Tours from Plitvice lakes
Beautiful Croatia is waiting to be explored!

Zadar

Modern and historical

"The energy and the power of the city is well-integrated in ancient history, which is everywhere engraved in landscape and architecture. This is a corner of the paradise in which travellers will fall in love" concludes Tom Hall, main editor of the Lonely Planet, one of the most popular travel guides, in which Zadar is recommended as a most popular destination to be visited in 2019.

Departure point:

From your hotel

Departure time:

~ 09:00

Price:

480 €

Return:

to departure point around 19h

Included:

Zadar sightseeing starts in the morning

We will be guided by a licensed tour guide through the city and its history

Walk through the historic core, exploring architecture and modern installations

Enjoying the original sound of the sea and the Sun through modern instruments Greeting to the Sun and Sea Organs

After a two-hour walk, lunch time is provided

After a break we will visit the nearby city Nin

Sightseeing of the oldest Croatian royal town Nin

Gathering and returning to Plitvice lakes is scheduled for 07:00 p.m.

Itinerary:

The gathering and departure from Plitvice Lakes is scheduled at 9 a.m. After a two hour drive through the Velebit Massif, comes the pearl of the Adriatic, the 3000 year old town Zadar. Due to its longevity, Zadar has a very rich cultural and historical heritage. Through the city and its past we will be guided by a licensed travel guide. He will reveal to us the treasure that is hidden at every step of the old city core. We will see the Roman forum and its original sidewalk and stairs and two decorative monumental pillars that are preserved till today. Church of St. Donat from the 9th century was created on the remains of the Roman Forum. Cathedral of St. Stošija keeps the relics of St. Stošija, a woman of patriarch who was tortured and burned for the sake of his religious beliefs. We will also visit the National Square, the centre of public life from the renaissance to the present days, as well as the Square of the Five Wells that served to supply the city with potable water during the Turkish siege. Church of St. Mary is famous because of the permanent exhibition of church art with objects dating from the 8th to the 18th century, and the most beautiful part is the Lombardy bell tower. We will also see the contemporary artworks- installations, Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun and enjoy the transformation of natural energy into an unusual acoustic and visual experience. After sightseeing we recommend a lunch break in one of the excellent Zadar restaurants offering local Dalmatian dishes, fish specialties and traditional dishes from home-made foods. Departure to the nearby Nin, the oldest Croatian royal town, is planned after the lunch. Around 3000 years ago this town was located in the middle of a shallow lagoon, on a 500 meter diameter island, connected to the mainland with two hundred of years old stone bridges. In Nin, we will visit the church of St. Anselm, the first Croatian cathedral built in the 6th century. Next to that church is the statue of Grgur Ninski. Church of St. Cross known as "the smallest cathedral in the world" served the inhabitants of early Middle Ages as a calendar and the clock. With this old sundial we can also determine the time of our return to Plitvice, which is scheduled at 7 pm.

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Good to know:

  • Two hours ride to the heart of Adriatic Sea- Zadar.
  • Zadar has a rich history therefore its city walls have been under UNESCO protection since 2017.
  • Zadar is included in the travel guide "Best in Travel 2019"
  • The Roman forum in the city centre is the largest forum on the eastern Adriatic coast.
  • Church of St. Donat is a trademark of Zadar and because of its acoustic characteristics, it is today the venue for music evenings in Donat.
  • The largest cathedral in Dalmatia is the church of St. Stošija, whose construction starts at 4/5th century. and a bell tower is completed in the 19th century.
  • Petar Zoranić, a Zadar writer, is the author of the first Croatian novel "Mountains" from 1536.
  • The oldest university in Croatia was founded in Zadar.
  • The Zadar Astronomy Tables (1322) are the first written work of astronomy in Croatian history, and we can characterise them as the pioneering venture of European astronomy at all.
  • Unique contemporary sound and lights installations.
  • Nin is the place where Croatia was born, there is also the church of St. Nicholas where Croatian rulers were crowned.
  • The smallest cathedral in the world, the church of St. Cross- 9th century, dating back to early Christianity, remained in its original form.
  • Asteroid Aenona has been named after Nin and its existence has been confirmed by the World Planetarium Minor Planet based in the United States
  • An unique souvenir from Nin can be found in the Salt Museum.
  • Nin carries the title of one of the most romantic cities of Europe and EDEN - European destinations of excellence.

Read more:

