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Zadar is the city centre of Zadar County and the wider northern Dalmatian area. It is Dalmatia’s historical centre and the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of the county. It is Croatia’s fifth largest city and is located on the Adriatic Sea. Zadar is rich in history that dates way back to the prehistoric era.
Tourist Spots You Need to See in Zadar
The old town of Zadar is situated on the peninsula, which makes it a great destination for day trips and walking tours. The oldest among the thirty four old and historically rich churches is St. Simeon (Sv. Šime) which houses the saint’s silver reliquary.
The most recognizable emblem of the region is the well-preserved pre-Romanesque church of St. Donat. Although no longer in use as a place for worship, it has become a museum and holds classical concerts during the summer.
The Roman Forum is a well-preserved ruin which is an easy choice for locals to visit and sit and relax on a summer day.
The Cathedral of St. Anastasia (Zadar Cathedral) is the city’s cathedral which houses a remarkable organ that was almost destroyed during the last war.
If you are interested in artefacts and antique religious relics, visit St. Mary’s church museum.
The University of Zadar, founded by Dominican monks in 1396, is one of the oldest universities in Europe and the oldest in Croatia.
For archaeology lovers, visit the Arheološki muzej (Archaeological Museum) which covers the prehistoric times to the middle ages. It has a collection of Zadar’s long history in that sense and among the most interesting are the Romanesque stone carvings.
One of the local and tourist favourites in Zadar is the Sea Organ (Morske orgulje) which is a man-made organ that works with the movement of the waves. It has 35 pipes that create unique musical soundscape as the waves hit them at varying levels and speeds. It was officially opened to the public in 2005 and was designed by architect Nikola Bašić, and it was a winner og the 2006 European Prize for Urban Public Space.
Other notable landmarks and churches in Zadar that you should visit are:
• the Citadel which was built in 1409 and has remained exactly the same to this day
• the Land Gate was built by Venetian architect Michele Sanmicheljin in 1543
• the church of St. Chrysogonus which also has a Romanesque style prominently displayed by its excellent proportions and refined ornaments
• St. Francis’ church is a gothic style church and the site of the Zadar Peace Treaty in 1358
• St. Mary’s church which houses an ancient Romanesque campanile from 1105 and belonged to a Benedictine Convent founded by a noblewoman named Cika in 1066
• other primary destinations include the Loggia del Comune, the Great Arsenal, the old palace of the priors, Five Wells Square, St. Elijah’s church, and the Episcopal palaces
For the nature trippers and park-lovers, you should visit the nature parks Telašćica in the central section of eastern Adriatic coast, Vrana Lake (Croatia’s largest natural lake), and Velebit (Croatia’s largest and most stunning mountain). Also visit the national parks of Kornati Islands, Paklenica, Krka Waterfalls, Plitvice Lakes, and North Velebit.
There are so many things to see and activities to do in Zadar that you might think of extending your trip, so planning is essential in order for you to cover more tourist destinations and unheard of areas that are not always visited by tourists on packaged excursions. Make sure to include these activities if you want to enjoy this trip even more:
• kayaking and rafting on the Zrmanja and Krupa rivers
• trekking the Paklenica National Park and islands of Pašman, Ugljan, and Dugi otok
• sea kayaking
• free climbing, canyoning, walking the trails, diving, bungee jumping, skraping, bird watching, biking, among many others
Campsites to Consider on This Trip
Much like any of Europe’s tourist destination, there are numerous offering in all levels of campsites. Check out The Chalets, Holiday Village Borik, Camping Kozarica, Camping Oaza Mira, Camping Park Soline, and Camping Straško.
For motor home travellers, the standard facilities are always a must to look out for such as power and water hook-ups, toilet/bathroom and laundry facilities, internet connectivity, nearby stores where you can buy food and other supplies.