The County of Split-Dalmatia is located in the central part of the Dalmatian region. The total territorial area is 14,045 km², of which the land surface is 4,572 km2. According to the administrative territorial structure it has 16 towns and 39 municipalities. The capital city is Split, the second largest city in Croatia (175,140 inhabitants). Split is an important traffic crossroad, and also the largest ferry port on the Croatian Adriatic coast. The international airport is the second largest in proportion and in traffic importance in Croatia, whilst the airport in Brač was built for smaller planes and is used mainly for tourism purposes.
The location of today’s Split- Dalmatia County, was inhabited early on thanks to its mild climate, fertile soil and numerous springs of potable water. In fact, ceramic pots dating back to the Palaeolithic Age were found in the bed of the River Cetina near to Trilj as well as in the local cemetery of Šibenica in Glavice, The first villages were founded on the trade paths of the ancient Illyrians and Greeks. The Illyrians traded with the Greeks and founded the first urban centres such as Salona, Epetion and Tragurion whereas the Romans founded many of today’s urban centres such as Split. The islands such as Hvar or Brač were also inhabited in the prehistoric period, highlighted by the islands unique culture such as the oldest painting of a boat in Europe which was found on the wall of the Grapčeva špilja (Grapčev cave) which is proof that sailing also took place in this Prehistoric period. The hinterland of Split- Dalmatia County, and particularly the Imotski border-land, was inhabited by the Delmatae (an Illyrian tribe) who battled with the Romans for centuries. History was continued by the Croats, of which the numerous monuments are proof of their existence, evidence that this county was the cradle of the State of Croatia. The numerous Croatian kings were crowned in Solin, and many were also buried there. The exceptional buildings created by famous architects as well as the many great literary works from people such as Marulić’s Judita, have formed this county that once was the most important cultural centre in Croatia.
PEOPLE AND TRADITION
Born surrounded by poor soil, rocks and sea, the Dalmatian people were determined to be sailors, fishermen and farmers. Cultivating crops as the grape vine, figs and tenacious olive trees, nourishing their numerous families on the poor soil, the land worker’s life was arduous and the fisherman’s even more so. The male members of the family, as fishermen and sailors sailed out into the open sea in order to nourish themselves and their families. While awaiting them, the diligent hands of the women for years were "holding up the four corners of the house" (taking care of everything). The islanders did stone- masonry, bred small herds of cattle and built ships, and in Zagora the land workers cultivated the fertile soil near to the lakes and rivers, and bred cattle and especially pigs. The Dalmatian is a man of strong emotions who is hard-working and proud, faithful to his friends, traditional songs and a good drink.
BLUE FLAG BEACHES
The blue flag symbolizes this preserved, safe and pleasant environment aimed for vacations, fun and recreation; it is a well elaborated system of coastal area management with a sustainable tourism development. There are 14 blue flags dispersed along the coast and on the islands and they are the symbol of the limpid environment of the sea and the coastal area of Split- Dalmatia County.
The Croatian Adriatic is one of the most beautiful seas in the world, which with its cleanliness belongs to a group of the cleanest seas in the world. It also contributes to the touristic attractiveness with its colour and transparency which increases the further south one goes out to the open sea. The approximate clarity of the Adriatic is from 20 up to 33 m, and the greatest transparency as a limpid sea indicator is measured out on the open sea and is up to 56 m. The endemic Adriatic plateau - Adriatic seaweed are also fundamental (Fucus virsoides) and the good dolphin as an indicator of limpidity.