The Zadar Riviera and the town of Zadar are situated on the most indented part of the Adriatic. This area is full of small bays, islets and islands you can visit thanks to excellent offer of trips. There are several National Parks in the vicinity of Zadar such as Paklenica, Krka waterfalls and Kornati islands, as well as Nature Parks Velebit and Telašćica whose natural beauties shouldn't be missed.
Zadar is popularly called "little Croatian Rome", due to a large number of churches in the town itself and its vicinity, but also due to Roman remains such as Zadar Forum on which now stands the church of St. Donat.
Croatian kings used to be coronated in Biograd na moru. This town, today a well-known tourist resort and a nautical center is situated in the center of the Adriatic coast.
The archipelago in front of Zadar has many small and large islands and every one is special. On those islands which are not inhabited you can live like Robinson Crusoe, relax in peaceful houses which are a getaway from the busy urban life.
- Geographical position: North Dalmatia
- Climate: Mediterranean
- Average summer temperature: 27° C
- Average winter temperature: 5° C
It is well known that Dalmatian kitchen is easy and healthy and that you can enjoy numerous specialties and not have to think about calories. Enjoy fish specialties in many town restaurants which offer plenty of fresh or cooked vegetable with fish.
Try a portion of fine mutton which is best prepared grilled. There are also sweet water fish specialties with the fish from Vransko Lake.
You can also try prosciutto traditionally served with cheese and olives. Let's not forget Maraskino, a specialty of Zadar area. Maraskino is a liquor prepared from sour cherry type "maraška". This liquor is believed to have healing powers.
All these delicacies can be found in many Zadar restaurants, but if you're in a hurry on your way to the beach or to a party, pick up a sandwich from a sandwich bar or have a pizza in one of the pizzerias.to top
The Zadar region has plenty of natural beauty, but first of all we need to emphasize the wealth and identedness of the coast with 200 hidden islands and islets, bays and isthmuses which creates an opportunity for all types of maritime activities.
In Zadar archipelago there is a large number of anchorages most famous of which are those on the islands of Dugi otok, Pašman, Molat and Olib. Navigation experts like this part of the Adriatic for its mild climate and beautiful views while they sail.
Speaking of water sports, diving is here really worth trying. Clear sea, beautiful combination of colors on underwater plants and popular "cliffs" with colorful corals will convince you that you do not need to travel to Maldives to see something similar. Diving clubs in this area will give you advice and recommendations on what to visit.
Those who like mountaineering can try Velebit and National Park "Paklenica" where they can mountaineer, free climb or try their strength by driving a bicycle on one of the bike tracks.to top
Fun and night life
The town of Zadar has a lot to offer for people who want to go out at night, when daily entertainment on the beach and elsewhere ends. For culture lovers there is Zadar summer festival as well as musical evenings in St. Donat church. There you can listen to concerts of classical music and enrich your sea holiday.
There is also a tourist festivity "Night of the full moon", which is held in July, and a time to party until the wee hours of the morning listening to good concerts on the waterfront and throughout the town, or dancing to your favorite music. Let's not forget public festival "Days of Maraska" which lasts for several days when famous liquor Maraskino is drank in large quantities.
Those who want to party will not get disappointed. Discotheque "Forum", club "Gotham", "Arsenal" and numerous cafés on Kalelarga street are good places to have fun until the morning. Dancing, good company, cheerful atmosphere... and then go to your first morning coffee somewhere on the sun.to top
How to get there?
- By car:
- Zagreb-Zadar 280 km highway
- Split-Zadar 160 km regional road
- By plane: www.croatiaairlines.hr
- By bus: www.akz.hr
- By train: www.hznet.hr
- Local and international ferry lines: www.jadrolinija.hr
Beaches in Zadar and its vicinity are mostly pebbled and suitable for families with small children. If you prefer complete comfort on the beach, there are concrete hotel terraces where you can rent parasols and deck chairs. There are also rocky bays where you can enjoy sunbathing on the rocks and the crystal blue sea.to top
What to see?
Church of St. Donat-Zadar
Church of St. Donat originates from the 9th century Pre-Romanic period and is a unique church in Europe. The massive building is surrounded by a two storey gallery with its three apses facing the East. This is the best known building and a symbol of Zadar.
Forum in Zadar is the largest explored forum on the eastern part of the Adriatic founded by the first Roman emperor August which can be seen from stone inscriptions. The forum is situated beneath the fundations of St. Donat church and the bishop's palace, and it originates from the 1st century BC. It is surrounded from three sides by a richley decorated porch.
Cathedral of St. Stošija and Church of St. Krševan-Zadar
The above mentioned churches are two beautiful examples of Romanic architecture in Croatian cultural-historical history. After the renovation of its facade, it is said of St. Stošija cathedral that it is the most beautiful old church in Dalmatia. The church of St. Krševan is another beautiful Romanic building, simple and with few ornaments placed besides the main portal. It was named after St. Krševan martyr who is the patron saint of Zadar. Further Romanic building in Zadar is the belltower of St. Mary church from the 12th century. This bell tower was built for the Croatian-Hungarian king Koloman.
Kalelarga is Zadar's main street. Its original name is "wide street" (calle larga). Later, its main part was called St. Katherine Street after the same named convent. Even today it is the pulse of the town since it is the socal center and a popular meeting place of Zadar residents. There you can take a walk, drink coffee in one of the cafes or shop in some of the many stores.
Nin is situated some 18 kilometers north of Zadar and it is a town of rich cultural heritage. In the year 879, the Pope assigned duke Branimir as the ruler of Croatia. There is a church of Holy Cross in Nin witnessing past times, and it is also an example of old Croatian architectural style. The church has a form of Greek cross, like the church of St. Vid in Zadar. The church is also built so that it can be used as a clock and as a calendar.
Near the road leading to the town there is also a monument of Grgur Ninski, a sculpture by famous sculptor Ivan Meštrović.to top
Where to go on a trip?
National Park Kornati
According to a legend, after creating the world, God through the rest of the rocks in the sea and concluded that they don't need to be improved. Taking a trip to Kornati will give you an opportunity to see this natural phenomenon which binds the relaxing blueness of the sea and the sharp whitness of karst. If you are a diver, local guides can give you good advice on the best diving localities.
Vransko Lake was proclaimed a Nature Park in 1999. It is a natural phenomenon in karst part of Dalmatia and it is also the biggest natural lake in Croatia. It is especially nice that the lake is at certain places only five hundred meters away from the sea, so that this gift of nature gives you an opportunity to see the beautiful combination of blue and green colors of sea and lake.
The lake is an ornithological reserve and a home for herons. Fishermen can enjoy fishing sweet water fish, but since the sea and the lake mix water, it is possible to catch a few mullets.
The Zrmanja River flows in its entire length through karst area which is very poor on vegetation so it seems that the river flows through an unusual stone dessert.
National Park Paklenica
Sea and mountains meet in Paklenica in a unique way. This National Park is rich forests, canyons and numerous caves. It has been popular for a long time among European and other alpinists who come to this National Park in order to test their climbing abilities on its steep rocks and at the same time to admire the nature.
National Park Plitvice Lakes are situated some 200 km from the coast. Sixteen beautiful Plitvice Lakes, crystal clear and turquoise, are situated one beneath the other in forested mountain area. High waterfalls are created when water decants from the higher lakes into lower lakes, which leaves the visitors breathless. Combination of continental and coastal climate results in pleasantly warm summers and snow rich winters, lush green springs and colorful autumns that have been attracting visitors for many years. Plitvice Lakes is a destination you can visit all year long; each visit will feel like the first.to top