Archive for the ‘Dalmatia’ Category

Hvar

Hvar is the longest croatian island located on the Adriatic Sea, between island of Vis, Brac and Korcula. It attracts visitors by its nature and the weather – Hvar enjoys the highest insolation in Croatia. It makes the island attractive even during the winter. The landscapes around Hvar are spectacular. From the south-western part of the island you can see an archipelago of small uninhabited islets. These are Pakleni Islands – well-known for beaches for nudists located there.
Hvar is rich in flora. Exotic and sweet-smelling cypress tress, plantations of figs and vineyards are located across the whole island. During the summer the area is covered by pink lavende and rosemary. The main cities of the island are as charming as another places there. The first one, situated on the south of the island is called Hvar. It was established in the 13th century by the Venetians. The city was considered as important trade center on the Adriatic Sea. Now, we can admire remains after Venetian Empire such as the town walls or fortress known as Tvrdava Spanjola which attracts visitors by the opportunity to admire the city from the top of the building. In the centre of Hvar you will find the Cathedral of St. Stephen maintained in a renaissance-baroque style and the Bishop’s Palace. There is also Arsenal – and inside it – Hvar Theatre. These are only few of numerous monuments which city can offer you. Another place worth to see is Stari Grad plain – a cultural landscape, now UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is considered as one of the oldest towns in Europe. It was first colonized by ancient Greeks in the 4th century BC.

Vis

The farthest island in Croatia – Vis – is an area of 90,3km2 with beautiful beaches, charming cities and three mountain ranges located across the whole island. The place has a turbulent history. In the past, the island was under control of Venetians, Austria, France and England. Moreover, until 1989 Vis was a military-nave base of Yugoslavia and it was closed for foreigners. But this isolation eventually turned out to be helpful for the island – the nature is not destroyed and the architecture is superbly preserved. If you search for peace and breathtaking views, this island will be perfect for you. The sea around Vis is rich in numerous types of animals such as turtles or bottlenose dolphins. There are also plenty of plants to admire – almost 300 types of herbs, olive trees and grapes which are used to make high-quality wines. The main city of the island is called Vis. It boasts of monuments from ancient times such as amphitheatre and Hellenistic cemetery or town walls which in the past were surrounding the city. There are also few fortresses – in one of them named Batarija, you will find the Museum of Vis with interesting antique art. On the western part of the island, below the mountain Hum there is another place worth seeing. It is called Komiza. This small charming village will attract you with its beaches and nice harbour with lots of old fishing boats. There is also the Fisherman’s museum located in the old Venetian tower. If you appreciate sacral architecture, you definitely have to see the church of Our Lady of Pirates and St. Nicholas Monastery from the 13th century located around the vineyards.

Brac

Brac is the largest Croatian island located west of Makarska, south-east of Split. It is separated from the mainland by the Brac Canal.
Brac is one of the most picturesque islands in the Adriatic. It is famous of their mountain range landscape, crystal clear water and beautiful beaches – including Zlatni Rat which is a perfect place for both sunbathing and windsurfing fans. The main city of the Brac island is Supetar, an administrative, economic, cultural and tourist center. It is the entrance gate to the island.
Another attraction is Vidova Gora – the highest peak with numerous caves scattered among the rocks. The interesting detail is that the famous marble which was used in the construction of Diocletian’s Palace in Split and the White House in Washington, comes from Brac Island.

Biokovo National Park

Biokovo National Park is one of the most beautiful spots on the Adriatic coast.
Mountain Biokovo above Makarska, rising to over 1400 meters high (the highest peak Sv Jure 1762m) and makes an unforgettable impression for the multitude of tourists visiting this region of Dalmatia.
Biokovo has some unique geomorphological forms, plants, animal species and natural beauty.
At different altitudes and in different conditions various forms of vegetation have developed, from the high-altitude typically Mediterranean. In the Biokovo National Park tourists can see the unique landscapes and rocky formations. Biokowo NP offers a variety of educational and geotouristic paths for adults and children.

Makarska

Makarska is the largest city of Makarska Riviera, with more than 13 000 inhabitants, which gave its name after the stretch of coastline from Brela to Gradac and riviera itself. The Makarska Riviera is one of the most famous destinations in Croatia. It is located at the foot of the mountain Biokovo on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The town of Makarska is the winner of numerous awards in the field of tourism, including prices related to city planning and beautification of the environment, quality and diversity of hotel services and tourism. The name of the city is mentioned in 1502 for the first time. It is derived from the proper name Makra, the name of the oldest coastal village, once the capital of one of the three counties of the Principality of Neretva. In the city centre and near the street along the sea called Riva there is the main square of the city – Square of Andrija Kacic Miosic with his statue by Ivan Rendic, built in 1890. The main square is where parties and other festivities are organized. The square was named after the popular poet, well known not only on Makarska coastline but also by all Dalmatian people: Andrija Kacic Miosic. In the north of the square there is The Church of St. Mark (Sv Marko) built in 1766. Behind the church there is an old school dating from the late nineteenth century, decorated with classic and neo-renaissance elements. Today it houses the Municipal Library, Gallery Gojak and the Musical School. At the Kacic Square, between the statue and the church, there is a Venetian fountain dating from 1775. An important touristic attraction is the Franciscan monastery of the Virgin Mary from the 16th century. In the monastery of the Virgin Mary, there is located the interesting museum, founded in 1963. The exhibition contains over 3000 species of shellfish from the Adriatic Sea and tropical and subtropical seas. These shells are especially attractive for its colours and shapes. On the mountain of Biokovo, the visitors can chase butterflies or drink clean water directly from the source. In this Botanical Garden we can find many indigenous and endemic species. Nature lovers will be delighted with many bike and pedestrian paths.

