Sightseeing Tips for Your Holiday in Zadar Region

Curious to see the most popular sights on your holiday? Zadar region lures you with its beautifully diverse nature, rich cultural-historical heritage and unique experiences. In order to fully enjoy your sightseeing trip, consider the following suggestions and useful tips:

The perfect timing

It greatly depends on what you want to see and do. For a more intimate experience of top attractions on land, you might think about travelling off season, especially in spring and autumn. Then again, exploring the seaside to the fullest is probably best during the summer months, which also happen to be the busiest. So, it all depends on your preferences and chosen sights to see.

Google it all

Get an insight into the fascinating heritage in the Zadar region! And pick up useful info along the way. Book a tour or an organized trip, where possible, for an insider’s perspective and not only facts. Check opening hours and consider buying online tickets. Find out about transport and parking, if you are sightseeing on your own. Most importantly, wear proper footwear that allows you to walk a lot without any discomfort.

Modern attractions in Zadar region

Listen to the sound of the sea, say ‘hello’ to the sun! The Sea Organ and Greetings to the Sun, a light installation also known as Sun Salutation, continue to be listed as top sights in Dalmatia and wider. Paying tribute to nature and the city of Zadar, they are absolute musts to experience.

Located at the Zadar promenade, they can be admired all year round, preferably in the evening. Still, if you’re hoping for unique photos as the light show begins, it might be very difficult during the summer months. After all, there may be a lot of people around with the same idea.

Sea Organ and Greetings to the Sun on the historical peninsula, Zadar

Cultural-historical sights

Discover a couple of millennia of history in the Zadar region! Take a walking tour in Zadar, with a guide or finding your own way. Go along the cobbled historical streets such as Kalelarga and across old squares such as the Forum with St Donatus’ Church and the Belltower of St Anastasia’s Cathedral, People’s Square or Five Wells Square, and along the defensive walls (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Consider also visiting museums, many of which are within a walking distance on the historical peninsula and give you a valuable insight into life in Zadar, once and today.

Zadar is a fascinating city to visit, all year round. Sightseeing in the summer, be prepared for busier streets. Also, it might be trickier to find parking space on the historical peninsula than on the mainland.

Still, don’t miss out on smaller villages and towns along the coast and inland. Places like Nin, Pag, Novigrad, Benkovac and others tell interesting stories, dating back centuries if not millennia.

Beautiful islands of the Zadar archipelago

Natural attractions

See beautiful well-preserved jewels of nature! One of the best ways to appreciate the amazing seaside is to go sailing around the island of the Zadar archipelago, preferably from spring to autumn. If you want to use the moment to swim and dive as well, then summer is the best moment. Also, taking an organized trip to see Telašćica Nature Park and Kornati Islands National Park is more practical than planning it on your own.

Natural sights such as Paklenica National Park, the Zrmanja river and canyon, Vrana Lake Nature Park, even Krka National Park in the wider Zadar region, are best appreciated in spring and autumn. Summer is not a bad time either, but you need to consider the weather conditions, particularly the heat, and be prepared accordingly. Also, Krka is very busy during the top season, so buying tickets online in advance is a must. 

See it all with a smile

Plan your sightseeing trip in the Zadar region according to your preferences, time of year and weather conditions, and ask around for valuable local tips. All for a fulfilling sightseeing experience!

Travelling in Northern Dalmatia in the Off Season

Spring through winter… Why limit yourself to visiting northern Dalmatia only in the summer, when it has a lot to offer the whole year round? In fact, you might have a more intimate experience of the region outside the top season. Here’s how and why:

Mild Mediterranean climate

Yes, the summer comes with a tan, clear blue skies and refreshing swims in the heat. Still, the weather is pleasant during other seasons as well, with milder temperatures than on the continent, even in winter. The conditions are just right to be active, go sightseeing and exploring or simply to relax.

Less busy

Forget crowds at top attractions in Zadar and region-wide. And take your time to truly enjoy them! There are fewer visitors during off-season, so you are also given the opportunity to get a better glimpse of the local lifestyle.

No traffic jams

Arrive safe and sound, and fast! Unlike the top season, when you can expect traffic jams, you can plan your trip more accurately and reach your destination in northern Dalmatia just as planned. Apart from quicker arrival on the A1 motorway, you can also expect less traffic on the roads leading to popular destinations and sights in general. 

