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Maja Zlokic

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Can you imagine walking around the streets and areas where people used to pass by in the ancient times? To feel the spirit of  history, the beliefs, lifestyle and culture of these ancient peoples? The area of today’s Split-Dalmatia County has been interesting to people since ancient times, and the existing, preserved fortifications are witnesses of those past times.

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There are seven historical forts of Split-Dalmatia County, which have been awaken from their dream. In the next few lines, we will take you on a trip  and introduce you to the most beautiful Dalmatian fortresses, that offer stunning views of their surrounding areas…

Historical fortresses in travel agencies’ programs & offers

Whether you are going to Klis Fort, visiting the attractions of the ancient city of Salona, ​​or coming to Prozor Fortress in Vrlika, Nutjak in Trilj, Kamičak in Sinj or Topana in Imotski, you will actually take a trip back to the past and for a moment, get the feeling that once upon a time, they were fully inhabitated. Do come by Gradina in Vrgorac, which will round up your tour and complete the cultural and historical offer of the Dalmatian Zagora.

Sightseeing of the old forts is part of the programs offered by travel agencies in the area of ​​Split-Dalmatia County. This is the first county in Croatia with a complete Strategy for the Development of Cultural Tourism, and so far 69 historical buildings have been valorized, including forts, towers and fortresses, and this number is still not final. This is the first step in creating a new and attractive tourist product.

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KTo help you find what you are interested in, a cultural and tourist guide to the “Split-Dalmatia County Fortresses” was published, by author Ivan Alduk. This guide includes fortresses from the entire county, with emphasis on the best preserved historical buildings, especially the late medieval fortresses and the ones from te period of Otoman-Venet

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Klis Fortress – Must-see travel gem where “Game of Thrones” was filmed

The importance of Split and its surroundings, when it comes to their role  in cultural tourism, was well-recognized by the producers of the world-renowned “Game of Thrones” series, as they chose Klis, among many other locations, to film various scenes from this series, and thus, launched a type of film tourism. The historical stories of Klis Fortress have taken a tour around the world, surprising foreigners in many countries, with the fact that only a few kilometers away from Split, there is a monument which, with its appearance – on the very stone cliff between Mosor and Kozjak mountains, provokes such awe. If you want to see the fort, do get ready for a couple of hours of touring this large building, consisting of walls, passages, towers, stairs and streets. Do not be discouraged and stop halfway because, trust us, when you get to the top, your breath will be taken away by the views of Split and its archipelago. This gorgeous fort justifies all the reasons why it was named “Croatian Camelot”.

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Prozor Fortress – Populated from prehistoric times

One of the fortresses that will capture your attention is certainly Prozor Fortress in Vrlika, which was inhabited in prehistoric times. Today, it can be reached by pedestrian road in about 20 minutes of walking, starting from the Orthodox Church in Vrlika all the way to the top. There is also a longer road, leading from the Vrlika-Drniš road.

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Thanks to its level of preservation, it is one of the most important medieval fortresses in Dalmatian hinterland. The fortress offer an impressive panoramic point on Vrličko polje, Lake Peručko and on the city itself, and its surroundings.

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Nutjak near Trilj

Nutjak Fortress was built downstream from Trilj, at the edge of the lower rocky plateau rising high above the right bank of Cetina River. Just a simple look at this unusual fortress, located on the very edge of the cliff, causes a series of emotions – from awe to admiration.

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The fortress is reachable by a road starting from the village of Živaljići.

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Kamičak – Protected cultural heritage

One of the most important symbols of Sinj is Kamičak Fortres,  located in the center of the town, opposite the Church of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj. Kamičak, a protected cultural heritage, together  with the military horse baracks, is connected with today’s Alkarski Dvori (The Alkari Palace).  

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It was given its present appearance in 1980 when it was additionally surrounded by walls and afforested with pines. On the top of the fort, there is a bell with the inscription – Our Lord, set us free from thunder and evil times – which probably derives from the belief that the sound of the bells or the shooting from old “mužar” canons scares away the clouds and the thunder.

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Topana – Favorite panoramic point

Situated on the cliffs above Modro Jezero (Lake) is the Topana Fortress, one of the most important medieval fortification facilities in Dalmatian hinterland. It is interesting that the fortress was named after a special tower with a cannon platform, known in the local language as “topana”.

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Today, the fortress is in fact a panoramic point, with an unforgettable view of all four corners of the world. In the summer season, there are various cultural events held here.

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Vrgorac Gradina – Where roads meet

Gradina Fortress is situated at the intersection of the roads from the coastline to the hinerland.  Its oldest parts were built by medieval noblemen, who managed this area,  and was later upgraded by Muslim commanders. Visit this fortress and Vrgorac, the town where one of the greatest Croatian poets, Tin Ujević, was born.

