Central Dalmatia. The glistening Adriatic, the endless choice of quality and pristine beaches.
Take the Makarska Riviera, for example, whose 60km stretch of varied beaches from Brela to Gradac takes you through 18 towns and villages with something for everyone – from the family beach in a large town to a hidden gem in a remote fishing village. The only thing in common is the clear and enticing water, some of the cleanest sea in the world.
Or head to the islands – Brac, Solta, Vis and Hvar, from sandy to romantic, pebble to FKK, and for that extra privacy, seek out the emerald jewels such as the Pakleni Islands off Hvar, where the tourist tradition dates back to 1906. While the region is famed for its beaches and clean water, this only tells part of the story of a Dalmatian holiday on the coast, for there is also an exciting array of water attractions for the more active tourist – and not just in the sea.
In the heart of the Central Dalmatian coast lies the Cetina river, one of the region’s most diverse and least discovered attractions. Follow the trails of the pirates and Ottoman invaders along the 11 fortresses which guard the river, or get active in this fabulous water attraction for adventure tourism.
For pure adrenaline, find out why day trips from all over Central Dalmatia converge on Cetina for some of the best white-water rafting around, or for a more sedate introduction to the secrets of the Dalmatian hinterland by water, why not indulge in a little kayaking or a river canoe safari? Family packages are available, and it is a great way to escape the crowds while discover some of Central Dalmatia’s unique natural treasures. To reach Cetina, simply head for the town of Omis – as many pirates and invaders did in years gone by.
The call of the Adriatic is never far away on a holiday to Central Dalmatia, and there are plenty of water activities for visitors looking for a challenge. The region is become an increasingly important sailing destination, both for relaxation and competition, and each year brings new opportunities – from sailing schools for beginners to participation in the numerous regattas for the more experienced.
Wind surfing and kite boarding enthusiasts should head to Bol on Brac, which is becoming established as an activity destination, with those looking for treasures under the sea can
find them via diving schools in Markarska, Split, Hvar and Vis.
A trip to Central Dalmatia would not be complete without trying something authentic, and sporting enthusiasts should head to Bacvice beach in Split to take part in the curious game known as picigin, where grown men lunge desperately in an attempt to keep a small ball in the air. Time your trip well and take part in the 9th Picigin World Championships.
There is plenty of water-based excitement too for ornithologists keen to explore Central Dalmatia’s rich birding treasures with a river safari in the Pantan nature reserve, while fishing enthusiasts can choose from the sedate quayside fishing, to the challenges of the deep sea, or the ultimate extreme fishing challenge – spear fishing.
The glistening Adriatic and its neighbouring rivers and beaches – as diverse and challenging as you want it to be, and a reason why Central Dalmatia is the ultimate holiday destination
for all ages and interest groups.
For more information, visit the Central Dalmatia Tourist Board online. www.dalmatia.hr
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Foto: Arhiva turističkih zajednica Splitsko- dalmatinske županije
Piše: Paul Bradbury