Very much the surprise package of middle Dalmatia, ŠIBENIK offers the blend of Mediterranean architecture, island beaches and festival culture that better publicized cities like Split and Dubrovnik have long regarded their exclusive preserve. The city’s maze-like medieval centre is as evocative as any on the Adriatic, and the cathedral is one of the finest architectural monuments in southeastern Europe. Islands Zlarin and Prvić (both easy day-trips by ferry) are among Dalmatia’s most enchanting offshore destinations, and the fabulous waterfalls of the Krka National Park lie just inland. To cap things off, the arrival of the annual Terraneo rock festival, initiated in August 2011 has bestowed the city with a newfound aura of urban cool – a status enhanced by the fact that the Garden Tisno is only a short bus ride away. Šibenik’s only drawback is the relative dearth of accommodation; rooms and apartments are in short supply in the city itself, although there are plenty in Brodarica 7km to the south.

Šibenik began life as an eleventh-century Croatian fortress, falling under Venetians in the fifteenth century, when it became an important strongpoint in their struggles against the Ottomans. Relics of this era, notably the huge decaying fortresses that hover above the town centre, are well worth exploring.

Clinging to the side of a hill, Šibenik’s ancient centre is a steep tangle of alleys, steps and arches bisected by two main arteries, Zagrebačka and Kralja Tomislava (the latter popularly known as Kalelarga), which run northwest from the main square, Poljana.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Croatia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Vukovar: inland Croatia's laidback escape

Vukovar: inland Croatia's laidback escape

The fastest-emerging tourist destination in inland Croatia is not one you might expect. Twenty five years ago, the pretty Danube-hugging town of Vukovar was alm…

06 Dec 2016 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
10 great winter destinations in Central and Eastern Europe

10 great winter destinations in Central and Eastern Europe

Forget the plummeting temperatures and long dark nights, winter is a hugely rewarding season in which to visit Central and Eastern Europe. Frozen rivers, frosty…

28 Nov 2016 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
Sailing in Croatia: a first-timer’s guide

Sailing in Croatia: a first-timer’s guide

Coastlines don’t come much more idyllic than Croatia’s 2000km of ruggedly beautiful Adriatic shore. Along this magnificent stretch are ancient Roman remains…

09 Nov 2016 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month