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Southern Dalmatia

Split - Matejuška

Harbouring rugged mountains, enchanting islands, and one of Mediterranean Europe’s great cities in the shape of local capital Split, Southern Dalmatia is home to many of the superlatives of Croatian tourism.

It is Croatia’s second city of Split that is the gateway to the region, an endlessly fascinating city layered with the remains left by successive civilizations.

South of Split stretches a series of mainland resorts famous for their sweeping pebble beaches and stark, wild hinterland, with grey mountains shielding the inland plateaus of the Dalmatinska zagora.

Looming offshore are any number of beckoning islands, all with their own distinct mixture of historic ports, glorious scenery and inviting beaches. Brač, Hvar and Korčula offer most in the way of hotels, facilities and entertainment, although all three offer ample opportunities to step off the tourist treadmill.

The slightly more offbeat attractions of Vis, Lastovo and the Pelješac peninsula will reward any effort in getting there.

Scenic driving

Connecting the mainland resorts south of Split is the main road known as the Magistrala, completed in the 1960s and southern Croatia’s crucial traffic artery until the construction of the A1 highway further inland. Although it can be slow going due to holiday traffic, the Magistrala remains a spectacular, scenic ride.

Food & drink

Wherever you are you’ll find fresh seafood, olive oil, and some glorious wines. Arguably the most famous of the local varieties is Plavac Mali, the rich red grape grown on the steep south-facing slopes of Pelješac and Hvar.





The Makarska Riviera



Split & Around



Rugged inland beauty


Spellbinding lakes

Text © Jonathan Bousfield

Image by Fred Romero