Although often used vaguely to describe the whole of Croatia's gorgeous coastline, the Dalmatian Coast is actually one of three coastal regions in the country. It extends from the southern tip of Croatia to just beyond the city of Zadar, and includes tourist hubs such as Dubrovnik, Korcula, Makarska, Split and Trogir.
This stretch of coastline is breathtakingly beautiful and blessedly free of high-rise developments and concrete, looking in many ways like it must have in medieval times, with UNESCO endorsements to prove it. Once a Roman province, this heritage adds a splendid ancient allure to the Dalmatian Coast, and well-preserved historic centres beckon travellers to cities such as Split and Dubrovnik.
Croatia is rapidly developing a reputation as a hallowed cruising and sailing destination. Although it's easy to travel the southern coastline by car, the best way to explore the Dalmatian Coast is by yacht, gulet or ship. Even strict non-sailors will find it easy to island hop using the public ferry system.
The Dalmatian Coast is currently reaping the touristic rewards of being both an increasingly trendy riviera getaway and a laid-back, comparatively undiscovered gem. It lacks the glitzy resorts and teeming crowds that have marred other once-delightful cruise destinations.
The big appeal of the Dalmatian Coast is the unspoilt natural beauty, with an attractively rugged coastline coupled with calm, luminescent bays and coves, as well as interesting cities and towns where a Roman and Greek past both remain palpable.
The increasing popularity with travellers has spawned an energetic nightlife and a diverse restaurant scene, and none of the amenities for comfortable travel are lacking. All this, combined with the comparative affordability of a holiday on the Dalmatian Coast, makes it a gem of a destination.