Dalmatia

The heart of Croatia - sun, sea & sailing, 1000 islands

The Dalmatian islands, exhilarating sailing and the crystal clear turquoise of the Adriatic sea are the best kept secrets of Croatia.  Dalmatia’s 1000 islands are rich in distinct culture, each destination has its own unique characteristics to discover.

The name Dalmatia is derived from the Illyrian tribes, who lived along the Adriatic coast since the first millennium BC.  The name “Dalmatia” was probably first used sometime in the second half of the 2nd century BC.  Dalmatia was slowly incorporated into Roman possessions until the Roman province of Illyricum was formally established around 30 BC.  During the Roman period Dalmatia stretched along the Croatian coast from Istria all the way to Albania.

The history of Dalmatia parallels the history of Croatia.   By the middle ages, Dalmatia was tugged between the Byzantine Empire, the Kingdom of Croatia, the Bosnian Kingdom and the Venetian Republic.  In the 15th to 18th centuries, Dalmatia was controlled by the Republic of Venice and became the buffer zone between the warring Ottoman empire and the Republic of Venice.

Dalmatia enjoyed a time of peace in the 18th century, testament to which you can see in the many villages, churches and trade centers built along the coast and islands at that time.  The next period of turmoil was Napolean’s rule in the early 19th century, after which Dalmatia was under the Austrian empire until after World War I.

Sheltered from the turmoil of invaders and pirates, the Dalmatian islands became fiercely defended refuges, where the mild climate, clean clear waters and isolated villages led to an idyllic seafaring life of shipbuilding, fishing, sheep herding, olive oil and wine production.  Because of the isolation and self sufficiency, each island developed its own distinct culture and even dialect.  Dotted with unspoiled villages, the island lifestyle continues today, almost unchanged for centuries – each island an enigma to uncover.

Today the 1000 islands of Dalmatia are the most accessible in Europe by private yacht and excellent ferry lines, while Island life is still preserved in the quaint villages, giving us the best of both worlds.  Both avid and casual sailors who have plied world sailing destinations agree that sailing the Dalmatian islands is among the best sailing in the world.   You’ll find well equipped, clean & full service marinas among all the islands.  For the more adventurous, hidden bays for anchoring and private moorings are never far away.   Island restaurants can be found tucked away and easily accessible with great fresh food, family taverns & gourmet meals.

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