La breeze in your hair, the warm sun on your skin and the lapping of the waves. It is the typical day at sea in the region of Zadar, in Croatia, characterized by kilometers of coastline thanks to the three hundred islands scattered around the archipelago. Some of the most beautiful beaches are around Zadar, among them Zaton, a bit of sand and a bit of pebbles, on which the Blue Flag is flying again this year, and Laguna Nin, with warm, shallow water. With a day trip by motorboat or sailing ship (youknowboat.com) from the port of Zadar you can reach the Telasćica Nature Park, on the island of Dugi Otok, the largest in the archipelago.
On the north-western side there is the Caribbean colored beach of Sakarun: white sand and crystal clear water, bordered by a cool pine forest; in the southwestern part, they dominate the vertical cliffs, called Stene, where peregrine and queen falcons nest, and the salt lake Mir. Paddling with a kayak in thewide Telasćica bayprotected and safe, also suitable for beginners, you can reach small deserted coves and bays where you can take a dream bath (adamo.hr).
On some islands you can also arrive with the sup, halfway between surfing and canoeing, you can advance by paddling standing on the board (malikadventures.com). Anyone wishing to reach the natural park by car can load it on the ferry, perhaps for a stay in one of the fishermen’s houses a few meters from the sea (croatiainfo.it/appartamento-dugi-otok.htm) or in Tajer lighthouse, on the islet of Vela Sestrica.
The aristocrat Zara and her Venetian heritage
The beating heart of the eastern Adriatic coast is Zadar, former capital of Dalmatia. Proud and aristocratic, it preserves its past among the mighty walls that surround the historic centerin a mix of Roman remains and early Christian buildings, medieval monuments and Gothic churches, Baroque architecture, nineteenth-century palaces and modern buildings. The Venetian heritage can also be found at Mas, Musei dei Vetri Antichi, where you can watch glass blowing.
Croatia between “lunar” landscapes and Caribbean bays
Further north of Zadar enchants the island of Pag (tzgpag.hr), unique for its lunar landscape of white stone marked by long dry stone walls, vineyards and the scent of sage, which boasts beautiful pebble beaches and small coves. The least crowded, like Mata or Krusvina, are located around the village of Lun, in the northwestern tip of the island, which can also be toured by bike along a route of seven kilometers. Irresistible the walk in the olive groves with the twisted trunks from the centuries, in Vrtovi lunskih maslina park24 hectares, botanical reserve since 1993. The shores of Caska are beautiful, a loop of sand bathed by transparent water. The island of Pag is divided into two regions: the northern part falls within the Kvarner area, while the southern part belongs to Dalmatia and extends to Dubrovnik. If young people prefer the Novalja area, lovers of silence and tranquility choose the far south.
Where to sleep in Croatia
Falkensteiner Family Hotel Diadora
Petrčane, Ulica 1.
On the Punta Skala peninsula, a new Falky Land, the children’s area, has reopened with great attention to the needs of families. Babies are also welcome. Double, with half board, and children’s menu, from 505 euros. Reservations: 0472.694134. falkensteiner.com
Camping Village Poljanay
A few kilometers from the village of Mali Lošinj, the structure is lapped on both sides by a crystalline sea: on one side the dock and on the other a bay with the beach. From 119 euros per cottage for 4 people. baiaholiday.com/destinazioni/croatia
Tajer or Veli Rat lighthouse
In the surroundings of Zadar there are two lighthouses in which
you can sleep. Prices for a double range from 96 to 149 euros per night, depending on the season. A minimum stay of three nights is required in Tajer. lighthouses-croatia.com
Where to eat
Zara, Kralja Dmitra Zvonimira 2.
It offers fresh fish dishes, shellfish or tasting menus with five or eight courses, and a menu for vegetarians. fosa.hr
Lun, Tovarnele 35.
Near the sea. On the menu fish and Croatian cuisine. zadar.hr/it
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