Gorgeous Trogir (called Trau by the Venetians) is set within medieval walls on a tiny island, linked by bridges to both the mainland and to the far larger Čiovo Island. On summer nights everyone gravitates to the wide seaside promenade, lined with bars, cafes and yachts, leaving the knotted, mazelike marble streets gleaming mysteriously under old-fashioned streetlights.
The island’s hub and busiest destination, Hvar Town is estimated to draw around 20,000 people a day in the high season. It’s amazing that they can all fit in the small bay town, where 13th-century walls surround beautifully ornamented Gothic palaces and traffic-free marble streets, but fit they do.
Brač is famous for two things: its radiant white stone, used to build Diocletian’s Palace in Split (and, depending on whom you believe, the White House in Washington) and Zlatni Rat, the pebbly beach at Bol that extends languidly into the Adriatic and adorns 90% of Croatia’s tourism posters.
The Makarska Riviera is a 58km stretch of coast at the foot of the Biokovo mountain range, where a series of cliffs and ridges forms a dramatic backdrop to a string of beautiful pebbly beaches. The foothills are protected from harsh winds and covered with lush Mediterranean greenery, including pine forests, olive groves and fruit trees.
Gathered around a compact marina, the old town of Bol is an attractive place made up of small stone houses and winding streets dotted with pink and purple geraniums. While it's short on actual sights, many of its buildings are marked with interpretative panels explaining their cultural and historical significance.
Although it suffers in comparison to its more glitzy sister, Bol, Supetar is an attractive little town in its own right, with a historic core of old stone streets fanning out from a harbour dominated by an imposing church. It's a popular holiday destination for Croatian families, with pebbly beaches within an easy stroll of the town centre.
With a picturesque setting on a bay at the foot of Hum mountain, this small town has diehard fans among Croats, who swear by its somewhat-bohemian, rough-around-the-edges ambience. Narrow backstreets lined with 17th- and 18th-century stone town houses twist uphill from the port, which has been used by fisherfolk since at least the 12th century.
Stari Grad, on Hvar’s north coast, is a quieter, more cultured and altogether more sober affair than Hvar Town, its stylish and sybaritic sister. If you’re not after pulsating nightlife and thousands of people crushing each other along the streets in the high season, head here and enjoy Hvar at a more leisurely pace.
The legendary pirates' lair of Omiš has one of the most dramatic locations of any town on the Dalmatian coast. Situated at the mouth of the Cetina River, at the end of a picturesque canyon, it's backed by sheer walls of mottled grey rock topped with craggy peaks. The coastal-highway traffic slows to a crawl as the road narrows into the leafy oak-lined main street.
The small harbour town of Jelsa is a tidy little place surrounded by thick pine forests and tall poplars. While it lacks the Renaissance buildings of Hvar Town, its intimate streets, squares and parks are pleasant, and there are some good swimming spots nearby. Basing yourself here isn't recommended, but it's a nice spot for a short visit.
This lovely, wooded island (59 sq km) is a popular getaway for Split inhabitants escaping the sultry summer heat. The Romans called it Solentia (The Sun), but it first entered written history in the 4th century BC under its Greek name, Olynthia. The island’s main entry point is Rogač, where ferries from Split tie up at the edge of a large bay.