Zadar is a small town located on the coast of the Adriatic, a couple hours north of the popular tourist destination of Split. Plitvice National Park was a bit more accessible from Zadar versus Split, and I had heard that Zadar provided some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world, I knew I had to make a stop here.
My first impressions of Croatia were that it reminded me a lot of Italy. Zadar boasted brightly colored buildings, cobblestone streets, and small quaint cafes with an abundant of outdoor seating options. Pasta, pizza, and wine, could all be found in large supply as well. The town of Zadar is very small-one could traverse the area in an hour on foot.
After doing a lot of sightseeing throughout Germany and the Netherlands, I took the time to soak everything in, relaxing in one of the many cafes and even catching some sun on the promenade off the coast of the Adriatic sea. There were a few brave souls who were enjoying a swim, but the water was a bit too cold for my liking. I decided to save my swimming for a few weeks later when I would be participating in the infamous Yacht Week, and sailing around the islands of Croatia.
Zadar was also awarded Europe’s best destination in 2016, besting cities such as Athens, Rome, Vienna, and Madrid! It is the oldest continuously habitable city in Europe. There are many remnants of the ancient Roman Empire throughout the city, including the famous Roman Forum (although it isn’t much more than some stone ruins currently).
My favorite part about Zadar? Definitely the SUNSETS. I had seen several pictures of the famous sunsets of Zadar and I instantly knew that I had to experience it for myself. Alfred Hitchcock even said
“The sunset of Zadar is the world’s most beautiful and incomparably better than in Key West, Florida”
For the three nights I stayed in Zadar, I would venture to the promenade in the early evening in anticipation of the sunset. Unfortunately, due to its fame, many other people also desire to experience the sunset and would get a bit too crowded for my liking.
Also unique to Zadar? It houses the world’s only sea organ! Only a little over 10 years old, it was constructed in 2005 by a man named Nikola Basic. Concealed under these steps is a system of tubes and a cavity that turns the site into a large musical instrument, played by the results of the wind and the sea waves washing over the pipes. I’ll admit that it’s not the most beautiful sound, but it was entertaining to listen to, and another quirk of this charming seaside town.
If you happen to find yourself in Croatia, a stop in Zadar is highly encouraged!