DALMATIA, ZADAR & ISLANDS

Say ”YES” to Zadar region

WHERE CROATIAN CULTURE BEGINS

With the intense blue of sea, the lush deep greens of pine and olive groves and the pure white of Dalmatia stone, the Zadar region’s colour palette is extraordinary and unique in the world. 

It is only in this part of land that you will peek into the world’s smallest cathedral – the Church of the Holy Cross, in the city of Nin, before touring the largest Roman forum on these shores of the Adriatic. And if that were not enough, you will discover the origins of Croatia’s cultural identity in the city of Zadar, with over 3,000 years of history.

WHERE TO GO

Zadar is the oldest continuously inhabited Croatian city. It is situated on the Adriatic Sea, at the northwestern part of Ravni Kotari region. Zadar serves as the seat of Zadar County and of the wider northern Dalmatian region. The city proper covers 25 km² with a population of 75,082 in 2011, making it the second-largest city of the region of Dalmatia and the fifth-largest city in the country.

The area of present-day Zadar traces its earliest evidence of human life from the late Stone Age, while numerous settlements date as early as the Neolithic. Before the Illyrians, an ancient Mediterranean people of an Indo-European culture inhabited the area. Zadar traces its origin to its 9th-century BC founding as a settlement of the Illyrian tribe of Liburnians known as Iader.

In 59 BC it was renamed Iadera when it became a Roman municipium. In 48 BC it became a Roman colonia. During Roman rule Zadar acquired the characteristics of a traditional Ancient Roman city with a regular road network, a public square, and an elevated capitolium with a temple.

BEST ISLAND ADVENTURE TOURS IN ZADAR REGION

Say YES! to a sea adventure or two in the Zadar Archipelago. With many islands to choose from, the most challenging part will be deciding which one to pick. The Zadar region is blessed with islands that are close together, making travel easy and fast. 
Ranging from skill courses and single day tours, we’ll check out here some of the best multi day tours Malik Adventures have ready for you…

NATIONAL PARK PAKLENICA

The greatest natural jewel of the Zadar area is Paklenica National Park, which covers the most attractive parts of the southern Velebit, concentrated in a mere 96 km2. Its most striking features are two forbidding gorges – Velika and Mala Paklenica. The park abounds with peculiar karstic forms, caves and other natural features, while due to its climate conditions, lush variety of flora and fauna has been preserved. Despite its wild nature, Paklenica is easily accessible due to its proximity to the Adriatic highway and the motorway. The vistas of Velebit rising above the resort of Starigrad-Paklenica, which are at once intimidating and alluring, beckon those seeking light-hearted adventure. Movement through the park is aided by numerous signs in several foreign languages. Through the wild ruggedness of Velika Paklenica, where highland women once carried salt on their backs from the coast and brought wheat from the fertile hinterland of Lika, today runs a comfortable hiking trail.

NATIONAL PARK TELAŠĆICA

This deep bay is one of the most popular havens for yachtsmen in the Adriatic, providing a safe berth during the strongest storms. The rocky shores of the bay are low on the landward side while facing out to sea are imposing cliffs reaching in places the heights of 180 metres. Telašćica is approachable by land and partly by road, but for the most part via hiking trails through picturesque Mediterranean landscapes.

NATIONAL PARK VELEBIT

Velebit is the largest Croatian mountain and as such rich in natural phenomena. Protected as a nature park and extending over 2,000 km2 in area, it is by far the largest protected area in the country. Within the park there is a whole range of smaller protected areas, including two national parks: Northern Velebit in the Lika-Karlovac region and Paklenica in Dalmatia. Velebit mountain contains many natural sites which rank among the most precious in Croatia. Therefore, the entire mountain, in its full length of about 150 km, has been placed under UNESCO protection as a World Biosphere Reserve, presently the only one in Croatia listed as such. Velebit is not only significant for the total number of various species and its wealth of flora and fauna but for the significant number of endemic species as well.

