Top Attractions on the Dalmatian Coast
Collected by Anja Mutic, AFAR Local Expert
A trip to the Adriatic coastline means visits to villages carved from golden stone and walks along fortress walls that have stood guard for centuries. Out in the impossibly blue sea, craggy and forested islands—some offering peaceful escapes and some thumping with a hedonistic bass line—beckon. Once touted as the next Riviera or Ibiza, the Croatian coast instead offers visitors its own kind of vacation magic.
Lokrum, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Just a quick 15-minute ferry ride away, with boats departing the Old Town harbor every half hour, Lokrum Island offers magnificent nature walks through botanic gardens and olive groves, and past the many peacocks who roam here. Paths climb up to...
Ulica kralja Petra Krešimira IV, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
In a swift four-minute ride, the Dubrovnik cable car can deliver you to the top of Mount Srdj for a bird’s-eye perspective of the Old Town and surrounding areas. Sometimes, on really crisp days, Italy will appear far out on the horizon. Even...
Nalješkovićeva ul. 3, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
This shop is more coral sanctuary than ordinary jewelry store. In addition to selling mind-blowing designer pieces, this is the place to learn all about the Adriatic coral: where it lives, and how it is sourced, harvested, and treated to become...
Ul. Ćirila Ivekovića 4, 23000, Zadar, Croatia
Croatia’s cool seaside city of Zadar is known for its showstopping sunsets. Architect Nikola Bašić has created two spectacles that harness the local natural beauty. The Sea Organ is a musical instrument fashioned from pipes and holes...
Dioklecijanova ul. 1, 21000, Split, Croatia
The focal point of Split, this 1,700-year-old Roman palace is nestled on the Adriatic seafront and protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Roman Emperor Diocletian built the palace as his seaside retirement home, and across the centuries...
Riva, Split, Riva, 21420, Split, Croatia
Running along the side of Diocletian’s Palace is the riva, a seafront promenade lined with tall palm trees, bustling cafés, and shaded benches. Stretching from the handy scale model of Split at the east end to the popular Marmontova...
Obala Hrvatskog narodnog preporoda 25, 21000, Split, Croatia
A stone's throw from downtown Split, at the tip of this peninsula jutting out into the Adriatic, Marjan is a hilltop forest park about the same size as New York City’s Central Park. Known as the lungs of the city, Marjan provides an ideal...
Ul. Fausta Vrančića 18, 22000, Šibenik, Croatia
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...
Grgura Mrganića 1, 23000, Zadar, Croatia
The most impressive Roman ruins in the ruin-rich Old Town of Zadar can be found at the ancient forum, just steps from the seafront. This spectacular square offers a glimpse of life during Roman times through its temples, porticoes, and colonnades....
Trg Sv. Stjepana 42, 21450, Hvar, Croatia
If Dubrovnik is the Pearl of the Adriatic then Hvar Town is Mini Pearl. It has everything to offer that Dubrovnik has but on a far smaller scale. Hvar Town is a picturesque little town located on the southwestern coast of Hvar Island. The heart of...