Known as “the holiday gateway to the parks” for its close vicinity to four of Croatia's most impressive national parks including Plitvice, the cultured city of Zadar is ideally placed.
This ancient regional capital boasts Roman ruins, stunning medieval churches and interesting restaurants. There’s a number of blue flag beaches, making Zadar an attractive location for a spot for the beach goer. It’s also well placed for day trips to a number of its neighbouring islands, especially Dugi Otok. Zadar is also famous for it’s spectacular sunsets and credited as the best in Croatia.
Background to Zadar
May to October -Zadar offers a warm climate and enjoyed throughout the summer period. The shoulder months of Months April, May, June, September and October offer cheaper accommodation and lesser crowds. The months of July and August are hot and usually hit 30 degrees.
When to go
7 Nights from £669 pp
7 Nights from £399 pp
Island Wonder Cruise
7 Nights from £319 pp
Ideal for: Exploring fascinating off the tourist map towns and villages
Departure dates: Every Saturday between 16/4/16 and 15/10/16
Explore the Old Town: Some of Zadar’s greatest draws include the the attractive Romanesque churches: Cathedral of St. Anastasia from 13th century and Church of St. Chrysogonus from 12th century as well as the church tower of St. Mary also dating back from 12th century. The town is fortified with medieval walls, distinguished by their pretty and impressive ports - entrances to the city - all dating back to the sixteenth century. depart from Supetar to Bol.
Background to Zadar: The historic city of Zadar is best known for its cultural sights and a great base for day trips. The old town, located on a peninsula protects one of the largest natural Adriatic harbours and boasts a combination of Roman ruins, medieval churches and excellent museums, making Zadar one of Croatia’s most culturally attractive centres. Zadar isn't too crowded, nor is it overrun with tourists even at the height of summer despite having two unique attractions: the sound-and-light spectacle of the Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation, which need to be seen and heard to be believed.
Hit the beach: In recent times Zadar has undergone a major transformation and tourists are starting to take note. You’ll now find the beaches have blue flag status. Borik is the main beach in Zadar, ideal for families and conveniently located only 4 km from the Old Town with regular bus connections (lines 5 & 8). Kolovare beach on the east side of the city is another great beach with plenty of shade from the pined fringe. You’ll find a selection of other fantastic beaches on the nearby islands. See our Day Trips section on the next page.
Watch the most beautiful sunset in the world: Alfred Hitchcock famously declared in 1964 that “Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world, more beautiful than the one in Key West, in Florida, applauded at every evening”. Sit along the waterfront (Riva), next to their Sea Organ, which produces a range of enchanting tones, depending on the movement and power of the waves, for sunset views that will forever be engrained in your memory of Zadar.
Excursions from Zadar
National Parks: Not only is Zadar home to a wide range of sights and sounds, it is also in close proximity to four of Croatia’s best loved National Parks. The popular Plitvice Lakes National Park offers magnificently scenic forested hills and gorgeous turquoise lakes, linked by a succession of waterfalls and cascades. It’s incredible picturesque and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The easiest method of arrival is by hire car (2 hs), but you can also visit by bus or as part of an organised excursion.
The Krka N.P is another of Croatia’s awe-inspiring national parks. It’s famous for its magnificent waterfalls, including the famous Skradinski Buk, a collection of 17 waterfalls that range in height of 45 metres. Unlike Plitvice National Park, you can swim here, an ideal way to cool off in the summer sun. To get to Krka from Zadar, take one of the regular buses to Sibenik (1 hr 15 mins), then take a local bus (15 mins) to Skradin, a town where you enter the park. The Kornati N.P archipelago consists of 147 unspoiled uninhabited islands spread over 220 sq metres. Visit as part of a excursion from Zadar. Paklenica N.P is only 30 miles from Zadar and great for hiking with trails of varying lengths and difficulty. It’s very accessible by bus to Starigrad Paklenica.
Dugi Otok: Translated as “Long Island”, measuring 43 km by 4 km, this little slice of heaven is the place to relax and unwind. It’s highlight includes the stunning Telascica Nature Park on the island’s southern tip, a 5 km long bay with 6 islets and of unfound beauty. Telascica is only accessible by boat, so an excursion to here makes for a great day trip. For a unforgettable beach experience head to Sakarun on the north side of the island. Shallow turquoise makes for spa like temperatures, perfect for swimming. Excursions to here are the easiest option.
Sibenik: A maze of winding streets leading to pretty squares and the beautiful cathedral of (Sveti Jakov (St James) are two reasons why Sibenik shouldn’t be overlooked as a day trip from Trogir. The cathedral was built in the 15th century and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offering an elaborate mix of styles, including its dome that was inspired by Brunelleschi’s in Florence. It’s easy to get to Sibenik from Zadar with regular coaches departing throughout the day (duration is 1 hour 15 mins).
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