Zadar is a beautiful coastal town, with a little harbour full of boats and crystal clear waters. The old town is vast full of tiny side streets to explore and roman ruins left from their empire - having studied ancient Rome at school it was awesome to see! The town has a little of everything from cosmopolitan cafes to historical churches. I’ve always found it’s best to simply roam a new town as you always find the best places when you’re lost so make sure you find some time to do it. We found a sea organ (an instrument, not a body part), which would play when the waves swept up against the harbour wall and a walkway that had solar panels embedded in in the shape of the planets along the solar system!
Now, if you hit Zadar in the summer months it’s pretty hot! So to cool down there are swimming areas all along the coastal areas of the town, and if you have an urge to submerge there is a massive diving board only a twenty minute walk down the coast! However, if that’s not your thing you can lounge in style at Garden Bar.
Garden Bar looks over the harbour and is at the top of Old Town. With perfect views of the city and a relaxed atmosphere, who wouldn’t want to spend the afternoon watching the world go by? They even have sunbeds and cabanas to relax in while you drink those delicious cocktails and eat healthy snacks as you go.
Following our afternoon in Zadar, we followed the coast down to Šibenik. Šibenik is another of Croatia’s charming coastal towns complete with another special old town twisting down small cobbled streets filled with bakeries and small cafes. It’s the best place to stay to easily get to Krka National Park, only being a 20 minute drive away or an hour via boat directly from the towns waterfront! At night, all the streets are lit up and you know you’re a small slice of history walking down the narrow pathways full of other people.
Depending on your budget, I would highly recommend walking down to the waterfront to grab yourself a delicious seafood dish. It’s all so fresh and you can source a real variety here! If your budget is tight though, you can still find a few take away style seafood joints that are much more backpacker friendly in the finance department. Just walk along the harbour and past all the swish yachts moored up here - you'll eventually find the cheaper food just before reaching the beach.
Šibenik is more laid back than Novalja on Pag Island, so don’t expect a huge part scene . Drinks will be cheap in bars though which is great and we headed to a very cool bar that was underground in an derelict well (or something along those lines…) called Azimut. It was pretty dead but our group still managed to get dancing so make sure you head over there to check it out! Unfortunately, no more outdoor partying as the bar is below a church and the priests were getting angry about the late night noise being disrespectful so it all has to be deep within the walls now, but it’s still loud enough for you to sing and no-one to hear you!
If beaches are your thing, there are a vast number of beaches to relax on here, and you can even kayak from the mainland to a few of the islands not too far away! This is a must for any adventurer and you can even visit a nearby fort on the mainland before setting off on your sea crossing. If you would rather chill out with a cocktail again like in Zadar, you may want to find the local camping resort. Now don’t be fooled as I was, this isn’t like you’re typical English trip to Saunton Sands or Minehead's Butlins. In Croatia it would seem a camping resort includes an over 18's pool and bar area, a club disguised as a pirate ship, a number of beaches, a land train and loads of restaurants to get a bite to eat in. With loungers in the water, and cabanas facing the sea one would think they were in a 5* resort all finished with sunbed waiter service! Only a short journey from Šibenik and not something to miss, so remember the name - Solaris Camping Resort! Unfortunately the image below doesn't do it justice, but it's an incredible resort so take a peak online.
This drew to a close our penultimate stop in Croatia, before we meandered down to Trogir - the final destination!
The final chapter of my Croatian summer was spent in Trogir. This beautiful little seaside town is a great place to stay if you want to be able to access the famous cities and national parks as most are an easy drive or bus trip away. But why should you pay a visit here over so many charming towns in Croatia? This one is a UNESCO heritage site thanks to its rich history! Like a lot of Dalmatia it was originally settled in by Greeks 2300 years ago and overtime has also been home to the Romans and Venetians. Spend a day getting lost in the old town or sipping coffee watching the boats float by in the harbour.
Places not to miss here?