8 Fantastic Day Trips from Zadar Croatia by JetSettingFools.com

8 Fantastic Day Trips from Zadar, Croatia

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The historic town of Zadar, Croatia sits proudly on a peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The city’s once-necessary defensive walls still encircle most of the town. Inside the fortifications is a blend of old and new – from well-preserved Roman ruins to state-of-the-art technological displays. The old town is comfortable, with enough sights to entertain, but plenty of opportunities to relax over a coffee at an outdoor café. However, it isn’t just the city itself that makes Zadar such an appealing holiday spot. Zadar’s location, on the northern Dalmatian Coast, makes the city an ideal base for exploring more of Croatia. Islands, national parks and some of the region’s most picturesque cities can be reached on day trips from Zadar, Croatia.

 

Day Trips from Zadar

Our list of 8 day trips from Zadar include the area’s top destinations. For each of the Zadar excursions, we include details regarding transportation and links to book the Zadar day trips via a tour. Even with only one day in Zadar, there may be enough time to take a quick trip from Zadar!

 

#1 Zadar to Krka National Park

Krka National Park: A day trip from Zadar

The Zadar to Krka Waterfalls trip was our favorite jaunt while staying in Zadar. The park is an aqueous wonderland – and an easy excursion from Zadar. The Krka River, which tumbles in a succession of waterfalls, is surrounded by 42-square miles of protected parkland. Within the boundaries of the Krka National park are ruins, churches, islands and caves, which are all reachable by organized tours. However, the main attraction is Skradinski buk, the longest waterfall on the Krka River. Visitors are welcome to swim at the base of the falls, which makes a day trip from Zadar to Krka perfect for hot summer days!

How to get from Zadar to Krka: We took a bus from Zadar to Krka, which conveniently stopped near the Krka National Park ticket office in Skradin (where the boat departs to the park). The Zadar-Krka bus online timetable was not correct during our visit. We bought our tickets from the bus station and we suggest others do the same to ensure the details on getting to Krka National Park from Zadar.

Zadar to Krka National Park Tours: Booking an organized Zadar to Krka National Park Tour can save the trouble of figuring out how to get from Zadar to Krka National Park – and can increase the time allotted at the park. Book a top-rated, full day tour from Zadar to Krka National Park on Viator. Other tour options include: a Krka tour from Zadar Private Tour and a Zadar to Krka Tour of Waterfalls and Wine Tasting

 

{Read about our Krka NP Trip}

 

#2 Kornati National Park from Zadar

2-week Croatia Itinerary Boat Trip from Zadar JetSetting Fools

The Kornati Islands are a Zadar must-see natural attraction! The Kornati National Park encompasses 89 islands, islets and reefs – and is best reached by Zadar boat tours; however, the park can also be viewed from the sky with a panoramic flight. The Kornati Islands beckon adventures with plenty of opportunity for swimming (snorkeling and scuba diving, too!), hiking and wildlife watching.

How to get from Zadar to Kornati: Visitors can get to the park via boat trips from Zadar or personal watercraft (permit required). There is no Zadar to Kornati Islands Ferry.

Zadar to Kornati Islands Tours: Book Zadar tours to Kornati NP from the docks or in advance. A few tours to choose from are a highly-rated 8-hour KNP tour, a Plane Tour and Skydiving or a Kornati NP Sailing Trip.

 

#3 Zadar Boat Trips

Boat trip from Zadar: Day trip to Ugljan and Dugi Otok islands

Spending a day on the water is one of the best things to do in Zadar – and a Zadar boat trip is the best way to do it! There are a multitude of options – from ferry rides to Zadar sailing trips to boat excursions to sea kayaking Zadar. Using the ferry is fabulous for visiting the islands off Zadar. Ugljan, directly across from Zadar, is one of the best islands near Zadar for a boat ride and island exploration.

How to get from Zadar to Ugljan: The ferries make these Zadar trips both easy and inexpensive. Find schedules online at  Jadrolinija Ferry official site

Booking Zadar Boat Tours: Book other Zadar boat excursions in advance, like the half-day sailing tour, a romantic sunset sail or a day trip to Saharun Beach

{Read about our boat trips from Zadar to Ugljan and Dugi Otok}

 

#4 Zadar to Plitvice Lakes

Water World Oasis, Upper Lakes, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the most popular Croatia tours. Sixteen lakes of intense blue water are connected by a series of tumbling waterfalls. The water flow has carved a deep canyon into the limestone rocks and natural tufa barriers pool the water before it streams over the edge into the next pool. Wooden boardwalks built just above the water enable visitors to have an up-close experience (although, swimming is not allowed at Plitvice NP). A trip to Plitvice Lakes is one of the best day trips from Zadar!

