According to famous film director Alfred Hitchcock who visited Zadar in 1964, this is the place with the most beautiful sunset in the whole wide world. Since nobody really argued that statement in the past decades, his remarks became a universal truth and travellers from all over Europe started taking Zadar City Break to witness the sun dive into the Adriatic Sea for themselves. Why don’t you join them?
Let us help you find the best way to get you over here and prepare an amazing long weekend in this charming historic town in northern Dalmatia.
We are a local agency specialised in tailor-made tours all over the Balkans, including Croatia. As local experts we will find the best hotel in Zadar for you and organise a private guided tour of its main attractions. Furthermore, we can add daily excursions to Plitvice Lakes and/or Kornati National Park. Just tell us your interests and we will make sure to include them all into your personalized itinerary.
for a tailor-made Zadar City Break
HISTORY OF ZADAR
The small peninsula in the north of Dalmatia has been inhabited since the 9th century BC. After the Illyirans, came the Romans who established a small colony called Iadera and built all the attributes of a traditional Ancient Roman city such is the public square (forum), which can still be admired today. In the 9th century the Byzantines enriched the main town square with the circular Saint Donatus’ Church, another one of the most important tourist sights in Zadar.
After the brief authority of the Croatian-Hungarian kings, Zadar was – along with the rest of the Dalmatia – acquired by the Venetian Republic in the 15th century. As a response to significant shifts in military techniques and architecture, the Venetians built innovative defense systems which proved to be very helpful in protecting their dominions on the eastern Adriatic coast against the Ottoman Turks. The city walls of Zadar are now – along with St. Nicholas Fortress in Šibenik and walls of Kotor in Montenegro – recognized by UNESCO as an important testament to that time. On a guided tour of the historic town center which we can add to your Zadar City Break, your guide will point out many other buildings from the period of Venetian rule. You will easily recognize them by the winged lion of Saint Mark, the symbol of Venice.
After the fall of Venice, the Habsburgs took over this region, but Italian influence on Zadar – or Zara as they called it – staid strong. That proved to be vital in the post-WWI division of territory when Italy received the peninsula of Istria and a big chunk of northern Dalmatia. Zadar suffered lot of damage during WWII but was rebuilt during the years of Yugoslavia, only to be bombed again during the Yugoslav wars in the 1991. Since then Zadar grew strong and established itself as an important tourist destination with great land and sea connections to the neighboring regions.
Zadar City Break is a great mix of cultural and sea holidays
ZADAR’S TOP ATTRACTIONS
After settling in your hotel, your personal guide will show you around Zadar. As already mentioned above, the historic center of Zadar dates back to the Roman times, when it was known simply as forum. It remains one of the town’s focus points not just for visitors, but mostly for locals who gather here to discuss daily news over a cup of coffee. Here you will also find the rather impressive Saint Donatus’ Church – one of the few buildings which survived the Mongol invention in the 13th century. The nearby cathedral of St. Anastasia was not so lucky and was reconstructed after WWI bombing. Climb its tower for great views of the historic town center.
Despite its important historic heritage, Zadar’s main tourist attractions are actually two modern constructions designed by local artist Nikola Bašić and can both be found on the far end of the town’s promenade. You probably heard of the magnificent Sea organ – a series of pipes built inside the stone stairs that descent from the promenade into the sea. The waves hitting against the banks are pushing the air through the pipes and creating wonderful sounds which makes you feel like the sea is actually playing a harmonic tune.
After the incredible success of the sea organ (built in 2005), the city’s officials commissioned Bašić to create another artistic installation. He came up with the idea for Sun Salutation, the 22-meters-wide circle in the pavement which collets sun energy during the day and use it to power a mesmerizing lighting show from dusk do dawn.
In the afternoon you can visit one of the Zadar’s museums. History buffs will be especially impressed by the Archeological museum where you can admire the numerous fascinating finds in this region from prehistory, antiquity and middle ages. Another museum worth peeking into is the Museum of Ancient Glass which showcases thousands of objects made from – you guessed it – glass. Most of them were brought here from the local Roman necropolis. If you are particularly interested in these kinds of things, your personal guide will be happy to explain more about them as they accompany you through both museums.