VRANSKO LAKE

For those preferring physically less demanding way of enjoying the world of nature, the Vrana Lake Nature Park is perfect. It consists of the largest lake in Croatia and its surrounding area. Located in the vicinity of the sea, the lake is home to exceptional number of bird species, to wild ducks and egrets in particular. Diversity of bird species and numerous observation posts make this park a paradise for the bird observers. Since the lake’s water is a mixture of freshwater and saltwater, variety of different sea and river fish species live here and make the lake an attraction for fishermen.

BIOGRAD NA MORU – FAMOUS NAUTICAL DESTINATION

Biograd na Moru, formerly a royal Croatian town, is a famous tourist and nautical destination in the very centre of the Adriatic Riviera. Surrounded by national parks (Kornati, Paklenica, Krka Falls, the Plitvice lakes) and the nearby historical cities of Zadar, Šibenik and Nin, the town will make your stay on the Croatian Adriatic an unforgettable one. You can go swimming in the clear sea just a hundred metres from the centre of the town, and for those seeking solitude and peace, the forest-covered islets in the Pašman Channel are nearby. Two modern and well equipped marinas with a large number of berths, a diverse offer of boats for charter and a large number of organised regattas make Biograd a meeting point for sailors from all over the world.

CHURCH OF ST. DONATUS, ZADAR

As a symbol of the city of Zadar and the most famous example of early medieval Croatian architecture, the church is unique in Europe. Due to its superb acoustics, it is also a popular venue for music events.

ISLAND UGLJAN

This island area in the Zadar archipelago that includes the town of Zadar is one of the most beautiful and most visited parts of the Croatian Mediterranean. Covered with lush Mediterranean vegetation, and its connection with the sea is enhanced by the numerous bays of various sizes and shapes. 
Relatively densely populated, especially on the north-eastern coast, where there is a row of seven beautiful villages that stand like seven jewels. The largest is Preko, followed by Ugljan. All the villages on the island have an imprint of the harmonious combination of abundant Mediterranean nature, rich cultural and historical heritage, as well as traditional and contemporary entertainment and recreation. 
Explore the island of Ugljan and biking trails through the picturesque villages, and many natural bays, especially those in Mulina, which offer suitable moorings for sailors or a secluded corner for naturists.

NIN CATHEDRAL

The early Croatian royal town of Nin is about 15 km away from Zadar. Inhabited for 3000 years, it is an important archaeological locality. There are the remains of the largest ancient temple in the Adriatic, mosaics, a church called the smallest cathedral in the world, a unique romantic period coronation church, the ancient Croatian ship Condura and so on. They all bear witness to the ancient times and the time when the town was the seat of the Bishop and the first capital city of the Croats. 

NOVIGRAD

Novigrad is a historic scenic Dalmatian town situated on the southern coast of the Novigrad Sea, in a long and narrow bay at the foot of the Velebit mountains. Built in the shape of trapezoid, bounded by walls whose traces have only been preserved, it emerged on the ruins of a fort on the hilltop which descends to the sea. 
The river Zrmanja flows into the Novigrad sea, making it rich with fish and shellfish. Thanks to a fortunate combination of natural and cultural beauty, the small coves in the shadow of pine trees and beaches where you can swim, Novigrad is a real paradise for every guest. On the river Zrmanja you can enjoy rafting, canoeing and kayak rides, while from Novigrad you can easily visit the national parks (Paklenica, Plitvice, Krka, Kornati), the Velebit Nature Park, Cerovačke caves (the largest cave complex in Croatia) and the Vrana ornithological reserve and lake Vransko.

PAG–SALT PANS

Known as white gold, salt was a strategic product crucial to life for centuries. Salt pans in Pag cover a total area of 3.01 square kilometres and remain important even nowadays, due to the role the sea plays in modern life. Pag salt has a particularly high mineral content.

The production of salt in Pag was first mentioned in historical documents in the 9th century, but it is assumed that salt has been produced there for over two thousand years. Salt pools and pans are mentioned in numerous old documents and there is a tower in Pag called Skrivanat tower, which housed the headquaters of a record keeper who noted the amounts of salt exported by ships. 

