Sun, sea, savings! Book your summer escape today (including £100 child reductions).

Overview

Introduction

Dalmatia is a historical region and is a narrow belt of the east shore of the Adriatic Sea, stretching from south of the Croatian island of Rab in the north to the Bay of Kotor in the south, in present day Montenegro.

Looking at the map it is easy to see how the northern hinterland part of Dalmatia is much wider than the southernmost part where it is barely a few kilometres wide, specifically south of famous Dubrovnik.

Croatia has over 1000 islands and around 80 of them are in the Dalmatia region (plus approximately a further 500 islets).

The name “Dalmatia” comes from an Ilyrian tribe called the Dalmatae who lived in the area in classical antiquity. Since then, Dalmatia has seen Croats people (from the Kingdom of Croatia), the Republic of Venice, the Austrian empire and latterly Yugoslavia – all have been in Dalmatia.

For visitors from abroad, Dalmatia might conjure up thoughts of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night when Dalmatia is mentioned and indeed, the Dalmatian dog which originated in the region.

Today, the most well-known places for a holiday in the Dalmatia region are the islands of Brac, Hvar, Korcula, the cities of Split and Zadar, the long stretch of coast known as the Makarska Riviera with its pine fringed beach resorts and, of course, far in the south of Dalmatia, famous Dubrovnik, the breathtakingly beautiful medieval walled city on the sea.

Read more

South Dalmatia

South Dalmatia is a long, thin, coastal strip backed by the Dinaric Alps and is the southernmost region of Croatia. These mountains form the natural border with neighbouring Bosnia Herzegovina to the east.

Understandably, life centres on the former city-republic of Dubrovnik, contained within 2 km long ancient defensive walls facing out to sea and packed with Baroque churches, noblemens’ palaces, impressive museums with open-air cafes and restaurants at every turn.

Dubrovnik is the number one choice for visitors from the UK and it’s no surprise because of the sheer beauty of the place. The wealth of culture brought to Dubrovnik is evident at every turn in the old city. The wide, pedestrianised main street called Stradun is polished like a gleaming mirror. Then there the open-air palaces of Rector and Sponza, the fountains of Onofrio de la Cava, the church of St Blaise (patron saint of Dubrovnik), Dominican and Franciscan monasteries, the arched entrances to the city, the little old Porporela harbour where boats depart for Lokrum island, 10 minutes away and for Mlini and Cavtat around 45 minutes along the coast. Dubrovnik is unique. This is no “museum town”, it is living and vibrant with ferries coming and going from Gruz harbour where there is a lovely open green market, perfect for picnic ingredients. There are two green and wooded peninsulas -Lapad and Babin Kuk with good pebble beaches, some excellent hotels and all within easy reach of the old town too. Dubrovnik’s beaches are not exclusive to visitors – locals use them too.

A trip up to Mount Srdj on the cable car provides a wonderful view of much of the Dubrovnik Riviera.

Many people choose to combine a stay in Dubrovnik with some time on the island of Korcula, the region’s most-visited island (with Korcula Town itself often referred to as a smaller version of Dubrovnik). There are family run vineyards, a sandy beach or two, the colourful Moreska Sword Dance, the possible birthplace of explorer Marco Polo, some wonderful tiny island-hopping experiences using water taxis, a boat trip over to Orebic (under 10 minutes) on the fertile Peljesac peninsula or even an excursion to Mljet island, part of which is another national park. – Korcula is a great place for a holiday.

The island of Mljet is located between the island of Korcula and Dubrovnik and one third of it is one of Croatia’s national parks. Outside of July and August, Mljet is the nearest thing to having your own island due to the sound of birdsong, silence and relaxation. Easy from Dubrovnik or Korcula by ferry or catamaran.

