This town seems to have been drawn on paper, it’s that beautiful. This is owned mainly to the old architecture and many cultural establishments that define Zadar as Croatia’s cultural center. For sailing enthusiasts the main appeal is the beautiful location of the city on the peninsula and the close vicinity with other yacht charter Croatia hot spots such as Rijeka or Split.
Since the Croatian Adriatic coast is fast becoming the new Riviera of the Mediterranean, then Zadar is definitely one of those destinations you should visit. Located on the northern Dalmatian coast, between Rijeka and Split, Zadar has been the capital of the region for centuries which emphasizes its importance throught the history of the country.
Not only is it an important center, but Zadar is also considered among the most visually pleasing towns on this side of the Adriatic, mainly thanks to its old architecture and its numerous old churches, some from the Romanesque period. Also a bonus for the groups looking to come here is the fact that Zadar is the main cultural center of the whole country.
Travel & Arrival
When it comes to arriving in Zadar, the tourist is spoiled for options. Of course, the first option would be flying here, and despite the fact that the city has its own airport, many of people traveling here find it easy to connect with a flight from Zagreb, simply because that airport links with more cities and has a daily evening flight to Zadar. The Zadar airport has more flights in the summer, mainly to Germany and England.
Land travel includes trains, cars and buses, all of which are concentrated in the city center. The railway system connects with Knin, Zagreb and Split, while the bus service is more popular and connects with Zagreb, Rijeka, Pula, Sibenik, Split and Dubrovnik. Both the train and the bus station are located downtown, which will come in handy for the arrivals.
Such a great port couldn’t have been left out of the ferry service, especially in the summer, when visitors arrive daily from all over the Mediterranean. Apart from the links between Dubrovnik and Rijeka, there is also a daily ferry to Ancona in Italy.
Avant & Apres Sail
The peninsula on which the city itself is located is very beautiful and has lots of old buildings and narrow cobble streets that seem to blend in perfectly with the natural background. If it weren’t for the cars and other aspects of modern life, you could get the feeling that time stood still here. The first thing that will catch your eye is the relative high number of churches located in the old town, 34, al with a rich history and definitely worth visiting in between your trips.
Among some of the other interesting sites we include the remains of the Roman Forum, the Saint Anastasia Cathedral, the University of Zadar (the first in the country), the Archaeological Museum and the very odd but amazing Sea Organ on the Riva. As you can see, the city welcomes the devotees with a wide assortment of activities and attractions, so that you can be sure you’ll never go bored.
When it comes to shopping, not only the guests travel here, but also some of the other Croatians, due to the city’s popularity as a thriving commercial center. There are lots of shopping centers which offer the best deals, but there are also some nice street shops which sell local crafts such as the handmade laces from Pag, woven textiles from Dubrovnik and the traditional Croatian sheepskin sleepers.
Not only are the restaurants here in Zadar reasonably priced, but they’re also very relaxed, which means you won’t have to get dressed up just to go out for dinner. There are exotic foods and seafoods which are a testament to the Dalmatian cuisine which blends eastern cuisine with the Mediterranean style (garlic and olive oil). For example, one of the most demanded dishes by the hoards of gourmands is the ispod peka, roasted octopus under glowing ash from an iron bell. Zadar is also known as a fine wine region, which is why the local restaurants serve a wide range of local brands.
The nightlife in Zadar is as varied as the colorful crowds that land here. There is something for everyone, no matter how fancy or unpretentious they are. The outdoor cafes in the historic will eat up most of your time, but also some of the very happening night clubs that are full of university students.
Events & Actions
It’s hard to think you’ll grow bored in Zadar, but should that ever occur, then just head into town and watch how the locals do it, at one of the many cafes. The paved seafront is very beautiful at sunset, which is hailed as one of the best in Europe, especially with the unique sounds of the Sea Organ. Of course, there’s always swimming and sunbathing on the beautiful beaches and clear waters, or sailing to the Kornati islands.
The event calendar here is absolutely packed full so that a comprehensive list would be impossible to fit in an article. But here are some of the most famous and most appreciated, and not just by regulars: the Zadar Thratrical Summer (from June to August), the Musical Evenings in St. Donatus (July - August), the Full Moon Nights in July which is a celebration of traditional, fisher’s and culinary traditions of the region.