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Northern Dalmatia Travel Guide

  • Photo: xbrchx / Shutterstock
  • Photo: Deymos.HR / Shutterstock

Plan Your Northern Dalmatia Vacation

Where exactly does Northern Dalmatia begin? Zadar may be the region's cultural and urban capital—it is, after all, the first sizeable city you encounter in Dalmatia on your way south from Zagreb or Rijeka—but it is not where the region begins, either culturally or geographically. Look instead to the southern reaches of the Velebit mountains, where that coastal range gives

way to the flat, sandy coastline of Nin and environs. Practically speaking, though, you enter Dalmatia proper when you cross the long, bright-red span of the Maslenica Bridge going south on the route from Zagreb to Zadar.

Much of the region is not on the mainland at all but rather comprises the Zadar archipelago, including the Adriatic's largest island grouping that makes up Kornati National Park. Inland, a few miles from the coast, is a sweeping expanse of countryside still visibly recovering from the Yugoslav war of the 1990s where tourists rarely tread. Zadar itself, with its mix of Roman, Venetian, communist-era, and modern architecture, has a bustling and beautiful historic center and is also the main point of access by ferry to the islands.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Heavenly Monuments. From the Crkva sv. Donata, Croatia's most monumental surviving early Byzantine church, to Katedrala sv. Stošije, Dalmatia's largest basilica, ecclesiastical marvels abound.
  2. Island Excursions. The barren but beautiful Kornati Islands are ripe for exploration, and can be reached by organized excursion boats from Zadar.
  3. Musical Sea. Comprising 35 pipes under the quay, Zadar's incredible Sea Organ yields a never-ending concert that delights listeners with the music of the sea itself.

When To Go

When to Go

If you don't mind crowds, midsummer is a good time to visit Northern Dalmatia—when the Adriatic is at its optimal temperature for beach-going, ...

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