Hello my dear readers,
Have you heard about Dalmatia?
Shame on me but I didn’t, until I did the research for my sage post, as it seems that the perfect blend between the Dalmatian limestone cliffs called karst, its specific soil, mainly red, rich in natural minerals, and the Mediterranean climate have provided the perfect blend for sage’s natural growth, so that it grows spontaneously along the Dalmatian coast.
So much so that Dalmatia and its islands are considered the motherland of sage.
But where is Dalmatia?
Dalmatia is a geographical region, on the east coast of the Adriatic Sea, located in the south and southeast of Croatia, and is one of the historical regions of Croatia, alongside Slavonia and Istria.
Dalmatia occupies the part of the coast from Zadar to Dubrovnik, with a coastal extension of over 6000 km and a double cordon of islands parallel to the coast, separated by shallow channels and straits.
The coast of Dalmatia, with its many creeks, gulfs and headlands, has seen many small ports grow and develop in places protected by the bora that goes down from the mountains, ideal bases for fishing boats that are one of the characteristics of its economy, together with the tourism.
The coastal region of Dalmatia comprises 725 islands, islets and reefs, 55 of which are permanently inhabited. These are the peaks of a mountain range sunk in the sea or submerged by the sea in ancient times, whose maximum distance from the coast it is on average 30 nautical miles.
It is usually divided into three parts: North Dalmatia with Zadar as main center, Central Dalmatia with Split as main center and South Dalmatia with Dubrovnik as main center.
Dalmatia can be reached by car, by air with international airports in Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik and the small airport on the island of Brac, by train and by ferry with landing in Zadar, Split, Sibenik and Dubrovnik, but also the major islands like Hvar, Brac, Korcula.
There are numerous medieval towns, including Nin, an important political and religious center, but also Biograd royal city in the 11th century, and the beautiful city of Zadar with its churches, white stone walls and beautiful city beaches.
Zadar is a beautiful city of art and port of departure for the ferries that lead to the islands of the Zaratino Archipelago and to the Kornati Islands National Park. The historical center of the city is located on a regularly shaped peninsula and houses in a relatively small area historic buildings, important churches and Roman remains, but also contemporary works such as the Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun.
Nin is a city steeped in history, located a few kilometers from Zadar, surrounded by a lagoon famous for its sandy beaches. Together with the villages of Zato, Grbe and Vrsi and the islands of Vir and Privlaka, Nin forms a mini Riviera very popular with tourists, especially families looking for beautiful beaches and relaxation, but also good quality services.
The Kornati Islands National Park is composed of more than 150 islands, islets and reefs that are located in the stretch of sea that goes from Zadar to Sibenik, and can be visited all year round with organized trips or by your own and is one of the most fascinating and recognizable corners of the Croatian Adriatic.
Murter Island is located in the western part of the Sibenik archipelago and is connected to the mainland by a mobile bridge that extends over the Murter Canal in the Tisno area. The island has beautiful rocky beaches, but also of sand and numerous paths used for trekking, but also for cycling and long walks in nature.
Sibenik is a great starting point to visit the nearby islands, but also the Krka waterfalls National Park which is only 20 km away. The city extends amphitheatrically around the harbor along the hillsides that go up to the mountain Tartar on the eastern side of the gulf crossed by the Krka river.
The heart of Central Dalmatia is Split, the administrative and economic center of the region and the main port from which ferries depart for the Dalmatian islands. The UNESCO-protected Diocletian’s Palace is located in Split. To the west of Split is the city-museum of Trogir with its 12th-century cathedral, walls, stone-paved streets and noble palaces in excellent condition that speak to its visitors about a rich history of events.
The islands of Central Dalmatia are very different from each other, Solta is the quietest, ideal for relaxing, Brac is a paradise for windsurfers with its beautiful beach Zlatni Rat or Golden Horn where the wind always blows.
The coast of Southern Dalmatia stops at the borders with Montenegro, in the Boka Kotorska bay, covering the territory that was once part of the Republic of Dubrovnik.
The major tourist center of Southern Dalmatia is Dubrovnik, whose foundation can be dated to the seventh century. Over the years its influence and power have extended to all of Southern Dalmatia. In recent times thanks to its pleasant climate, in summer it hardly ever rains, its unique and picturesque architecture, the historical and cultural treasures kept within its beautiful walls and the intact and well preserved historic center, have made it the tourist capital of Croatia, one of the most famous historical cities in the world: since 1979 it is part of the UNESCO protected heritage.
In Dalmatia there are some of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia. They are mainly pebble and sand beaches, while the cliffs and terraces are rarer. Among the most beautiful beaches in Dalmatia include: Zaglav, Vis island with sandy beach, very clean, wide and not crowded; Nin, 15 km from Zadar is the beautiful Queen’s Beach of Nin a long stretch of sand with a handful of beach bars and little else for children to play, swim quietly in the shallow sea and practice kytesurf with spectacular view of the Velebit mountain. One favorite activity of bathers on this beach is to cover themselves with “healing muds” which, it is said, are very beneficial to skin diseases and are ideal for relieving joint and muscle pain; Zlatni Rat, Brac island is perhaps the most famous beach in Croatia, certainly the most publicized and photographed and is a long tongue of pebbles, gravel, that under the sun take on a golden color that stretches into the sea changing shape depending on the marine current. It is located in Bol and can be reached by walk.
The natural beauty of the region, the crystal clear sea, the beautiful beaches, as well as the great historical value of the cities it seems have made Dalmatia the largest tourist region of Croatia.
Dalmatia has predominantly Mediterranean climate with the average winter temperature of 6°C and the average summer temperature of 24°C.
The climate of Dalmatia is mild and warm and the sea has incredible colors from turquoise to aquamarine due to depths ranging from sand to rock, rich in life and things to explore.
The best time for a trip along the Dalmatian coast is in the months from April to October, preferably the spring months of May and June. July and August are very crowded and very hot.
If you decide to do a tour of Dalmatian’s islands or visit only certain ones, from hotels, B&Bs, fisherman houses that they rent at very reasonable prices, there is an option for any pocket.
It is difficult to give a unique definition of Croatian cuisine.
Because of its troubled history and its proximity to peoples of the most diverse cultures, the kitchen also reflects a series of different influences that contribute to creating a varied and very interesting gastronomic panorama.
They range from the Mediterranean-style rich flavors of Italy, rich in grilled fish dishes, to stewed meat with paprika typical of Slavonia, to Austrian, Turkish and Hungarian dishes. You will be pleasantly surprised by the variety of regional foods, all characterized by the excellent quality and freshness of the ingredients.
Dalmatian cuisine will not leave you disappointed, excellent risottos with fish, barbecued lamb, a Croatian national dish, Pecenje with mlinci or pecenikrumpir which is meat accompanied by baked pasta or roast potatoes, Zagrabacki odrezak, veal steak stuffed with ham and cheese, Lignje, breaded and fried squid, Palacinke, stuffed sweet crepes, there’s everything for everyone.
Well, when I was back home I was nearby but I never had the possibility to visit it but now for sure I’ll add Dalmatia to my travel bucket-list.
Thank you all for reading.
Join me next time and let’s discover another easy and delicious recipe.
And if you enjoy traveling as much as I do, you may visit my other posts and discover our world one step at the time.
Photo credit: Google Images & Pixabay, edited by Popsicle Society