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Northern Dalmatia


Stretching from Zadar to Split, northern Dalmatia has long been one of the most popular stretches of the Adriatic coast.

Zadar offers visitors a grand array of Roman remains, medieval treasures and contemporary architecture, yet remains small enough to be easily explored on foot.

Further south, historic Šibenik is celebrated for its magnificent cathedral and Venetian fortifications. However it is Nin, a medieval power-centre nowadays the size of a village, that is arguably the most charming of all. Nin Beach is the region’s most celebrated beach, a sandy strip long enough to never really get too full.

Elsewhere along the coast, major resorts like Biograd-na-Moru and Vodice soak up the bulk of the package tourists; while it’s the islands that offer more in the way of escape for the independent traveller. Murter is an easygoing island destination covered in olive trees and boasting a handful of enjoyable beaches; Dugi otok is more spectacular, with a rocky central ridge border by shingle bays and deep inlets. Accessible by excursion boat, the uninhabited Kornati islands are spellbindingly beautiful.

Practical Info Practical Info icon

The tourist associations of Zadar county and Šibenik county have useful websites.

By air: The main entry point to the region is Zadar Airport although Split airport in Southern Dalmatia is also very useful.

By car: The A2 toll highway from Zagreb to Split and beyond runs inland, parallel to the coast, with well-marked exits for Zadar, Šibenik and all other major centres along this stretch of the Adriatic.

By train: It is possible to get from Zagreb to Šibenik by rail with a change at Perković, with journey times averaging 6-7hr. Timetable information here

By bus: There are frequent direct buses from Zagreb to Zadar, Šibenik and other major points along the coast. Local buses run from Šibenik to Murter.



Dugi otok

Undeveloped & relatively remote Island

Faust Vrančić Memorial Centre, Prvić

Renaissance inventiveness on the island of Prvić

Kornati Islands

Astonishingly beautiful

Krka National Park

Nacionalni Park Krka: spectacular & varied


Easygoing & accessible island

Nikola Tesla Memorial Centre, Smiljan

History, science and electric sparks


Ancient walled town

Nin Beach

Kraljičina plaža

Text © Jonathan Bousfield

Image by Jean-Noël Lafargue