The narrow coastal region of Dalmatia, in the Adriatic Sea, stretches along the shorelines of the western Baltic nations. The warm climate, rich culture and crystal-clear waters of this area are fast making it a hotbed for an ever-growing tourist influence.
This iconic Croatian city, nestled on the Adriatic coastline, has a rich history stretching back to the 13th century when Dubrovnik ruled itself as a free state as the Republic of Ragusa. The bright orange terracotta roofs and mighty fortress walls of the city's Old Town have become one of modern Croatia's most popular tourist attractions.
Charming and picturesque, this UNESCO World Heritage site has a rich array of culturally and historically important buildings from the world's oldest arboretum, the Aboretum Trsteno to one of the continent's oldest pharmacies, dating back to the 14th century. The looming parapets of this historic destination have seen their fair share of hardships over the years, most famously and recently the tragic bombardment of the city by the Yugoslav People's Army in 1991 during the Croatian War of Independence, following the bloody breakup of former Yugoslavia.
The turquoise waters of the Cetina River cut their way through the limestone rocks of the Dinaric Alps mountain range, cascading down to the basin of the river on its way to the Adriatic Sea. This route through the karst mountain range creates some of the region's most breath-taking scenery. The dramatic panoramas of Cetina Gorge are truly awe-inspiring, the mountain sides rising high up on both flanks and the valley dotted with half-sunken copses and well-to-do restaurants. An excursion along the Dalmatian coast would not be complete without a cruise diverting up the mouth of the Cetina and into this wondrous natural landscape.
Stretching for many miles along the picturesque Croatian coastline is the Makarska Riviera. One of the country's most beautiful spots, it is no surprise that it has fast become one of its most iconic and popular tourist destinations. Sitting between the towns of Brela and Gradnac, the sweeping coastline is rich in white beaches, temperate pine forests and lines of pretty white yachts. An ideal day can be spent by hopping between the stunning resort towns and traditional villages along the route or by ascending the lofty heights of Biokovo Mountain by cable car.
The former seat of the Croatian Kings, the medieval fortress of Klis once guarded the frontier and is situated atop a rocky precipice above the town of the same name. Klis has a long history stretching back to the ancient Illyrian tribe of Dalmatae, who held it as a small outpost. From then it grew through the medieval ages into a Royal Palace before becoming an important bastion in the defence of the nation from Ottoman advancement in the 16th century. In modern times, Klis has become an excellent example of a medieval fortress and its high parapets provide wonderful views of the valley below.
Located just inland on the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina is the quiet town of Imotski. This traditional Croatian community is famous for its twin Lakes. Crveno Jezero, the Red Lake is the deepest Karst rock lake in Europe and lies far down in a limestone valley behind the Biokovo Mountain. Just over the ridge is its sister lake, Modro Jezero, the Blue Lake. The Blue Lake's waters are perfect for a swim and its shoreline is a popular spot for locals and tourists. A site of wonderful natural beauty, the two lakes are steeped in tradition and have a long history that is integrally intertwined with the towns and villages of the nearby area.
Explore this fascinating locations during the generous amount of free time gifted to customers on Rail Discoveries' fantastic Croatian escorted rail holidays.