Split

Split is the capital and economic centre of Dalmatia. It is also the second largest city in Croatia in terms of population. Situated 150 km in the north of Dubrovnik, Split is the largest Croatian city on the Adriatic coast. As an important strategic point, it has been desired by many conquerors in its long and rich history of nearly 2000 years. The town’s origins date back to the 6th century BC when there  was a Greek colony Aspalathos. When the Romans conquered the region during the Illyrian Wars (229, 219 BC),  they created the province of Dalmatia, with its capital in the nearby Salon. The name of the settlement Aspalathos Spalatum has been changing, nowadays it’s Split. At the end of his life, the emperor Diocletian, who came from the area of Salona, decided to build a palace near the sea, in Spalatum. The plan was accomplished in the years 293-305 when the great walls of the Roman military fortress surrounded the area of 38,000 m². Then, in 639, after the invasion of Avars and Slavs, Salona was razed to the ground, refugees progressively moved to an abandoned at that time palace, appreciating its fortifications and turning it into a city. During the centuries, the city was governed by Croatian, Hungarian, Venetian, French and Austro-Hungarian Emperors. All of these cultures have left their  marks  in the city. The palace has several important monuments to see, for example,  the peristyle, The Mausoleum – The Cathedral of Saint Domnius, the hall and the temple. In the city centre we can find the popular beach – Bacvice. The narrow streets reveal many architectural styles and habits of residents. We advise you to make an excursion to Mount Marjan above the city. The surface is covered by 168 hectares pine forest mountain. You can admire a panoramic view of the islands vis-à-vis the city. Inhabitants of Split have named Mount Marjan „lungs of the city” thanks to  its pines which  make pleasant temperature and fresh air.  In spite of  the old town and the Diocletian palace complex are the monuments included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city of Split is very lively. Taverns and bars are sprinkled on the steps and hidden in the streets and squares.

splittaxi

Trogir

Situated 28 km from Split on an island between the coast and the island of Ciovo, Trogir is surrounded by the sea. Trogir is a maze of medieval streets protected from cars by ramparts. Its romanesque and Renaissance architecture earned him a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997. Many nations have changed and mutually assimilated in this small area: Illyrians, Greeks, Romans, and finally Croats. It was also under Venetian, French, and Austrian rules. They have left their traces, but despite all of this, the Croatian people and their language survived during the stormy Trogir centuries until today.
Even though it’s a pocket-size town, there are plenty of things to see in Trogir. When you arrive, you notice the Renaissance North Gate with the statue of the town protector, St Ivan Orsini, hovering overhead. Going own Kohl-Genscher, you may wish to stop in the Town Museum housed in the former Garanjin-Fanfogna palace. The five rooms are full of books, documents, drawings and costumes from different periods of Trogir’s long history. Another important place is The St. Lawrence’s Cathedral (13th century) which is actually one of the major buildings in Croatia. Its portal, carved in 1240 by the Croatian Radovan, is a masterpiece of Romanesque art. The stone-built Old City Hall from 15th century has undergone many changes until the 20th century. Originally it housed a theatre. You can admire the elegant gothic garden behind the building, with a well in the centre and a staircase outside.

The city of Trogir, Marina, Seget Donji, Seget Vranjica, Vinicse and the island of Ciovo make up the Trogir Riviera. This area is rich in Mediterranean vegetation, olive groves and vineyards, numerous islands and bays, sand and pebbly beaches.

Cavtat

Cavtat is a city 20 km from Dubrovnik, situated on a peninsula, in the center of Konavle region. Its history dates back to the Ancient Times, where the Llirian’s village Epidaurus was founded. Today, it is a popular tourist resort surrounded by beautiful beaches. The beauty of Cavtat is a merit of people from Dubrovnik: the fugitives from Cavtat built the majestic city of Dubrovnik and then Dubrovnik’s citizens built Cavtat. The city is small but full of places to visit. The Vlah Bukovac’s family house is a must. It’s a place where you can see not only how one of the most famous Croatian painters lived, but also admire their works of art. The house was announced cultural monument in 1969. Built from white stone, the mausoleum of Racic family – owners of many ships, is a place, where you can learn the history of that family and admire beautiful neighborhood – their residence is situated between the sea and rows of cypress. Visiting Cavtat, you must see the wonderful collection of different items, documents, numismatics of Baltazar Bogisic. His library used to be considered as one of the most precious libraries in Croatia. All those magnificent collections are located in Duke’s Court. Cavtat has also beautiful churches like baroque Saint Nicolas church from 1732, Franciscan monastery and Saint Blaise’s church from 1483. This charming place offers also fresh, Mediterranean cuisine like fish or seafood, fresh salads and delicacy of Dubrovnik – thick cream of milk, eggs and sugar with caramel sauce.

