Split-Dalmatia occupies a central location on the eastern Adriatic coast. Thanks to a warm Mediterranean climate, the region’s fields, orchards and vineyards produce an abundance of grapes, olives, figs, almonds, citrus fruits, strawberries and cherries. The county also produces high quality wines, cheeses, teas and honey products and has an important sea fishing and fish processing industry.
Owing to its natural beauty, rich cultural history and genuine Mediterranean character from the coast to the hinterland, the county receives the most number of tourists of all the Dalmatian regions. Two of its islands are very popular holiday destinations. Hvar enjoys the most sunshine out of all the Croatian islands, and Vis combines well-preserved architecture from different eras with highly modern beach resorts.
On the mainland, the attractions are the UNESCO-protected sites of Split, the county seat, and Trogir, which has a street plan that dates back to the Hellenistic period. Its beautifully preserved Romanesque churches are joined by impressive Renaissance and Baroque buildings from the Venetian era.
A new highway and an international airport connects the region to the rest of the country.
Split faces the Adriatic Sea, with scenic coastal mountains towering behind it. It is an ancient city, dominated by the ruins of the 416,000-square-foot palace that Roman Emperor Diocletian built for himself in the 3rd century. It is one of Croatia’s biggest tourist attractions, and remains a tribute to the great, Dalmatian-born emperor who lived out his days in retirement here.
The palace is part of the Historical Complex of Split, a protected area that encompasses medieval cathedral and forts, Romanesque churches, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque palaces, and statues and monuments.
This walled residence is marvellously intact and very alive. Locals, most of whom are descendants of the original residents, gather in the sidewalk cafés and bistros or stroll along the seafront and outside the boutiques on Marmontova Street, Split’s main shopping area.
The city is undergoing several modern changes, not always to the delight of the locals. To attract more tourists, the seafront, or Riva, is being revamped and bus transport will possibly be extended as well. There is also an increase in the establishment of hotels and hospitality services.
Hvar is the sunniest and most verdant of all the Croatian islands, with plenty of palms and olive trees and fields of lavender, sage and rosemary. Its clean and healthy Mediterranean climate, secluded coves and beautiful beaches make it the country’s most popular island.
Spreading over pine-covered slopes is the remarkable old town of Hvar. Within its 13th century medieval walls are marble streets and beautiful Gothic churches and palaces. The Cathedral of St Stephen dominates the main square.
Hvar has a livelier side, including the long seaside promenade that runs along the harbour and small rocky beaches. This is the island’s centre of nightlife, dotted with cafés and bars.
Old stone houses in town and newly built sea-view villas are some of the properties offered in Hvar.
Vis is the most far-flung of the Croatian islands, and very Mediterranean in character. The scenery is varied—inland vineyards and olive trees, an unspoilt coastline of attractive coves, sandy and pebbly beaches by the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea, and enchanting islets with caves, the most famous being Biševo.
The town of Vis lies by a wide bay where many yachts are docked. It is the main port of the island and has ferry connections with Split. There are plenty of activities here in the summer, from outdoor sports to musical events. In Vis, modern beach resorts attract as much attention s the age-old monuments.
Some of Vis’ oldest structures are the ruins of a Roman theatre, an ancient Greek cemetery, a Roman public bath and the ruins of a fortified town along the slopes of Gradina. More recent sites of interest that have been preserved are the ruins of 19th century English citadels, Baroque churches, and several Renaissance villas.