Activities in Zadar
Listen to the sweet sound of the Sea Organ while watching the sun set in Zadar, a charming coastal town in Croatia.
Easily accessible by day trip from most Dalmatian coastal towns and cities as well as inland locations like Zagreb and Split. Zadar somehow retains a small-town vibe in spite of its charms and extensive history. Additionally, it does indeed have the most beautiful sunset in the entire world, which you can watch on the first sea instrument ever. Zadar has the world’s first Sea Organ, which creates spectacular musical sounds solely through the force of wind and ocean waves. Zadar is also home to the oldest Gothic church in Dalmatia, the Church and Monastery of St Francis, built in 1221.
Explore Activities in Zadar
The Story of Zadar
Zadar, Croatia, is a city with a rich and fascinating history that spans over three thousand years, but we don’t have three thousand years to write so we’ll give you the basic story.
Throughout its long history, Zadar, Croatia, has been the site of numerous conflicts and wars, so if you’re into major historical conflict you’ll find yourself feeling at home in Zadar. During the Roman period, the city was a strategically important hub of the Illyrian provinces and was frequently attacked by neighboring kingdoms and empires who were basically just jealous of the beautiful Zadar and all it had to offer.
In the Middle Ages, Zadar was ruled by the Venetian Republic and was often the target of raids by pirates – not nearly as fun as Johnny Depp in the pirates of the Caribbean but you can imagine them looking like that for cinematic value. Then later, Zadar lived through oppression from both the Venetian government and Turkish forces. Despite this, the city managed to withstand a Turkish attack in 1571. During this time, Zadar became the most heavily fortified town along the Adriatic coast because who wouldn’t have trust issues and build massive walls all over the place after all these oppressors and attackers?
Things didn’t get any easier. Zadar was under Austrian control, except for a brief period of French rule. After the Treaty of Rapallo in 1920, the town became part of Italy, which resulted in the decline of its status as the main town of Dalmatia compared to Split. During World War II, Allied bombing caused severe damage to 75% of Zadar’s buildings and the port. Talk about having to reinvent yourself! After being liberated in 1944, the town became a part of Yugoslavia. Second Yugoslavia. That also didn’t end well.
Even though when you hear about Zadar’s history it sounds like it went through hell, all that hell resulted in a city with incredible charm. And what a time to be alive – you can enjoy all the beauty of Zadar without being oppressed or robbed by a pirate, all that with Dalmatia Outdoors.
The cuisine of Zadar, Croatia is heavily influenced by the Mediterranean diet and includes fresh seafood, olive oil, and seasonal produce. Some popular dishes include black risotto (squid ink risotto), and pašticada (stewed beef with gnocchi). In addition to traditional Croatian dishes, Zadar also offers international cuisine, such as Italian, as well as fusion dishes incorporating local ingredients. The city is known for its excellent restaurants and cafes, as well as its lively food market, where you can sample fresh produce and local specialties.
Wine is an important part of the culture and cuisine of Zadar and the surrounding region of northern Dalmatia, Croatia. The area is known for producing high-quality wines from local grape varieties, such as Plavac Mali and Babić, as well as international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The wineries in the region offer tastings and tours, giving visitors the opportunity to sample the local wines and learn about the wine-making process. Many of the wineries also have restaurants, where you can enjoy traditional Croatian dishes paired with local wines. Zadar is also home to several wine festivals and events throughout the year, showcasing the region’s wine heritage and offering the opportunity to taste a wide range of local and international wines.
Zadar is located in northern Dalmatia, Croatia, on the Adriatic coast. The surrounding area is known for its stunning natural beauty, including the Adriatic Sea, the nearby islands, and the forests and hills of the Velebit Mountain range.
Zadar is surrounded by five national parks: Paklenica, Plitvice Lakes, Kornati, Sjeverni Velebit and Krka. These parks offer a variety of landscapes, from the cascading waterfalls and crystal-clear lakes of Plitvice Lakes National Park to the rugged cliffs and secluded coves of Kornati National Park.
The sea around Zadar is also renowned for its clear waters and diverse marine life, making it a popular destination for snorkelling, diving, and boat trips. The nearby islands, including Pag and Ugljan, offer even more opportunities for outdoor activities and exploring the natural beauty of the region.