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Located in the middle of 1200 kilometres of picturesque Croatian coast, Zadar is a 3000-year-old town surrounded by beaches, islands and national parks. A popular holiday spot for Croatians, the town population swells to around 130,000 during the summer months.
There are several beaches in Zadar worth mentioning: Punta Bajlo, Kolovare (the main city beach), Vitrenjak, Borik and Diklo. However, to really enjoy the sea, you can rent a boat and head to one of the hundreds of nearby islands.
Only fragments of the Roman forum remain, but the square still serves as the centre of town. Within walking distance are the 9th century church St. Donat and the area’s principal archeological museum.
Most of Zadar’s cafe’s, bars and clubs are to be found on the peninsula, the centre of the city. Aside from a decent selection of international restaurants, the numerous local taverns (‘konobe’) offer the chance to try some of the local specialities. This area also serves as the main shopping district, with a mix of simple street stalls and modern malls.
The Zadar region is surrounded by no less than five National Parks: Paklenica, Kornati, Plitvica Lakes, Krka Waterfalls and Northern Velebit. In only an hour or two by car or by boat it is possible to reach the National Parks from all the tourist resorts in the region. Northern most is Croatia’s most famous national park, Plitvice - a stunning series of turquoise forest lakes, interconnected by beautiful waterfalls.
By car, most people will come either from the capital, Zagreb, or from Italy on the scenic coast road which takes in Trieste and Rijeka. The town is connected by railway line to Zagreb and the rest of Europe via a line to Knin, and buses run to all the major western European cities. There is a ferry link to Ancona (Italy), or you could fly into the small Zadar-Zemunik International Airport.