The Zadar County of Croatia is a place you will fall in love with. Here are a few destinations which you must experience;
- UNESCO Zadar Old Town
- Adriatic Sea, Beautiful Islands and Beaches
- Excellent Food and Wine
- Instagram Worthy Horseshoe Bend Canyon
- Nin Island Village and Croatian Salt
- Drive through the Picturesque Dinaric Alps
Many tourists choose a hotel in the UNESCO Old Town of Zadar. However, you should also consider staying in the beautiful and peaceful countryside. You could choose a resort with private beach and spa such as Hotel and Spa Iadera. Alternatively, you can stay in an Ottoman era Maskovica Han Heritage Hotel.
UNESCO Old Town of Zadar
A must for all visitors to Zadar County is a walk through the UNESCO Old Town. As well as the old streets and buildings, there’s a Roman Forum and Romanesque Cathedral. Scale the Bell Tower for panoramic views over the old town and Adriatic Sea. Something unique about Zadar is the Sea Organ which enables the sea to play music. Adjacent to the Sea Organ is the Monument to the Sun which is arguably the best sunset location in Croatia. Finally, Zadar has a Venetian influence, as a result there is the Museum of Glass where you can buy the Zadar version of Murano glass. Read more about the things to do in Zadar on my Croatia travel blog.
Tuna, Sushi and Wine Festival
Zadar County hosts the annual Tuna, Sushi and Wine festival. Foodies will be rewarded if the visit Croatia during this 10 day festival. The Zadar County features wine estates as well as miles of Adriatic coast therefore there is no better place to hold this event.
Croatian tuna are reared in huge pens throughout the Adriatic Sea. They are fed healthy fish whilst they swim stress free. Did you know that the Adriatic Sea is amongst the cleanest in Europe? As a result, Croatia boasts some of the best tuna in the world. If you’re sailing in Zadar County why not pass by the tuna pens?
If you’re lucky enough to visit the tuna pens at feeding time you’ll witness a lot of action! As you would imagine, seagulls get in on the action when the tuna are delivered fresh fish.
The Best Tuna in the World?
The Adriatic Sea is full of essential minerals. As a result, tuna from this area are incredibly healthy, not to mention, mercury free. When was the last time you looked into a clear sea? It’s accepted that the Japanese know which is the best tuna. Much of the Croatian tuna is exported to Japan which is a good indication that it could be the best in the world!
Try the Adriatic tuna for yourself and decide how it rates in comparison to your region.
Sailing through Zadar County is both a rewarding and relaxing experience. As well as exploring several islands you can also relax on quiet beaches. That’s not to mention the incredible sunsets you’ll witness over the Adriatic Sea. Did you know that Zadar Region features a love heart shaped island called Galesnjak?
As well as admiring several majestic views on a boat trip it’s highly likely you’ll see pods of bottlenose dolphins. These dolphins are common in the Zadar County therefore you’re chances of seeing them are high.
Maslenica Bridge Bungee Jump
Zadar Region offers the highest bungee jump in Croatia. Jump into the beautiful Zrmanja River. This is Croatia’s answer to the famous Stari Most jump in neighbouring Mostar, Bosnia. Bungee jumps can be organised online with Izazov Tours.
Zrmanja River Canyon
The Zrmanja River Canyon is one of the most beautiful views in Croatia, perhaps even Europe. For this reason, it’s part of my best places to visit in Croatia list. As a matter of fact, it’s hard to understand why this horseshoe canyon is not famous! Having said that, it’s famous in Germany as it’s part of the Winnetou & Old Shatterhand TV series. Zrmanja River canyon is located in the Velebit mountain range which is the largest in Croatia. Additionally, it’s part of the Dinaric Alps. Due to the unpaved roads it’s best to visit this mountain range as part of a jeep tour. I visited with Velebit Photo Safari and you’re guaranteed many Instagram worthy shots on a journey through the Velebit mountain range.
Velebit Mountain Range
A common picture you see of Croatia is looking from the Adriatic Sea at a town with the mountains as a backdrop. A rare sight is to look down from the mountains at the Adriatic Sea. This majestic view is just one of several rewards for taking a trip into the mountains. On a clear day it’s possible to see several islands surrounded by the strong blues of the Adriatic Sea.
Luka Modric Childhood Home
As you drive into the Velebit mountain range you’ll pass the former home of Luka Modric. It’s said that at 5 years old Luka Modric was shepherding goats in the area. This area of Croatia has a dark history and was affected by the Croatian War of Independence in 1991. Luka Modric was just 6 years old when his family had to abandon their home. Eventually, their home was burned by Serb rebels. As a refugee, Luka Modric moved to a hotel in Zadar where he started to play football in the car park. Read about the football club in Bosnia where Luka Modric played early in his career.
The island village of Nin is famous for its salt production and the Solana Nin Salt Museum explains the history of salt in Zadar County. However, before you visit the salt museum you must take a walk through Nin old town. Note the statue of Gregory of Nin. If you’ve visited Split, Croatia, you may recognise this statue as there’s another one adjacent to Diocletian’s Palace. It’s considered good luck to rub his big toe. Other notable Nin attractions are the churches. To learn all about the history of Nin, you must visit the Museum of Nin Antiquities.
Croatian Salt – Solana Nin
At the Solana Nin Salt Museum you will learn not only how salt is produced today but also how it was historically produced. Something I found interesting about the production was the flower of salt nin. This is healthier salt which accumulates at the top of the salt pan. Finally, there are lots of salt products available from salty chocolate to salty cheese. Visit the Solana Nin website for more information and to view the online store.
Vineyard and Wine Tasting
There’s no better way to experience the Zadar Region wine than on a visit to Kraljevski Vinogradi. In addition to the different wines there are also complementary finger foods. After you’ve sampled the wine, you’re welcome to visit the wine shop which sell their exclusive products. You may also wish to take a short stroll through the vineyards whilst enjoying the stunning views over the Adriatic.
Where to stay in Zadar County
There are various sleeping options throughout the region including Old Town Zadar, a private yacht or even in a historic Ottoman home.
Old Town Zadar
If you like to be within walking distance of bars and restaurants I highly recommend you stay in the UNESCO Old Town of Zadar. An added bonus is that you’ll be a short walking distance from perhaps the best sunset location in Croatia, The Monument to the Sun.
Hotel and Spa Iadera
Hotel and Spa Iadera offers various types of spas as well as private beaches and a huge outdoor swimming pool. In addition, it features several restaurants and cafes. There’s a huge fitness center too if you wish to work out! Both sunrise and sunset can be spectacular from this location. Lastly, it’s a short drive to Zadar Old Town and Nin Village.
Maskovica Han Heritage Hotel
The Maskovica Han Heritage Hotel was built in the 17th century as a summer house for Ottoman Sultans. Today, it’s a hotel and museum which offers a very unique experience. There’s also an onsite fine dining restaurant which serves excellent Croatian food and wine.
Enjoy your visit to Zadar County
The Zadar County of Croatia offers islands, beaches, boating, Roman ruins, Ottoman ruins, adventure, mountains, top Instagram locations, as well as excellent food and wine options. Whatever your type of holiday, you’ll find something you love in the Zadar Region of Croatia.
Things to do in Dubrovnik, Split, plus the lesser visited Osijek, Pula and Zagreb.
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