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Dalmatian Coast and Islands

Croatia belongs on the must-visit list for anyone who loves beautiful coastlines and travel by water.

The tourist office promotes it with the line, “the Mediterranean as it once was.” It is certainly that. Decades under Tito's socialist rule — followed by years of war with Serbia when Yugoslavia broke up — put Croatia somewhat behind its Western European neighbors in development.

Seget Vranjica is on the Dalmatian coast between Split and Zadar. To the visitor perhaps more than to the resident, that backwardness can be very charming. It’s not unlike traveling Germany’s “former East,” where communism held back progress and therefore preserved much of its quaintness by default. In both places, that stunted growth is being replaced with the trappings of rapid development.

Despite the fact that the former Yugoslavia’s communist system held back its industrial and commercial development, Croatia was always open to Western visitors. Tourism thrived under Tito. It was the Balkan wars of the 1990s which crashed the tourism market.

But that was then and this is now. Croatia today is a safe place to travel (notwithstanding the cavalier attitudes Croatian drivers tend to show toward the rules of the road and the occasional warnings to watch where you walk due to the possibility of stumbling upon a land mine). The welcome mat is certainly out for tourists from around the world.

Islands of the Dalmatian coast
Copyright Don Douglas
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