Central Dalmatia Features in The Guardian’s Top 40 Beaches in Europe

More international recognition of the beach heaven that is Central Dalmatia, as two of the region’s beaches feature in the 2019 list of top 40 beaches from The Guardian!

Meet the Central Dalmatian beaches which caught the popular British broadsheet’s eye, in its own words:

Maslinica, Šolta

The island of Šolta hides in plain sight: it’s a short ferry ride from Split, yet it receives only a fraction of the visitors that head to big-hitting neighbours Hvar and Brač. Tucked into its western end is the fishing village of Maslinica, with a smart little marina and a cute, pebbly beach at the mouth of the harbour. It’s big enough for a beach cafe, kayak rental and a few sunloungers, but still has an intimate village feel. And its western aspect means extraordinary sunsets. Just beyond the beach is an archipelago of seven small islands, which can be explored via kayak or boat.

Murvica, Brač

Just a few kilometres west of Croatia’s most recognisable beach, the V-shaped Zlatni Rat, there’s a much quieter scene at Murvica beach. Take the path from Murvica village down the hill past olive groves and vineyards to the shingle beach backed by fragrant pines. There are no crowds or neat rows of sunloungers here, just a rustic beach cafe, views of the island of Hvar and clear blue-green water.

To see the full list, click here.

Split Tourist Board Director Alijana Vuksic on the Upcoming Season

As Split prepares for another bumper tourist season, Split Tourist Board Director Alijana Vuksic talked to the Croatian media about tourism in the Dalmatian capital.

“If judged by the results of the Split Tourist Board, in the first two months we recorded a 25 percent increase in arrivals and overnights. The reason for this may be the many events in the city during the winter months because we must not forget that behind us is the Split Half Marathon, numerous congresses, and fairs that are a good motivator for arrivals to the destination, but good results are also recorded in the surrounding cities. It’s a great introduction to, hopefully, a successful tourist year, and judging by all presentations and programs that will be developed by individual tourist communities, we should not doubt it. On the contrary, we need to work intensely, the year will be demanding, no one disagrees, but that’s why we create a lot of activities so our guests can experience the destination, to motivate them to come. So far, the city and county have had excellent results, and we hope we will have them this year too.”

Behind us is the ITB Fair in Berlin. What makes Split more interesting for Germans than some other destinations?

“I personally see the fair in Berlin as one of the best, and I have been in the tourist board system for the last 20 years. The presentation was exceptionally good because we presented it as the Split Riviera. We even made a brochure on the Split Riviera. Thus, in one booklet, there are all cities in the surroundings, as guests staying in Split for more than three days are looking for additional content. On this occasion, we offered other material in the surrounding destinations, which proved to be a good move. The interest was great. There were not only many business contacts and meetings but in the two days that were open to the public, the excitement was high.

Of course, the reason for this was that you could taste our specialties such as pršut, cheese, and soparnik, but we also had a klapa that attracted many guests with beautiful singing to our booth and gave an additional Dalmatian tone. Even colleagues said that for the first time we surpassed the Italians because they give out ice cream free of charge and are always full. This time, the stand of Split-Dalmatia County, which included the Split Riviera, Makarska Riviera, and Zagora, was visited by more guests. Next year we have plans to develop altogether. We’re trying to keep up with the international trends. All tourist workers know that we have been advertising in such a way for a long time – we would always bring klapas and food with us. When we cooperated with the Croatian National Tourist Board at a joint stand, we no longer had those opportunities because we had small spaces. By coming out of this great story, which we are still part of, we are not running away, but we have the opportunity to advertise individually both by product and by destination.”

The world trend is the idea of sustainable tourism. 

“Not only sustainable but also responsible. That is why our county last year implemented a capacity study to get information about the load we have and how we need to develop further; where it is necessary to disperse large crowds so that the guests in the destination get more pleasure for the money they spend, but it was primarily for our citizens. We must not forget if the citizens of one town live well, and in this case, we are talking about Split, then the guests will feel satisfied. First of all, we have to think about our citizens and if our quality of life is good, it will be good for our guests as well.”

How much is the country resisting our coast being apartmentized? 

“Tourism workers are aware that there are limits and that there are studies that show how many hotels and apartments there can be. If we follow the guidance from the strategy brought by the experts, we will surely have no problems in the destination. Still, we must be aware of the fact that in Split there are crowds even when there is no pressure from tourists. When we solve the tourist infrastructure, and we all work – from the city to the county, we are certain that the guests will be more satisfied.”

To learn more about Split, click here.

Sinj Tourist Board Director Monika Vrgoc on Potential of Inland Dalmatia

Tourism in inland Dalmatia is growing as never before, as tourists become more aware of the attractions of Central Dalmatia away from the beach. Sinj Tourist Board director Monika Vrgoc recently talked to the Croatian media about her destination of Sinj and Inland Dalmatia.

How did the preparations for the new season begin? 