Expand your visit of Zadar with daily excursions or a week-long tour of Croatia
DAILY EXCURSIONS FROM ZADAR
With a population of just over 75 thousand, Zadar is a small coast town and one day is more than enough to see all its most important attractions. Therefore, when organizing a Zadar City Break for you, we will also give you lots of options for daily excursions – either in a group or in private.
Zadar is a great entry point to the Kornati – the largest and densest archipelago in the Mediterranean. It is easily one of the most unforgettable sights in the Adriatic, characterised by impressive steep cliffs, stony ground and sinkholes typical for karstic landscape. We can organize a daily boat trip from Zadar, so you can get a glimpse of its most spectacular sights. If you feel like you want spend more time exploring this unearthly landscape, we can also prepare a week-long sailing trip through the Kornati archipelago and beyond.
Kornati is not the only Croatian national park in the proximity of Zadar. There is also Paklenica, which stands out as a rock-climbing paradise and a popular hiking destination. However, leisure travelers tend to flock to the world-famous Plitvice National Park, a 2-hour-drive from Zadar. The series of magnificent 16 lakes connected by even a larger number of breathtaking waterfalls surrounded by lush forest will remind you of the Garden of Eden. It is an amazing place, easily one of the top Croatian tourist attritions.
Another national park located not too far from Zadar is Krka, where you can cool off in the hot summer months. It’s an impressive karstic landscape full of gorges and waterfalls – Skradinski Buk being the most famous one. Besides its natural phenomena you can also explore the cultural sites of Krka National Park: monasteries built by monks who decided to make this pretty environment their home. A visit to Krka National Park is usually combined with a tour of the medieval seaside town of Šibenik, known mostly for the UNESCO-listed Cathedral of St. James – one of the most important Renaissance architectural monuments in the region.
You can also combine Zadar City Break with the nearby Split – Croatian main seaport – located further south on the Adriatic coast. Split is an enchanting city with a great mix of impressive historical sights (the renown Diocletian’s Palace) and trendy restaurants. Add the picturesque town of Trogir and you got yourself an amazing Dalmatian trip full of natural, cultural and gastronomy delights. Send us an email at ➨ firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your interests, preferences and budget. Our knowledgeable agents will get back to you in no-time with an individualised offer.
SMALL SHIP CRUISES
From Zadar you can visit not just the famous Kornati archipelago, but also the southern Dalmatian island such are Hvar, Korčula and Mljet. Our week-long small ship cruises are a perfect to explore them without having to change hotels.
Check out the numerous cruise itineraries in our offer with regular departures between May to October. Most of them depart from Split, but some of cruises make a stop in Zadar; for example our popular North Dalmatian Luxury Cruise which focuses on the less visited island.
There is also a one-way cruise from Zadar to Dubrovnik (or vice versa) which is a great option do discover the whole Dalmatian coast. Each night the ship will dock at the port and give you time to explore it.
EXPAND YOU ZADAR CITY BREAK
Why not expanding your Zadar City Break and take the opportunity to explore other parts of Croatia as well? Passing the already mentioned coastal towns of Šibenik, Trogir and Split, you can travel even further south all the way to Dubrovnik – the pearl of the Adriatic.
Another way to expand your Zadar City Break is by heading inland towards Bosnia & Herzegovina. From the border town of Bihać you can continue south to its capital Sarajevo and from there follow the emerald-green Neretva river all the way to historic town of Mostar and even further to the Catholic pilgrimage center of Medjugorje. If you are keen on visiting more than one Balkan country, we would definitely recommend you the check out our popular Balkan Triangle itinerary.
Did we get you excited about doing a Zadar City Break? Contact us and we will find the best flight connections from your hometown, hotels, guides and daily trips. We know you like to be flexible on you travels and this is exactly what we offer: well organized, yet flexible and personalized tours.
Get in touch with us and we will prepare a tailor-made itinerary not just for Zadar but for the entire Croatia and other Balkan countries. Trust the local experts!
for a tailor-made Zadar City Break