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Sizzling Zadar

One of the main reasons we were in Zadar, is because we were flying to and from the Dalmatian coast on RyanAir which uses the small airport there. The airport is so small that the rental car windows all close down at 8:00, making us go back the next day to pick up our car. Luckily we spent the night, not far from the harbor, in a small B&B which was very comfortable and easy since we arrived on the late flight.

After picking up our car, we headed straight down the coast stopping at towns, villages, and eating at tasty pig roasting restaurants along the way. We saw Sibenik, Trogir, Split, Makarska, all on our way to Dubrovnik. The roads were easily navigated and it was a beautiful drive.

A Quick Walk Around Zadar

View of the Port of Zadar from the ancient city wall.

Of course we needed to get back to Zadar in order to fly home.  We didn’t leave ourselves much time for exploration.  There’s just so much to do along the coast, or meandering over to the islands, or even taking day trips to Mostar and the Bay of Kotor that we just ran out of time.

Walking bridge in Zadar.

We arrived in Zadar in the middle of the afternoon with only a couple of hours to spare before heading to the airport to turn in the car and catch our flight.  Finding a parking space not far from the number one thing on my list, the sea organ, proved a little more difficult than I was expecting.  It turns out that there is a weekend market and Sunday’s are a popular day in town.

Roman forum ruins in Zadar.

We did find a great parking place right along the city walls and jumped out to start our short exploration.  We were surprised how many sights there were. Zadar harkens back to the 2nd century BC when it was an important trading post.  They traded with the likes of Phoenicians and Ancient Greeks.  Being in such a strategic spot increased its chances of invasion.

St. Donatus Church, Zadar.

During the 9th century saw the beginning of construction for the St. Donatus church even though the city was being tossed back and forth by the Byzantines and Catholics.

Men feeding the pigeons in Zadar.

Across from the church, these men were feeding the pigeons while plenty of younger people lounged around the grounds, taking naps, talking with their sweethearts, and just enjoying the sunny afternoon.  There are some activities that are timeless.

Bullet holes house.

Zadar does show the ravages of the war, though.  This building not far from the main square is riddled with bullet holes.

The sea organ in Zadar.

However, this was the main reason we stopped in Zadar instead of just heading to the airport, the sea organ.  I’d read about it and couldn’t wait to listen to the waves playing music. Built by architect Nikola Bašić, the 35 pipes that run 70 meters long, provide 7 chords and 5 tones.  As the waves lap the steps, it plays a haunting melody, one that could easily lull you to sleep.  I loved the sea organ.

Have you been to Zadar?  Did you enjoy the town, the sea organ?

Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.


Friday 5th of December 2014

Such a pretty city! That sea organ is so cool.

Corinne Vail

Sunday 7th of December 2014

Jess...the coolest! Thanks


Tuesday 2nd of December 2014

We have not been but will be remedying that in May/June 2015. Zadar is definitely on our list.

Corinne Vail

Tuesday 2nd of December 2014

Jan, How exciting. What is your itinerary? Only Croatia?


Wednesday 26th of November 2014

The sea organ sounds fascinating - such an interesting and unique idea! I bet you could stand there for hours just watching the waves rising and falling and listening to the melodic sounds they created.

Corinne Vail

Sunday 30th of November 2014

Catherine, I could have and would have if I hadn't had a plane to catch, but I will go back!

rhonda albom

Wednesday 26th of November 2014

I never heard of Zadar and almost googled it to see where it was, but then you mentioned the other cities, so I knew you were in Croatia. Looks like an interesting, mostly lovely town. You are very brave to fly Ryan Air. We never did.

Corinne Vail

Sunday 30th of November 2014

Rhonda, Ryan Air is cheap, cheap, cheap and does the trick to get us to some places we would not necessarily go otherwise...We've had good experiences! I loved Zadar.


Wednesday 26th of November 2014