Gone are the days when the concept of ‘Dalmatia’ in the mind of the traveller meant Dubrovnik, Split, and a handful of islands. A hugely varied stretch of coastline in which every village has something unique to offer, there are more potential holiday destinations here than you might think. And for those who want to re-discover the true diversity of Dalmatia then the city of Šibenik is a good place to start.
With its compact old town riddled with medieval alleys and stairways, Šibenik, is a characteristically atmospheric Adriatic town. A ring of fortresses and a spectacular Renaissance cathedral provide the city with the big-league tourist attractions that ensure the requisite degree of I’m-glad-I-made-the-effort visitor satisfaction.
As capital of Šibenik-Knin county, Šibenik is the starting point for excursions to several astounding natural wonders, with the dramatic canyons of the Krka National Park just inland, and the blissfully stark beauty of the Kornati islands looming offshore to the northwest. Up and down the coast from Šibenik runs a string of increasingly seductive resorts, with hedonistic and boisterous Vodice providing plenty in the way of early-morning-hours excitement. With top-end international DJs appearing in clubs at Vodice, Primošten and Pirovac, this is one of the prime places in the Adriatic for burn-the-candle-at-both-ends party life. Elsewhere, the former-fishing-village resorts of olive-carpeted Murter island sooth you with their atmosphere of calm and seclusion.
Wherever you go in Šibenik county you’ll come across a range of regional gastronomic delights, with fish or meat baked under a peka (a bell-shaped metal lid) counting among the area’s must-try experiences. Heady red wine from the local Babić vine is another local trademark, and you shouldn’t leave town without packing a bottle or two.