The Elafiti islands of Lopud, Sipan and Kolocep are car-free and just a short ferry ride from Dubrovnik. So close to the bustle of the famous walled city yet a feeling of tranquillity. The scent of sage and rosemary hits you as you arrive in summer. With a few bars and restaurants (mainly fish

ones), superb swimming in tiny coves, these islands are worth a visit for a day or a longer stay. Our hotel, Kalamota Beach House on Kolocep is a real find.

Cavtat (pronounced “tsav-tat”) is Croatia’s southernmost seaside resort around 25 minutes’ drive from downtown Dubrovnik. Once a fishing village, it is built around a U-shaped Bay, protected to each side by a wooded peninsula. Another spot founded by the Greeks in 228 BC and called Epidaurus, today it is a favourite of visitors from the UK. The palm tree-lined seafront has some lovely art galleries, shops and a selection of bars and restaurants. Mlini is smaller, just 10 minutes away by regular boat line. Both Cavtat and Mlini are within easy reach of Dubrovnik by road (25 minutes) or regular boat line (approx. 45 minutes), a superb way to experience this South Dalmatia coastline.

Did you know?

  • Trsteno Arboretum is a 25-hectare park laid out in the grounds of a Renaissance villa in the village of Trsteno, around 35 minutes north of Dubrovnik by car and 45 minutes by bus. Garden terraces that tumble towards the sea full of plants brought from all over the world.
  • Quarantine came to Dubrovnik in 1377 when a series of buildings called “lazereti” near the Ploce Gate entrance were where land and sea travellers had to remain for 40 days before they had permission to enter the city. Today, the lazereti are used for cultural performances.
  • Dubrovnik Summer Festival runs from 10 July – 25 August each year with a rich programme of theatre, music, dance often featuring international symphony orchestras. In 2023, the festival will be in its 74th year.

Central Dalmatia

Central Dalmatia starts from just north of Sibenik and continues south, encompassing the islands of Brac, Hvar and Vis (Vis is the farthest inhabited, westerly island in the Adriatic), as far as Gradac. More mountainous than North Dalmatia, it is home to some of Croatia’s most beautiful medieval towns, and Split is the main cultural and economic centre, Croatia’s second city, never mind being the biggest and busiest port in Croatia. Split is one of the most extraordinary examples of a town of the late Roman world and home to Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace whose four walls form the core of the old town. In the past ten years, Split has been the choice of visitors for more than a day or two as was the case previously. The Riva promenade is stunning, the columns and artefacts in Forum square tell of travels by the Romans. The National Theatre, bars, restaurants and shops are used by locals alongside visitors. There’s an awesome covered fish market (shop there before 11am as the prices increase then!) plus a wide sandy beach called Bavice, rare in Croatia. No visit to any part of the Dalmatia region should miss Split.

The nearest island is Brac, just a 50 minute ferry ride from Split, with fewer visitors than to the island of Hvar to the south. Brac is famous for white stone from quarries there. Stonemasonry has passed from family to family and there is still a stonemasonry school.

As with many of the Croatian islands, outside of peak mid-July end August, there are far fewer crowds and prices are usually lower.

The island’s capital is Supetar, a lovely expanded fishing port and harbour where the ferry arrives from Split, yet many visitors head for the undeniably stunning V shaped Zlatni Rat beach whose tip changes shape and direction according to the wind.

On Brac, don’t miss Vidova Gora peak, the highest peak in the Adriatic at 780 metres. Take an excursion that combines this with a visit to the Blaca Monastery. Both can be done independently but prepared to be exhausted!

Hvar island, to the south, is possibly Croatia’s best-known island. It has been labelled “hippest”, the “jet-set” spot and so on. It is very long from west to east and yet just a 25-minute drive across from north to south. Its capital Hvar Town is built around a small harbour and backed by a hilltop fortress known as Spanish Fort (curiously, the Spanish were never there). The old town is made up of winding cobbled streets which converge onto a vast piazza. Elsewhere the island is covered with hebs, vineyards and lavender fields. Lavender harvest is usually in June and sometimes visitors can join in (by hand and it is back-breaking work with dawn start).