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Visit the witnesses of the stormy historical times in the Dalmatian region and choose a rustic family agrotourism in Dalmatian Zagora, for your place of residence. Tourism is booming in Dalmatian Zagora, which is evident in the ever-increasing demand for luxury villas, which offer the charms of both comfort and elegance. The former stone houses of our ancestors today are luxurious villas, many of which have pools, to provide their guests with maximum cosiness during their holidays.

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www.dalmatia.hr

 www.dalmatia.hr

Photo: www.dalmatia.hr , archive of Tourist boards of Split Dalmatia County

TOP 5 NOT-TO-BE-MISSED ATTRACTIONS!

Natural beauty and historical heritage are just one part of the gorgeous repertoire along Split Riviera! Whether you choose to get acquainted with its cuisine, beaches or cultural and historical treasures, you are on the right track to have a fabulous experience as a tourist!

Judging by the growing interest in this region, on the world tourism stage, it seems that many share our opinion, so, in order to get inspired to have a vacation perfectly in sync with your wishes, keep on reading!

Truth to be told, when we know what awaits us, a few-hours-long ferry trip from Split, doesn’t come up nor as long, nor as difficult, and as Vis is also a well-known nautical destination, we recommend visits by motorboats and sailboats, as these means of transportation will allow you to have a peak into every single corner of this wonderful island!


The islands rather distant  location, separating it from the frenetic rythm of everyday life and its truly unspoilt nature, which is a real treat for fans of Robinson tourism, have not been missed by Hollywood producers, who have skilfully spotted that Vis will perfectly play the role of the Greek island, on which a very famous movie had been filmed. Vis has so played the home-role for the second part of one the most popular of Hollywood productions – the comedy “Mamma Mia!”, spiced up with the greatest hits by the legendary ABBA.

To get the best and the most exciting of Vis, keep up with our top 5 most enjoyable experiences that you should never miss. Let’s go!

1.USE THE ISOLATED LOCATION AS AN ADVANTAGE. Did you know that up untill 1995, Vis was a large military base? And while some claim that this is the exact reason why it seems that time has stopped here, guests who prefer Robinson-style of travel, as well as all those who want to escape from the noisy & busy everyday life, see this fact as a great benefit! Mysterious, abandoned military facilities (Tito’s cave, former RAF airport, Cape Stupišće with a former canon and rocket base…) embedded in beautiful, untouched nature will make you feel like in a James Bond movie – visit them all as part of exciting military tours!

2.GET READY FOR SOME SERIOUS SEA HEDONISM. What would you say about a bay enclosed by two high stone cliffs, between which there is a hidden pebble beach, only visible when you sail through the stone cliff gates? And when you do spot it, it looks like you have discovered a Roman amphiteatre int he middle of the water? This is the exact description of the stunning Stiniva Bay, which can be reached, besides by small motor boats and sailboats, only by climbing and walking on a slightly longer rocky route, much worth the effort – because when you overcome it, you will be visually impressed by this hedonistic seaside perfection, voted in 2016 as the most beautiful beach in Europe!

Although Stiniva took over the throne from many beaufitul Portuguese, Spanish and Greek beaches, other beaches on Vis could as easily enter the competition, for their beauty and location.

Numerous pebble beaches surrounded by crystal-clear open sea (Gusarica, Nova pošta, Velo žalo, Prirovo Town Beach in Vis), as well as sandy and pebble beaches in the coves of Vela Smokova, Milna, Zaglav and Stončica, are a real recipe for enjoying in your vacation,  and just like Stiniva, they are an enviously beautiful backgrouund for your next Instagram post!

3. EXPLORE THE GASTRO OASIS. Numerous world renowned travel magazines are recognizing Vis as a foodie heaven, a true paradise for gastronomy! Given that the island is adorned with a unique microclimate, rich and fertile plateau of Vis and the best fishing zone in the central Adriatic, it is no surprise that its gastro points are supplied with supertasty and healthy ingredients!

Choose between restaurants in idyllic gardens and yards, or harbor restaurants at the towns’ promenades, in the very heart of small-town life, and fill your plates with marinated grilled fish, fresh grilled squid, octopus dumplings…or some other modernly interpreted spectacle for the palate made by the hands of maestros of Vis’ cuisine!

