Zadar: More than just another spot on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast

I’m not going to lie, until about a month ago I had never heard of Zadar. There, now you don’t have to feel bad that you have no idea what or where I’m talking about.

Damian has a habit of regularly checking airfare prices and it was on one of his regular searches that he discovered astonishingly inexpensive flights from Liverpool to Zadar, Croatia, and when I say inexpensive, I mean £28 each return inexpensive! Really, it would have been rude not to go with prices like that so the flights were booked and then I looked at a map to see where the heck we were going.

Zadar, Croatia

As it turned out, the city of Zadar is perched on the edge of the Adriatic Sea, directly across from Rimini in Italy. This discovery left me with visions of afternoons spent basking in the sun, sipping strong coffee and reading – a much-needed break before the stress of packing and moving began. Unfortunately, we weren’t exactly met with the weather we were hoping for on our first couple of days in Croatia, but we were hoping that in Zadar our luck would change.

As soon as we walked through one of the six ancient gates that welcome visitors into the city blue skies had opened above us, a sight that I had started to believe we would never see in Croatia.

Narodni trg (People's Square) - Zadar, Croatia

We quickly headed to our city centre apartment, that turned out to be super cool and in an amazing location, before taking to the streets to explore the city before the blasted rain caught up with us again! Get in touch with the lovely Mirjana at Apartments Zadar to find out more about their city centre self catering apartments.

Zadar city centre apartment

Our small but perfectly formed apartment in Zadar

Exploring Zadar: These are a few of my favourite things

Just like our apartment, the historic centre of Zadar is small but perfectly formed, making it an ideal European city break. As we were wandering around I was surprised by how little English we heard around us, which just shows that the city is really yet to be discovered by English holiday makers, which is a positive for visitors, but a negative for the local tourist industry. With such inexpensive flights now being offered to Zadar from all over the UK I can’t imagine it will remain like this for very long.

The Taste of Zadar

Food in Zadar

Check out the skills of that waiter – all of those cups are full!

I will start by saying that Croatia is not a vegetarian paradise, far from it as a matter of fact. At restaurants the meat-free pickings were slim to say the least. Why then were the tastes of Zadar one of my favourite things? Well, what sit down restaurants lack, the street side cafés  and vendors more than make up for. All along the streets you’ll find little pizza and pastry shops with a plethora of cheap and cheerful options. Burek, pizza, croissants, sandwiches, bread and to finish it all off, gelato! The coffee is amazing, the pastries flaky and delicious, and the beer is refreshing and cheap – what more could you ask for?!

The Sights of Zadar

St. Anastasia Bell Tower - Zadar, Croatia

St. Anastasia Bell Tower

Cathedral of St. Anastasia - Zadar, Croatia

Cathedral of St. Anastasia

Church of St. Donatus - Zadar, Croatia

Church of St. Donatus

Seeing as I hadn’t heard of Zadar before we booked our flights I didn’t really know what to expect when we arrived. What I found was a delightful surprise. Zadar is a truly ancient city and around every corner is something new and interesting to investigate. From elaborate city gates, idyllic gardens, and interesting museums and galleries, there is no shortage of things to keep you occupied no matter the weather.

The Sounds of Zadar

Sunset in Zadar, Croatia

My absolute favourite thing about Zadar was the sea-side promenade, the perfect place for an afternoon stroll, impromptu picnic or a spot of people watching. There are few things more soothing than the sound of the sea, and with beautiful views across to the little islands that dot the Dalmatian coast I can’t think of anywhere better to just sit back and relax. Not only can you enjoy the sound of the crashing waves in all its natural glory, but at the end of the promenade you are treated to one of the best pieces of public art that I’ve come across, the Zadar Sea Organ by architect Nikola Bašić.

Take a seat on the white marble steps that lead right down to the water and listen to the harmonic sounds that are created when the waves force air through a series of hidden tubes. We sat and listened to the hypnotizing sound of sea lapping at the shore and the Sea Organ while watching one of Zadar’s famous sunsets and the experience was nothing short of magical. The perfect way to end a day in beautiful Zadar.

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2 thoughts on “Zadar: More than just another spot on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast

  1. Pingback: Friday Photos: Mirrors | A Crafty Traveler

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