Get a Taste of Traditional Food in Dalmatia

Take time to taste the passion with Dalmatian cuisine! It’s fresh fish and seafood, seasonal vegetables, it’s a touch of golden olive oil and native herbs, it’s unique meat specialties, it’s a few drops of excellent wine. It’s love. Dalmatian cuisine doesn’t only take your taste buds on an amazing gastronomical journey, but it invites you to truly appreciate the food, the ambiance, the time spent together.

Begin with the right appetizer

Warm or cold, get ready for an exceptional introduction to Dalmatian cuisine! Have a piece of the unique Pag island cheese, a slice of Nin šokol and Dalmatian prosciutto or take the first dive into the Adriatic tastes with an octopus salad, marinated sardines or anchovies. You can also warm up with delicious cuttlefish risotto or a buzara (tomato-based sauce) with mussels or shrimps.

A fabulous main course of your choice

Meat or fish, you’re in for an excellent dish! Be it a brudet (Dalmatian fish stew) with polenta or simple grilled fresh fish with potatoes and Swiss chard, Dalmatian fish specialties perfectly reflect the flavours of the Adriatic Sea. The same is true of seafood, particularly with dishes such as home made pasta with a selection of seafood or octopus a la peka. (Peka refers to a unique style of slow cooking, which includes a cast-iron casserole with a bell-shaped lid placed in the fireplace with embers under and on top of it).

Peka is also one of the best ways to prepare juicy meat dishes. The famous Dalmatian lamb meat prepared with potatoes and vegetables in peka has rich flavour impossible to forget. Pašticada is another perfectly balanced Dalmatian dish truly appreciated by meat lovers. An example of slow cooking, pašticada is usually served with gnocchi following a day-long marinating and several hours of cooking.

Savoury side dish

Perfect side dish for a well-rounded meal! Dalmatian cuisine is well known for its use of fresh, seasonal vegetables which wonderfully complement the main dish. Similarly, homemade pasta adds just the right touch to an amazing meal.

Delightful dessert

Get your Dalmatian treat, simple and sweet! Fresh, dried or used in a cookie or a cake, fig is a favourite Dalmatian dessert just as the small balls of happiness fritule (doughnut like pastry) are a must for every festive occasion. Dalmatian cuisine is famous for its use of olive oil and native plants, so don’t be surprised when offered a cookie with olive oil and rosemary, even lavender.

Enjoy a Dalmatian meal like Dalmatians do

Treat your taste buds to a delicious experience by picking a traditional Dalmatian meal! Let Pinija restaurant be the first stop on your culinary trip of discovery. Still, don’t just choose your favourite Dalmatian dish, but embrace the lifestyle as well. Take the time to completely enjoy the exquisite flavours of food prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients by sharing the meal with people you care about the most. So, raise a glass of excellent Dalmatian wine and toast to an unforgettable meal!

Amazing Places to Visit near Zadar

Love to explore beautiful nature? Curious to find out more about cultural-historical heritage of Zadar region? Want to visit places where time seems to have stopped? There are a great number of exciting places to discover within a short distance from Zadar. Check out amazing excursion spots which will enrich your overall holiday experience:

Wonders of nature

Sail and swim around breathtaking islands. Hike and climb to reach mountain tops. Explore exciting rivers and lakes. In a relatively small area, there are quite a few wonders of nature to be discovered, including three national parks and two nature parks.

Find refreshment hiking the trails in Paklenica National Park, which is famous for its extraordinary geomorphological shapes and primeval beech forests (UNESCO’s World Heritage Site). Let the waterfalls, cascades and lakes of Krka River take your breath away. Witness the amazing force of nature by taking a panoramic flight over or sailing around Kornati Islands National Park, famous for their variety of shapes and sizes as well as rich underwater world.

While sailing to see Kornati islands, don’t miss Telašćica, a nature park known for its magnificent bay, cliffs and salt lake Mir. The second nature park in the area, Vrana Lake, is a popular cycling destination famous for rich biodiversity.

