Zadar – Croatia Information
Zadar is one of the Dalmatian Coast’s best-kept secrets— and adventure in this tucked-away treasure teems with centuries of charm. As the oldest continuously inhabited Croatian city, its timeworn history is perpetually on display among old city walls and Venetian gates. And its zany way of life keeps this dynamic city thriving today, from the waterfront Riva promenade to the untouched surrounding islands. One minute you might mingle over coffee in People’s Square, the next plunge into turquoise waters off Ugljan Island. You can enter church treasuries, bicycle around Old Town, or check out fascinating museum exhibits. Adventure in Zadar leads you away from the crowds to discover off-the-beaten-path wonders.
THINGS TO DO IN ZADAR
REMNANTS OF AN EMPIRE
Walk around the largest Roman Forum on the Adriatic Sea’s eastern shore. Trace Zadar’s ancient history dating back to the first Roman Emperor Augustus, viewing Roman towers, an old aqueduct, temples and colonnades in the area that’s remained the hub of city life since the 1st century BC.
Be awed by the world’s only Sea Organ, as you listen to the waves create whistling melodies through a series of underwater pipes and perforated stone stairs. Nearby you can also enjoy the illuminated glass tiles of architect Nikola Bašić’s ‘Greeting to the Sun’ monument, glowing from its solar-sensitive properties.
HIT THE HINTERLAND
Head away from the coast to explore Croatia’s national parks and outdoor adventures. Go rock climbing in Paklenica National Park and splash around Plitvice Lakes’ watering holes and cascading waterfalls. Discover caverns in Krka National Park— or dive deep into the effervescent waters of Kornati National Park.
Whether you dine amid the old city walls or along the picturesque harbor, seafood is served fresh from the Adriatic— salt-baked fish and brodetto (fish casserole) are popular local dishes. Try signatures like crni rižot (cuttlefish ink risotto) or pršut (Dalmatian smoked ham). Zadar is also known for its earthy truffles, fig cake, Croatian white wine and sweet Maraschino cherry liqueur.
Zadar is home to one of Dalmatia’s largest city markets. Here you’ll find farmers selling salty Pag cheese, olive oil, Croatian wine and fruit brandy— plus local craftspeople hawk homemade lace tablecloths. A handful of boutiques sell Croatian fashions, while Galerija Morsky is widely known for its artwork.
The ancient capital of Dalmatia, Zadar, is a jewel of the Croatian coast. This Mediterranean Cruises destination delivers the perfect blend to visitors — history, architecture, and natural wonders. Admire medieval churches, ancient ruins, impressive waterfalls, and a glorious harbour. Marvel at the backdrop of the rugged Dinaric Alps before exploring the beauty of Croatia’s National Parks.
Cruises excursions offer plenty of exciting things to see including:
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Krka National Park
A Cruise excursion to Zadar will take you back in time. Visit the Church of St. Donatus, the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia, dating all the way back to the 9th-century. Next, stop by the Church of St. Mary, the Cathedral of St. Anastasia, and the Church of St. Chrysogonus, consecrated in 1175. Then, admire the Church of St. Simeon with its cedarwood sarcophagus, overlaid with glimmering silver plaques. The religious spectacle doesn’t end there, as you’ll visit the Church of St. Francis, the oldest Gothic church in Dalmatia. Finally, enjoy some free time to explore the town where you can wander the streets or relax by the harbour.
See the ever-changing shades of Plitvice Lakes on a Cruise excursion. Dense forests of beech, spruce, and fir trees envelop 16 lakes, celebrated for their turquoise-hue and dream-like cascades. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife including the European brown bear, wolves, eagles, owls, lynx, wild cats, and wood grouse. This breathtaking karstic landscape is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a paradise on earth.
Explore Krka National Park on a Cruise excursion, a destination known for its abundant botanical species, wildlife, and natural water features. After a scenic drive through Šibenik-Knin County, you’ll arrive at the River Krka and its multitude of tributaries. Watch as water cascades into an enchanting blue-green lake, at the stunning Skradinski Buk waterfall. Afterwards, learn about local culture at an old mill housing a fascinating ethnographic exhibition.