Comfortable sightseeing

Discover the rich cultural-historical heritage at your own pace! See UNESCO sites in Zadar and Šibenik (Venetian Works of Defence in both cities; St James’ Cathedral in Šibenik) and modern attractions (Sea Organ & Greetings to the Sun). Select from a wide range of museums such as Museum of Ancient Glass, Archaeological Museum, Museum of Illusions, all in Zadar, and Salt Museum in Nin.

The timing is also great to see the second most visited national park in Croatia: the Krka river. With fewer other visitors around, you get to fully appreciate it in all its glory. Namely, the water level of the Krka is the highest off season, so the waterfalls and cascades are the most impressive then. 

Beautiful waterfall at Krka National Park

Taking a break

Even just a weekend will do. Just imagine spending a few days by the sea, away from your busy daily routine. Surprise your partner with a romantic getaway to mark a special date. Or treat yourself to a few days of pampering with a wellness break. Why not also actively explore the region, by bike or on foot? Northern Dalmatia will give you a lovely welcome, regardless of the reason behind your travelling.

Special deals

Grab your deal for a holiday to remember! The prices tend to be lower in the off-season, not to mention the special packages adding a lovely touch to your stay. Besides discounts, they often come with extra vouchers and additional perks related to the purpose of your stay.

Special ambiance during off-season

Come in winter, when all is calm … and bright. There truly is something magical about December, especially once the festive markets and special events begin. Similarly, the awakening of spring and colourful autumn come with the best conditions for being outdoors and exciting events to take part in. So, take your holiday break in off-season and enjoy all northern Dalmatia has to offer.

Top 7 Experiences in Northern Dalmatia

Beauty. Excitement. Adventure. All that and so much more awaits you in northern Dalmatia. More than just a top seaside destination, the entire region offers you a wealth of unique experiences:

1. Enjoy the Sea Organ & Sun Salutation

Witness the interplay of a man-made work and nature in Zadar! If you find yourself at the Zadar promenade, sit on a step and listen to the sea perform on the Sea Organ. 

If you happen to be there in the evening, you will also get to enjoy a fabulous light show. It is made by the light installation called Sun Salutation (or Greetings to the Sun). Both are works of art paying tribute to the city and nature around us.

2. See that sunset

Oh, the unique display of colours in the evening sky… Whether you admire it from the Zadar promenade or as you are walking along the beach in a village such as Petrčane, the famous sunset is bound to take your breath away. After all, without any buildings spoiling the view and with the calm sea ahead, there’s something truly magical about watching the setting sun going down on the horizon.

Sunset in Zadar

3. Sail around the islands

Go on a sailing adventure! Take a tour by boat to explore the Zadar archipelago enjoying the sight of the crystal clear sea, endless islands of all shapes, sizes and landscapes. Feel the breeze in your hair, get some tan and take in the peace and quiet in a hidden cove. 

4. Discover beautiful nature

Stunning sparkling sea… and so much more. Northern Dalmatia may be a top seaside destination with a lovely coast and hundreds of islands, but its beauty of nature goes beyond that.

In addition to Kornati Islands National Park together with Telašćica Nature Park (Dugi Otok island), there are a few more amazing nature wonders to explore on land as well. See the waterfalls and cascades along the river Krka (national park) and the Zrmanja with its canyon. Go uphill in Paklenica National Park and be active on Vrana Lake (nature park). 

5. Learn about the fascinating history

Walk the narrow, stone-paved streets in the historical cores of Zadar and Šibenik! Find out more about their rich heritage, including UNESCO sites (St James’ Cathedral and St Nicholas’ Fort in Šibenik, defensive walls in Zadar). Also don’t miss the chance to feel the charm of smaller towns and villages such as Nin, Pag, Novigrad and Biograd. 

6. Do your favourite activities… with a view

Find your adventure and take care of your body & mind in northern Dalmatia! If you are a hiking & cycling enthusiast, go up to the mountain and island tops for spectacular views. Enjoy a perfect rest and treat yourself to some wellness time, possibly with a view as well, just as you can at the Hotel Pinija in Petrčane.

Pure relaxation on holiday in northern Dalmatia

7. Discover Dalmatian flavours

Be it a fresh fish, a traditional meal made with meat, or locally sourced vegetables, your palate is in for a real treat! Pair your delicious Dalmatian plate with a locally made wine, e.g. from Kraljevski vinogradi in Petrčane, or a traditional Maraschino liqueur for a unique culinary experience.

Seize the day… as Dalmatians would

Experience northern Dalmatian with all your senses at your own pace! Spend a few moments admiring the scenery and rich heritage. Sit down on a terrace for a cup of coffee or a refreshment, maybe even a Dalmatian snack, soaking up the sun. Just take it easy and enjoy every step of your Dalmatian adventure!