Charming towns and villages

Go back in time, discover legends, imagine what life must have been like for people living in the region centuries ago. Every village, every town has a unique story to tell. Besides Zadar’s modern and historical attractions, Šibenik is another city full of amazing sights and only a bit more than an hour away. Visit UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites – St James’ Cathedral and St Nicholas’ Fortress, then go up to St Michael’s Fortress for the spectacular views.

Take a stroll in Nin, the former royal seat of early Croatian kings, where you will find the world’s ‘smallest cathedral’ – Church of the Holy Cross, Statue of Gregory of Nin which brings good luck and the unique Salt Museum. If you are interested in a photo safari along the beautiful Zrmanja river, you will also get to see the picturesque fishermen’s town of Novigrad, its ancient fortress and typical Dalmatian architecture. To learn more about the hinterland, tradition of wine and olive production, visit Benkovac, just an hour away from Zadar.

Pick an island

Hop onto the islands! While there are many to choose from, the most popular destinations include Pag, Dugi Otok as well as Ugljan and Pašman, both of which are an excellent cycling and hiking destinations. Dugi Otok will amaze you with its extraordinary nature, Veli rat lighthouse, famous Sakarun beach, Strašna peć cave and Telašćica bay. For a unique, partially moonlike, landscape head to Pag, where you will be delighted with its rich cultural-historical heritage, exceptional Pag island cheese and lamb specialties.

Fulfilling holiday experience

Go east and west, go north and south. Whichever direction you take, you’ll be heading to places with extraordinary cultural-historical heritage and breathtaking landscape… for an unforgettable holiday!

The Best Activities for a Family Holiday in Zadar Region

Top Experiences for Families in Zadar (Region) in 2021

What makes a great family holiday? The key lies in keeping everyone happy. So, start by picking a destination that has a lot to offer to your family as a whole and its every individual member. For amazing family-friendly holiday experiences, check out the following options and suggestions for Zadar region:

Your very own sightseeing tours

Don’t cram as many sights as possible into as little time as it gets! Quite the opposite,  pick and see the selected sights, those that everyone will love and just take it easy. For example, spend a lovely family afternoon together in Zadar – visit the Museum of Illusions, count all the steps you need to climb to get to the top of the Belltower of St Anastasia’s Cathedral, dance to the Sea Organ while enjoying the light show created by the Greeting to the Sun.

Let your children pretend play to be knights and explorers while visiting castles, forts and ruins you wish to see in the region. Enjoy a fabulous view from the Fort of St Michael on Ugljan, climb to the ruins of a fort on the hill overlooking Novigrad and admire the site where Zrmanja river meets the sea, learn more about life in the hinterland by visiting Benkovac and its castle, search for the supposedly hidden treasure of the Knights Templars in their former estate in Vrana.

Having family fun in nature

Make a trip to stunning wonders of nature enjoyable for every member of the family! When exploring Paklenica National Park, allow your children to try out rock climbing up easier routes in Klanci or play a game of ‘the first to spot the Helmet, the Organ and the Witch’, i.e. cave formations in Manita peć. Share a family adventure by going kayaking (or rafting in off season) along Zrmanja river or on Vrana Lake Nature Park. If you go sailing to Telašćica Nature Park, remember to bring along snorkelling gear as well as a carrot or two for the donkeys near Mir Lake.

Adrenaline thrills for the whole family

Embark on an adventure with your family and share exciting moments together! You can try out an adrenaline park in Kožino between Zadar and Petrčane and go on an off-road trip of discovery riding a quad. For an adrenaline-filled day, plan a trip to Fun Park Mirnovec in Biograd na Moru (one-hour ride south of Zadar).

Fun for everyone … to each their own

Share and go solo! Plan your family outings and enjoy quality time, but also let every member of the family have their me-time. For example, at Pinija Hotel you can use the available facilities and services for a game of beach volleyball or mini golf, to try water sports and rent a bike, and you can also enjoy fun activities to your liking led by the animation team. So, while the children spend time playing with their peers at the Pini Kids Club, the parents can simply rest by the pool, have a wellness treatment or join in various activities.

