Why is Zadar a perfect place to start your Croatia road trip?
Zadar is a suitable place to start a Croatia road trip because Zadar is in central Dalmatia. You can visit many places during a road trip and have enough time to discover all the beauties of the surroundings.
Want to go north, south, or maybe both? No problem, from Zadar you can easily go everywhere.
Good news is that base of campervan rental Croatia is in Zadar so pick up and drop off here is free of charge. You choose Zadar airport, bus station or city center.
What to do in Zadar city center:
1. Walk around historic center
Prior to the formation of Yugoslavia, the Romans, Venetians, and Austrians all played significant roles in Zadar's history. Zadar sightseeing is never-endingly intriguing, whether you're visualizing the magnificence of Roman Zadar or strolling alongside Venetian walls and gates.
2. Church of St. Donatus
The Church of St. Donatus (Crkva sv. Donat) in Zadar is one of the most important Byzantine buildings in Dalmatia and one of the city's most important historical attractions. It dates to the 9th century and was originally known as the Holy Trinity Church but was later renamed after the Bishop of Dona.
3. Zadar Cathedral
Zadar Cathedral (Katedrala sv. Stošije), has a structure that combines several architectural eras. Construction began in the Byzantine style in the 9th century but was rebuilt in Romanesque style in the 12th and 13th centuries. If you want to take in the stunning views of the city, arrange to climb the bell tower.
4. The Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun
Zadar sea organ is basically a gigantic musical instrument played by the action of the waves; it is a fascinating installation consisting of a series of underwater tubes set beneath marble steps that descend into the water. Each tube produces a different tone, and together they create an interesting, even somewhat surreal soundtrack to the entire experience.
The nearby Greeting to the Sun is another must-see in Zadar. It's a spectacular circular installation made of 300 multi-layered glass panels and solar cells that glow when night falls.
5. Enjoy the sunset
Alfred Hitchcock said that Zadar has the best sunset in the world, so please don’t skip to enjoy that romantic moment!
6. Shop at the city market and try local delicacies
Dalmatia is famous for its delicacies like prosciutto, cheese, lamb on the spit, peka, fish on the grill etc. See here (Food lovers) what food not to miss while on a Croatia road trip.
7. Try bungee jumping from a highest bridge in Croatia
Release yourself and feel the freedom at the Maslenički most near Zadar with 10% discount for YourWay guests.
1. Small city of Nin
The old town sits on a circular island surrounded by a shallow lagoon. Nin is a popular summer tourist destination with the longest sandy beach in Croatia (Queen’s beach) and 8 km of beautiful coastline. Nin hosts some of the most unique, natural and sustainable activities in Croatia, like Organic fig farm, salt production and medicinal mud.
2. One of most beautiful rivers in the country – Zrmanja
Zrmanja Canyon is perfect for kayaking. On your way to Zrmanja, take a stop at the beautiful viewpoint Pariževačka glavica - the place where they filmed the movies of Winnetou. Enjoy perfectly clear warm water and a wonderful canyon in an easy kayak ride. Don’t worry if you have never held a paddle, Zrmanja is a calm river (except in the case of strong wind). Usual starting points are Obrovac or Kastel Zegarski. Take it easy, take some food and drinks with you and enjoy adventurous kayak rides and beautiful sceneries. You can rent a kayak from us for very affordable prices. Check extra equipment here.
3. Kudin most – or The Bridge of Kuda
The Bridge of Kuda is perhaps the most pleasant spot in the hinterland of Zadar.It is located on river Krupa - the longest and richest confluence of Zrmanja River. A short hike down the slope carries you to this romantic spot which is a protected monument from the 18th century. The legend tells that the bridge was built by Kude, a youngster who was separated from his love by the stream Krupa. This place is ideal to make a picnic in nature, surrounded by river and forest. On your way to Kudin most, you’ll pass some inland road with beautiful view of mountain Velebit. You will also pass-through old villages destroyed in domestic war 20 years ago, you can feel some Croatian recent history.
4. Explore Velebit
If you are in good shape, climb to Sveto Brdo (Holly Hill) which is the second peak of Mount Velebit – 1751 m. the 360-degree view from the top is the most beautiful in Croatia. For a day tour, the usual starting point is Male Libinje, but you can also make a two-day route and enjoy Velebit even more. Read more about hiking in Croatia.
5. Dugi island
If you are more for island than nature, take a one-hour ferry ride from Zadar to Dugi otok (“Long Island”). It is a relaxing alternative to more crowded islands towards to south. Main villages on the island are Bozava and Sali. On the northern part of the island, there is one of the most delightful beaches in the whole Croatia – Sakarun. Perfectly clear turquoise water and white sandy seashore make this beach a genuine pearl of the entire island. Close to the Sakarun beach, there is a lighthouse situated close to Veli Rat. You can climb up and appreciate the amazing perspective on the Adriatic Sea and close by islands or you can kayak around it. We highly recommend kayaking in Telascica Nature Park, famous for its lake, coves and small islands, as well is its 161m high cliffs. Exploring Golubinka cave by kayak is very special and most exciting experience.
Dugi otok has many beautiful bays which you can explore by campervan.
During your stay, take a day or half day boat trip to National Park Kornati and enjoy this nautical paradise.
Where to eat and drink:
Restaurant 4 kantuna, Congo pizza and pasta, Gradska kavana (cakes and desserts), Konoba Anton – Sukošan (fresh local food with affordable prices), Restaurant Kornat (fine dining fish and meat), Hedonist dining hangout (best burgers), The garden lounge (drinks), Famous Beach Bar & Grill (nice place next to the sea to enjoy food and beer), Riva restaurant (lamb or pork on the spit).
Where to sleep:
There are many campsites in Zadar. If you want to get a discount, we have two partners campsites in the area - Camp Odmoree and Camp Planik where you can sleep with 10% discount.