Zadar was the last of the Croatian coastal towns we visited. We chose to stay a night and day in Zadar due to the location being a perfect place to stop on the somewhat lengthy drive between Vis and Slovenia. We also wanted to experience a town in Northern Dalmatia as we had read it was quite different than the southern parts of Croatia. To be honest, as much as we love the sea, by the time we got to Zadar we were both ready for the mountains and rivers of Slovenia. Though our brief time in Zadar didn’t offer the change of scenery we were craving, we left with quit a few reasons to stop there and spend some time.
Arguably one of the most interesting parts of Zadar is the giant Sea Organ and nearby Sun Salutation. The Sea Organ is made up of sections of varying numbers of steps which lead into the ocean. The steps have pipes underneath them which use the air and sea to create strange noises…”music”? We spent a fair amount of time sitting on the steps staring out at the many distant islands watching the boats go by. Each boat creates different sized waves which in turn changes the music being played. The Sun Salutation, also along the harbor, is a circle about 20 meters wide decorated with glass plates. The circles collects energy during the day to power the lights on the harbor. The rhythm of the waves causes light pulses of the LEDs underneath the glass. These architectural oddities were definitely worth seeing. Here is a video (not ours) since this is so difficult to describe:
Zadar’s architecture dates back to the times of Julius Caesar. The Church of St. Donatus, the Roman Forum, andaqueduct ruins are a few of the most important Roman ruins in Zadar. We did not spend much time exploring the different Roman buildings other than in passing.
Those are some of the most traditional reasons to visit Zadar. However – one of the most memorable aspects of our time here was the amazing meal we had on the recommendation of our Airbnb host. The Northern part of Croatia is supposed to have the best food due to its Italian influence. Due to the cheap Croatian prices we were able to order enough dishes and appetizers to taste this theory. Absolutely amazing.
Another reason we loved Zadar: it was a great place to buy gifts. The Old Town of Zadar has a very upscale feel to it and many of the shops sell higher quality items than other towns in Croatia. Zadar is also famous for the beautiful glass-blowing and Maraschino liqueur.