“Preparations are in full swing. We had several events since January, which we have completed. The town of Sinj, Trilj and other towns in Inland Dalmatia pulled up our sleeves as far as the new season is concerned, and we will continue in the same tone. We have Easter manifestations like the Guarding of Christ’s Tomb in Vrlika, and Easter breakfast in Sinj. We are going with full steam ahead.”

How do you interpret the tourism development of Inland Dalmatia lately?

“I think there is a growing awareness of tourist renters, and at the same time, tourists are increasingly discovering Inland Dalmatia, which is still insufficiently explored. It is still insufficiently known to local tourists and foreigners. Inland Dalmatia has huge potential in all forms of tourism, as well as other branches of the economy.”

On the example of Istria, we can see that the region’s interior can be greatly combined with tourism along the coast. Can Inland Dalmatia learn from the example of inland Istria?

“We have to learn from all successful tourism areas, especially those where tourism is a primary activity and where tourism has developed for centuries. Istria has done a lot in this area, and we can learn from them.”

Are apartments and swimming pools still being built in the Cetina region? 

“We still have a lot of people who decided to rent. We have popular measures within Split-Dalmatia County that promote the development and investment in tourist infrastructure. I think we will have dozens of new facilities in our area this year.”

What is the structure of guests coming to Inland Dalmatia?

“The German market is the biggest, followed by Poland, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Scandinavia, but also Korea. Only in Dugopolje have we noted a rise in Chinese guests. Hotel accommodations mostly affect the numbers in the preseason and postseason. In Inland Dalmatia, private accommodation has now become more dominant than hotels. We only have eight hotels in Inland Dalmatia, and the rest is private accommodation.”

What are the main events organized by the Tourist Board until the end of the year? 

“As for the Tourist Board of Sinj, it is the Easter breakfast, the Sinj Village Fair, the Musical Evenings at Fort Kamičak, the performance of the Siege… We co-organize several events like the Sinj Trail, Cetina Adventure or the City Challenge.”

To learn more about Sinj, click here.

Imotski Region Presents Its Tourism Strategy

Good things are happening behind the mountain…

While most of the focus of tourism in Central Dalmatia is on the beach and islands, inland Dalmatia has been quietly developing over the years, and it now offers an outstanding combination of nature, heritage, culture, adventure tourism and gastronomy, as well as a marked increase in quality accommodation.

Nowhere is this more true than in Imotski, which has flourished as a destination in recent years. The opening of the tunnel connecting the town to the Makarska has been a big boost, but so too has the forward-thinking approach of the local tourist board, which is leading the way regionally in structural reorganisation.

The Institute for Tourism recently prepared a strategy until 2025 for the Tourist Region of Imota, a presentation which was attended by both Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli and Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, Kristijan Stanicic.

“Over the past years, the Imotski region has made great strides in the development of tourism products and promoting the offer. To fully valorize the whole region, and strengthen the brand and its recognition, the first steps were made through merging all the municipalities and the city of Imotski into the Tourist Board of Imota. This Strategy represents a new chapter for the entire Imotski region and gives clear guidelines to valorize all the richness of natural and cultural heritage fully and, in addition to creating new offers, stimulates not only tourism development but also the overall economic development of this area. Sustainability, responsibility and human capital are crucial for our tourism, as well as systematic long-term management following destination management, which we provide with a new legal framework,” Minister Cappelli pointed out during the presentation.

“I am pleased that today, a year after the establishment of the Imota Tourist Board, we present the Tourism Development Strategy for this area, which created all the preconditions for the complete implementation of marketing and other activities that will aim to have an even stronger market positioning of the Imotski region. Namely, this is a true example of destination management that served as an example and additional confirmation of the importance of the unification and joint actions with other colleagues in the area. Such a model of cooperation provides even better promotional effects, greater visibility and more systematic development of tourist infrastructure, taking into account sustainable development,” said the director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristjan Stanicic.

To learn more about Imotski, click here.

Transport Minister Visits Split Airport, June Opening on Schedule

It is one of the most eagerly-awaited and strategically important projects in all Croatia. And not only is it happening in Central Dalmatia, but it will be delivered on time!

Air traffic to Split has exploded in recent years, as more and more tourists discover the magic of the region. Local authorities have been working hard to upgrade the infrastructure to meet the increased demand.

A key aspect of that has been a much-needed upgrade of Split Airport, which handled over 3 million passengers for the first time last year. Work is currently ongoing for a much bigger and modern new airport terminal which is set to open in June, just in time for the peak season. Transport Minister Oleg Butkovic visited the airport recently, confirming the project would open on schedule and talking about its importance:

“The project is of strategic importance to Split-Dalmatia County and the city of Split, and its realization will enable the passenger terminal capacity to be matched with expected traffic demand, achieving a high level of safety and quality of service at the airport and meeting the EU standards for the international border crossing at Split Airport,” explained Minister Butkovic. The first man at Split Airport, Luksa Novak, added that this season expects an increase in the number of passengers by seven percent, which means nearly four million passengers.

For a comprehensive overview of Split Airport.

To learn more about the destination of Split.