On the north coast of Hvar, the town of Stari Grad (meaning “old town”) is a place we love. It’s the point of entry for car ferries from Split and it was here that Greeks from Paros settled in 385 BC. Unspoilt, time-warp, where family businesses still thrive. Not to be missed is the 16th century summer retreat of poet Petar Hekterovic called Tvrdalj with inscriptions, open ceilings, fish pond and garden. It is exquisite.

The island of Vis would require a book to describe its amazing history. Suffice it say that there is little accommodation, Conde Nast Traveller declared Stinica beach one of the most beautiful anywhere and the British still occasionally play cricket at the old airfield! Vis Town and Komiza are the main places, full of authentic fish restaurants and wine cellars. Best discovered on one of our Dalmatian cruises. If you like it, we can arrange for you to return for a few days at the end of the cruise.

Back on the mainland and 35 minutes north of Split, Trogir is a walled mediaeval town, a warren of narrow streets radiating from the cathedral. The UNESCO listed heritage site reflects the influences from the time of the Greeks in 300 BC to the modern day (you cannot miss that the Venetians were here). There is a good bus service from Split and a rather delightful boat line to Trogir from May to October.

Sibenik is Dalmatia’s second city and the centre of the old town teems with tiny palaces, chapels, squares and the golden amber unmissable Cathedral of St Jacob. On the far side of town, the remains of an industrial quarter tell of the city’s more recent past. If you seek fine dining, check out Pelegrini which holds a one Michelin star.

The Makarska Riviera is around 80 minutes south of Split airport and is famous for long, curved pebble beaches fringed by pine trees, backed by Mount Biokovo peak. We feature Makarska itself, Baska Voda and Tucepi, all charming and easy for exploring the rest of Central Dalmatia.

Did you know?

  • Krka National Park is easy from anywhere in central Dalmatia and the park takes its name because it encompasses the majority of the 75-kilometre-long Krka River. A series of 17 blue cascades tumbling over limestone, pools and semi-submerged forest.
  • Split holds an Advent Fair on the Riva seafront promenade every December including Santa Claus, often spotted enjoying a coffee break.
  • Diocletian’s Palace is actually, really used. It isn’t a monument. There are even a couple of bars situated within the very palace walls.

North Dalmatia

North Dalmatia starts from the south of the Kvarner region and focuses on the port city of Zadar with its historic centre packed with Roman ruins, Byzantine churches and Venetian-style houses. It was once the capital of Dalmatia. The salty and much loved Pag cheese comes from the island of Pag here while one of the main attractions is the proximity to two of Croatia’s national parks, Kornati National Park, a unique seascape of around 100 islands and islets seeming scattered in uneven lines. They look almost lunar and are dry, rocky and uninhabited. Best seen by boat, on your own if you have one or on an excursion, from a number of places on the mainland. On the seaward slopes of the rugged Velebit mountain chain the Paklenica National Park is loved by hikers for the criss-crossing, well-marked paths and by free climbers. There’s also a sequence of tunnels and bunkers built for defence.

Zadar has some excellent stone and pebble beaches and a good choice of places to stay. A regular ferry brings people to Dugi Otok (meaning “long island”) and the largest of a scattering of islands that make up the Zadar Archipelago. There is an “away from it all” feeling, some pretty coves, pebble beaches and the stunning Sakarun Bay, a large sheltered bay with a white pebble beach where the sea often is a magical turquoise blue colour.

Zadar itself has plenty to enjoy. The striking main street “Kalelarga'' and Forum, testament to the Roman period. The wonderful wide, white stone Riva (seaside promenade), home to the Sea Organ (a structure installed in 2005 and designed to play music from the sea through marble and linked to 35 organ pipes) and Greeting to the Sun, powered by nature, which depicts the solar system in the form of a circle in bewitching bright colours. The Arsenal, the former ship repair yard, is now a venue for live concerts, operettas and even fashion shows. Restaurants, bars, shops (including some cool beach bars), they are all here.