Welcoming autumn 2021 in Zadar region

Fall in (love with) Zadar region! Summer has just ridden off into the sunset, and fabulous autumn is just about to make its grand entrance. So, welcome its arrival in the best possible manner – with a memorable break in the Zadar region. 

The perfect timing

Take a moment to recharge and you will love it! Re-energize and relax when it’s less busy in the Zadar region, but it is just as enjoyable. In fact, the off-season is one of the best moments to explore and have a more intimate experience of it.

Yes, days may be getting shorter and clear blue skies may no longer be the norm. Still, the weather tends to be pleasant with mild temperatures. In fact, it’s just perfect for spending time outdoors.

Greeting to the Sun (Sun Salutation) in Zadar (Image source: Zadar Region Tourist Board)
(Image source: Zadar Region Tourist Board)

Keep it active…

Off you go… in a beautiful autumn setting! Rent a bike and get to know the region from a different perspective. Cycle to Kraljevski vinogradi vineyards in Petrčane and see the bustle right before and during the harvest time. Ravni kotari with vineyards and olive groves in the Zadar hinterland are just as busy this time of year. Don’t forget the islands such as Ugljan and Pašman, where locals are also getting ready for olive harvest.

How about planning a few hikes as well? You may be curious to discover the beauty of Paklenica National Park in autumn, or spend a day roaming the historical streets of Zadar, visiting its attractions and museums, as well as smaller towns and villages such as Nin or Pag. After all, sightseeing this time of year is easier and with less people around, allowing you to appreciate the story behind the sights at your own pace.

Active in autumn in Zadar region (Image source: Zadar Region Tourist Board)
(Image source: Zadar Region Tourist Board)

Or just relax…

Enjoy the perfect calm of autumn by the sea! Relax on the beach, with the sound of the waves reaching the shore. Maybe you can also venture a swim, since the water may just still be warm enough. How about a light morning stroll along the coast, or in the evening when the sun paints the sky in the colours of the fall. 

Also, use the facilities at your hotel for pure pleasure. For example, staying at Punta Radman in the quiet village of Petrčane, your host Hotel Pinija offers you swimming pools as well as wellness & spa, not to mention the delicious treats in the restaurants & bars with a view of the sea.

For a very special autumn…

Pick a special offer to your liking! Look out for holiday packages by the sea that add a lovely touch to your autumn getaway. By saying goodbye to the summer, you get to enjoy a lovely stay at a lower price and with various special gifts at Hotel Pinija. Or you can focus on romance, your well-being and staying active with a holiday package that suits you even better.

For your colourful autumn

Pair the energy of autumn’s colours with the perfect calm of the clear blue sea and Mediterranean greenery. There’s something magical about this time of year in the Zadar region, so make sure you get to experience it by celebrating autumn with a lovely little break!

Bet you didn’t know about Zadar (region)

How much do you know about the city of Zadar, other more or less known gems in the area and unique experiences awaiting you there? In order to give you an insight into the fascinating destination and inspiration for your next trip, here’s a list of facts and curiosities you may not have known before:

Zadar… where the ancient meets the modern

With several millennia of existence, Zadar even has the main street that is said to be older than the city itself. Songs have been written about Kalelarga, as it is called by the locals, even though its official name is Široka ulica. It happens to be the pulse of the city.

Nowadays, Zadar is most famous for its modern attractions: light installation Sun Salutation and Sea Organ. Both are works of art of Zadar-native architect Nikola Bašić, who celebrated both his city and nature with his work. Namely, Sun Salutation is a mini solar power plant, which represents the planets of the solar system. The names of Zadar’s patron saints (all 4 of them!, each with a church and own annual feast day) are inscribed on the chrome ring around the ‘Sun’. The Sea Organ is played by the sea, and the  tones and chords reflect the traditional klapa song matrix. 

These two are best enjoyed at sunset. Yes, that sunset. The most beautiful one in the world, according to the famous film director Alfred Hitchcock.

Zadar Romance

It’s the awe-inspiring sunset. The naturally heart-shaped Galešnjak island. It’s the former royal seat of Croatian kings and dukes, Nin, which was declared a top European romantic destination. It’s the barkajoli boat ride in Zadar. It’s the story behind the Sphinx of Zadar. In other words, there are a lot of unique details to put in a romantic package in the region.   