For the smile that never fades

Keeping the smile on the faces of every family member is an unmistakable sign that your holiday is an absolute winner! So, make a list of top experiences your family will enjoy and make them happen in Zadar region.

An Overview of Various Types of Beaches near Zadar

Top Beaches near Zadar for Every Traveller in 2019

Sea, sun … and sand! Or pebbles. Maybe even rocks. How about that thick shade? Or that quiet spot with no one around? To single out among the numerous beaches in Zadar region the ones that are lovelier and better suited to your taste than the others, check out the following types:

Family favourites

Safe access, a wide stretch of shallow water, plenty of shade. Playgrounds, water parks and slides, fun activities within easy reach. There are a number of beaches in the entire region that tick all or most of the boxes for a family to fully enjoy spending time by the sea. Apart from Pinija beach, the top choices include Kolovare and Borik in Zadar, Dražica in Biograd na Moru, the sandy beaches in Nin’s Lagoon especially the Queen’s Beach.

Beaches adapted for people with disabilities

Take joy in the healing power of the sea! To enable all visitors to experience its beneficial effect on the body and mind, many towns and hotels are working on shaping the beaches according to the needs of people with disabilities. For example, Pinija beach in Petrčane provides easier access to the sea while Vitrenjak beach in Zadar also offers a ramp.

Pet-friendly beaches

Travelling with pets in Zadar region? While there have been increasing efforts to expand the existing number of pet-friendly services, not many beaches are officially available for your furry friends. Still, your pet represents the perfect excuse to explore the ‘wild’ beaches of the region in addition to the pet-friendly beach in Privlaka or the recently arranged spot in Zadar’s Foša.

A choice of beaches for sailing fans

Go sailing on a quest to find the ultimate beach! Look for romance in hidden quiet coves, have your snorkeling and diving adventure as you anchor near an untouched beach. The countless islands and islets of wider Zadar area provide you with a lot to explore, to see typical villages where time seems to have stopped or places where no man seems to have been before.

Apart from the world famous Sakarun beach with turquoise water or Telašćica (bay) Nature Park, both on Dugi Otok island, you may like to check out Lojena beach on Levrnak island (Kornati island group), Strunac cove on Žut island, Ćinta bay on Ugljan island, or simply look for the one that takes your breath away at first sight, maybe on Olib, Silba, Ist, Molat, Iž island or many others.

Keep it simple, enjoy it completely! Zadar region is naturist-friendly with a number of designated beaches such as Crvena luka in Biograd na Moru,  Sabunike in Nin, Punta Skala in Petrčane, Sovinje in Tkon on Pašman, Straško in Novalja on Pag, Jelenica near Kukljica on Ugljan.

Experience the essence of the Adriatic Sea in Dalmatia

Crystal clear sea, light refreshing breeze, sheltered spot under the fragrant pine trees… Have your dose of feel-good moments by the sea surrounded by Mediterranean greenery. For that purpose, fans of nature like to explore the beaches on the green islands of Ugljan, Pašman and the smallest inhabited island Lazaret and many others. Or you can simply rest and recharge in absolute tranquility on the beach of the Pinija Hotel in Petrčane and have that unique Adriatic feel of pure pleasure.

Things To Do in Zadar in 2020

Things To Do in Zadar

Feel the pulse of Zadar, the heart of Croatian seaside! Walk its historical streets, discover its amazing sights, legends and modern attractions, enjoy the most beautiful sunset in the world, be a part of the exciting buzz of the city. When in Zadar, don’t miss the chance to:

Take a walking tour

Up and down, then all around! Go down Široka ulica, locally referred to as Kalelarga, to imagine what life once was like and experience it as it is today.  Then walk along the city’s defensive walls and past its historical gates, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Find refreshment in Croatia’s first public park, Jelena Madije Park, near Land Gate and Five Wells Square.