How to get from Zadar to Plitvice NP: The distance from Zadar to Plitvice Lakes is about 120km; the Zadar-Plitvice bus takes 1 hour 45 minutes each way. It is possible to take the public bus from Zadar to Plitvice, visit the park and take the Plitvice to Zadar bus back in one day.

Zadar to Plitvice Lakes National Park Tour: Travel with an organized group on a Zadar to Plitvice Lakes tour. Book this highly-rated PLNP tour in advance!

{Read about our trip to Plitvice Lakes in the Winter and Visiting Plitvice Lakes NP in the Autumn}

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#5 Sibenik, Croatia Tours

Day trip to Sibenik from Zadar: 6 sights to see

A day trip to Sibenik is one of the popular Zadar tours because of the close proximity of the two cities. The hillside coastal city boasts a fortress, several churches and the remains of city walls. The compact Sibenik Old Town center is a pleasant day trip for anyone looking for things to do near Zadar.

How to get from Zadar to Sibenik: Zadar-Sibenik buses run multiple times a day. Inquire at the bus station for timetables. 

Zadar to Sibenik Tours: Book a private guide for Zadar trips to Sibenik that include more than just the city! After seeing the city sights, this Sibenik tour includes lunch of regional cuisine in the countryside. 

{Read our guide on Things To Do in Sibenik on day trips from Zadar}

 

#6 Zadar to Split and Trogir (UNESCO Heritage Sites)

Sun setting on Split, Croatia

South of Zadar, in Middle Dalmatia, is Split – one of our favorite cities in Croatia! In the Old Town that fronts the harbor are the remains of the UNESCO Heritage Diocletian’s Palace. The city is also known for its many beaches, nature trails, historic neighborhoods and the long string of cafes that line the Riva.

Just 29km from Split is the UNESCO Heritage city of Trogir. The historic town occupies a small island, which is connected to the mainland via a short bridge. The best way to explore Trogir is to wander aimlessly through the narrow alleyways of the Old Town.

How to get from Zadar to Split: The bus from Zadar to Split and Split to Zadar takes 2.5 hours, but there are several buses that make the trip daily. Some buses stop in Trogir, but many do not. Check schedules at the bus station for times and stops prior to setting off for the day.

Tours from Zadar to Split: Guides do offer private tours from Zadar to Split and Trogir, which eliminates the hassle of trying to figure out bus schedules! Book Zadar, Croatia tours to Split and Trogir in advance on Viator.

{Read our guide on Split Sightseeing and more on a day trip to Trogir}

 

#7 Game of Thrones Film Locations Tours from Zadar

The main square, Peristyle, in Diocletian's Palace in Split, Croatia

Game of Thrones fans will be thrilled to visit Croatia, as many of the television show’s scenes have been filmed in the country. With the popularity of the show, there are GOT Tours, including GOT day trips from Zadar, Croatia.

Zadar to Game of Thrones Film Locations: Walking in the footsteps of the show’s characters is best done on private day tours from Zadar, as there are multiple stops in some hard-to-get-to locations. Book a GOT Tour here!

 

#8 Mostar Day Tours from Zadar

Old Bridge and Neretva River from Koski Mehmet-Pasha Mosque in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Want to explore beyond Croatia? Take a day trip from Zadar to the postcard-perfect town of Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Not a short day trip (it takes 3 hours to drive each way), the beautiful Old Town is definitely worth a visit! The iconic Old Bridge is draped over the emerald green river and mosque minarets pierce the sky.

Tours from Zadar to Mostar: Zadar excursions to Mostar are best done via car or hired guide, like this Mostar Tour. There are no bus routes between the two cities that would allow for Zadar day trips.

{Read our guide to Visiting Mostar: 21 Things To Do

 

Want to add exciting adventure activities to your Croatia trip?! Search now for the best adventure activities – like paragliding, rafting, and rock climbing. 

 

Things To Do in Zadar, Croatia

An entire week vacation could be filled with day trips from Zadar, but there are things to see in Zadar, too!

