“Little Croatian Rome” is surrounded with 5 National Parks: Paklenica, Kornati, Plitvice Lakes, Krka waterfalls and North Velebit. An hour or two by car or by boat from Zadar or other towns in the region takes you to all National Parks. Zadar is a place where people are friendly, you can have a glass of typical Zadar liquor Maraskin or talk about basketball because this sport made Zadar famous. Zadar is a town of rich cultural heritage; already in 1396 it had its university founded by the Dominicans in St. Dominic convent.
- Number of residents: 82 000 u 2005.
- Geographical position: North Dalmatia
- Average summer temperature: 27° C
- Average winter temperature: 5° C
Zadar has a 3000 years old history. It is situated in beautiful surroundings of islands, and its back is protected from winds from Velebit. First Zadar residents were a Liburnian tribe which came to Zadar area inthe 4th century BC. Later inthe 2nd century AD Romans come to Zadar and Zadar started becoming a town. Several times in history it changed its name to Iadera or Zara. At the beginning of the 7th century it became the capital of Dalmatia and an administrative center of Byzantium theme. During the past Venetians, Napoleon, Croatian-Hungarian kings, Austria, and Italy ruled the town. In Yugoslavia it developed in tourist and administrative center of Zadar region.to top
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. For those who prefer complete comfort on the beach, there are 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
Church of St. Donat originates from the 9th century Pre-Romanic period and is a unique building in Europe. The massive building is surrounded by a two-story gallery, which faces East in the three apses. St. Donat is the best-known building in Zadar and its symbol.
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 the stone inscriptions. The forum is situated beneath the foundations of St. Donat church and the bishop's palace, and it originates from the 1st century BC. It is surrounded from three sides with a richly decorated atrium. Later, St. Donat church was built on its foundations.
Cathedral St. Stošije and Church St. Krševana
The above-mentioned churches are two beautiful examples of Romanic architecture in Croatian cultural-historical heritage. It is said of St. Stošija cathedral that, after renovation of its facade, it is the most beautiful old church in Dalmatia. The church of St. Krševan is a beautiful Romanic building, simple and with a few ornaments near the main portal. It was named after St. Krševan martyr who is the patron saint of Zadar. Further Romanic building in Zadar is the bell tower of St. Mary church from the 12th century. This bell tower was built for the Croatian-Hungarian king Koloman.
Kalelarga meaning "Wide Street" (calle larga) is Zadar's main street. Its main part was later called St. Katherine Street after a convent. Even today it is the pulse of the town being the social 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.to top