Sailing at its finest in Zadar region

Sailing paradise

Yes, the Croatian coast is known for its numerous islands, islets and rocks. Altogether there are more than 1200, half of which are skerries. The other half, i.e. some 600, are islands and islets of all shapes, sizes and profiles scattered all over the Adriatic Sea, from north to south. 150 of them form part of the Zadar archipelago, and nearly 400 can be found in the wider Zadar region. It is no wonder then that the area is a top destination for all fans of sailing. 

Beautifully diverse wonders of nature

It’s the islands and the sea. It’s rivers and lakes. It’s the mountain, too. Rarely can there be such a region found that offers such diversity of protected natural areas in a relatively small space. The most famous ones in the wider Zadar region include Paklenica National Park (mountain), Kornati Islands National Park, Telašćica Nature Park with the highest cliff in Croatia, river Krka National Park, Vrana Lake Nature Park.

Other curiosities…

Did you know that Nin is known for its Church of the Holy Cross, referred to as the smallest cathedral in the world? Or that luck might come your way if you touch the golden toe on the Statue of Gregory of Nin?

How about Veli Rat, the highest lighthouse in Croatia, on Dugi Otok island? It is known for its yellow colour that supposedly stems from 100 000 yolks. 

There’s also Pag, well known for its lace and lamb cheese, which is referred to as the ‘moon island’, because its relief resembles that of the moon.

And (so much) more…

The deeper you dig, the more fascinating the city and the region becomes. From peaceful villages such as Petrčane to the vibrant city of Zadar, from landmarks to less known sights, there are a lot of stories to be told and discovered. Stories that give you a clearer perspective about the region, once and today.

Romantic Getaway to Zadar Region

Just the two of you… and the Zadar region. Rekindle the spark in your relationship by taking a break by the sea. Leave the routine and daily rush behind, and enjoy each other’s company in beautiful surroundings.

Quality moments to remember

Share feel-good moments while enjoying the Zadar region! A holiday break gives you the opportunity to foster your connection, have fun together and create lasting memories. You can actively explore the region or simply lounge with one another by the pool or on the beach, whatever feels right for both of you. Just appreciate and make the most of your stress-free time off.

Romance in Petrčane

Relax & enjoy your time in Petrčane near Zadar! There’s no need to make elaborate plans, with packages such as Romantic Getaway at the Hotel Pinija in Petrčane, you have a choice of options for a wonderful stay. You get to spend your getaway in a romantic ambience, waking up with a lovely view of the sea. You can treat yourself to a breakfast in bed and delight in a delicious dinner for two under the starry sky.

The package also allows you to take it at your own pace. Pamper your body and mind with special treatments, including a couple’s massage, and make use of the spa zone with a sea view. Or be active together. In addition to the free use of the fitness centre, you can hop on bikes and go exploring the attractions in the nearby city of Zadar, town of Nin and wider.

Your romantic story in Zadar region

Write your very own story during your romantic getaway! Zadar region offers you love legends to discover and romantic experiences to have. Find out more about them and spend your very own special moments during your stay. 

Beautiful sunset in Zadar (Photo source: Zadar Tourist Board

Go for a walk at sunset, be it along the sea in Petrčane or on the promenade in Zadar. After all, the region is known for its breathtaking evening sky. When enjoyed next to the Greetings to the Sun and the Sea Organ, you add another magic touch to the moment.

Why not also go for a boat ride from the historical peninsula in Zadar, as operated by the so-called barkajoli? You’ll get a different view of the city and share a fun moment with one another. You can also look for the Sphinx and discover the (love) story behind it.

The entire region is, in fact, a hidden gem for couples. After all, not so long ago the town of Nin was declared European top romantic destination. Also, Galešnjak, one of the few naturally formed heart-shaped islands in the world, is located south of Zadar.

Show it … with a getaway to Zadar region

It can be your honeymoon destination. Or you may have an anniversary coming. Maybe you just want to celebrate a special moment or achievement in your lives. Or you wish to spend some quality time with your significant other … just because. So, plan your romantic getaway to the Zadar region and let your heart skip a beat. Or two.

Zadar Region for Kids

Pure relaxation for parents, absolute joy for the kids – these are the most important ingredients for a happy family holiday. So, when on holiday in the Zadar region, treat yourself to some me-time, plan activities for the whole family and keep the children happily busy. After all, nothing is better than seeing your child with a smile that never leaves their face. Here are a few suggestions:

Daily water fun

Splashing in the pools & exploring the sea! If you decide to stay in a hotel with a swimming pool, you don’t have to worry about the ever present summer dilemma: the beach or the pools, simply because you can have it all.