Find a favourite square

Do as the Romans did two millennia ago, and imagine what the ancient Roman Forum must have been like back then. Have a break at People’s Square (Cro. Narodni trg), a charming medieval square and the centre of public life for centuries. Discover the archaeological site at Petar Zoranić Square, which is also a popular venue for different performances together with the adjacent Five Wells Square.

Appreciate the interaction of man-made art and nature

Experience the magnificent colours as painted in the evening sky by the setting sun. After all, Zadar is famous for the sunset. When combined with a truly unique light show as displayed by the Greetings to the Sun with the sound of the Sea Organ in the background, you are in for exceptional holiday moments you will never forget.

Go up for a great view

Count to 183! That’s how many steps you need to take to reach the top of the Belltower of St Anastasia’s Cathedral. But it’s worth it. The view of the city and Zadar Channel is simply fabulous.

Pick your favourite museum

Go back in time by visiting the Archaeological Museum just opposite St Donatus’ Church. For a touch of gold see the Permanent Exhibition of Religious Art, also known as The Gold and Silver of Zadar at the Benedictine Convent of St Mary’s Church. At the Museum of Ancient Glass, not far from the Bridge Gate, you can find an impressive collection of glassware and exceptional souvenirs. Nearby you can also step into the world of mind tricks at the Museum of Illusions.

Experience Zadar buzz

What better way to witness authentic interaction than to visit the bustling of the city market? Or simply join in the merrymaking that mark the end of the working week with Friday Feast (Cro. Feštica petkom), all summer long at the historical peninsula. To experience the tradition and customs of the city and the region, visit the Fishermen’s Night in Petrčane or the Night of the Full Moon in Zadar, both in the second part of July.

Zadar as a present

Walk & rest. Walk & relax. Walk & refresh yourself. It’s the best way to truly appreciate the charm of Zadar, one of Dalmatia’s most attractive places. It’s a holiday present (Cro. ‘za dar’ – as a present) you will always cherish and want to experience, over and over again.

Discover Petrčane for a Wonderful Holiday in Dalmatia, Croatia

Visit Petrčane in Croatia: A Small Coastal Village for a Great Holiday

Breathe in the refreshing Mediterranean air. See the bottom of the crystal clear sea in a sheltered bay. Listen to the seagull’s cry of joy. Taste the most delicious flavours of Dalmatian cuisine. Discover the charm of a Dalmatian village, discover Petrčane!

Location: pinpoint the heart of the Adriatic sea

Escape from everyday stress to peaceful Petrčane! Situated between two peninsulas, Punta Skala and Punta Radman, its excellent geographical position and mild climate make it an exceptional place not only for holidays but also to live in. The village is located roughly halfway between the historical town of Nin in the north and the city of Zadar in the south.

History: more than a millennium of charm

A walk down the history lane in Petrčane leads to prehistoric times even though the oldest reference of the settlement dates back to 1071. Since the Roman period it has formed a part of the wider Zadar area, and has always been a favourite spot for holiday homes. In the last few decades its people gradually moved from traditional olive and wine production as well as seafaring towards tourism, but being a popular holiday destination hasn’t affected Petrčane’s irresistible Dalmatian charm.

Sights: follow the traces of history

Go back in time to the Middle Ages by visiting Kulina, previously known as the Church of St. Bartol, dating back to late 12th century. The parish church of Our Lady of the Rosary, dating back to the 18th century, is located in the centre of the village. During the Austrian rule, wells were set up in the village as well as quarantine facilities, which have been preserved to date.

Beaches: pick your favourite

Beautiful sea and beach, as far as the eye can see. Stretching over 5 km, the beach in Petrčane caters to all generations and tastes – it is partly pebbly and rocky, partly concrete with docks as well as sandy. With shallow parts where kids can swim free of care, thick shade of the fragrant pine trees and access for people with disabilities, a lovely day at the beach is a dream come true for everyone. The most popular choice in Petrčane is the beach on Punta Radman peninsula, near Pinija Hotel, which also offers a number of fun beach activities.

