Highlights of the Dalmatian Coast, Croatia

Highlights of the Dalmatian Coast, Croatia

Cruising Europe’s coastline blends a perfect combination of nature and history, food and culture.

There are many stretches of breathtaking coast to choose from but a lesser-known stunner is the spectacular Dalmatian Coast in Croatia.

There are more than 1200 islands nestled in the Adriatic Sea, many of which are not far from the mainland and can be reached quickly and easily via short boat trips.

Travellers can choose from sailing ships or cruise boats of all sizes, with various itineraries from day trips to overnighters. There are also different capacities and levels of inclusions, from meals and beverages to tours and activities.

If you’re thinking about exploring the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia, here are some highlights to pop onto your travel itinerary.

Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia
Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia
Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia


The historic old town of Dubrovnik is beautiful.

Narrow walkways invite you down into the heart of the walled city filled with historic buildings, churches and museums.

The old town is car-free and was UNESCO World Heritage listed in 1979, so preservation is key and is reflected in the cleanliness of the city.

In more recent years, the city was popularised by the TV series Game of Thrones and there are many walking tours to choose from that take visitors to the key filming sites.

Alternatively, there are many historic walking tours and food tours. There is accommodation inside and outside the walls, which are mostly apartments and boutique hotels. However, be aware if you are staying inside the walls that there are no vehicles, so you’ll have to carry your luggage up and down the stairs and narrow streets. Plan ahead and pack accordingly!

Pucisca harbour

Island hopping: Korcula, Brac, Hvar

Take a day trip, overnight transfer, or multi-day cruise and visit the islands off the coast of Croatia.

The island ports have so much to offer including historic walking tours, wine tasting, swimming beaches, markets, restaurants, clubs and bars.

Trips to the Dalmatian Coast islands can be booked in advance. In the peak season, boats leave regularly from the numerous ports and harbours and tickets can be purchased on the day for day trips.

In all towns and villages visitors will find that seafood is a common feature on all restaurant and cafe menus. You’ll find grilled and fried fish dishes, calamari, and squid ink risotto, as well as seafood pasta and pizza which is influenced by Venetian invaders and the close proximity to Italy.

In Korcula, climb to the top of the St Mark’s Cathedral Bell Tower for incredible views over the town and across the cobalt blue waters.

Consider taking a local wine tasting tour – just out of town there are many small batch vineyards with little, intimate cellar doors.

In the evening, choose from the restaurants that line the streets with outdoor seating. For a unique cocktail bar experience, climb the ladder to the top of a fortress turret and enjoy the view (and the drinks).

On the island of Brac, wander the quaint port village of Pucisca and admire the selection of boats and ships. Meander along the winding streets and stumble upon the tiny church of Santa Lucia – visitors may be lucky enough to meet the local caretaker and make a small donation to look inside.

Swing by a corner store for fresh produce and watch the sunset at The Port, a local waterfront restaurant and cocktail bar.

In Hvar, it is a busy but exposed harbour that boasts the title of ‘sunniest spot in Croatia’ with 2724 sunshine hours each year. This is the place to be seen and is often popular with younger visitors.

Spend some time in the town square Tgr Sv Stjepana – at 4500 square metres it’s one of the largest in Dalmatia, and is lined with cafes and restaurants where you can relax and enjoy the enormity of it all.

Split, Croatia
Split, Croatia


As the second largest city in Croatia, Split old town is dominated by the fortified Palace of Diocletian which was built about 650 AD.

The narrow walkways here are a maze of nooks and crannies with cafes and restaurants, ice cream shops and souvenir stores.

St Martin’s Church is one of the smallest and oldest churches here – it’s a Roman Catholic church located above the Golden Gate and is only 10 metres long by 1.65 metres wide.

Be daring and climb the 180 steps to the top of the 60-metre-tall St Dominus Cathedral for a sweeping view over the city and bustling harbour.

Zadar, Croatia
Zadar, Croatia


A stunning coastal town, Zadar is the oldest populated town in Croatia.

The old town is car-free and there is a wide paved promenade along the waterfront where boat tours depart and high-end yachts and cruisers moor.

Much of the old town infrastructure was established during the reign of Julius Caesar and exudes a Roman influence which can be seen in the forum, city walls and basilica.

There is a quirky attraction here called the Sea Organ, located on the promenade, and passers-by can hear echoing, wispy, mysterious notes.

Commissioned in 2005 by architect Nikola Basic, the Sea Organ was created to connect the locals back to the sea. The installation is a series of 35 stone pipes on the edge of the water built into the stone – waves and air going in and out of the pipes make the sounds of the sea.


Visit the Dalmatian Coast

A visit to the Dalmatian Coast will not disappoint. The crystal clear waters, impressive historic architecture, sensational food and drinks, and spectacular scenery are all sure to impress.

The best time of the year to visit is August and September, when it is not too crowded but the weather is still warm.

Cruise the waters and island hop or simply enjoy the coastal mainland cities. Either way, the experience will be nothing short of amazing.


All images by Danielle Phyland.

Disclaimer: The writer travelled at their own expense.

Danielle Phyland - writer - SHE DEFINED

Danielle Phyland

Danielle Phyland is an avid traveller and loves to explore all corners of the globe.

With a professional career in tourism and business development, she loves experiencing the hospitality of local businesses.

A casual crafter and passionate home cook, Danielle is based in the creative northern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia.