Set on the dazzling Adriatic, where the Krka River opens out into the blue, island-peppered waters, Šibenik is a stone-clad city that oozes Dalmatian medieval charm. Gorgeous Krka National Park gushes with famously picturesque waterfalls close by, while the World Heritage Sites of Croatia’s oldest native town have endless stories to tell. Rising from the shadow of popular neighbours Split and Zadar, Šibenik is successfully establishing itself as an unmissable Dalmatian city thanks to its timeless grace and 30 hidden churches and monasteries - which ring their bells above a wash of terracotta roofs.
Dominating the tight streets of the charming old town - where ice cream vendors spoon out fruity flavours, and footsteps rattle along stone streets - is the magnificent Cathedral St. James UNESCO World Heritage site. Taking more than a century to construct, it is built from stone in a Gothic-Renaissance style and adorned with 71 sculptured heads - each displaying its own personality. Look closely, to notice the bullet holes embedded in the door – reminders of the fierce fighting that raged here, during the Croatian War of Independence.
St. Michael’s Fortress stands on a hill above the city, providing the perfect viewpoint to see Šibenik rolling towards the stunning archipelago, which punctuates the turquoise Adriatic. Part of the fortress is now used as an open-air stage, forming an ethereal venue for performances. St. Nicholas Fortress is another UNESCO protected site and was built where the monastery of St. Nicholas once stood. Further afield, the beautiful old town of Trogir is close by, along with the Roman ruins of Salona.