It is said that when an Indian summer is over, only the locals remain and life is lived in peace and harmony until the new season comes. Well times have changed and Dalmatia is becoming all the more interesting in winter and we are proud to put forward lots of tips and sweet secrets about the city of Šibenik at this time of year. One of which refers to the popular series ‘Game of Thrones’, Šibenik is the actual city of Braavos, a stronghold and free, as in film, as in reality. So let the journey begin…
It’s celebration time and as in many parts of Croatia, the season of Christmas is a time of joy, fine homemade food, laughter and mingling with family and friends.
If you find yourself in Šibenik after the festive season, you're left with a lot to see and do. It is certainly more fun and much easier to get around the city and study the sights without the rush of tourists; mind you the temperatures will be mild and pleasant. Visit the Museum of the city of Šibenik or walk through the heart of the old town where every corner has a piece of history to offer, as if unfolding hidden treasures. The one beauty you can’t miss is the Cathedral of St. James and the stoned human heads that surround its outer walls. Other monuments include the gates of the Prince's Palace with a relief of St. Michael, the town protector; the Pillar of Shame in the southeastern part of the Republic Square, the statue of Juraj Dalmatinac, and the Šibenik votive sculpture at the Church of St. Barbara. Be sure to visit the four fortresses which kept the city safe from invasion from the 15th to the 16th century, some of the views from here are audacious with a variety of city panoramas to be seen including that of St. Anthony’s canal.
After some rest and a cup of coffee on the waterfront, we certainly recommend a tour out of town. One place to visit is linked to Faust Vrančić whose story, even after a century of research on his life, is still not fully told. This versatile scientist and inventor (Machinae Novae), and author of many lexicographical, philosophical and poetic works (Dictionarium quinque nobilissimarum Europae linguarum LATINAE, Italicae, Germanicae, dalmaticae et Ungaricae), was born in Šibenik in 1551. In his honour, The Faust Vrančić Memorial Centre which is on the island Prvić, where he spent his childhood, was built and teaches us more about his life and works. When in this gorgeous part of the world, day trips to nearby islands are high on the agenda as are accompanying walks filled with beauty, history and tradition. Closer to the sea, for those craving something more active, book a fishing trip or even try Big Game Fishing, or partake in a regatta if keen?
Whilst out of town, there is the archaeological site Danilo, located only 17 km from Šibenik and is one of the most important archaeological sites in Croatia. It is the place after which an entire Neolithic cultural circle was named after, the ‘Danilo culture’. Hooray for lovers of history!
Although Dalmatia is known for its spacious and beautiful coastline, there is also its inland that is beautiful, exotic and rich, though neglected by research. Just as the name hinterland refers to, Dalmatian Zagora is situated on the other side of the mountains, the same mountains that protect the coast. The landscape is hilly and rocky in some areas, but the cities are clean, almost all houses are made of stone to help guard inhabitants of the mighty wind called ‘bura’. Agriculture and animal husbandry are the main source of business here, so a love and knowledge of animals is expected. Rural tourism and the natural beauty that can be experienced do not leave anyone indifferent. The Krka National Park is just one of the parks that you need to visit in Croatia. The beautiful wooden walkways along the waterfalls and lakes, the boat ride to the island and canyons, or the archaeological sites are wonderful experiences that await you. Whilst in the area, dare not miss the opportunity of tasting Drniš prosciutto or traditional foods in one of the local taverns, and definitely look up Agrotourism under the category of Surroundings.
When returning to the city, be sure to add your ‘To Do list’ a visit to the market on Saturday mornings, this is a sign of life at its fullest, people chat and mingle, exchange recipes, recount stories from the past, and good food is never afar!