Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast has long been a treasured vacation spot for Europeans who crave the natural beauty, food, wine, and history of the Mediterranean, but want to avoid the crowded coasts of Italy, Spain, and France. In the early 90s, civil war in the former Republic of Yugoslavia quieted tourism in the region, but Dalmatia has long since completed its comeback, while still retaining the charm and character of a destination that’s slightly off the beaten path.
Croatia’s geographic and strategic location made the country either the trading partner or the prize of Greek, Byzantine, Slavic, and Venetian empires—to name a few—and everywhere there’s evidence of ancient influence. We begin our Croatia: Dalmatian Islands Hiking & Kayaking tour in the town of Split, home to the massive 3rd-century Palace of Diocletian, the “retirement home” of the Roman emperor. In the village of Ston, we walk along limestone fortifications exceeded in length only by the Great Wall of China. And, in Dubrovnik, we find a pharmacy that’s been open since the Middle Ages. History breathes from the land itself, and archeological remains date prehistoric settlements along the Dalmatian coast as far back as the Paleolithic Period.
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