 

Zadar Walking Tour

Zadar sights can easily be discovered by strolling the lanes of the Old Town. However, for more information about Zadar sightseeing, use our Self-Guided Walking Tour (which includes a Zadar tourist map of the route) to the top Zadar tourist attractions.

If you would rather a guide lead you on a tip-based free walking tour Zadar, you can join the tour by Free Tours – or book a guide for a walking tour in advance. 

Zadar Self-Guided Walking Tour 24 Sights To See JetSettingFools.com

Zadar Self-Guided Walking Tour

Looking for more things to do around Zadar, Croatia? Get on two wheels and go on the Zadar Bike Tour! (Book it in advance on Viator!)

 

Find a Zadar Beach

Kolovare is the Zadar, Croatia beach closest to the center and one of the Zadar top attractions in the summertime. However, there are many beaches along the coastline and on the islands near Zadar. 

 

Deciding between Zadar or Split as a base in Croatia?

We like both Zadar and Split as bases for discovering more of Croatia – and think both cities offer a lot to see on their own! For tips on activities and day trips in Split, read our 3-Day Split Itinerary.

Croatia 2-Week Itinerary JetSettingFools.com

2-Week Croatia Itinerary

 

Where to Stay in Zadar

The best place to stay in Zadar is in the historic Old Town. We stayed in an Airbnb apartment (Not already a member of Airbnb? Use this link to create an account and save money on your first stay!), but there are many Zadar Old Town hotels to choose from, too!

We have found that staying in apartments is often less expensive than hotel rooms – with the added benefit of a kitchen and, often, more space. Zadar holiday apartments can also be searched on FlipKey (which is part of TripAdvisor) or VRBO.

However, those who prefer staying in traditional accommodations should check out these top-rated hotels (based on guest reviews!) for the upcoming trip: Art Hotel Kalelarga, Hotel Niko and Bastion Heritage Hotel. Or, find a hotel deal by bidding on Priceline.

Budget travelers can search for Zadar Hostels – like, Hostel Kolovare, Boutique Hostel Forum and The Hostel. For a true bargain – and a unique experience – search for hosts on Couchsurfing, where travelers stay with locals for free

 

Getting There…and around

In Zadar

Zadar can be reached by plane, boat, bus or car.  Flights to the Zadar Airport are seasonal. If arriving by bus, the bus station is not very convenient to the Old Town (map), but within reasonable walking distance. Although not 100% reliable, bus schedules can be searched on Bus Croatia and Get By Bus. It’s best to get around Zadar on your own two feet – as most of the Old Town is a car-free zone. 

In General

Our preferred method of getting anywhere is by flying (we are JetSetting Fools, after all!) and when we do need to purchase plane tickets, we start our search for the best deals on airline tickets on Skyscanner or Flight Hub.

To get from city to city when flights are not possible, we usually rely on public transportation and take trains or buses. In Europe, we use Eurail to find train tickets and our preferred bus company is FlixBus – as it is economical, clean and comfortable with on-board wifi, seat-back entertainment, refreshments and a toilet. We aren’t keen on driving abroad, but renting a car can often save time and money (especially when traveling with more than two people) – and it allows for greater discovery.  

 

Before You Go

  • Don’t forget to pack a pair of lightweight and comfortable walking shoes. I (Sarah) have traveled with these shoes by Columbia, Skechers and Reef. Kris prefers wearing these shoes by Merrell and SanukSanuk.
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  • We’re certain you’ll be snapping tons of photos during your trip. Rather than relying on your mobile phone to capture the sights, upgrade to an actual camera for higher quality photos (that can later be beautifully compiled into a travel photo book). We travel with a Canon Rebel (which takes amazing photos, but can be a bit clunky) and a Canon PowerShot ELPH (which takes beautiful pictures, is slim and lightweight – and the new models are wifi enabled so you can share your trip pics to social media in real time!).
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  • Be sure to have a good guidebook for Croatia prior to arriving.  
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  • We think travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected with World Nomads.

Start planning your trip to Zadar! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!

 

We want to know: What are your favorite day trips from Zadar? Give us your best tips in the comment section below! 

 

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8 Day Trips from Zadar, Croatia by JetSettingFools.com

2 thoughts on “8 Fantastic Day Trips from Zadar, Croatia

  1. That looks like such an amazing destination! I’d love to visit the Plitvice lakes, pity you can’t swim there though… and I’d love to do some of the Game of Thrones tours. So Awesome!

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