel Guide useful !