If you plan to stay in Zadar, you have much to look forward to. Zadar is a beautiful Venetian-styled city with stone streets, summer activities, music, culture, and fantastic food to eat. However, if you are like me and enjoy venturing out to see what’s outside of Zadar within an hour’s drive or ferry ride, then read on for 10 day trips outside of Zadar. If you want to get out of town to check out some of the neighboring towns and villages, make sure some of these destinations are on your list.
- Very close to Zadar is the lovely little village of Petrčane, mainly a swimming destination however, there are vineyards and wine tasting around the area too. One winery is Royal Vineyards which has it all, including an interesting historical background and five excellent varieties of wines sure to delight.
2. Pag Island is 50 minutes away from Zadar, and it looks like a beautiful moonscape! Besides the barren landscape, Pag is famous for its cheese, sheep, lace, and lovely beaches. A walk around Pag town, try some lamb peka (a local delicacy not to be missed) at a restaurant, along with a visit to the Lace gallery, will leave you very satisfied and happy that you chose Pag! Also, as you drive back to Zadar look for the tiny church along the route and make sure you stop for a minute to look it over.
3. Another place that will surprise you is the mud beach of Nin. On arrival, walk down to the beach, and the view of the Velebit mountains will astound you; they are spectacular along the Nin coastline. Just walk along the beach until you see some muddy patches and cover yourselves in the healing therapeutic mud. After you swim awhile and clean up, make sure you walk around the lovely little village with its charming alleyways and buildings to entice you along your walk. Visit donkeys at Farma Magarca Ranč Dar-Mar Žerava ulica 1, Žerava, 23232, Nin, Croatia
4. Not to be missed is a ferry ride to neighboring islands, Ugljan island is the closest, about twenty- five minutes by passenger ferry, but Iž is also not far away by passenger ferry, an hour and five minutes for Iž. The passenger ferry services are in the center of the city, outside of the old town gates. You can buy tickets that day and then go out for passenger ferries. If you want to bring your car to an island, then the Jadrolinija ferry is outside of the city, and I would recommend reserving that online well in advance. I show up an hour early for car ferries because it’s first come, first serve. Since I have the dogs, we must sit outside, and there is limited outside seating. I get there early so we can get a comfortable bench outside the cabin. I have seen people miss the ferry by just a few cars, so it’s good to come early.
Ugljan is a big island with numerous towns, including Kali and Kukljica, as well as villages and a must-see castle with fabulous views for hikers. There are town buses that can take you to the outlying villages where you can enjoy walking around and swimming in the great coves. If you don’t feel like getting out and about in Ugljan, stay in Preko and have a delicious lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants, you won’t be disappointed, and of course, swimming right in the center near everything is so much fun.
5. Paklenica National Park is a short 47 km from Zadar and well worth a great day trip. It is part of the Velebit mountain range and a focal point around Zadar and its vicinity. There are hiking and rock-climbing trails.
6. Take a day trip to Krka, one of our favorite parks. Though you can’t swim in the lower waterfalls if you’re coming by car, there are other places to explore. Read my Krka posts to determine your plan for exploring this beautiful freshwater paradise. These three posts will help plan your adventure to Krka: Krka North Park, Roški Slap, and 10 Things to Do in Krka National Park.
7. Zrmanja is one of my favorite rivers in Croatia. This green canyon-riding peaceful river is the perfect place to see from above, then drive down into the canyon along one of the side roads and swim inside the fresh river. There are restaurants, boat rentals, kayaking trips, and loads of swimming spots to choose from along the way, so make this a place to go and make sure to bring plenty of water. Read the Zrmanja River post.
8. Kudin Most na Krupi, if you’re up for a hike, this beautiful area of the Krupa River will surely please you. It’s not just awe-inspiringly beautiful. It’s also not populated. Hike down into the canyon for about forty minutes, then swim in the waterfalls or lounge in shallow waters. The water is so clean and perfect. The hike is a bit heavy, so bring plenty of water; it’s so hot here in the summer.
9. A day trip over to Pakoštane and Biograd. Take a walk on the protected lake Vransko Jezero and ride up the hill to the Vidikovac Kamenjak; the views are amazing. Make reservations to eat there; it’s fantastic food and excellent service. This place is ultra-romantic for sunset; we loved it! If you’re after wineries, then check them out here! If you like castles, check out; it’s a beauty. Drive along and explore some of their lovely wineries. We loved Mašvina, they have lovely olive oil, and their tasting is a fantastic value. After being filled with wine, meats, and cheeses, we lounged in their hammock in the vineyard; it was a perfect way to spend the afternoon. After sleeping off the wine, we headed back out for more exploring.
If you rather lounge around Zadar, read 10 Things to Do in Zadar. The Zadar region is a fantastic area of Croatia. You’re going to have so much fun! Subscribe for more Croatian travels, and have a lovely day.