Are you a fan of HBO’s wildly popular series Game of Thrones? Do you wonder what it would be like to step into King’s Landing? A visit to the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia may be perfect for you. Producers film many scenes that take place in the fictional capital of the Seven Kingdoms in the city of Dubrovnik, and it is even more beautiful in person than on screen. This centuries-old city on the Adriatic Sea gives merely a taste of the rich culture you experience when traveling to Dalmatia. This region boasts picturesque views, rich history, and a one of a kind culture that is sure to make any vacation a memorable one. Here are three reasons to travel to Dalmatia for your next getaway.
The fictional histories from Game of Thrones are far from the only history Dalmatia has to offer. A colony under rule by many nations, this region of Croatia has absorbed characteristics from a wide variety of peoples. In ancient times, Illyrians and Romans vied for control of the region. Once the Roman Empire proved victorious, many parts of life in Dalmatia changed. Both coastal and inland cities underwent periods of romanization to assimilate subjects with the rest of the empire.
Dalmatia experienced further exposure to diverse cultures during the Middle Ages. After the fall of Rome, several regional powers battled for supremacy. The Byzantine Empire, the Kingdom of Croatia, the Bosnian Kingdom, and the Venetian Republic all sought to control the area.
With such a rich history, it’s no surprise that tourists have flocked to the region for years. Visiting Dalmatia offers the opportunity to experience diverse history and culture like few other places in the world.
You can still see the remnants of these civilizations today. Culture in Croatia blends aspects of Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Balkans to create something wholly unique. Citizens of Dalmatia enjoy the fjaka (i.e. relaxed) way of life, a proud history, and fresh local cuisine with many influences from other Mediterranean countries.
Nothing says “Dalmatia” like the cuisine. Black risotto, or crni rižot, is a rice dish cooked with cuttlefish that not had their ink sacs removed. Another example is ćevapi, ground spiced meat rolled into small tubes similar to sausage. This dish is commonly eaten all over the Balkans, often served with diced onion, kajmak (a cheese-like dairy spread), ajvar (a red pepper paste), and flatbread called lepinja. Of course, french fries (or pomme frits to the locals) are popular everywhere!
The cities and towns of Dalmatia are very walkable and great for people who love to explore on foot. Local markets teem with merchants who sell different foods and goods. You can find Restaurants and cafes on every street, or even in pedestrian-only roads and alleys. If you enjoy cooking, fresh ingredients are always within reach and easy to find, especially in summer markets. If you love ice cream or gelato, many shops have service windows right by the beach so you can enjoy the perfect sundae.
Dalmatia and much of Croatia is heavily Roman Catholic, and has a large number of old churches and cathedrals that are still in use today. Respectful tourists are welcome to admire the ancient buildings and beautiful artwork. Cities and towns have many other old structures, as well. While you can always stay in a hotel, many places offer lodging in old nobles’ manors or other older and more intimate buildings. You have a lot of choices when it comes to where you want to stay on your vacation.
The warm waters of the Adriatic Sea hug the rocky beaches of Dalmatia from the west. As a result, people across the world have visited the beaches in this piece of Croatian paradise for centuries. European tourists in particular love to summer there. The water is great for swimming, and the shorelines have a lot of unique charm and gorgeous views of the sea. The islands of Dalmatia are also fun to visit, with convenient ferries available.
If you travel inland into Dalmatia, you can find many gorgeous mountains and lakes to explore. The highest mountain in Dalmatia is Dinara, with a peak shaped like a human head and a maximum height of just over 6,000 feet above sea level.
As you can see, Dalmatia offers a wide range of options for tourists to enjoy. Whether you prefer the city or nature, ancient architecture or modern amenities, this beautiful slice of Croatia fits the tastes of any adventurous traveler. What sites do you want to visit on your trip to Dalmatia? Do you have any other recommendations on what to do while in Croatia? Are there any other hidden gems of the world that you want to visit? Let us know where you want to go next in the comments below.