4. MEET THE PRINCESS OF VIS. Speaking of food, it’s okay to wash all these delicacies with a quality drink, right? Do try vugava, the authentic wine sort,  which has been given such a tender Croatian name due to its fineness, quality and luxurious Mediterranean flavor! What can be better during summer heats, than a refreshing glass of wine that offers the aroma of ripe fruit? Although there are numerous discussions about this sort’s origins,

Vis is, as an island of great diffusion, enologically speaking, its gene pool, and it is really an authentic domestic sort, which profile does not match the one of any other sort in the world. The plavac mali sort, is also a very distinctive one, because, with the exception of a small area on Hvar Island, you can see vineyards of this sort only on Vis – and in the sand! Taste these wine treasures as part of the local family-owned agricultural businesses, where you can also try local liqueurs – Vis is famous for its fantastic lemon liquor limoncello, which, although it is originally an Italian product, greatly stands out by its quality from the very original!

5. REDEFINE YOUR PERCEPTION OF BLUE AND GREEEN!  Just one visit to the Blue Cave, at the neighboring islet of Biševo, and you will know exactly what we mean!

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This 16-meter-deep cave, located in the small Balun cove, is a natural phenomenon – due to its underwater vault on the south side, through which the sunlight reaches the underwater area, and then reflects right back from the sea bottom, it is bathed by this phenomenal blue light, which reaches its most beautiful shade, as the locals  will tell you, from  about 10 am to noon time.

This 16-meter-deep cave, located in the small Balun cove, is a natural phenomenon – due to its underwater vault on the south side, through which the sunlight reaches the underwater area, and then reflects right back from the sea bottom, it is bathed by this phenomenal blue light, which reaches its most beautiful shade, as the locals  will tell you, from  about 10 am to noon time.

www.dalmatia.hr

Photo: www.dalmatia.hr , archive of Tourist Boards Vis and Komiža

 

Natural beauty and historical heritage are just one part of the gorgeous repertoire along Split Riviera! Whether you choose to get acquainted with its cuisine, beaches or cultural and historical treasures, you are on the right track to have a fabulous experience as a tourist! Judging by the growing interest in this region, on the world tourism stage, it seems that many share our opinion, so, in order to get inspired to have a vacation perfectly in sync with your wishes, keep on reading!

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF WE MENTIONED A SEASIDE LANDSCAPE very much alike to the one in the Portuguese Algarve region, but, from the period before it has become overcrowded with tourists? If this sentence has put a smile on your face, start your journey from the counties of Seget and Okrug, where you will find that Mediterranean charm in its most authentic form.

Friendly hosts, who mainly make their living from agriculture, fishing, shipbuilding and tourism, will accommodate you in polished-up luxury homes, designer apartments and in modernly equipped campsites, located just a few steps away from the beach, which are ideal if you travel with your family!

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For a chunk of cultural monuments that are on the must-see list, visit one of UNESCO’s pearl, the nearby-located Trogir, and enjoy discovering Master Radovan’s Portal, the Kamerlengo Tower, Ćipiko Palace and other cultural and historical gems that seem to have slipped out of an ancient a story, which is here to present a mix of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles! To grab a break and enjoy in true sea fun, visit Slatine – an idyllic fishermen’s village, and then, make sure, the next place on your travel bucket list are – Kaštela!

Get to know these 7 small towns in a somewhat unconventional way – by riding a chariot powered by two beautiful black horses! As this fabulous tour unites Kaštela’s gastronomy, wine and oil tastings, and the most attractive of the local historical and cultural heritage (such as the story of the true Romeo and Juliet from Kaštela, which, unlike the famous Shakesperean heroes, were not fictional), it will give you the perfect intro to the best of the best in these 7 charming places.

After a refreshing snack made of homemade prosciutto and cheese, olive oil, washed down with a glass of Kaštelan crljenak (authentic sort of red wine), treat yourself to a new dose of cultural treasures – go for a visit to ancient Salona, or relax all your senses in Our Lady’s Island in Solin – with its glorious greenery and idyllic vistas, along  with the murmuring of Jadro River, it will make you think of a scene straight out of paradise!

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The taste of paradise, ready to surprise your palate, awaits you in Solin’s restaurants – try the trout prepared in numerous ways, or grilled eels, and then, as you approach the heart of this region – the glorious “Flower of the Mediterranean“ – Split, your menu will be enriched by traditional dishes – pašticada, fish & meat grilled specialties (if you prefer lamb, as well as The Game of Thrones series – do not skip the neighboring Klis!), all rounded up with traditional sweet bites such as rožata, Split cake, fritule and kroštule, oh believe us – you are in for a real spectacle.

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These delicious calories need to be burned off, and the choices are many –  from a detailed  sightseeing of the old city center and the fascinating Diocletian’s Palace, which will surely be the source of some of your most popular Instagram posts, to the famous game of picigin at Bačvice Beach, or to a few laps around the most beloved green oasis in the city – Marjan Hill, or even an all-night partying at the famous Ultra Festival!

