Dalmatia (Croatian: Dalmacija, Croatian pronunciation: [dǎlmaːt͡sija]; see names in other languages) is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, in Croatia. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. Thehinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south. The Dalmatian dog received its name from Dalmatia, as does the dalmatic, a Roman Catholic liturgical vestment worn by deacons and bishops.
Most of the area is covered by Dinaric Alps mountain ranges running from north-west to south-east. On the coasts the climate is Mediterranean, while further inland it is moderate continental. In the mountains, winters are frosty and snowy, while summers are hot and dry. To the south winters are milder. Over the centuries many forest have been cut down and replaced with bush and brush. There is evergreen vegetation on the coast. The soils are generally poor, except on the plains where areas with natural grass, fertile soils and warm summers provide an opportunity for tillage. Elsewhere, land cultivation is mostly unsuccessful because of the mountains, hot summers and poor soils, although olives and grapes flourish. The rocky karst that borders coastal areas has been producing wine grapes of high quality, especially in new vineyards being planted in the Dingač region. Energy resources are scarce. Electricity is mainly produced by hydropower stations. There is a considerable amount of bauxite.
The largest Dalmatian mountains are Dinara, Mosor, Svilaja, Biokovo, Moseć, Veliki Kozjak and Mali Kozjak. The regional geographical unit of historical Dalmatia, the coastal region between Istria and the Gulf of Kotor, includes the Orjen mountain with the highest peak in Montenegro, 1894 m. In present-day Dalmatia, the highest peak is Dinara (1913 m), which is not a coastal mountain, while the highest coastal Dinaric mountains are on Biokovo (Sv. Jure 1762 m) and Velebit (Vaganjski vrh 1758 m).
The largest Dalmatian islands are Brač, Cres, Dugi Otok, Hvar, Korčula, Krk, Lastovo, Mljet, Pag, Pašman, Ugljan, and Vis. The major rivers are Zrmanja, Krka, Cetina and Neretva.
The Adriatic Sea's high water quality, along with the immense number of coves, islands and channels, makes Dalmatia an attractive place for nautical races, nautical tourism, and tourism in general. Dalmatia also includes several national parks that are tourist attractions: Paklenica karst river, Kornati archipelago, Krka river rapids and Mljet island.