Cities that rise dramatically from sea cliffs, dreamy beaches that stretch into turquoise waters and spectacular seafood. Take a tour of Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian Coast in 59 seconds and start planning your Adriatic adventure.
Sitting pretty on the edge of the shimmering Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is an ancient city with layers of history all around. Whether you’re heading for a city break or using this as a base to explore the rest of the coast, Dubrovnik will leave a big impression on you.
Sky high views
The best way to get your bearings of any city is to see it from a height. As you ride the Dubrovnik Cable Car, get a birds’ eye view of the historic city centre and the islands in crystalline waters. The station is about 10 minutes’ walk from the Old Town and the Cable Car is open from April until December. In the peak summer months, you can catch it until midnight!
Dubrovnik’s city walls are among the most famous defensive walls in the world. Parts of the structure date back to the 9th century and construction continued for the next 600 years. Grab an online ticket, head to the imposing Pile Gate and get ready for majestic vistas on your walk.
Originally built for the 15th century rector who ruled Dubrovnik, the Rector’s Palace is now home to the Cultural History Museum. The Gothic-Renaissance building is a fabulous backdrop to the intriguing artefacts within. The lion’s share of the collection pays homage to Croatia’s heritage, including everything from ancient coins to elaborate furniture to picture postcards.
The food in Croatia is to die for. You won’t have to go far to find a mouthwatering meal. If you want to treat yourself to something really special, head through a secret door in the city walls to Restaurant 360. Elsewhere on your travels, make sure to try the Dalmatian classic crni rižot black seafood risotto and the hearty gregada fish stew hailing from Hvar.
With its coastal location, it’s no surprise that Dubrovnik has almost as many landmarks to take in by sea as it does on land. Why not spend a day checking out Game of Thrones sites on a traditional replica ship? Or else enjoy the romance of a relaxing sunset cruise.
Just 10 minutes away from Dubrovnik by ferry, Lokrum Island’s lush green forests are easy to spot from the mainland. An old Benedictine monastery is at the heart of the island, but that’s not all there is. Head to the Botanical Garden to see exotic plants like giant agaves and palms, explore the historic Fort Royal and float away on the saltwater lake.
Exploring the islands off the Dalmatian coast is a real delight. Each one has its own distinct flavour and history. Experience bustling Split, chilled out Trogir and so much more besides.
Bridging the gap
Only open since 2022, the Pelješac Bridge links Split with the mainland. But as well as making travel much more convenient, it’s also a memorable way to get to the island. The cable-stayed bridge spans over 2,400 metres and makes for a breathtaking drive. If you’re road tripping on your Croatian holiday, this is a must-drive route.
The beating heart of Split also happens to be a collection of some of the most impressive ancient Roman structures still in use today. The Diocletian’s Palace is a busy complex where tourists and locals alike flock to shop, eat and drink. But if you take a step back, you can see arches and columns adorning the buildings, parts of which date back to 293 AD.
Ranging from rocky to fine white sands, the islands on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast are home to some of the best beaches you’ve ever seen. Zlatni Rat on Brač is particularly iconic, jutting 400m into the Adriatic Sea. If you fancy checking out this gorgeous spot, it’s worth spending a night or two in nearby Bol. It’s an easy walk from there.
No trip to Trogir is complete without taking in the awe-inspiring St Lawrence’s Cathedral. Construction started on this highly ornate building in the 1200s and it is one of the jewels of Croatian architecture. After you’ve taken in the treasures inside the building, ascend the 47-metre-high bell tower and get richly rewarded with stunning views over the old town.
Ancient olives & grapes
It might be hard to drag yourself away from Hvar’s beautiful coast. But it’s worth it when you head inland to Stari Grad Plains. This jigsaw of white stone walls has remained practically untouched since the 4th century BCE. Part of an agricultural practice that dates back to the Ancient Greeks, the same crops of olives and grapes are grown on this land to this day.
Raise a glass
Speaking of grapes, Croatia’s most remote inhabited island Vis is known for its unique dry white cultivar Vugava. Local winemaker Antonio Lipanović is known for making the most of the resident grape. With tasting rooms inside former military tunnels, a visit to this winery is well worth booking in advance. And if you have a check in bag, why not take a few bottles home?
Visit aerlingus.com to book your Croatian adventure today.