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Central Dalmatia by camper - Split, Makarska and the islands

Day 1 - 2: Split

Salona

The road from Trogir towards Split will lead you through seven places that will certainly confuse you with their names as they all have the word "Kaštel" (castle) in them. These seven places arose around 16 castles built by noblemen of Split and Trogir in ancient times for the protection of farmers and harvests.

Before descending to Split visit Solin (Salona), one of the last sanctuaries of Western Roman Emperors after the fall of the empire. Visit the archeological ruins of the antique city founded in the 1st century B.C., and which in the days of glory counted up to 60.000 inhabitants.

It is the Solin inhabitants that have formed the today’s city of Split, a real Mediterranean beauty, city of rich history, of the most beautiful harbour in the world (according to its inhabitants), the specific picigin play (here even the world championship of this funny game is organized), as of course for football (do not dare to mention aloud the Hajduk club in a negative way). The city is a unique connection of a rush metropolis and typical maritime relax so peculiar for this part of the Mediterranean.

Do not miss to visit the Diocletian’s palace, and if you happen to be here at noon, you will see the Changing of the guard during which the emperor will hold a speech and invite you to his palace.

The city is full of historical monuments and cultural events, and one of the most popular is the Split Cultural Summer International Festival, during which you can enjoy a unique melt of opera, drama, ballet, concerts, film reviews, exhibitions, performances and so on…

We suggest that you climb up the Marijan hill and take a relaxing walk in Marijan's forest park. From there you can enjoy a unique view of the city and its surroundings (once there was a temple of the old roman goddess of the hunt, Diana situted here).

Split is also rich with night life and entertainment, its streets are always alive, and the inhabitants are ready to have fun – and this spirit usually rubs on Split's visitors.

Day 3: Omiš

Cetina

When you want to leave Split and rest from its rush, let your following destination be Omiš, small town on the river Cetina mouth that through the prominent stone doors flows into the sea.

If you want to taste the rich history of the pirates characteristic for this area, visit the fortresses Fortica and Mirabela, situated on the slopes of Mount Dinara from which a magnificent view is given to the river Cetina canyon and the islands Brač, Hvar and Šolta.

Owing to the specific combination of river and sea, here you will find very nice beaches, refreshing sea and various possibilities of practicing sports activities. We absolutely recommend the rafting on Cetina and the paragliding, because that’s the way to truly get familiar with this impressive landscape.

Day 4: Makarska

Brela

On your way from Omiš to Makarska stop in Brela, it will impress you with the crystal clear waters and the 6 km of natural pebble beaches, just as with the smell of pine woods.

The beautiful beaches continue in Makarska, to which the hinterland of Biokovo Mountain (1762 m) offers unique climate conditions. Here even the worst summer heats are bearable thanks to the refreshing mistral.

The naturally protected town position was once the refuge of pirates and traders, and today it’s a refuge of yachts and tourist ships. In Makarska it’s always very lively especially during the evening hours when the harbour changes in a real promenade with a defile of many visitors looking for fun.

During the evening walk visit the Franciscan monastery or the sanctuary Vepric whose natural cave and hilly landscape, vegetation and a little rill reminds of Lourdes in France.

When you climb the slopes of Nature park Biokovo, a mountain raising prominently from the sea, do not forget to take your camera, because apart from the many beautiful scenery of the nature, you’ll also enjoy a unique panoramic view on whole of the Makarska Riviera.

It may be interesting to know that at the times when there were no fridges, the ice was taken out from the many glacier caves in Biokovo mountain and brought to the bars and restaurants on the coast nearby.

Day 5 - 6: Brač Island

Bol

From Makarska you can take a ferry and in less than an hour you can reach the Island of Brač, the biggest among the Dalmatian Islands (395 km2). Brač is famous for its cheese, the lamb meat, fish specialties and Plavac (sort of red wine) from town of Bol.

Brač has many olive groves, sandy beaches and you can also find old-fashioned quarries - the white marble stone from Brač is famous in all the world, and it is thought that the Brač stone was also used when the White House in Washington had been built!

Yet, one of the most famous symbols of Brač is the unique beach called Zlatni rat in Bol, in the shape of a tongue spread deeply into the sea and whose shape is changing depending of the sea streams and very popular with wind surfers. You might have certainly noticed a photograph of this beach in many of the promotive materials of Croatia.

We recommend a visit to Vidova gora, the highest hill of the Adriatic archipelagos (780 m) from which there’s a marvelous view to the Pelješac peninsula and the islands of Hvar, Korčula, Vis Biševo and to the Blače desert: a church and a monastery funded by the Glagolitic priests under a high hill during the 16th century. When you are close to Milna, do not miss to take a swim in one of the hidden sandy or pebble beaches as Lučica, Pasika and Maslinova.

Day 7 - 8: Hvar Island

Pakleni Islands

Island of Hvar is another of the islands worth seeing, and the quickest way to reach it is taking a ferry from Drvenik on the mainland to Sućuraj. Hvar is often listed amongst the 10 most beautiful islands in the world, so do not skip it. It is a fashonable island and often visited by many celebrities. Hvar is also know as the sunniest of all Croatian islands, and if it ever snows during the winter, hotels on Hvar give free board to their guests!

At your first step on this island you’ll be delighted by the smells of lavender, ancient olive trees and numerous vineyards. There are many towns and places worth seeing such as Jelsa, Stari Grad, Vrboska and Sućuraj.

The centre of the island of Hvar is Hvar town, and whether you reach it from the island hinterland or sail in from the sea, Hvar town will impress you regardless with its renaissance buildings and monuments. The theatre of Hvar had been founded as far as in 1612 and it was the first city theater of Europe. Do not miss the fortress Fortica and the cathedral of Hvar.

Drive through Hvar's vindy roads and in that way you can discover many hidden bays and when you have enough of this, we recommend that you take a taxi boat to the Pakleni Islands, which from the distance look as someone spread handful of little stones in the clear waters of Croatian Adriatic. Worth trying is also the rich night life of this town, known to many visitors from all over the world, to whom Hvar (alongside Dubrovnik) is a "must visit" destination.

 

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