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South Dalmatia

Soul of Stone and Wine

When describing Dalmatia, the English literary theoretician Richard Webster said that it was important to notice some ... "vehement simplicity - life harmonized in the Illyrian combination of stone and wine.' This is especially true of the Split Region, the part of Croatia that has the most Mediterranean characteristics. This region that includes Trogir, Split and Makarska on the mainland and the islands of Brač, Hvar and Vis, has an extremely rich cultural and historical heritage and therefore represents a true treasure box, a treasure box enriched by a beautiful nature. It is as if nature and man competed in who will be more successful, who will create more beautiful things, who will amaze the visitors more.
Trogir is a museum in the open air, there is no doubt about that. It is one of the oldest and best-preserved towns in the Mediterranean. Split, on the other hand, grew around a Roman imperial palace - the famous Palace of Diocletian, the best-preserved palace of all the Roman imperial palaces in Rome. But Split is also the birthplace of the Croatian literature and of many other things. Makarska with its beautiful beaches at the foot of the Biokovo Mountain is a real counterpoint to Split.

And the islands are something special. They are characterized by the measured quality architecture, by the islanders' way of life and by their temperament, something that is unlike the unrestrained Split temperament. Still, they all have something in common: the sea, sun, song, wine and delicacies of the excellent Mediterranean cuisine. This is an attractive combination, maybe partly because of its simplicity that the learned Englishman summed up in a few words - life harmonized in a rock, in a stone, in what surrounds us, but also in that cultivated by a man, a craftsman, and in wine, the symbol of joy, relaxation and of what is divine on Earth.


A Jewel Treasure Box

Today the Dubrovnik region covers a larger area than the once famous Republic of Dubrovnik, but its crown jewel is still the town of Dubrovnik. Or simply - the Town, as its inhabitants call it. Dubrovnik is a magnet that attracts the flow of tourists, and very large floating hotels - cruisers drop their anchors in front of its port. And that is because Dubrovnik is one of the few towns in the world that has a completely preserved its town walls and its Old Tow - the historical heart of the town itself.
But, there are more real pearls around Dubrovnik. Lastovo, the most distant island is a true oasis of relaxation, devoting oneself to the natural beauty in such a really special atmosphere.
Korčula, the island of exquisite wines, beautiful beaches, special atmosphere, an island that seduces by its mildness and warmth.

There is also the island of Mljet which, with its National Park and the Small and Great Salt Lake, represents a jewel among the jewels. Mljet is the most thickly wooded island in the Adriatic, an exquisite pearl that, out of all the islands, has best preserved its original charm. The only thing missing are the nymphs that Homer, according to legend, placed on this very island to render Ulysses his way home more difficult. There are more contemporary Ulysseses, who love the sea and the voyaging, on the island of Mljet today than Homer could have imagined.
They come, although it leaves no doubt that the beautiful Calypso and her companions are no longer there. But it is certain that they will feel, even for a short time, like those beloved by God and like Ulysses' hairs, because it has to be like that on the island of Mljet.
A string of the Elafit islands has spread over the sea from Mljet to Dubrovnik, every single island lovely and famous for something. Further south of Dubrovnik there is an old Greek colony, today a tourist centre - Cavtat, with its beautiful promenade, a museum of the famous painter Vlaho Bukovac a Franciscan monastery with a Renaissance cloister, a church and town walls that are all well-worth seeing.

 Source: ACI Catalogue 2011