Fancy a two-centre holiday with Italy, there’s a regular ferry from Zadar to Ancona. 

Did you know?

  • The ancient city walls of Zadar gained UNESCO Heritage status in 2017.
  • Cherry liqueur called maraska is from Zadar and it is used in everything, from cocktails to ice cream
  • Alfred Hitchcock apparently said that Zadar had the most beautiful sunsets and women in the world during a filming visit.

At Sunvil, we believe we have one of our “finds” at a place called Biograd na Moru. It is around 30 minutes south of Zadar airport and around 40 from the centre of Zadar. It is an unusual mix of a holiday resort at the seaside area with a proper Dalmatian town complete with an old core. It has a strong Mediterranean feel and is quite charming. There are a couple of good value seaside hotels near some good beaches and we also feature villas and a wonderful country estate type property, Hotel Heritage Raznjevica Dvori A.D 1307, a few miles inland.

Useful information

Talk to one of our experts

020 8568 4499

We open today at 9:15 AM

Get in touch

From north to south, Croatia's Dalmatia region is bursting with stunning destinations. Immerse yourself in the area's rich heritage and history by visiting awe-inspiring cities filled with ancient centres, Roman palaces, ramparts and fortresses. Take a leisurely stroll through charming cobbled streets, baroque designs, and monasteries that have stood the test of time. Experience the lively atmosphere created by the sound of street music and the bustling local markets. And, of course, savour some of the region's delectable local cuisine to complete the experience.

Jackie Gogonas
Jackie Gogonas
Best time to go
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Time Difference

GMT + 1 hour

Currency

Euro

Language

Croatian

Average flight times

2 hours 30 minutes

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Talk to our Dalmatia expert

Jackie Gogonas
Jackie Gogonas

From north to south, Croatia's Dalmatia region is bursting with stunning destinations. Immerse yourself in the area's rich heritage and history by visiting awe-inspiring cities filled with ancient centres, Roman palaces, ramparts and fortresses. Take a leisurely stroll through charming cobbled streets, baroque designs, and monasteries that have stood the test of time. Experience the lively atmosphere created by the sound of street music and the bustling local markets. And, of course, savour some of the region's delectable local cuisine to complete the experience.

Call one of our experts to discuss your next holiday with Sunvil on

020 8758 4758

We open today at 9:15 AM

Make an Enquiry

Please use this form to request further information about a Sunvil holiday or destination.

We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774
  • Marketing: 020 8758 4731

Required Information

* Mandatory Information
Title *
First name *
Surname *
Telephone number *
Alternative telephone number
Email address *
Confirm email address
Preferred method of communication *
If you would like to be called during a specific period, please specify

Destination Details

Zlatni Rat, Brac, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia

Dalmatia

Preferred departure date *
Duration *
Preferred UK departure airport *
Party size *

Back

  • Adults(12+ yrs)
  • Children(2 to 11 yrs)
  • Infants(Under 2 yrs)
Budget range
Other comments:

Email newsletters

 

We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774
  • Marketing: 020 8758 4731

Required Information

* Mandatory Information
Title *
First name *
Surname *
Telephone number *
Alternative telephone number
Email address *
Confirm email address
Preferred method of communication *
If you would like to be called during a specific period, please specify
Booking reference number *
Alternatively, please enter your query in the box below:

Email newsletters

 

Thank you for your enquiry

Thank you for your enquiry. A member of our specialist reservation teams will be in touch shortly.

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Your details have been saved

Feel free to continue to browse the site and add to your enquiry. Don't forget to send the enquiry before you leave!

My Suitcase

We understand that so much choice can be overwhelming which is why we have developed 'My Suitcase'. This facility allows you to save and compare your favourite holidays, and even allows you to return to your selection at a later stage.

Why not use 'My Suitcase' to compile a wish list of your future Sunvil holidays?

 

Sign in


New to Sunvil?

Create Account

 

Already have an account?

Password reset

Back

Close

Close