My last stop in Croatia was Zadar, my only reason for going was for my flight to Paris but I’m glad I got to spend some time there.
Zadar seems to have recently opened up to budget airlines like Ryan Air and become a visited spot on the coast.
As i mentioned in my post about Split, when I first got to Croatia my main thought was all the amazing beaches I’ve seen photos of, after some research and visiting the bigger towns I realised that to see these beaches you really need a car to be able to drive along the coast and stop off yourself at the small coves or you need to take a boat trip, ideally one that is over a few days like Sail Croatia.
With that in mind I didn’t have the beach on my mind when I got to Zadar. The town itself is definitely smaller than Split but a lot bigger than Sibenik.
Zadar has a great long promenade and there are steps leading into the sea all along it so most of the time children are jumping in and people are sunbathing on the side. What I liked about the promenade is there aren’t any restaurants directly on it, there are some just off but for some reason I liked this (maybe because I can’t afford to sit in said restaurants!). There are benches all the way along the water’s edge and lots of flowers, I spent hours reading a book and sitting on the free wifi with the sun directly on me and with an amazing view.
The old town isn’t as impressive as Split or Sibenik, it seems to have a lot of newer and uglier buildings built between the nice old buildings but there are still a number of streets you can walk down with lots of restaurants, cafes and shops. I later read that Zadar was heavily bombed in World War 2 so i assume this is why some of the old buildings are now gone with newer buildings in their place.
One thing i noticed is that Pizza seems like a huge thing as there are loads of shops selling sliced pizza which is a good budget lunch- £1.50 a slice and the most amazingly presented ice-cream stands I have seen so far in Europe where you can get two scoops for £1.60.
There is a city beach which I visited for a few hours, it’s a 10-15 minute walk from the old town and although it wasn’t the nicest beach i have ever seen, it’s a reasonable size, the water was the iconic clear and then crystal blue colour and surprise surprise it has pebbles which I seem to have got used to now!
Both evenings I went to see the sunset as I imagined it was a good one and it certainly was as the sun sets directly into the sea (I love those kind!) and it wasn’t just me that went to watch, over a hundred people were sat on the promenade which has steps and some benches and all waited a good 30 minutes for to set.. So nice!
Something quite random that Zadar has is a sea organ! As i mentioned Zadar the harbour were destroyed during the world war 2 and recently they were in a bid to make it more friendly on the eye and a guy came up with this idea. Basically under the promenade there are polyethylene tubes and as the water moves against them they make a loud noise, it really sounds like instruments are being played under the sea!
Overall I would recommend visiting Zadar, it really grew on me for the 2 and a half days I was there. Although there are quite a few day trips you can do- Plitvice lakes national park being one I would recommend. I don’t think you would need longer than a few days here as I can imagine it would get quite boring but with cheap flights going in and out and with the airport just 30 minutes away and a £2.50 public bus ride away, it would be good for a few days and like Split Zadar is reasonably priced for a traveller if you get take out food and don’t sit in the really nice restaurants but for a holiday maker it would be very cheap!