There are 147 islands and islets of various size in the Kornati archipelago ! They have no permanent inhabitants, though there exist a few villages. Vrulje is the main village of the main island. It has a few houses, no permanent inhabitants. The owners of the houses come in summer, mostly from Murter peninsula. Vrulje is proud of its 3 "streets" and 50 houses !
The main part of the Kornati archipelago is a National Park
In Summer, the Kornati are characterized by three colors : the blue of the sky, the dark blue of the sea and inserted between both, the dazzling white of the islands. Once you have seen that, you will never forget it !
From Zadar and Murter, it is possible to do day trips on the islands but the best way to enjoy them is to sail around the islands. See my Kornati Islands National Park page.
Customs' Gate is a real off the beaten path sight and not easy to find when in Zadar. Actually, it is hidden inside the fish restaurant of "Foša". During the times of Venetian rule in Zadar, it used to be the only entrance to the town for those ariving by the boats.
There was a wooden bridge on stone columns from the Customs' Gate to the Land Gate but unfortunatelly it dissappeared during centuries.
This became a center for Croatian culture in the 7th century. It turned into that besides an administrative center and religious mecca, especially baptisms. Grgur (Gregory in English) Nin was a bishop that lived here, and he is famed for being the first to resist the Pope and other Italians gentry to preach religion in Croatian language instead of Latin, Italian, etc. He won out over the long run, and this established the town as a seat for pride and activity to become a more independent entity.
Today, this town has become a drop off point for many tour buses, besides the others that venture out form Zadar. There really is not much to do/see in the town, and when we were there, the church was closed up for the season, as well as the museum that must not open until June? The walls and other areas have been rebuilt to give the town that "old ruin" look. Pretty much of a tourist draw to come, eat and leave.
Nin is located 10 miles north of Zadar on Road 306, or take E65 out of town and follow signs to Nin
The Holy Cross church shown is from the 9th century and was the main palace for baptisms for centuries. The Aslem church and tower is the main church from current day that dates back to 14th century. A viewing through a window allowed to see the nave, because the church is closed as well as the tower and maybe not open often, except church days.
NIn is located 10 miles north of Zadar on Road 306, or take E65 out of town and follow signs to Nin
The pleasure of driving this 30 miles out of town of Zadar on E65 toward the A1 autostrada is the scenery. The mountains of DAnaric are fantastic and you also go through what may be one of the longest tunnels in Europe, at 3 miles long. Nothing to really see in Sveti Rok, but the views around it are the reason for the 2-3 hour trip. It takes about 1 hour each way, and the autostrada fee is a lousy $3.5 each way to get ripped off for a 10 mile stretch
Investigating the citadel you can fins places like that, a forest into the city ..look like a bleak yard but it has its beauty and you can feel very confortamble and at the same time a cosy spot in the midst of touristic place like it is
Without really looking for it - we found it when looking a place to eat and learned about it later (but note - there's only a little of information on it). What you can see today is just the foundation of this small church from pre-Romanic time with an interesting shape built somehwere 10th or 11th century. As it was destroyed already in 16th century, its ruins were covered and then as the archeologic research advanced, it had been finally conserved and protecetd in 1966.
One may find it in graphic contrast with residental block building behind the ruin... but in general, this little remains of church are taking rest in quiet surroundings, hardly even noticed with its rather modest form, almost hidden in the grounds.
Its finding is cherished by those whose have deep interest with archeology and curious historians.
There really is not a town-per se. It has a restaurant and about 20 farm houses. Located 30 miles form Zadar going toward autostrada A1 from E65 highway. There are only about 20 farm houses in the area, and the town spreads out about 1 mile square
Arsenal (the Armory) is the 16th century structure and served as logistic centre to naval fleet that protected the Venetian's Republic valuable trade routes. Not far from it, in opposite direction, is small Arsenal having the same purpose as its bigger brother.
Today Arsenal become the home of art and entertainment, a sort of covered city square offering relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle. A visitor could enjoy in art, reading, dining, wining or watching live concerts.
Dugi otok prides itself as 'undiscovered' long island and they're probably quite right about it. We visited in September for a week when it's probably best time to go there, but there are possible day trips throughout season with many agencies from Zadar to its most touristy part on the islands: Telašćica Park of Nature with cliffs, shallow salty lake Mir with donkey beach, including swimming at the island.
I'd say: spend there few days if you have time, avoid the crowds, rent a boat, scooter or bike on the island and discover it by yourself. It's beautiful place to be with many diverse and excellent beaches, wild sunsets, deep clear water with plenty of fishes and wonderful scenery. Take public boat (catamaran) to Sali or Božava or ferry to Brbinj if you want to go by car, there are several departures daily from Zadar. Ferry ride takes 1 hr 20 min while catamarans ply almost half the time of ferry (they're operated by Jadrolinija).
More on Dugi otok will be on my separate page.
The Town Land Gate, coloquially called "Lavlja vrata" (the Lion's Gate), was erected in the 16th century (1543), together with the new city walls, which were built up for fear of the invasion of the Turks, who had already ruled over the Dalmatian hinterland. The gate was designed by the famous Venetian architect Michele Sanmicheli and it was, at the time, the main entrance to the city.
The central arch of the gate is distinguished by the chiseled figure of St. Grisogone on his horse (coat of arms of Zadar) and the monumental Lion of St. Mark.
Kopnena vrata, the Land Gate, from Renaissance period was built in the 16th century as a part of the city fortifications. It was one of the entrances to the town, mainly for the farmers from the surroundings of the town who brought agricultural products to the nearby green market.
Morska vrata, the Sea Gate, are probably the most beautiful gateway into the old core of the town. The gate was built in the Middle Ages as a part of the city fortifications, and on its top the arc from the Roman times of the city were added.
This gate leads to the sea-port of the town. It is known also as Gate of St. Grysogonus.
The town of Zadar has a very significant strategic position in the Adriatic sea and was a very important military centre throughout its long history.
What you see on this picture are the remains of a huge Military hospital from 19th century.
Nowadays it is a market where you can buy fake but not that cheap designed clothes and accessories made in Turky.
The history of the town goes back 3.000 years now. First it was an Ilyrian settlement and then became a part of the Roman empire, when the plan of today's city on peninsula was established.
There are important remains from the Roman time all over the city, this is an pillar which stands next to St. Simon's Church.