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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 30 July, 2023
Expert travel writer: Jane Foster

Seafood dominates – expect high-quality shellfish, and fresh fish barbecued and served whole, plus quality local wines. Classic Mediterranean flavours – tomatoes, parsley, garlic and rosemary – are often paired with fish.

Croatia’s Italian heritage is seen everywhere, with pizzerias and gelaterias in every town.

Don't miss

Don’t miss fresh oysters and mussels from Ston (on Peljesac) and rozata (a pudding similar to crème caramel), which is unique to Dubrovnik. Crni rizoto – black risotto made with squid ink, and mussels bouzzara (in a tomato sauce) are also local specialities.

Dalmatian ham is as salty and delicious as prosciutto; platters of ham, local cheese and olives is a popular starter. Fritule (deep-fried fritters) are a favourite sweet snack, sharp with lemon zest.

The islands are home to some excellent vineyards. The best whites are Posip from Korcula and Vugava from Vis, while the best reds are Plavac from Hvar and Vis. Also try locally produced rakija (a potent spirit, often flavoured with fruit or herbs).

Also see our round-up of traditional foods you must try in Croatia.


The dining scene

Traditional Dalmatian dishes are served in family-run konobas – rustic tavernas with exposed stone walls and wooden tables and benches.

Many konobas offer peka, a traditional dish – or rather cooking style – dating back millenia. The peka, a heavy domed cast-iron lid, is placed over a tray of food and then buried beneath glowing embers, to create a mini-oven.

At many konobas, you’ll see the outdoor kitchen, with the chef hard at work, arranging casserole dishes and peka lids over a wide hearth and smouldering wood (temperatures here can reach 70C). Dishes feature either octopus, monkfish, lamb, veal or vegetarian peka, using homegrown vegetables.

Dalmatian Islands Wine Region

Dalmatia, Croatia

Bucket List Experience
Vineyard in Dalmatia, Croatia, at the Adriatic coast.

A scattered wine region of family-run vineyards that produce excellent wines. Learn the art of Dalmatian winemaking and sample some excellent labels.

Best for ages 18+

Eating peka at Roki’s

Vis, Dalmatia, Croatia

Traditional croatian meat and vegetables dish peka, food of Croatia

Hearty casseroles cooked in fire embers at Roki’s farm eatery, prepared using an ancient and traditional process still used in rural Dalmatia.

Adult price: £15

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 2-3 hours

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: -

Getting there & doing it

Hvar Town is undoubtedly Dalmatia’s most happening island destination, having earned plenty of comparisons to Ibiza. In peak season (July-August), its lovely cobbled streets and trendy bars and restaurants are packed with glamorous suntanned visitors.

Korcula is worth a mention for its excellent agriturismo-style restaurants in the hill villages out of town, where everything is prepared from local seasonal produce. Vis is known for its authentic seafood restaurants and locally produced organic wine.

When to do it

Dinner is the main meal of the day, and usually eaten later in the evening – between 20.30-22.30. If you arrive at a restaurant before then, it will generally be tourists who are eating.

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Dalmatian Islands

Dalmatia, Croatia

view of Korcula old town from the water

A magical, unspoilt archipelago of a thousand-plus islands stretching along Croatia’s southern coast. A heady mix of sea, mountains, adventure sports and medieval buildings