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Dalmatian Coast Holidays - All about Zadar & other places of interest in North Dalmatia. Includes the islands of Pag, Kornati, Pasman, Iz & Dugi Otok, plus the Paklenica National Park.

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About Zadar - North Dalmatia

Known locally as Zadarska zupanija, Zadar county is the northern most region of Dalmatia. It includes the southern part of the island of Pag and has several national parks and natural areas, most well known being the Paklenica National Park situated along two impressive canyons (see below for more info). The old capital of Zadar county was originally at Nin, a small village 18 km north west of Zadar, which was for a time the royal seat of Croatian kings. Today all that remains of Nin are 2 primitive churches and the ruins of a temple, but still well worth a visit. Zadar has its own airport.

Zadar’s Byzantine Cathedral

Zadar is the small capital of North Dalmatia, with its old town being a good rival to Dubrovnik. A very ancient town, standing on an almost-isle with much of the old town walls still intact. There are many remarkable quarters and monuments to discover. In the Roman quarter you'll find a Forum and the Church of St. Donat, an impressive building built by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine in the 9th century AD.

There are many other ancient beautiful churches in Zagreb, particularly noteworthy being the Cathedral of St. Anastasie built in the 12th century which has a ravishing facade in the Tuscan style. Another place of interest, among many, is Pretra Zoranica trg, where, on the little square, there are five wells covering an immense cistern that along time ago supplied the town with water. The large white flag stones in the squares and streets, where local peasants and lace makers sell their produce, shine so brightly in the sun that the light is a little unreal. This adds even more magic to this superb town.

St. Anastasie Cathedral

Kopneva vrata, where there is a very pretty marina nestled amongst the remains of old ramparts standing in the sea.

The Kornati Islands National Park

The Kornati Isles are the wildest archipelago of islands of Croatia, consisting of about 147 isles and rocks, most of them unpopulated. The Nature Park of Telasica, which covers 5 of theses isles is the big must. The park has a deep bay, 9 km long and 1 - 2 km wide. In all there are 25 bays, 5 isles and a Mediterranean vegetation of nearly 300 spices. Here at lake Mir you will find a serenity that is rare. The water of the lake contains two times more salt than normal and is 6 ºC warmer than the temperature of the sea, a superb environment for swimming.

One of Zadar’s many town squares
A Zadar church from the sea

Other islands in the region
Vgljan is the closest island to Zadar and the most populated. 20 km long, it is an isle of abundant nature, covered in pine forests, olive groves, fig trees and fields. There are eight charming little towns to visit. At the island’s capital, Preko, you can climb mount Mihovil to a little 17th century Venetian fortress with superb panoramic views over Zadar and the islands.

The Isle of Pasman and the isle of Iz are both charming and well worth visiting. The Isle of Dugi Otok is the longest island of the archipelago of Zadar, hence its name, which means long island. It is about 44 km long and 4 km wide at its widest.

The Paklenica National Park

Situated in the southern part of the Velebit mountain range, running from the highest peaks to the sea. There are two impressive canyons, Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica, a multitude of unusual karst formations, a number of caves and the flora and fauna of the park is rich and diverse. A vertical rock formation, known as Anica Kuk, is one of the most popular training areas for Croatian mountain climbers. Information: Tel: +385 23 369 155; Fax: +385 23 359 133; E-mail:;

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