Zadar holidays

  • Overview
  • Travel guide
  • Travel advice

Known for its ancient history and breathtaking seaside location, Zadar holidays offer the best of both worlds. There's an international airport here too, so you won't have to travel far to get to your hotel. Immerse yourself in the vibrant history of the old town. Shop for souvenirs and grab a snack at a local cafe while exploring Roman and Venetian ruins. On lazy days, you'll find plenty of space on the coast to soak up some Mediterranean sun. The best part about holidays to Zadar is how few tourists there are compared to Croatia's best-known destinations like Dubrovnik. That means you can lounge on the beach without the crowds.

The historical city of Zadar offers you a chance to experience both the ancient and the new. Don't miss the stunning Church of St Donatus; it's Croatia's largest pre-Romanesque building. You'll find it on the Roman Forum, the place to be if you want to get up close and personal with Zadar's ancient ruins. Most date back to the 1st century BC, but you'll find structures from the 3rd century AD too. Another iconic spot you won't want to miss is the Zadar Cathedral. You'll get to take in stunning views of the town’s ancient city walls from this church, which dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries.

If you thought this ancient city was all about bygone eras, think again. Make your way to the waterfront of Zadar if you're looking for something spectacular. When you arrive, you'll see a giant, solar-powered light show. The Sun Salutation is a 22m-wide circle made up of around 300 glass plates. They work all day long collecting enough solar energy so you and your friends can dance surrounded by coloured flashing lights that mimic the aurora borealis.

Sumptuous beaches

Ready for a relaxing beach holiday? Say no more, because Zadar beaches are within easy reach. Bring the whole family to the white sands of Vitrenjak or head to Kolovare, a secluded shore that locals love. Take things up a notch and get your heart pounding as you head into the waters of Borik, a  giant hotel complex that's got a range of watersports on offer. You can also visit one of Croatia's most luxurious beaches, as it's just an island hop away. Sink your feet into the soft pale sands of Saharun and go for a swim in the crystal-clear waters along the coastline. Since you're here already, why not rent a mountain bike and race around the island before stopping for a picnic on the grassy banks of the famous Veli Rat Lighthouse.

Map of Zadar

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9 to 25 ℃

Want to soak up the sun? July and August are your best bet, with highs in the low 30s°C

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3 hours

Fly to Split International Airport, around 50km away

Zadar is best for...

Foodies: You’ll spot fishing boats bobbing along Zadar’s central marina, a sign of how fresh the seafood is on your table. In Zadar, it's all about fresh ingredients, like grilled fish with lemon, sea salt and a side of Dalmatian chard, washed down with local wine.

Families: Zadar is compact, making it easy to get around. The city offers a family-friendly beach, and a cluster of activity resorts made for holidaymakers with kids.

Couples: Stroll down the winding cobbled streets, gelato in hand, as you admire Zadar’s mesmeric sunsets.

Fast facts for Zadar

Language: The language spoken in Zadar is Croatian.

Currency: The currency used in Zadar is Croatian kuna (HRK).

Local time: Zadar is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Zadar Airport. The transfer time is around 20 minutes to the city from Zadar Airport. 

Flight time from UK: The flight time to Zadar is 2.5 hours.

Tourist information: Further Zadar tourist information can be found at Zadar’s tourism website.

 

Getting around Zadar

By bicycle: Bikes are cheap to hire in Zadar, and are perfect for zipping around the city - as much of the old town is closed off to cars and buses.

By foot: Zadar is best explored by foot. The historic centre is pedestrianised, and within a few days, you’ll know the city like the back of your hand.

By bus: If you’re not planning on hiring a car, you could travel around by bus instead; it’s a convenient and inexpensive alternative.

 

Brac Island safety and security

Visa / Health: Before you travel to Zadar, head to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/croatia for recommendations and advice on visas and health.

Zadar weather

Temperature: 9°C to 25°C

Zadar enjoys the privilege of being located in one of the sunniest spots in Europe. Basking in an average of 12 hours of sunshine a day in spring and 13 hours in the summer, you’ll find the warmest months are between May and September, with the mercury hopping into the low thirties between July and August. May and June offer slightly cooler conditions, making them ideal times in which to explore it's natural attractions. September and October also see the mercury hovering in the low-to-mid-twenties. November is the wettest month and the temperatures continue to fall, hitting their lowest in January, at around 9°C, but it’s still mild enough to get some exploring done.

Best hotels in Zadar