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Zadar has been the centre of Dalmatia, both culturally and politically, for centuries. It’s a city with the oldest university foundations in the land were laid and where the first newspapers in the Croatian language were printed.
With an abundance of archaeological sites, monuments, beautiful seaside promenades and numerous islands scattered in front of Zadar, it’s perfect for exploring. Listen to the Sea Organ, enjoy the lights of the Greeting to the Sun or follow in the steps of Alfred Hitchcock, who once said that Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world. Zadar is also a perfect base for exploring nearby glorious national parks.
Zadar At A Glance
Average Flight Time from the UK to Pula 2hours 15mins
Population of Zadar 75,000
What to See in Zadar Sea Organ (Morske Orgulje), Greetings to the Sun (Il Saluto al Sole), Zadar Land City Gates, Church of St. Donat, The Forum, Archaeological Museum Zadar, Museum of Illusions, Paseo Maritimo
Towns & Islands to Visit near Zadar Losinj Island, Cres Island, Krk Island, Rab Island, Sibenik, Trogir, Split, Plitvice National Park
Cruises via Zadar
Deluxe Balcony8 DaysMS Premier$1,663 Per Person
Deluxe Balcony8 DaysMS Premier$1,663 Per Person
Deluxe Balcony8 DaysMV Memories Ship$1,782 Per Person
Deluxe Balcony8 DaysMV Memories Ship$1,424 Per Person
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Things to do in Zadar
Relax on the shore by listening to Sea Organs
In 2006 the famed Croatian architect Nikola Bašić received the European Prize for Urban Public Space in Barcelona for his Zadar Sea Organ project, as the best among 207 candidate projects from across Europe. This site is a blend of human ideas and skills and the energy of the sea, waves, tide and flood, a place for relaxation, contemplation and conversation while listening to an endless concert of mystic harmonies of the “Orchestra of Nature”. Because the sea is always shifting and changing, the sea organ never sounds exactly the same twice. Each sound you hear is completely unique.
Discover the charming Old Town of Zadar
Boasting a historic old town of Roman ruins, medieval churches, cosmopolitan cafes and quality museums set on a small peninsula, Zadar is an intriguing, ancient city, full of historical and cultural monuments. It is three thousand years old, a city of old, tumultuous and dynamic history, often destructed, looted, devastated, every time emerging from the ruins stronger, richer and more beautiful. The mix of ancient relics, Habsburg elegance and coastal setting provide the backdrop of a living, vibrant city, enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.
Enjoy the Greeting to the Sun
Another unusual and wonderful creation by Nikola Bašić (the local architect who designed the nearby Sea Organ) this 22 meter-wide circle set into the pavement is filled with 300 multi-layered glass plates that collect the sun’s energy during the day. Together with the wave energy that makes the Sea Organ’s sound, it produces a dazzling light show from sunset to sunrise that’s meant to simulate the solar system. It also collects enough energy to power the entire harbor-front lighting system.
Visit breathtaking National Parks
Some of Croatia’s iconic national parks are situated near Zadar so this area is perfect for daytrips. Set against the Velebit Mountains, the Paklenica is perfect for those with a passion for adventure. The Plitvice National Park was established some 70 years ago and has the distinction of being one of Southeast Europe’s oldest national nature parks. The Krka and Kornati Islands should also be on your itinerary, renowned for beautiful cascading waterfalls and placid lakes. A visit to any of these picturesque parks will satisfy the nature lover within. It will also satisfy the resident rock climber, hiker, nature lover, or photographer in you.
Hotels in Zadar
Art Hotel Kalelarga
This boutique hotel sits in the center of Old Town Zadar on the main promenade near the original city walls, a short walk from popular sights like the Sea Organ and the Roman forum. It hosts 10 lavish rooms, all individually designed that provide a peaceful oasis despite the central city location, along with amenities like minibars, flat-screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi. Dining can be enjoyed at the property’s bistro-style Gourmet Kalelarga restaurant which serves hot and cold dishes for breakfast, including cooked-to-order eggs and fresh pastries from its own bakery. Local seasonal dishes are served for lunch and dinner along with a good selection of wines from the hotel cellar.
Bastion Heritage Hotel, Relais & Chateaux
This prestigious hotel is situated within the remains of a historical medieval fortress, in the heart of old town Zadar’s historic quarter, boasts a high standard of service and a wealth of amenities, to ensure the ultimate in luxury. All guest rooms are fully air conditioned and well equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Rooms are individually decorated and beautifully fitted with handmade art-deco furniture and hardwood flooring. Guests can relax and unwind in the Spa and wellness centre, sauna, Jacuzzi or relaxation zone. The Spa offers a wide range of therapeutic massage and body treatments.