Zadar Walking Tour – One of 7 Most Beautiful Walks in the World
For every lover of history, stunning landscapes, and memorable walks, a Zadar walking tour will unlock a secret place in their heart. Recently, this Croatian gem was recognized by none other than the esteemed New York Times, which included it among the top seven cities worldwide offering an unparalleled pedestrian experience. Sharing the spotlight with distinguished cities such as Paris, Marrakech, Seoul, Sydney, St. Louis, and Rio de Janeiro, Zadar has secured its position on the global stage.
A Walk Through Time
In Zadar, every step you take is a step back in time. Imagine a stroll slightly exceeding three kilometres, leading you on a journey that spans virtually every phase of Croatian history. This long, mesmerizing history stretches back to the 9th century BC when the Liburnians first settled this peninsular portion of Croatia along the breathtaking Dalmatian coast. This is where the old core of Zadar is located, filled with narrow alleyways, cobblestone piazzas, historic churches, city gates, towers and more.
Tourists love stopping at the local artisan shops, where skilled native artists transform natural materials into keepsakes and mementoes that will forever remind of the enchanting Zadar atmosphere. To leave the old town peninsula, travellers can cross at the pedestrian bridge and arrive at the city marina.
The Unforgettable Sea Organ
If you start your exploration in the northwest part of the Old Town Peninsula, you may want to stop at the Sea Organ, a remarkable architectural marvel. This musical instrument comprises 35 pipes organized beneath 70 meters of the city’s seaside promenade, the iconic Riva.
As the waves of the Adriatic Sea play against the coast, the Sea Organ produces a symphony of harmonious melodies and eery, but touching, tones, seemingly transforming the promenade into an invisible, ethereal orchestra. This ingenious creation was honoured with the European Prize for Urban Public Space in 2006.
Historic Walls and Greeting to the Sun
The journey then takes you over the “Greeting to the Sun” installation, located alongside the historic walls in the southeastern part of Zadar. These walls, which face the city port, were erected and fortified between the 12th and 17th centuries. They served as a key element of the defensive system employed by the Venetian Republic in the Adriatic.
The “Greeting to the Sun”, on the other hand, is a solar-powered light installation, which starts to use intricate colour patterns with every sunset. Be advised, Zadar sunsets are among the most beautiful in the world, so prepare to sit down and not be able to look away, until the incredible spectacle of colours is done.
The Old Town and City Square
From here, you can circle to Nova Gate, a passage constructed during the Italian occupation before World War II, and you’ll enter the pedestrian-only zone of the Old Town. The city square here, brimming with cafes, serves as the central gathering spot. At the western end lies Kalelarga, the main artery of Zadar since the Roman grid was established in the 1st century BC. Nearby is the circular church of St. Donat, the main symbol of Zadar and a not-to-be-missed site, if you are on a Zadar walking tour.
Walking further down Elizabeta Kotromanić Street, you’ll pass by the coral Baroque Church of St. Simeon. Your journey will lead you to the solitary pillar of Zadar’s Roman Forum and across the spacious Peter Zoranić Square. Here, you can witness history frozen in time under glass, with remnants of Roman and Medieval architecture lying in wait. The journey continues to the Five Wells Square, overlooked by the towering Captain’s Tower, a testament to the city’s defense during the 16th-century Ottoman Empire siege.
From here, climb the stairs to the tranquil Queen Jelena Madijevka Park. Established in the early 19th century, it’s one of the region’s first public parks. This elevated lookout offers an unobstructed view of the small port of Fosa, adding a serene touch to your expedition.
Culinary Delights on a Zadar walking tour
The city also promises an extraordinary culinary journey. Strolling through the historic city of Zadar, one is instantly drawn in by a tapestry of culinary delights. Local delicacies include fresh seafood dishes, like brodet, a traditional fish stew steeped in tomato sauce and enriched with locally grown herbs. Peka, a dish cooked under a bell-shaped lid over embers, presents succulent meats and vegetables, their flavours melding to create a mouth-watering symphony. Don’t miss sampling the prized Pag cheese, paired perfectly with a glass of maraschino, a unique liqueur crafted from Zadar’s native marasca cherries
Savour a grilled sea bass with sunchoke puree and vegetables and accompany your meal with a glass of the local white wine, Pošip, ensuring a gastronomic finale to your tour.
A speedboat tour of the Zadar Riva – a good reason to choose the Zadar Archipelago speedboat tour
If you are planning on visiting Zadar this summer season, do not forget to check out the local attractions. Luckily, the friendly Zadar Archipelago tour guides will happily point out all the places that should make your list.
The best time to go on a Zadar walking tour is right after the speedboat tour with Zadar Archipelago ends. As the day winds down, make your way from the marina to the vibrant Zadar promenade. This is where friends meet, families gather, and locals find peace. Standing there, gazing out at the water, you’re reminded that life’s troubles are not so grand after all.
Zadar, with its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and unforgettable walks, will leave its mark on your existence. It isn’t just a city; it’s a living, breathing museum that promises to take you on a journey through time.
Explore it. Experience it. You’ll carry the memories forever.