Any traveller who hasn’t visited Zadar, cannot claim to have enjoyed the best of what Croatia. This seems a rather bold statement, given that Croatia has some iconic destinations like Zagreb, Istria region and Dubrovnik. But Zadar is in a class of its own. Christened by The Guardian as ‘Croatia’s new capital of cool‘, Zadar offers what can best be described as the ultimate Croatian holiday experience.
If you intend to have a vacation in Croatia, then look no further. This 3000 year old city will enchant you with its ancient secrets, entrance you with its pristine nature, and pamper you with its modern delights. You will revel in nature, culture, cuisine, history, luxury and romance. In short, you will have an unforgettable vacation. To get you started, here are a few attractions you can look forward to.
Zadar is home to some of the most revered architectural masterpieces in the world. Top among them is the Roman Forum, built in the 3rd Century by the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus. Then there’s the St. Donatus’ Church, a magnificent pre-Romanesque church built in the 9th Century. There are a total of 34 churches in Zadar area, most of them built between the 13th and 16th Centuries. You can visit them and marvel at their unique architecture, picturesque frescoes, artistic sculptures and inspirational stories.
The art of Dalmatian cuisine was born, spiced up and perfected in Zadar. With a culinary tradition dating back thousands of years, Zadar is where all chefs come to master their art. It is also where visitors come to savour sumptuous delicacies. For a quick bite, you can drop into the Restaurant Kornat for the local favorite, the Posedar prosciutto or the ‘sokol’. For a real Dalmatian treat, step into the elegant Groppo, overlooking Kalelarga street. There you can savour the ‘Dalmatinski pijat’ (Dalmatian Platter), ‘skuta’ (sheep’s milk cheese) and cap it with ‘Crni rizoto na bodulski’ – black risotto with cuttlefish, prepared with a Dalmatian twist. Finally, wash it all down with a sip of Zadar’s famous cherry liquor – the Maraschino.
Zadar has some of the most spectacular natural endowments in Croatia. First of all, it is famous for having the most beautiful sunset in Croatia (some even say in the world). The best spot to enjoy sunset is Istarska obala, at the very end of the Zadar peninsula. There you can also see Greeting to the Sun and Sea Organ – two of probably most popular things to see in Zadar. The town is also surrounded by some places endowed with natural beauty. From Zadar, you have access to 3 national parks (Krka, Paklenica and Kornati), 2 nature parks (Vransko Lake and Telascica) and a number of uninhabited islands. You can take boat trips to these locations to enjoy the full variety of Croatian beauty and aquaculture.
Zadar offers a variety of accommodations ranging from the luxe and comfy to the downright rowdy. You might want to check into the city’s famous beach hotels. The most popular ones include the Hotel IIirija, Hotel Adriatic and Hotel Konarti. All these offer 4-star accommodations, first class service and a range of amenities such as exclusive bars, luxurious swimming pools and relaxing spa treatments. If prefer more boisterous accommodation, you can check into The Drunken Monkey Hostel. Here you will find a splash pool, barbecue, a basement bar and a generally pulsating party atmosphere.
Fun and Adventure
Zadar is full of opportunities for entertainment, fun and adventure. There are numerous beaches in Zadar and its area where you can go swimming, or just lay back and enjoy the unadulterated Mediterranean sun. Some, like Borik beach, offer water slides, parasailing, and other water delights. You can also enjoy adventures such as cycling, mountain climbing, rafting, sailing and other water entertainments along the Zadar Riviera. If you are the party type, in the evening you can visit some of the most popular clubs on the Adriatic coast. One of them is certenly The Garden open-air bar, owned by famous British music producer.
In a nutshell, Zadar is the ultimate vacation destination in Croatia. It is no wonder that The London Times christened it “the centre of entertainment on the Adriatic”. Getting there relatively easy. You can get there by plane, with Ryanair, which flies directly to Zadar from London Stansted. If you already came to Croatia, you can access Zadar from Zagreb or Split. From Zagreb, you can take a bus or train. The biggest town on Adriatic coast, Split, is relatively near Zadar and its airport is well connected with almost every bigger city in Europe. From Split to Zadar you can take the airport taxi to get you directly to your destination. Also there are regular bus and fairy routes. However you reach Zadar, you are guaranteed to have a delightful, exciting and memorable time in Croatia’s new capital of cool.