12 Reviews

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October, 2016

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We visited Zadar as the final port of call on an Adriatic cruise on Celebrity Constellation in October 2016 and as it was the last of the list of ancient walled cities on the itinerary we were happy to just wander and soak up the atmosphere with very little advance research. Well, it turned out to be one of our favourite ports of call, perhaps that was due to our lack of preconceived expectations.

The shuttle coach dropped us at the far end of the peninsula that is dominated by the old town and very close to one of the modern additions to the Zadar tourist offering called the Greeting to the Sun. This consists of a 22 metre diameter circle of solar panels set into the promenade which emit a changing pattern of light at dusk. Unfortunately, we could not view it in darkness but I understand that it is an ethereal sight.

Another modern tourist attraction situated only metres away is Zadar’s Sea Organ. This proved a fascinating, soulful experience as the lapping waves forced air into the pipes under the promenade producing pan pipe like noises which perfectly suited the atmosphere of calm as visitors and locals relaxed and pondered the views from the waterfront to the nearby islands.

A very short stroll along this wide, tree lined waterfront brought us to the the 9th century Church of St Donat, Roman ruins of The Forum and the imposing Cathedral of St Anastasia. These magnificent buildings were just a few of many that lined the wide marble covered streets which also housed plenty of cafes and decent shops. Inevitably, we meandered to a large square for a coffee and some people watching which was charming.

The old town is small enough to be navigated fully in a couple of hours and affords the usual mix of fortified walls, monuments and historic buildings, some of them undergoing restoration after the devastation of the 1990’s war. Where the peninsula joins the mainland is Queen Jelena Majide Park which makes another pleasant rest for weary feet.

Walking along the landward side of the peninsula provides views from the fortified walls over the modern harbour where sleek motor cruisers rub tenders with those wooden Adriatic coast cruisers eventually bringing you back to the tip of the peninsula.

If you enjoy the atmosphere of compact old towns coupled with modern conveniences of good quality cafes and shopping then consider Zadar. We only scratched the surface but we enjoyed what we found.


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