Zadar is situated in the center of Adriatic and is the perfect base for visiting other destinations. In just a few hours of driving from Zadar are situated 4 national parks and 3 nature parks, so on every step you can find nature that will amaze you and your senses. From mountains to waterfalls, islands and charming coastal towns, there’s something for anyone.
Beautiful Dalmatia is a seaside region with rich culture and ancient towns that are thousands of years old and hide incredible sites and stories. Not only that Zadar has UNESCO site, but as well as Šibenik and Split, cities that are in its immediate vicinity. That tells a lot about the importance and the value of the cultural monuments that are a must see while visiting this area.
If you are planning to visit Zadar read our list of what you should visit from Zadar.
1. Royal town of Nin
Nin is both Royal town and Romantic city whose old town is situated on a tiny island that is connected to the mainland by bridges. It is a place where a Croatian state was born and kings where crowned. But it also has the title of European Best Romantic destination, so if you are a hopeless romantic, this is the town for you. Nin beaches are also a must see, discover sandy lagoon named Queen’s beach, regarded as one of the best beaches in Croatia.
Take a Tour to Royal town of Nin, story of salt and wine tasting and spend great day exploring the area.
2. The island of Pag
Pag is a fascinating island with unique geographical features. Even though it may look like uninhabited rocky landscape, it is the home of the finest cheeses in Croatia, UNESCO protected lace, the largest manufacturing salt plant in the country, stunning beaches and vibrant towns that hide valuable monuments. Pag is connected the mainland by the bridge so you can access it easily.
You can discover this Moonlike island on a Tour to Pag island with cheese tasting.
3. National park Paklenica
In Paklenica National park there is more than 150 km of outstanding mountain trails and two grand peaks higher than 1,750 m, so it is a true heaven for every hiker. Good thing is that you do not have to be a skilled climber to experience the beauty of Paklenica. You can embark on the most popular scenic trail from the canyon of Velika Paklenica all the way to the mountain lodge and enjoy in amazing views of the mountain and the area.
If you want to experience this park with experienced guide than you should book Hiking in Paklenica National Park.
4. Velebit Nature park
Velebit mountain is the largest of Croatia’s mountains and the largest protected area in the country since the entire mountain is protected as a nature park. Magnificent limestone formations of Tulove grede, wonderful views of the Adriatic and much more are all part of an exciting jeep safari ride that you can book here.
5. Ugljan island
The island of Ugljan is the closest to the city of Zadar among all the other islands of the archipelago. The town of Preko is administrative center of the island and ferry port. The name “Preko” implies the position of the town across the city of Zadar (in Croatian Preko translated into English means “across”). In 2016, the island of Ugljan was declared Best European hidden gem on the portal Best European Destination.
Rent a bike or take a Self guided bike tour on Ugljan island and explore the island of Ugljan, cycle through the picturesque island villages and many natural bays.
6. Telašćica Nature park
Telašćica is the most beautiful Adriatic bay situated at the southeast part of Dugi otok (Croatian Long island), immersed 8 km into the land and one of the safest and largest natural harbors on the Adriatic.
Discover this stunning nature park and swim in turquoise waters of serene coves, book a Full day boat tour from Zadar to Kornati National park, Mana island and Telašćica.
7. Kornati National park
Kornati National park is an archipelago situated south from Zadar, that consists of 89 islands, islets and reefs scattered across the sea. It is the most indented island group in the Mediterranean looking like labyrinth of stones surrounded by crystal clear sea.
The Kornati can only be reached by sea so book a Full day boat tour from Zadar to Kornati National park, Mana island and Telašćica to experience its deep crystal clear waters.
8. Heart-shaped island Galešnjak
The Island of Galešnjak is known for its heart shape and therefore called the island of Love or the Love island. It was accidentally discovered during a Google Earth search and instantly became a topic on TV channels such as CNN and BBC so the whole world found out about Galešnjak.
There is no car ferry that can take you to the island, but you can visit it in a Boat trip to Galešnjak Love Island.
9. City of Šibenik
The Šibenik is located south of Zadar. It is a beautiful city rich in history and the most important Šibenik monuments are the Cathedral of St. James and St. Nicholas fortress, which are under the protection of UNESCO. Scenes from Šibenik old town are also shown in a Game of Thrones serial, in which it represented the city of Braavos.
Visit Šibenik and enjoy in an adventurous Jeep safari through its amazing hinterland in a Šibenik Jeep safari.
10. Krka National park
Krka National Park is situated in Šibenik-Knin County. Krka river forms 7 beautiful waterfalls along its 75 km long flow through the canyon to the point where it flows into the sea.
Discover the magnificent Skradinski buk, the loudest and best known waterfall on the Krka river in a Tour to Krka waterfalls National Park from Zadar.
11. City of Split
Split is the second largest city in Croatia with historical centre that was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. In 300 AD Roman Emperor Diocletian built a palace there, which became its imperial villa after he abdicated the throne voluntarily.
Take a Full-day tour from Zadar to Split, Trogir and Klis and visit 2 UNESCO cities and 1 fortress.
12. Plitvice National park
Plitvice Lakes National Park is situated in the mountainous region of Croatia, 1,5 hours of driving from Zadar. Plitvice are Croatia’s first national park proclaimed in 1949. and it became part of the UNESCO World Heritage List very early, since 1979 due to outstanding universal value. Even the CNN listed Plitvice on their list of 25 the most beautiful places around the world.
Visit this must-see national park in Croatia in a Full day tour to Plitvice Lakes National park from Zadar.