Activities: be active on holiday

See the sights. Swim & snorkel. Sunbathe & do sports. Walk & jog, early in the morning by the calm sea or at the most wonderful sunset you have ever seen. Ride a bike to get to know the region. Do activities to keep or become fit or simply to add some adrenaline to your holiday.

Relax and breathe in the fragrant air in the shade of pine trees while lying on a sunchair. Let the sea rock you while you  lie on your water inflatable enjoying the sunrays. For even more pampering and feel-good moments, why not treat yourself to a day in a wellness centre, such as Marea Wellness & Spa centre in Pinija Hotel. Your body and mind will love it!

Trips to the region: from cultural-historical heritage to breathtaking nature

See the sights, admire the nature! Petrčane is conveniently situated in the proximity of many places of interest – from cities like Zadar and Šibenik with amazing modern and historical sights, some of which are on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites, to villages and smaller towns such as Nin and Pag, which tell a story of what life was once like on the coast. Apart from rich cultural-historical heritage of the region, beautiful wonders of nature are within easy reach as well – hike in Paklenica National Park, sail around Kornati Islands National Park with a stop in Telašćica Nature Park, swim under the waterfall in Krka National Park, cycle to Vrana Lake Nature Park and discover the remarkable scenery of Zrmanja river and canyon.

Places to eat: taste of culinary heaven

Try the golden liquids of Dalmatia – wine and olive oil. They are the two very important elements of Dalmatian cuisine, which happens to be among the healthiest in the world. Petrčane is famous for its tradition of olive and wine production, which goes back centuries. So, treat your palate to the amazing tastes of the Mediterranean in restaurants such as Pinija Hotel Restaurant, Konoba Pjero, Toka or Kraljevski Vinogradi, to name just a few.

Accommodation: find your perfect home on holiday

For a complete relaxation by the sea, without having to worry about anything and with a wide range of extra services at disposal, choose a hotel such as Pinija on Punta Radman peninsula. It’s not only a place to stay, but rather a perfect accommodation choice for a carefree holiday experience. Apart from hotels, holidaymakers in Petrčane can choose between apartments or campsites as well.

Arrival: cosy and fast

In a hurry to reach Petrčane, your lovely holiday destination? The fastest way to get there is by flying to Zadar Airport, which is roughly half an hour away from the village. More and more direct flights are available every year from many European destinations. Holidaymakers arriving by car can use the A1 motorway towards the south of Croatia and enjoy the amazing change of scenery along the way – hills, valleys and then finally the irresistible sight of the seaside. It is the cosiest arrival by road, even though there is also the D1 state road which is parallel to the motorway for travellers who want to take it easy and possibly even stop along the way.

Petrčane – your dream holiday destination on the Adriatic coast

Relax and recharge, in the cool fragrant shade of pine trees. Feel inspired by the crystal clear sea and the amazing scenery. Treat yourself to the exquisite tastes of Dalmatian cuisine and new experiences by going on a trip of discovery of the amazing places of interest nearby. Create everlasting memories of a summer holiday in the picturesque village of Petrčane, your dream holiday destination.

Explore Nature and Sights in Zadar and Vicinity by Bike

Discovering Zadar (Region) by Bike

Ride a bike because it’s good for you. Ride a bike because it’s environmentally-friendly. Ride a bike to get to know the beauty of Zadar (region) in all its diversity. Cycling, indeed, is one of the best ways to explore the stunning nature at the seaside and in the hinterland while adding a sense of adventure to your holiday.

Why cycle on holiday in Zadar region

Cycling is easy, adventurous, fun and Zadar region is a great place to experience it! Unlike hiking, riding a bike is faster and allows you to visit a lot more places while at the same time you don’t have to worry about possible traffic jams or parking in a city like Zadar.

Zadar region offers you a great choice of landscapes to explore with your family, friends or simply on your own and invites you to set yourself a challenge you will feel inspired to take on. You are the master of your tour so you can adjust your pace to your level of fitness, stop when you feel like admiring a spectacular view of the sea and beautiful nature around you or to chit chat with a local asking for directions.

