Dalmatia offers so much more than just the over-crowded excursions to the Krka and Plitvice National Parks. Enjoy the most extraordinary experiences, selected upon fascinating nature, preserved local tradition and the latest technology trends. Spend your holidays in unique environmentally-responsible places. Here is the list of authentic recommendations for green, active, curious and mindful travelers that you shouldn’t miss this summer:
1. Experience the peaceful paddling through the breathtaking Zrmanja canyon
Start your zen river kayak tour from the town of Obrovac where this river is completely navigable and peaceful. Zrmanja along with its tributary river Krupa features one of Croatia’s most beautiful and yet ”undiscovered” landscapes. It represents a freshwater oasis in the middle of the karst wasteland. Along the river there is a series of fortresses and abandoned mills, reflecting the spirit of the past. For the most outstanding experiences, discover the hidden channels perfect for swimming and enchanting waterfalls, while being surrounded by the impressive rocks rising up more than 200 meters into the air.
Where to eco-friendly stay near Zadar?
Olive garden Paljka is a charming couples-friendly Dalmatian stone house that has everything you need for superb eco-vacation. It is a picturesque getaway for (nature) lovers where you can ”plug out” for a few days. This fabulous off-grid house is located in the Zadar area, a few minutes from the beaches, surrounded by the ancient olive trees. Due to its complete immersion in nature, it is providing peace, quiet, complete privacy and rustic indoors. This year’s extension is the unique vintage shower for the unforgettable romantic showering under the bright stars.
2. For the most extraordinary experiences, listen to the Donkey music on the island of Dugi otok
One of the most cultural and entertaining events in Croatia is located on Dugi otok in Sali, called „Saljske užance“ – Sali festivity, which lasts three days. Saljske užance is a traditional, cultural and entertaining event that has been held for more than 50 years. The date of the festivity is the second weekend of August. Various presentations of folk customs are held during the festivity while the locals participate in gastronomic competitions that will impress the foodies.
The most outstanding performance is Tovareća mužika (”Donkey music”). It is the traditional style of music, performed by the local men on cattle horns to a loud drumbeat, completely unique to the town of Sali. The beat and performance of the Donkey music are so spectacular that it is listed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
What is most striking in Donkey music are certainly the rhythmic melodies, which are not complicated, but its rhythmic background, performed on various kinds of drums and old irons filled with pebbles, leaves a deep impression. During the festivity Saljske užance, the Donkey music goes around the whole place in several performances, stopping at some places doing their program. The music conductor leads the musicians, maintains order and begins the figures that the musicians perform while playing music. While playing music, the music conductor also leads the group into the sea in the port of Sali. The musicians keep on blowing the horns until the water rises to their necks. For the most outstanding experiences in Dalmatia, this local event needs to be on your travel list.
3. Indulge in secluded organic wine tasting with the best panoramic views of Dalmatia
Kairos vineyard is located on the picturesque panoramic location, only a 15-minute drive from Trogir. Participate in the guided walking tour of this secluded vineyard. Hear the story of the world-known Zinfandel which is actually Dalmatian indigenous varietal-Crljenak, brought back home after almost a century of oblivion. Delight in a guided wine tasting of Kairos organic wines accompanied by local gourmet dishes. Admire the grapevines together with the natural medicinal and edible plants.
Where to find green holiday accommodation near Trogir?
Villa Anadi is a peaceful and private villa located 8 km from the hustle and bustle of Trogir old town. It provides full comfort, a vivacious green garden with ancient olive trees, an eco-friendly pool suitable for guests with skin-allergies. Beach is located only a few minutes walking distance from the house. Villa Anadi’s green host is an expert for yoga and will amaze you with endless conversations about spiritual development and mindfulness.
4. Time travel through the ancient Diocletian’s Palace in Split
Discover every corner of the Diocletian’s palace exactly how it looked 1700 years ago. With the virtual reality (VR) headset, you can fully explore the old Roman civilization that built this World Cultural Heritage UNESCO site. This is the most authentic and innovative VR Split’s city tour at the moment and definitely a must for all technology lovers. Your senses will be immersed in colors, shapes, and textures of the ancient worlds. Roman emperor Diocletian is waiting for you. The future is here to show you the past and make your present truly unforgettable.
Where to eco-friendly stay in Split?
Hotel Split is a unique combination of modern business and pleasant family hotel. This first «green» hotel in Croatia has a certificate of A-category energy efficiency. Hotel Split is perfect for the stylish trendsetters with an ecologically-responsible lifestyle in search of relaxation and the premium gourmet experiences.
5. Make a positive impact and spend your beach time in Split with shelter dogs
Join the Animal protective foundation’s expert team and listen to the stories about the doggies and how they arrived in the shelter. If you are passionate and determined to change the destinies of abandoned dogs, book 2-hours of your holiday time and spend an unforgettable time on the dog-friendly beach. Bring a positive change into this world or even better…into your home!