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Of course, do not forget to drink your cup of macchiato on the sun-kissed Promenade, or walk along famous Marmont’s Street – it’s all about the activities which have become sort of a non-written rule and the city’s real brand, so if you want to feel like a true citizen of Split – it’s inevitable to do all of the above!

If adrenaline activities are your favorite treat, then your next stop has to be Omiš – go on a hiking trip to its Fortica Citadel, on the top of Dinara of Omiš, and enjoy the beautiful view of the whole town, the islands of Brač, Hvar and Šolta, as well as the canyon of Cetina River, which you can get to know from another perspective – those of a bird!

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The zip line, in other words the possibility of flying on a steel rope over the glorious Cetina landscape, has become one of the most popular adrenaline activities.  If you would rather test your skills on the river rapids, try the best rafting around! However, if you want to be completely relaxed and also a bit lazy, look no further – this region unites the best of both worlds, so near these adrenaline activities sites, there are also attractive locations where you can spend your time on the beach! The coastal belt that connects Stobreč, Podstrana, Duće, Stanići, Mimice and Pisak, is the ideal getaway for guests looking for an alluring package combining tons of sun and crystal clear sea. Your only task? Reserve your spot on time!

 www.dalmatia.hr

Photo: www.dalmatia.hr , archive of Tourist boards of Split Dalmatia County

If we could choose ideal scenery for bike tourist adventure for everyone’s taste, one thing is certain- at the top of the choice Makarska riviera would definitly find a spotlight.

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True and unique dalmatian architecture, view on amazing vineyards and olive gardens, historic buildings and heritage-and of course crystal blue ocean!- these are all perfect ingredients which are addition on for an already perfect tour and race. Exceptional climate made jt possible to enjoy it all year long, and one thing in common-breathtaking nature which would take your breath away for sure!

Whichever out of 6 marked roads you decide to take on, the nature is overwhelming at a first glance and will fill you with enormous energy! Take a break for a moment and enjoy a crystal blue ocean view, or exceptional Biokovo which is protecting area with it’s power and care.

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Beautiful pebble beaches, where is always a big strike to find a spot more, during all year long are great breakaway from your bicycletourist adventure- feel free to put aside your bicycle for a brief moment, and relax with your colleagues, contemplate in open sea and horizons, experience from a first hand what you have only saw in a postcards before that moment. Those top list world locations would give you a pure pleasure!

CHALLENGE FOR BRAVE AND COURIOUS. Although these roads offer different types of challenges, we are immediately caught up in the eye – the most demanding, and that is certainly the 241 Biokovo tour. Although it is a completely paved mountain range (61.2 km), what makes it difficult is to climb to the highest peak of the Biokovo – Sv. Jure, located at an altitude of 1762 m

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The average time needed to reach the top of Sv. Jure is three hours, but it all depends on the physical conditioning and shape, also the age of the driver, so we recommend experienced bicyclists in good shape. It is not to be noted that it would be good to have secure and tested bicycles with full equipment and overgarments, and not to forget the helmet.

This trail, which runs along the Biokovo road, runs from Makarska to Tučepi, and as far as the entrance to the Biokovo Nature Park, it is located in the Park 5 km for almost 600 meters, which is quite a big ascent. But don’t let this discourage you – go for the concquering this second highest top in the Republic of Croatia! Your award is a fantastic view from Biokovo, which will be one of the most bright achievements in your driving portfolio.

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And the hilly PATH DRVENIK-GRADAC TOUR (360) has a slightly higher climb, on the section where the route, going through the olive gardens, climbs the asphalt path towards Biokovo, so it is recommended for bikers to stop here and rest so later on the mountain springs in the old Zaostrog and old Drvenik can look for a refreshing refreshment! We would like to recommend this bike path to bikers – culturists – namely, it goes by for a visit to the truly beautiful Franciscan monastery, and to the ancient villages that reflect the original Dalmatian architecture and sights such as the once largest fortification of the Makarska coast – Gradina! Path 280 Tučepi – Podgora tour tour will take you through picturesque huts through old Podgorica and one of the most beautiful parts of the suburbs, but also the center of Makarska and a pleasant forest ride to the idyllic harbor.

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IDYLLIC SEA VIEW SCENERY, you will experience its full beauty if you are on the Brela and Makarska tour (200, 220) and visit the beautiful botanical garden of Kotišina, conceived by its founder Dr. Fr. Jure Radić as a “fenced part of nature”, where natural forms of vegetation with self-sufficient flora will remain. The sloping slope 320 Igrane – Zivogosce tour, in addition to the combination of asphalt and macadam, will bring you interesting examples of sacral heritage (see the Holy Fire Monastery, highly argued with the theses that the legendary British King actually lived in – Dalmatia!

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More: www.dalmatia.hr

Photo: www.dalmatia.hr , archive of Tourist boards of Split Dalmatia County