Pick the right trail

Plan a cycling trip with your family and wish to see some sights along the way? Want to go off road and find your adventure in less famous places? Are you an experienced cyclist or just like to hop on a bike every now and then? By answering just a few simple questions like that and consulting Zadar Bike Magic, you are one step closer to finding the right choice of trails for your cycling trip.

Staying in Petrčane, you have an excellent position to try out quite a few MTB and road trails in addition to recreational routes perfect for families. You can also add some sightseeing in Zadar or Nin to your cycling adventure. For even more challenge, consider a tour of the islands, the nearest being the green island of Ugljan, or around Vrana Lake (Nature Park). Why not also feel the thrill of going up and down Velebit mountain, in Paklenica National Park and along Zrmanja river? 

Find a bike-friendly place to stay

Are you a true bike enthusiast? Or an occasional cyclist on holiday? In either way, choose a bike-friendly hotel like Pinija Hotel in Petrčane for your stay. Not only do we provide useful advice about cycling in the region as well as an excellent starting position for your trips of discovery, but we also offer bike services and rental.

Cycle it, feel it, love it!

You, your two-wheeler and Zadar region- a match made in heaven for some adventure, fun and inspiration on holiday! Rise up to the challenge and master the most difficult trails or simply enjoy a few scenic rides in beautiful scenery – go along the coast and on the islands, go uphill and down the mountain, go on and off road in Zadar region by bike!

Why Zadar Region is an Excellent Destination in Off Season

Reasons to Visit Zadar Region in Off Season

How to dispel the gloom of winter months? It’s simple and easy – a holiday break at the seaside will do! You may not be able to swim in the sea nor soak up as much sun as during peak season, but there are quite a few compelling reasons why Zadar region is a fascinating holiday destination in off season as well: 

1. Beautiful scenery, beautiful photos

Peace and quiet by the sea! That practically sums up the sensation you get to feel as you take a stroll along the shore in Petrčane or the promenade in Zadar. Without the glaring summer sunshine, the timing is just right to slow down, take in the soothing tranquility and snap the most amazing photos of stunning landscapes in Zadar region. 

2. Perfect timing for a visit to top national parks

1, 2, 3, 4 … and more! There a number of nature’s wonders within easy reach from Petrčane, including Croatia’s top national parks: Plitvice Lakes and Krka. In addition to cheaper tickets and far less crowds, these two national parks have a very special glow in winter. Towards the end of this season as the first spring sun rays begin to warm you up, you might also consider sailing around the islands of Zadar archipelago, visiting Kornati Islands National Park and Telašćica Nature Park. 

3. Excellent moment for museum hopping

Discover the exciting stories of the region! Learn more about the history and way of life led for centuries if not millennia in Zadar region and just have fun by visiting museums such as the Archaeological Museum, Museum of Ancient Glass, Gold and silver of Zadar exhibition, Museum of Illusions, all in Zadar, and the Museum of Salt in Nin.

4. Pick your event

From jingling bells of holiday season at the turn of the year to spring events, pick one and use as the perfect excuse for a break. For example, Đir po gradu (Cro. ‘stroll in the city’) in Zadar lasts till mid January and it’s the perfect invitation to enjoy delicious food and see the sights at a special price. January is also the month when you can witness skiing on an island at the Queen of Iž event (January 18) as well as spend a Long Night of Museums at the end of the month. Then look out for outdoor events during spring throughout the entire region. 

5. Time for wellness

Pure relaxation… with a view! The sight of the sea has a pacifying effect on your body and mind, but you can kick it up a notch with some wellness time. The wellness centre at the Pinija Hotel in Petrčane welcome you to a variety of facial and body treatments, including for kids, not the mention special rituals with authentic Mediterranean touch, massages and more. 

From winter wonderland to spring joy in Zadar region

Take a moment to discover the magic of winter by the sea followed by the awakening of nature in spring! Not only can you look forward to cheaper prices, but there’s something truly special at the seaside at this far less busy time of year. So, press pause and opt for some peace and quiet in Zadar region beginning of 2020!