If you visit the Mediterranean coast in Croatia, especially the region of Dalmatia, you’ll notice that the people are happy and they enjoy themselves a lot. Economically speaking, the region is not prospering. There aren’t enough jobs, many young people are leaving Dalmatia or even the country and the levels of local production are going down.
However, it seems like nothing of that is happening. The sun is shining, the cafes and restaurants are full of laughing customers and everybody seems happy. So, what is this place’s secret to a happy life? I listed 5 things that make people happier here. All of these are part of the lifestyle in Dalmatia.
1. Working hours
Forget about 9-to-5! The working day in Dalmatia is from 7 to 3 and works just perfect! Of course, this is not applicable to all jobs. Still, working at an office, this is the time when you’ll be doing your job. Stores outside shopping centers close between 1:00 and 5:00, while the farmers’ markets and butcher shops close at noon until the next morning.
When you start your tasks early, you have a lot more time to enjoy the day. When finishing your job at three, you go home, have a family lunch, then rest for a while and go to the beach at 5. By 7 you already forgot you worked at all!
I myself worked at that scheme for a year and felt like being on a vacation at times! It is insane how much more time one has when finishing work at 3:00! You can do sports, go to the beach, swim, take walks, meet friends for a drink and watch a movie in just one day.
2. Short distances
Living in a small city has many advantages! With the exception of Split and its 180 000 residents, most of the cities in Dalmatia are small. Thus, it is easy and fast to move around. Everything is close and people don’t spend much time to reach the places they need to reach. Let me tell you, life is so much easier when you don’t have to travel an hour to your office and an hour back.
3. Fine and sunny weather
Dalmatia and the Southern Adriatic have an impressive amount of sunshine days, which goes up to 130 days yearly in Dubrovnik and Zadar! This is the highest amount of sunshine in Croatia and the region. Sun brings the positive energy out, while the lack of sun is connected to the higher levels of seasonal depression and suicide tendencies in Scandinavia.
You’ll need to wear your sunglasses in Dalmatia even in the winter and not because of the shiny show. In fact, there is rarely snow here!
4. Stunning nature and the sea
Being originally from Sofia in Bulgaria, I always missed the sea and longed to be at the sea more often. Luckily, my dream came true! Having the beautiful turquoise Adriatic Sea in your life every day is a good reason to be happier, right?
In addition, there are stunning islands across the country, beautiful nature parks and fresh air all along. Even though they don’t live in big cities, most of the locals do have villas in small settlements at the seaside or on islands. These are places even closer to nature where one can truly relax.
5. Mediterranean diet
The world famous Mediterranean diet is the preferred cuisine here in Dalmatia. Actually, most locals don’t really appreciate other styles of cooking. To be honest, I also think the Mediterranean diet is the best out there in terms of happiness!
Freshly baked bread, homemade olive oil and a few slices of prosciutto are an every-day thing in Dalmatia. Let’s not forget the delicious asparagus soup and gnocchi with beef, which are also very common here. Dalmatia has many amazing dishes to offer!
I agree that it is not easy to implement these 5 secrets to your life. To be fair, most of them are location dependent. What you can do is at least taste this way of leaving by visiting Dalmatia in 2019 😉
Let me know if I can help with more info!