Culture, art & history trip

Medieval landmarks of Šibenik - 4 fortresses and a World Heritage List cathedral

You would never guess that 10 centuries of constant wars and struggle can create a beauty of a city filled with forts and surrounded by a stone wall. Šibenik is now a place of serenity that simply must be seen if you are curious about medieval roots of European culture.

Trip highlights

  • Urban hiking tour of Šibenik's 4 fortresses
  • Visit to the Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik, a world-famous architectural masterpiece
  • Tasting the traditional breakfast in Dalmatia
  • Tour of the UNESCO protected city-island of Trogir 

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The medieval royal Croatian city of Šibenik has been repeatedly targeted by foreign invaders throughout its tumultuous history, which is why it boasts impressive fortification architecture with four stunning fortresses. Together with the Cathedral of St. James, these count as the city's most popular attractions. Situated in a charming bay on the mouth of the beautiful Krka River, which is protected as a national park, Šibenik will provide you with an experience of a slow life on captivating Dalmatian coast. And if one of those sights seems familiar, we’ve got a cue: you saw it in your favorite fantasy drama.

Cathedral of St. James is the most significant architectural structure of the 15th and 16th centuries in Croatia. This was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as the only cathedral in Europe built exclusively from stone, without the utilisation of connective mortar and wooden construction elements.

The oldest defensive fortress in Šibenik is St. Michael's Fortress, which is located 70 m above sea level and was first mentioned in the 11th century during the rule of King Peter Krešimir IV, who was the founder of the city of Šibenik.

The star-shaped St. John's Fortress overlooks the historic centre of Šibenik at a height of 115 m above sea level and was erected in only 45 days after the citizens of Šibenik joined forces. In 2014 it was used as a captivating background for some of the scenes of the worldwide TV phenomenon Game of Thrones.

Šubićevac Fortress, also known as Barone Fortress, which was also recently renovated, is situated 80 m above sea level.

The triangular St. Nicholas' Fortress was erected in the 16th century at the entrance of the Channel of St. Anthony for the purpose of defending the city from attacks from the sea. Today it is considered one of the most important Croatian maritime monuments, as well as one of the most beautiful Renaissance monuments.

Day-by-day itinerary


Squeeky windows of Šibenik

After arrival in Šibenik by your own transportation, check in at your enchanting heritage hotel, perfect starting point for exploring the city and its surroundings. Take a stroll through this beautiful historic centre, which is interspersed with narrow stone-paved alleys and squares adorned with palaces and churches. Listen to the sounds of the streets and observe the charming scenes of local colour, such as the drying of laundry outside the windows or the squeaky "škuras" - wooden Dalmatian windows.


Urban hiking tour and medieval fortresses

Breakfast will be followed by a tour of the city. With 4 fortresses and numerous steps in the old historic centre, this will seem less like sightseeing and more like an urban hiking tour that will have your lungs working at full capacity. Take a walk on the attractive and recently spruced up walkway along the Channel of St. Anthony, at whose entrance is an islet where the St. Nicholas' Fortress is located. Fascinatingly unique is the undersea tunnel, which was built by the German Army in World War II, hence its nickname "Hitler's Eyes".

A very special stop is the Cathedral of St. James, a world-famous architectural masterpiece.

The form and the decorative elements of the Cathedral, such as a remarkable frieze decorated with 71 sculptured faces of men, women, and children, illustrate the successful fusion of Gothic and Renaissance art.

We will take a break at one of the local taverns which is located in a small alley with Mediterranean atmosphere and enjoy "marenda" - the traditional breakfast in Dalmatia with some homemade prosciutto, olives, figs, cheese, bread, wine or juice and homemade "rakija" (fruit brandy). Marenda takes a very special place in Šibenik’s tradition. It will give you energy to keep going exploring secrets of Šibenik and its fortresses.


Excursion to Trogir - city of culture & history

Good morning! It’s breakfast time. Today, you will visit the UNESCO protected city-island of Trogir, a remarkable example of urban continuity. Our professional tourist guide will lead you into the stories and facts of the rich history of Trogir. Greek, Roman, Venetian history on a small island connected to one, make this one of the most interesting historic oasis on the Adriatic coast.

See the masterpieces of local sculptors and many of them who came here to participate in creating the history of Trogir. The famous Cathedral of St. Lawrence, remains of city walls, many palaces, forts and their stories are just some of the things that will impress you on this tour through the beautiful streets of this still small and quiet little town in the heart of the Mediterranean, the heart of Dalmatia.

Upon return to Šibenik, you will have some free time for your private plans. Enjoy!


Check-out and Knin fortress visit

Check-out after breakfast. We suggest that you head north to visit Knin fortress, one of the largest fortification monuments in Croatia and the second largest military fortification in Europe. Featuring a museum and a restaurant, it overlooks the town of Knin at a height of 100 metres and is only an hour away from Šibenik by car. The defensive walls, which are almost 2 km long, enclose the fortress on all sides and even rise up to 20 metres in some places.

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