Dubrovnik

Called „the pearl of the Adriatic”, Dubrovnik is considered as one of the most beautiful cities of the world. It is one of the most powerful cities of the Balcans and a heritage of the 17th and 18th centuries architecture. It is a majestic city situated at the foot of the Srd mountain in the south of Croatia. The city and the seaport which has a rich history dating back to the Ancient Times, when it was nothing but a small village with a harbor called Ragusa. Visiting Dubrovnik is a cultural tour, during which you can try Croatian cuisine, take a walk along narrow streets of Stari Grad – Dubrovnik’s Old Town or drink a coffee in one of many small cafeterias in the city.
You can see lots of well-maintained monuments that will certainly make a great impression. Around the city there is a wall from the 9th century that used to defend the city against several invaders throughout the history. This is one of the best-kept walls in Europe that run almost 2 kilometers around the city. Dubrovnik abounds in many towers and fortresses. The fortress Lovrijenac, built on the rock of 46 meters, used to be the most important defensive point of the Republic. During the Dubrovnik’s Summer Festival you can see there a fascinating piece of theatre Hamlet. Located on the Stradun street, the main and the most beautiful street of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, the Sponza palace is a building from the 16th century, which connects renaissance and gothic structure. It houses the Archives of the Republic of Dubrovnik. The gothic Knezev Dvor, also known as Rector’s Palace, is one of the most beautiful monuments of Dubrovnik. Today it houses a museum. In atrium on the first floor we can see the bust of Miho Pracata, the citizen of Dubrovnik of outstanding merit. Gradski muzej is a city museum, where you can visit the rector’s apartment. In the of middle the Luza square you can see the Orlandov slup with the sculpture of warrior that is the symbol of free merchant city with own judiciary. Around the square there is a clock tower with belfry, rebuilt in 1902, town hall, National Theatre and the rests of arsenal, which is a cafeteria now. From the inside you can admire the view of the harbor and ferries going to the Lokrum island. On the Luza square, next to the main guard building, is situated the Mala Onofrijeva cesma, the well from the 15th century decorated with the paintings of Piero di Marino da Milano. At the other side of the entrance to the Old Town, you can notice characteristic round building – Velika Onofrijeva cesma – big well which is a popular place of meetings.
Dubrovnik is a city where you can find different faiths. Taking a walk around the city, you can see churches, synagogues and Orthodox churches. The southern side of the Luza square closes the Saint Vlah’s church, who is a patron of the Republic of Dubrovnik. The most interesting monuments are Saint Joseph church from 1667 and the Orthodox church from 1887, where you can admire wonderful collection of icons and reliquaries. Near to the Poljan Boskovic square there is the Jesuit Saint Ignatius church, which is worth seeing because of the paintings of Spanish painter Gaetano Gracia that is an example of the best Jesuit painting in Europe. Dubrownik has also a ghetto from the 14th century, where you can see a synagogue from the 15th century. This place is the second oldest construction like this in Europe. In the place of old Romanesque temple, that was destroyed by the earth quake, there was built the baroque Cathedral Velike Gospe. The project was done by Paolo Andreotti basing on roman constructions. Inside you can admire beautiful works of art, such as well- known painting of Titian Assumption of the Virgin. There is also an impressive reliquary of Saint Blaise made of gold and silver. Using a cable car, you can get to the top of the Srd mountain that towers the city. From the peak, you can take the pictures of the breathtaking landscape of Dubrovnik, Dalmatian coast and the Adriatic Islands nearby. In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

Peljesac

Peljesac is the biggest peninsula in Croatia. Its architecture is a proof of different cultures that used to stay in this area throughout the history. Several villages there are the haven of sailors and tourist resorts. Thanks to the good conditions for crops, Peljesac is rich in many types of wine, olives, fruits and vegetables. Cuisine will satisfy everyone, you can try here seafood, fish, fresh salads and wonderful wine, but also delicious desserts. Visiting this place, you have to see the walls in Mali Ston, called the European Great Wall of China, from XIV century that used to defend people against invaders. The sailor’s village Orebic is a charming place with long tradition, which you can see in a local museum. As a result of excavations, the archaeologists estimated that the areas of Nakovana were inhabited 8000 years ago. It is one of the oldest places where people lived. Velki Ston is an enchanting village, with picturesque landscapes, charming streets and buildings. In this part of Dalmatia, you can sunbathe at beautiful gravel or stone beaches. Peljesac peninsula is a paradise for people who enjoy windsurfing, long walks in the bosom of nature, cycling and even climbing on the highest mountain of the peninsula – Sveti Ilia (961 meters above the sea level). From the top of it you can admire breathtaking landscape of nearby islands: Korcula, Lastovo and Mljet.