6. Visit the organic hemp farm in Dalmatian hinterland and buy the highest quality hemp products
The modern society never got the chance to experience the amazing quality and benefits that hemp brings. However, sustainable travelers are becoming more and more aware of the true potential of the hemp and healing properties of hemp products. Organic hemp farm Moro is a trendsetter in Dalmatian hinterland, providing high quality, eco-friendly hemp products. You can choose among the nutritious hemp seeds, nature’s most perfectly balanced hemp seed oil, popular vegetarian protein powder, hemp tea, exclusive hemp-honey cookies selection, etc.
7. Experience the adventurous sailing with the historical fishing boat in Komiža on the island Vis
Falkuša is a unique traditional fishing boat from Komiža on the island of Vis. Fishing has been the traditional occupation of Komiža’s men for centuries. They were known as the first fishermen of the open seas, known to pose great dangers with poor weather conditions as well as constant piracy attacks. The falkuša is a boat of remarkable maritime capabilities, hiding two boats within one: a low rowboat suitable for fishing (especially for the hauling of the nets), and a sailboat with high strakes suitable for sailing and carrying cargo.
For truly outstanding experiences, book the Gajeta Falkuša excursion and find out more about the gajeta, its design, characteristics, and purpose. Listen to the interesting fishermen’s and pirate stories. Try your hand at traditional fishing tools and ropes, learn the original terms for the parts of the gajeta, tie nautical knots and immerse in the adventurous sail to the breathtaking surrounding islands and islets.
Where to eco-friendly stay in Komiža on the island Vis?
INSULAE apartments are located in the reconstructed stone house in the heart of Komiža old town. The blend of contemporary and traditional is its distinct feature: modernly furnished accommodation in a traditional setting with the spirit of the authentic Mediterranean lifestyle. The exceptional green host will give you first-hand advice for selected green trips and eco excursions in the Geopark Vis Archipelago.
8. Learn the ancient dry-stone masonry techniques from the old masters
Dry-stone masonry is an ancient architectural tradition in the Mediterranean, used for the construction without the use of mortar, of land fences, agricultural buildings and modest houses. It has left an extensive mark as a cultural element of the Croatian coastal landscape. Today, this skill and its techniques are rapidly being lost with the retirement of the last generation of masons that actively practiced this art. Join the dry-stone masonry workshops organized by the Association Dragodid where the knowledge and skills from the old masters will be transferred to the new generations of enthusiasts and heritage professionals.
9. Observe the mysterious night sky above the island Hvar with the guidance of an expert
Are you dreaming of faraway places? Would space be far enough? Look up at the heavens at night and amaze at the mysterious and unreachable lights. Re-connect with yourself to get pleasure and a sense of your place in the cosmos. Seek out the world’s last-remaining dark skies where you can get a clear, unpolluted view of the stars. Combine exploring the Island Hvar with getting under the stars and sipping a glass of champagne. Experience amazing dark sky wonders using the large telescope and guidance of an expert.
Where to eco-friendly stay on the island Hvar?
Eco-friendly Villa Perka is a superb, tranquil and secluded accommodation, ideal for eco-travelers in search of traditional island life, healthy retreat with medicinal plants, serenity and spectacular views. Villa Perka is not only a fabulous villa with vivacious contemporary design but also the first accommodation on the Island Hvar encouraged to preserve the environment and contribute to sustainable tourism development.
10. Admire the fascinating Pirate battle in Omiš – the city of Pirates
The town of Omiš with hidden river Cetina canyon was an ideal location for the pirates and a very dangerous place for ships to pass by. 8th centuries ago, Omiš Pirates became one of the most powerful and most feared pirates on the whole Mediterranean Sea!
They were absolute rulers of the Cetina canyon and had a base a couple of kilometers up the Cetina River, They attacked merchants of Venetia, Kotor, Dubrovnik, and Split, and sometimes even crusaders on their way to the Holy Land. Omiš Pirates ruled for more than 300 years until the whole Dalmatia fell under the rule of the Venetian Republic.
If you enjoyed the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean” you should visit Omiš on the 18th of August 2019 to see the red-coated pirates engaged in a real naval battle. This first-hand pirate experience is a reconstruction of the battle that really took place in the 13th century, between the Pirates and Venetians. The evening also includes a pirate parade through the main streets of the old town where the Pirates wear authentic costumes, muskets, pistols, and treasure.
Where to eco-friendly stay in Omiš?
Villa Dvor is a boutique eco-friendly hotel on a rock, located in Omiš. It is a glorious oasis that will fully exceed your expectations and provide extraordinary experiences. Feel the pleasant atmosphere of the family Čurlin, completely committed to sustainability and constant innovation. Villa Dvor is situated in the heart of rocks and sea, on the stony slope of the Mountains of Mosor and the Omiš Dinara, with a breathtaking view on the River Cetina and the Omiš old town. The ride with the elevator in the rock, rising high above the Cetina Canyon would also fit into the selection of extraordinary experiences.
Cover photo by Dalmatia Explorer eco-tour agency