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Discover the historic delights of Croatia’s Zadar Region

Admirers of inspiring landscapes, history, adventure, and Mediterranean cuisine will be delighted by each area of Croatia's Zadar Region.

Discover the historic delights of Croatia's Zadar Region
Photo: Maslenici, TZ Tkon. Boris Kačan

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Croatia's idyllic Zadar Region is one of the Mediterranean's most authentic symbols of historic Dalmatia. Lush nature, stunning sights, and traditional cuisine combine for an all-round genuine taste of true Croatia.

The inspiring landscape is made up of sandy beaches bordering sapphire-coloured seas, creating the perfect surroundings for a break of both body and mind. Whether you enjoy city breaks, serenity, or a dose of adrenaline, the stunning Zadar Region has it all.

Start planning your trip to Zadar Region

Take a city break

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Photo: Riva, Zadar. Pervan CNTB

If you choose to take a city break in Zadar, you'll discover a destination rich with culture and mouth-watering cuisine.

Watch the sunset from Zadar's unique Sea Organ, an architectural sound object and experimental musical instrument, and enjoy the harmonic music of the sea. You'll see just why iconic film director Alfred Hitchcock once described Zadar's sunset as the “most beautiful in the world.”

Photo: Sea Organ. Ivan Čorić

Zadar's sea promenade Riva offers a spectacular viewpoint where you can observe the beauty of the Zadar Canal, the islands of Ugljan and Pašman, and the open sea in the northwest.

History lives on through numerous monuments and cultural heritage throughout Zadar, with the combination of art and architecture of all styles dating back to ancient times. 

Photo: Donat. Zadar Forum 5

St. Donat church is one of the most recognisable symbols of Zadar but the whole region is rich in cultural and historical heritage like Church of the Holy Cross in Nin, Benedictine Monastery at Pašman, Roman Forum or Monastery Krupa that are minutes drive away from Zadar.

'Nature's infinity pool'

Photo: Aleksander Gospic

In Zadar Region, the view of the endless sea is nature's most wonderful infinity pool. Picture 20 kilometres of coast at the bottom of the magnificent mountain Velebit – the richness of nature here offers a fairytale scene of natural beauty.

You can experience it all by visiting Starigrad Paklenica where, apart from the breath-taking scenery, visitors can enjoy adventurous activities such as trekking, hiking, and alpinism. After climbing the Velebit mountain you'll be rewarded with a breath-taking view that stretches over the seascape.

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In Starigrad Paklenica, climbers can enjoy the real experience through photo safari hiking or mountain biking. If that's not adventurous enough, you can try rafting and canoeing down the Zrmanja or Krka rivers.

And for extreme adrenaline junkies, there's abseiling via ferrata and bridging. 

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Photo: Arhiva Šimun Cimerman, Veleb

Wanderlusters will relish sailing in Biograd, a town situated on a small peninsula and shoreline in Northern Dalmatia.

Thanks to its indented coastline and island configurations that provide a haven for sailors, Biograd is one of the most popular sailing destinations. This beautiful seaside resort and important nautical centre was once the crown city of the Croatian kings.

Today, Biograd's history is reflected in its rich and interesting historical and cultural heritage and is the ideal place to delve into ancient times. The coastal and insular flora and fauna around Biograd is rich and colourful and high visibility of the sea is ideal for underwater photo safaris.

Sailors touring the Zadar Region can sail through pined islands with untouched nature, sandy lagoons and hidden caves.

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Photo: Biogra. Boris Kacan

Photo: Jakov Đinđić

A combination of verdant nature and deep aquamarine is complemented with architectural and cultural monuments.

Nin is a historical little city located a few minutes’ drive from Zadar where history buffs can see the world's smallest cathedral and abundance of medieval and Roman monuments.

The Nin Riviera, rich in history, is proud of its rich heritage and its 'white gold', i.e. salt! Salt production in Nin dates back to Roman times and is still produced in the same way now as it was 2000 years ago.

The sun, endless sandy beaches, healing treatments with medicinal mud, and cultural and gastronomic treasures are among highlights of the Nin Riviera – the largest area of sandy beaches in Croatia where you can also enjoy walking, jogging, wind and kitesurfing as well as spectacular sunsets.

