Dating back to the 4th Century, Zadar is Croatia’s oldest continually inhabited city! Today, the city boasts unique museums, a seafront promenade and a booming restaurant and cafe scene that is famous for its fresh, local seafood.
Zadar is the second largest city on the Dalmatian coast and is home to a sunset that is said to be ‘the most beautiful in the world’. Old Town Zadar is surrounded by high city walls and gates, with an array of ruins, museums, restaurants, and cafes dotted throughout its white marble streets. Nature-lovers, history buffs, and backpackers alike seem to fall in love with Zadar after their first visit!Things to do in Zadar Hear the Sea, Dance on the Sun
On Zadar’s seafront promenade you will find two unusual art installations. One is the Sea Organ, which is built into the marble steps of the promenade. Waves enter 35 organ pipes set underneath the water level, creating haunting whale-like melodies. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to make any song requests, with nature conducting to the mood of the sea and its waves.
Nearby the Sea Organ, is the ‘Greeting to the Sun’, a solar powered installation that lights up in an array of colours as the sun goes down, and becomes a makeshift dance floor for young and old alike.Witness the ‘Most Beautiful Sunset in the World’
After his visit to the city in 1964, Alfred Hitchcock described Zadar’s sunset as ‘the most beautiful in the world’. With the Old Town set on a peninsular it’s hard not to have a front-row seat for the main event, and for you to judge for yourself. Our favourite spot to watch the sunset is at the steps of the Sea Organ, where you will be treated to both a sound and light show.Go Island-Hopping and Eat Like A Local
Head island-hopping from Zadar, with an array of stunning islands close by. Dugi Otok is perhaps the most beautiful, and a must visit. You can choose your own adventure with sea kayaking, scuba diving, postcard pristine Saharun Beach, and Telašćica nature park on the south part of the island.
Nearby Pag Island is conveniently connected by road to Zadar, and is the ultimate festival destination, exploding in strobe lights and glow sticks over the summer months, with super clubs dotting the famous Zrce Beach. If you’re looking for a never ending party, our Navigator Cruises (Split Return North Route) take in the craziness of Zrce Beach for two days, amongst many other party destinations! Never fear, food and wine tours will get your more sophisticated juices flowing, with ample opportunity to try the distinctive Pag Island cheese.
With close proximity to not one, but five of Croatia’s breathtaking national parks, Zadar is the perfect home base for day trips to explore the varied landscapes of this region.
Paklenica National Park
Perfect if you’re only in Zadar for a day or two, the park is under an hour away from the city, and is a playground for experienced rock climbers, whilst offering gentle hikes suitable for everyone.
Krka National Park
Chasing waterfalls is no longer a dream, but absolutely achievable. Only an hours drive south to Krka NP, you can dip your toes, or even dive in and swim at the base of the park’s waterfalls.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
The most famous, oldest, and largest of Croatia’s 8 national parks, Plitvice Lakes is a 1.5 hour drive north-east, known for its 16 cascading turquoise lakes. No swimming is allowed unfortunately, but there are hours of eden-like lush green trails to explore in the warmer seasons, and if you’re visiting off-season, the park becomes a winter wonderland covered in blankets of snow and ice.
Kornati National Park
Zadar is the gateway to this archipelago of 89 islands just off the coast that make up the National Park. The best way to enjoy these mostly uninhabited islands is to book a day boat tour, where you can dive into secluded turquoise bays, and soak up the sun on virtually untouched beaches.
Northern Velebit National Park
A 2.5 hour drive north takes you to Croatia’s highest mountain range, where avid hikers can enjoy challenging trails, and high ridges with sweeping views of the Adriatic Sea. Home to bears, lynx, wolves, and wild horses, Northern Velibit is perhaps the wildest of Croatia’s National Parks, and truly a trek off the beaten track.
If blood-pumping, and bucket-list ticking is more your cup of tea than relaxing in nature, those brave enough can bungee jump 56m off the nearby Maslinica Bridge. Cliff jumping is also popular on many of the islands, including Dugi Otok, but of course there is also the option to simply sit back, watch, and pass the Pag cheese.