Allow your kids to enjoy the pool, as you relax nearby. Still, encourage them to spend some time on the beach as well – looking for shells, playing ball in the shallows, snorkelling to see the world under the surface. 

Have fun on and above water all together! Rent a jet ski to see a different perspective of the coast. How about the bird’s eye view when you go parasailing? 

Entertainment for kids in Petrčane, Zadar

Entertainment program for kids 

Let your kids join in fun activities led by entertainers! For example, Hotel Pinija in Petrčane has its own Pini Kids Club where your kids can participate in workshops, compete in contests, dance in the mini disco and just have a great time with their peers.

Family activities

Use the opportunity for quality moments with your family! Have a laugh playing a game of mini golf or beach volleyball. Rent a bike and catch a ferry to explore Ugljan island or go for a light ride to Nin (less than 10 km from Petrčane). 

See the fun sights in Zadar

Experience the city from a kid’s perspective! Climb the Belltower of St Anastasia’s Cathedral, grab delicious ice cream right next to St Donatus’ Church, visit the Museum of Illusions and let the kids witness the interaction of man-made attractions and nature at the Sea Organ and Greetings to the Sun.

Fun Park Biograd (Image Source: Fun Park Biograd)

Adventure parks

Treat your family to some exciting moments! Feel the adrenaline as you go on thrilling rides in the Fun Park Biograd, less than an hour away from Zadar. Or try your luck at a rope course, paintball, archery, zipline and the like at the Adventure Park in Kožino, just outside Zadar. 

Family trips 

Enjoy the attractions of the region as a family! Go on a sailing trip around the islands of the Zadar archipelago and Telašćica Nature Park. Take a photo safari along the Zrmanja river. Hike and try rock climbing at Paklenica National Park. Go kayaking across Vrana Lake (nature park). Zadar region offers you amazing attractions your kids can immensely enjoy. 

All for kids … in Zadar region

Spend memorable moments with your family on your holiday! Let your kids explore the new environment, play games outdoors, learn something new about the destination and just have a great time. In short, put that irresistible smile on your children’s faces by choosing the Zadar region … all for your kids!

Perfect accommodation in Zadar region

It’s your time! Time to escape the busy everyday routine, time to take a well-deserved break and change the scenery, even if just for a few days. So, make sure your time off counts by carefully considering where and how you would like to spend it.

Just the right destination

Looking for a place to soak in some sunshine and enjoy your time by the sea? Experience its beneficial effect to the fullest by opting for a destination that ticks all your boxes. After all, it is possible to spend a holiday in a quiet area, yet close to places of interest.

An excellent example is Petrčane, a quiet village just outside Zadar, the heart of northern Dalmatia. Its convenient location allows you to get to know Zadar, have a great starting point for exploring the region and to experience the authentic Mediterranean charm of a small, peaceful coastal village. 

Holiday in Petrčane near Zadar

Just the right accommodation

Allow yourself to be fully relaxed and pampered on your holiday … by choosing a hotel! Besides offering plenty of privacy and safety, staying in a hotel also comes with fewer responsibilities. For example, you can leave the household chores behind and let others take care of certain tasks you normally do. Not only you don’t have to plan and prepare meals then wash up afterwards, but you generally have a great choice of available meal options. Hotels also tend to include regional cuisine, so you can delight in authentic, local Dalmatian food on the spot.

Additional advantage is that hotels often offer more amenities than other types of accommodation providers allowing you thus to enrich your holiday experience. When choosing a hotel, remember to check out its location, proximity to the beach and other places of interest, because nothing is better than to wake up close to the sea. 

Wellness & Spa Marea at Hotel Pinija, Petrčane, Zadar region

Just the right hotel

Imagine starting your day in a comfortable room with a view of the mesmerizing blue sea and lush Mediterranean greenery… Just picture spending your day sunbathing on the nearby beach, resting by the pool with a cocktail in your hand. Or you could also choose between available activities and then round off your day with a wellness treatment and a delicious meal. You can have all that by picking the place that answers your needs completely.

Hotel Pinija is precisely the place you’re looking for in northern Dalmatia! Situated on the green peninsula in Petrčane, the hotel is a great spot for you to experience the very best of Zadar region. It offers you excellent location, accommodation and dining, a choice of leisure activities such as cycling, mini golf, beach volleyball, and Wellness & Spa Marea, and, most importantly, a place to rest and recharge in beautiful surroundings by the sea.

Time to shine

Treat yourself and your family to some quality time and an amazing holiday in the Zadar region by finding the accommodation that perfectly matches your preferences. Just like Hotel Pinija in the quiet village of Petrčane does.