For thousands of years on the eastern side of the Adriatic, stands peninsula and on it the town of Zadar, Jadera "the gift of the sea". Even the fairies were emphasising the beauty of this city and according to the famous story, one fairy at a fairy-tale gathering made a poem about Zadar- the song of a praise to the city. In those ancient times it was sometimes known when the villas gather and someone has heard that at this mysterious meeting they also talked about the establishment of the city of Zadar. The fairies have chated how Neptune, enthusiastic about having a son, promised to build a town in a place where he sees his son for the first time, and give it to Plankita, his mother. Plankita got a city for a present, and “for a present” is in Croatian literally “za dar”, and that is how Zadar got its name. Also, in the "State Governance Record" was written about the origin of the city. The Byzantine Emperor Konstantin Porfirogenet wittily wrote that Zadar, Jadera- on Latin “ijam erat” (it was already), is so old that it existed even before Rome! Probably at a time when Romul and Rem were still running after a she-wolf. Because of this longevity of the city, we have the privilege to walk through Zadar and feel like we have walked through the history. We have the opportunity to admire the remains of the Roman Forum from the 1st century and feel the spirit of the life of the ancient Romans. Maybe even in the imagination we can meet the ancient inhabitants who were here socialising and discussing all the life topics. On the forum is a pillar of shame in its original form and in the original place. Thus, the life of some Roman citizens can also be experienced in 4D form if we stand at the pillar of shame and imagine the shame of the unlucky guy, clasped by chains and exposed to the eyes of the mass. It is important to note that on the Forum is also the church of St. Donat, a symbol of the city and a unique monument of early medieval culture, emerged from the ruined foundations of Roman buildings. In addition to the already mentioned Romans, Crusaders had also influence on the today's appearance of Zadar. During the Crusades wars, a blind man from Venice who, because of the obvious reasons could not see the beauty of this city, ordered the siege and by his order in the 15th century crusaders destroyed the city. This unfortunate event even brought something good to the city. Due to the Crusades, the relics of St. Šimun were brought in Zadar, and this relics represent one of the largest in Europe today. The story says that the Italians wanted to take the chest of the St. Šimun back, but their plans couldn’t be met because they couldn’t launch the ship. At that moment, neither the prayers of the priests had helped them to sail and the chest was returned to the church and now represents a great value of Zadar's cultural heritage. By this short historical introduction it is evident that Zadars history was turbulent and tense. Many governors wanted this city but its soul was preserved thanks to its patron saints: St. Šimun, St. Krševan and St. Stošija. The city was often at risk of a various invaders and today we can see only the parts of the walls and doors of the city and the Square of the Five Wells that were in function of the city's defense. According to the legend if you go through the Land gates, which are the part of the fort, and make a wish it will be fulfilled- but only in the case there is no one at the other two passages. It won’t be easy and maybe it can take some time for the dreams to become true or you can try and threat the passengers with the pillar of shame which is nearby. Zadar’s people preserve their history and live with it, which is also visible on the National Square, the centre of Zadar's public life from the time of the renaissance until today. The square remembers many important events for the whole city. A lot of athletes were welcomed here and one of the biggest welcome had the Riva Group, which won the Eurosong content in 1989. On the National Square is the first Zadar café opened by Josip Carceninga, who was the first producer of Maraschino. This drink is another specialty of Zadar and many known and unknown historical figures like Casanova and Queen Victoria enjoyed this special liquor. Perhaps even the fairies at their gatherings. Apart from the taste of Maraschino, an unforgettable experience is to visit the Sea organ. The description of this location is really unnecessary because this place is being watched with the eyes closed. Stop thinking at the moment, breath briefly, close your eyes, and listen to the symphony created by the wind and the sea. This atmosphere is perfectly described with the lyrics "And I watch the sea where it climbs ... and the sea is listening, and laughing, and shouting and laughing and climbing..." of the Croatian poet Pupačić. After the sea monologue, we can even catch the Sun in Zadar. The idea of catching the Sun came from the same architect who built the Sea organ. He created the installation called Greeting to the Sun. The installation was created in the location known for the most beautiful sunset in the world. Hitchcock himself was astonished with the beauty of this everyday event at this location. Even "the greatest philosopher of the present age," Mr. Phil Dunphy says that we have to watch the Sunset at least once a day, Chuck Norris watched them all, and we saw the most beautiful one in Zadar. Another treasure of this area you can find in Zadar's taverns and restaurants. For example Novigrad mussels, Benkovac soup, Sardines on Saljski, Biogradska fish, Bukovačka kid, Pag cheese and lamb, Calyrian brudet, are just some of the dishes that have been created in the Zadar county. From this geographical names of the dishes it is visible how for making the specialities cooks are using the gifts from the sea, nearby islands, but also and mountainous hinterland. We hope these enigmatic names of dishes will make you curious in order to discover, by your own, the taste of all mentioned Mediterranean delicacies, and we can only promise that you will enjoy. Only 14 kilometres from Zadar is the Nin, one of the oldest Mediterranean towns. Plankita, from the beginning of the story, is responsible for the establishment of this city too. The story tells us that her father, Nino and her mother Sava, were looking for a place to settle down. Sava was pregnant and Nino promised to build a town where a child will be born. It happened in this area, the Plankita was born, and the town of Nin was named after her father. At least fairy Slovinka told it like that to the writer Baraković, and if we believe in the fairies there is no reason not to believe in this story. In the 9th century BC Illyrians were fascinated by this shallow lagoon and an island in the middle of it. They built their first settlement there, after arrived Romans, and afterwards the old Croats. About the rich history you can learn from the well-preserved monuments - ancient houses, old Croatian churches built between 9th and 12th century and the church of St. Cross called the smallest cathedral in the world. The church of St. Cross is special because it is constructed improperly (for today's terms) and this irregularities are used to keep the track of the sun position. In fact because of that, the church used to serve, among other things, as a calendar. Today, its specialty is significant for the Festival of the Sun and the Lights held in it. St. Nicolas is also one of the important churches. It is situated on the hills, surrounded by idyllic greenery and was important to the rulers of the Croatian dynasty. If you listen carefully, you might hear the excited people yelling nicely for their king who is crowned in this church. Take a look at the Nineteenth Century Museum and the original Croatian ships from the 11th century (Conduct Croatica). You will see that Nin is not only a historic town, there are beautiful long sandy beaches, preserved nature, rich bird life, healing mud. Be a part of the experience at the Salt Museum and bring with you a unique souvenir as a reminder on this beautiful place. This excursion will fulfil all the expectations of curious visitors, and that is not all. You will also get the opportunity to fulfil your other life wishes. Namely, in the town of Nin is located the statue of Grgur Ninski, whose toe shows us how many people touched him and made a wish. We can conclude that Grgur Ninski is really generous especially in fulfilling the romantic wishes, because nearby in the city you can find a bench called "kissing bench". Even though you can give a kiss to a lovely person anywhere and anytime, in Nin you have the opportunity to do it on a "kissing bench" and if you look up into the sky you may see the asteroid Aenona discovered by astronomers from Višnjan who put the name of the city of Nin into space.

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