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Festivals of the Dalmatian Coast's insider take:

Winter is chilly on the Dalmatian Coast. No wonder the warm months are filled with opportunities to get out and about, such as Split's monthlong Summer Festival a performing arts celebration that fills theaters, squares, and galleries all over town. Highlights from past years include Le Corsaire, performed by the Latvian National Opera and Ballet House, and concerts by Moscow's Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra (runs from mid-July to mid-August; 385-21-363-014; July and August is also the time for Korčula's traditional Festival of Sword Dances, a re-creation of a battle between two 16th-century armies. Combatants dressed in flowing red and black uniforms duel with genuine metal sabers (though they're not terribly sharp) in a tightly choreographed flurry of sparks, sweat, and bloody knuckles to the accompaniment of brass bands. The zaniest festival takes place in the end of July in Sutivan, Brač: Vanka Regule, a sort of Adriatic X Games, in which participants free-dive, windsurf, long-distance kayak, and jump bikes into the sea (385-98-522-725;

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