Boasting a historic old town of Roman ruins and medieval churches, cosmopolitan cafes and quality museums, Zadar is an excellent city. It’s not too crowded, it’s not overrun with tourists and its two unique attractions – the sound-and-light spectacle of the Sea Organ and Sun Salutation – need to be seen and heard to be believed.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes National Park lies roughly midway between Zagreb and Zadar. It’s magnificently scenic – forested hills enclose gorgeous turquoise lakes, which are linked by a series of waterfalls and cascades. Wooden footbridges and pathways snake around the fringes of the lakes – and under and across the rumbling water – for an exhilaratingly damp 18km.
Dugi Otok is all about natural, unspoilt beauty, so if you’re seeking a peaceful, relaxing holiday, you’ll find your paradise here. The cluster of small islands on Telašćica Bay Nature Park is a must-see, while the nearby saltwater Lake Mir (Peace), sandy Sakarun Bay and the panoramic drive along the rocky coast are real delights. The name Dugi Otok means ‘long island’.
In a nation of sedate resorts, Novalja bucks the trend – with interest – for its bars and clubs offer nightlife as raucous as you’ll find in Croatia. Cultural interest is confined to the incendiary club scene based on nearby Zrće’s beach; there are no historic sights. That said, the promenade is an appealing place for a stroll, and there are fine beaches close by.