SAKARUN BEACH

Sakarun, one of the most famous beaches of Zadar County, is located on the northwest coast of Dugi Otok island. Near the beach are the villages of Verunić, Soline and Božava. Its reputation comes from its whiteness of the sand and cleanliness of the sea, and it is surrounded with a pine tree forest which offers welcome shade in the summer. It is about 800 metres long, and at 250 metres from the shore it is only 3.5 metres deep, which means that the space for bathing is extremely large and shallow, and suitable even for small children.

MULTISPORT ISLAND HOPPING

We like multi – more is always better, and that is what you get on this 3-island multisport tour with Malik Adventures.
With departures from June through to September, the team will pre-arrange local accommodation for you and have a great lineup of active activities to keep you busy over the six days of adventure. 
This tour is for the incredibly fit, as each day has 3-6 hours of kayaking, 2-4 hours of stand-up paddling, and 2 hours of cycling or hiking. You’ll be sure to work up an appetite, which why it’s great that the team also will arrange a daily Dalmatian-style breakfast and huge dinner each evening.
Your trip base will be a village on Molat Island where you will sleep and take your meals, though your daily activities will take you to several other islands, including Ist, Zverinac, and the famous Dugi Otok.
In addition to the kayaking, SUPing, and cycling, you will also get to sightsee some of the island’s most interesting locations, such as the charming village of Zverinac, Cold War military tunnels, and the Straža’s stone age settlement ruins, to name a few.
No sea adventure would be complete without some great snorkeling and visiting fishing villages, so those are also on your itinerary. 
All your transport and equipment needs are provided, so all you have to do is pack your bag and get ready to kayak to hidden beaches, cycle paths surround fishing villages and SUP in some of Croatia’s most attractive secluded bays.

KAYAKING 3-ISLANDS

Let’s take you sea kayaking over three islands – some of which are harder to reach, making them lesser-known and visited, ideal for the ultimate explorer.
The Malik Adventures will present picturesque villages where you can spend three to six hours sea kayaking daily (15-25 kilometers) over eight days.

Tours depart from March through to September, and your base will be on the small and charming island of Molat. Your guide will provide all of your equipment to make your trip comfortable. Included in this package are all your Molat based transport needs and six nights accommodation with breakfast and several other meals. 
Get to know the stunning islands of Molat, Ist, and the Zverinac Islands as you sea kayak and cycle this Adriatic paradise. An authentic Croatian experience is guaranteed as you live with locals, eat a traditional peka dinner in a family setting and visit sleepy fishing villages.
Adventure is to be had as you kayak around shipwrecks, caves, and bountiful reefs, and for those who wish, short treks are possible, some of which reward you with panoramic hilltop views of the Zadar archipelago.

SUP ISLAND HOPPING

Get ready to SUP in several of the best stand-up paddling boarding localities in the Mediterranean.
You can go on this 7-day fully guided Malik Adventures tour between April and October and enjoy an average of 3-6 hours of SUPing per day, you’ll need to be fit, and if you’re up for an extra paddling challenge, you have the option to extend your daily SUP to up to 25 kilometers a day. 
Sleep comfortably for six nights in local family-run accommodation on Molat Island, where you’ll be presented three days of breakfast and lunch as well as all your transport on the island.

The squad will prepare all your SUP and bike equipment for you each day, making your trip relatively easy. Each day you’ll see something new, including the top attractions such as Brgulje Bay, a pebblestone beach on Tovarjak Island, snorkel in an underwater cave, visit sandy beaches, and the Our Lady of the Snow Baroque-style church from 1514.
Suitable for both beginner and advanced SUP paddlers, this trip will take you to the islands of Molat, Ist, and Dugi Otok, where you will get to see how locals live their daily coastal life as well as eat meals in family-run restaurants and family cooperatives that are otherwise not open to the public.

Tours Zadar & Islands

Map Zadar & Islands