One of Dalmatia’s most underrated cities, Šibenik is finally being recognized as an exciting coastal destination. Its medieval heart is a stone maze of steep alleyways dotted with charming squares and hidden cul-de-sacs, not to mention a pretty harbor and a seafront promenade lined with cafés. Crowning it all is the Cathedral of St. James, an architectural masterpiece incorporating style elements of both the Gothic and the Renaissance. The cathedral is said to be the world’s largest church built entirely of stone—most of which was quarried in the nearby Adriatic islands. Of particular note in this UNESCO World Heritage site: the frieze of 71 heads on the cathedral’s outer wall, which depicts 15th-century citizens of Šibenik with many different moods and personalities.

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Don't miss the magic of Šibenik!

Šibenik put a spell on me. I was looking up at one of the old facades, when I felt a light tap on my shoulder. ‘How much time do you have?’ asked me a local woman, with a huge smile and sparkly eyes. And just like that, I was whisked away. We barely had an hour, and my new friend Vinka was determined to share as many Šibenik’s secrets as possible.

First we went around the Cathedral of St James, on the UNESCO World Heritage list, where she pointed out the faces of local human and canine (!) residents, that adorn the facade. Further up, a medieval craftsman with a sense of humor seems to have stuck a prosciutto on the facade, instead of completing an elegant row of coat of arms.

Up the hill, through small windy alleys, at one point literally walking right through someone’s home, we ended up at the lovely Medieval Mediterranean Gardens of St. Lawrence monastery. Neglected for over 100 years, they have been lovingly restored in recent years. Four quadrants are planted in a gorgeous design with medicinal plants, a medieval version of todays pharmacies.

Split is filled to the rim with history and stories, and to spend only an hour there isn’t right. I had the magical gift of a local’s time, and knowledge, and I’m forever grateful for that.

>>>Warm thanks to Alan Mandić from Secret Dalmatia, for organizing a truly memorable, and off the beaten path trip for our curious and insatiable group of travelers, and to the Hotel Cornaro for accommodations in Split.

Sibenik - Visiting National Park Krka

Sibenik is one of the most fascinating places I’ve ever visited. Located in North Dalmatia (Croatia), this lively city is a real gem among Croatian travel agencies which offers a lot for holidaymakers to enjoy including some of the most stunning sites that are listed on UNESCO World Heritage list. Some of the places I found attractive include St James Cathedral and the Dalmatian Ethno Village, which is simply fantastic and authentic. The beaches around the city are also stunning and clean and swimming in Zaboric and Brodarica beaches was just awesome. I participated in Picigin, a beach game locally played by the youths there and this provided me with a great opportunity to socialize and make new friends. This notwithstanding, I found the accommodation in Sibenik to be very enjoyable throughout my trip. I had found a great private apartment on the Adrian Tours website which was located very close to the sea and the city center. The apartment was immaculately clean and the services were just but amazing. While visiting Sibenik, I had an opportunity to visit Krka National Park. The park will just leave you mesmerized at how beautiful nature can be. The attractions in the park included fauna, flora and waterfalls, sceneries that are simply breathtaking. I also got a chance to shoot some great photographs of historical and archaeological remains.

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