Photo: Velid Jakupovic

Photo: Velid Jakupović

Tastes of the Zadar Region

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Fresh fish, wine and olive oil is the trinity of the Dalmatian cuisine. They are complemented with spices made from aromatic herbs growing in the surrounding and hinterland of Zadar Region.

Photo: Maja Danica Pecanic

Walking through Zadar will introduce you to authentic aromas and tastes of the region from local taverns and restaurants.

Fresh fish is one of the main ingredients of Dalmatian food so be sure to try it with salted sage and marinade served with risotto. This region of Croatia is also well known for smoked ham which is usually washed down with a glass of local wine and a side serving of cheese.

The cheese from Pag has gained recognition (and multiple awards) all over the globe (its golden olive oil is also world famous). Make sure to try another regional dish: Šokol, a traditional dried meat sausage made from high-quality pork meat, salt and spices. But what gives it its special recognizable taste is Bora, the particular aromatic wind that blows from the north to the Nin Riviera.

The gastronomic offering of Zadar Region mainly consists of lamb, sheep and goats cheese, prosciutto dried on famous Adriatic bora wind, along with the traditional specialities of Velebit and Zadar hinterland. Velebit and hinterland keep the long tradition of agriculture, producing the potato and cabbage served with local dried meat and venison. 

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Photo: Roman Martin

The tastes of local food go best with local wine. The winemaking tradition in the region dates to Roman times and is unchanged today. Almost every local household produces their own wine, keeping the tradition of their ancestors alive.

Except for wine, while you're here, make sure to try the famous maraschino, a liqueur that was traditionally drunk by kings.

This article was sponsored by Croatia National Tourist Board and Zadar Region.

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TRAVEL

Could Oslo-Copenhagen overnight train be set for return?

A direct overnight rail service between the Norwegian and Danish capitals has not operated since 2001, but authorities in Oslo are considering its return.

Norway’s transport minister Knut Arild Hareide has asked the country’s railway authority Jernbanedirektoratet to investigate the options for opening a night rail connection between Oslo and Copenhagen.

An answer is expected by November 1st, after which the Norwegian government will decide whether to go forward with the proposal to directly link the two Nordic capitals by rail.

Jernbanedirektoratet is expected to assess a timeline for introducing the service along with costs, market and potential conflicts with other commercial services covering the route.

“I hope we’ll secure a deal. Cross-border trains are exciting, including taking a train to Malmö, Copenhagen and onwards to Europe,” Hareide told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

The minister said he envisaged either a state-funded project or a competition awarding a contract for the route’s operation to the best bidder.

A future Oslo-Copenhagen night train rests on the forthcoming Jernbanedirektoratet report and its chances of becoming a reality are therefore unclear. But the Norwegian rail authority earlier this year published a separate report on ways in which passenger train service options from Norway to Denmark via Sweden can be improved.

“We see an increasing interest in travelling out of Norway by train,” Jernbanedirektoratet project manager  Hanne Juul said in a statement when the report was published in January.

“A customer study confirmed this impression and we therefore wish to make it simpler to take the train to destinations abroad,” Juul added.

Participants in the study said that lower prices, fewer connections and better information were among the factors that would encourage them to choose the train for a journey abroad.

Norway’s rail authority also concluded that better international cooperation would optimise cross-border rail journeys, for example by making journey and departure times fit together more efficiently.

The Femahrn connection between Denmark and Germany, currently under construction, was cited as a factor which could also boost the potential for an overland rail connection from Norway to mainland Europe.

Night trains connected Oslo to Europe via Copenhagen with several departures daily as recently as the late 1990s, but the last such night train between the two cities ran in 2001 amid dwindling demand.

That trend has begun to reverse in recent years due in part to an increasing desire among travellers to select a greener option for their journey than flying.

Earlier this summer, a new overnight train from Stockholm to Berlin began operating. That service can be boarded by Danish passengers at Høje Taastrup near Copenhagen.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about the new night train from Copenhagen to Germany

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