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 on the Adriatic Sea. The city’s once-necessary defensive walls still encircle most of the old town Zadar. Inside the fortifications is a blend of old and new – from well-preserved Roman ruins to modern convivences.


Why Take Day Trips From Zadar?

Zadar 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 vacation spot. Zadar’s location, on the northern Dalmatian Coast, makes it an ideal base for exploring more of Croatia. Stunning islands, national parks and some of the region’s most picturesque places can be reached on day trips from Zadar, Croatia.

Pin, Save or Bookmark our Zadar Day Trips post to use on your visit to Croatia!


8 Best Day Trips From Zadar, Croatia

Our list of 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 Waterfalls

2-week Croatia Itinerary Krka National Park JetSetting Fools

The Zadar to Krka Waterfalls trip was our favorite jaunt while staying in Zadar. Krka National 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 or a DIY day trip.

Krka National Park: A day trip from Zadar

However, the main attraction is Skradinski buk, the longest waterfall on the Krka River. The single sight alone is worth making the day trip from Zadar to Krka! 

Note: In the past, visitors have been able to swim at the base of the falls, but that is no longer permitted!


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 (admission includes the boat ride from Skradin to Krka).

The Zadar-Krka bus online timetable was not correct during our visit. We bought our tickets directly from the bus station and we suggest others do the same. Be sure to confirm the times on getting to Krka National Park from Zadar by bus (and return) during your trip!


Zadar to Krka National Park Tours: Booking an organized Zadar to Krka National Park Tour can save you the trouble of figuring out how to get from Zadar to Krka Waterfalls – and can increase your time enjoying the wonderful scenery!

Book a top-rated, full day tour from Zadar to Krka National Park on Viator.

Other guided tour options include: a Krka from Zadar Private Tour and a Zadar to Krka Tour of Waterfalls and Wine Tasting

{Read all 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!

Sail Boat Tours, Sailing, Sibenik, Croatia

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. That said, it is one of the best places to visit from Zadar, so it’s worth joining a tour!


Zadar to Kornati Islands Tours: Book Zadar tours to Kornati NP from the docks or in advance. In the busy summer season, we highly recommend booking early so you ensure you get a spot on the tour! 

This highly-rated 8-hour KNP tour is a fantastic boat trip from Zadar! The full day tour includes breakfast on the way to the Zadar national park, incredible scenic vistas along the route, sights at the Telascica Nature park and time for swimming, too!



#3 Zadar Boat Trips

Islands of the Zadar Archipelago in Croatia

Spending a day on the water is one of the best things to do in Zadar – and a Zadar boat trip is an excellent way to do it! There are a multitude of options – from ferry rides to Zadar sailing trips to boat excursions to sea kayaking Zadar.


Ferry Trips from Zadar 

Boat Trips From Zadar, Croatia

Using the ferry is fabulous for visiting the islands off Zadar. Ugljan on the island of Preko is directly across from Zadar and ranks one of the best islands near Zadar for a boat ride and island exploration. A day trip to Dugi Otok from Zadar is also possible with the ferry. 


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

{Read about our Boat Trips from Zadar to Ugljan and Dugi Otok}


More Islands to Visit from Zadar

Boat trip between Ugljan and Pasman Islands, Croatia

There are 140 islands in the Zadar archipelago (including the 89 of Kornati NP). The best way to visit many of these islands is on a boat tour. 


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 Sakarun Beach, Croatia.

Another option is to set sail for the Zadar archipelago aboard a yacht. The small group Sailing Trip is a full day adventure!



#4 Zadar To Plitvice Lakes National Park

Looking down at Plitvice Lakes boardwalk in Croatia

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.

Tumbling waterfall next to wood steps at Plitvice Lakes NP in Croatia

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: Alternately, 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}



#5 Sibenik, Croatia Tours

Beautiful View Sibenik, Croatia

A day trip to Sibenik is one of the popular Zadar tours because of the close proximity of the two cities. The hillside coastal Old Town of Sibenik boasts a fortress, several churches and the remains of it’s defensive walls.

Jadrolinija Passenger Ferry From Sibenik, Croatia

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, making this an easy Zadar DIY Day Trip. Inquire at the Zadar bus station for current timetables. 

{Be sure to read our guide on Things To Do in Sibenik on day trips from Zadar}



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

View of Split, Croatia from Marjan Hill Hike

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

Boat on the Waterfront, Trogir, Croatia

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 each way, but there are several buses that make the trip daily. Some buses stop in Trogir, but many do not. Again, we recommend checking schedules at the Zadar 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 our 3 Day Split Itinerary}



#7 Game of Thrones Film Locations Tours from Zadar

Main square inside Diocletian's Palace, Peristyle, 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.

Distant view of Klis Fortress in Split, 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

The famous Stari Most Old Bridge in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Want to explore beyond Croatia? Take a day trip from Zadar to the fascinating town of Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Not a short day trip (it takes 3 hours to drive each way), the beautiful Mostar Old Town is definitely worth it!

Old Town shops in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The iconic Mostar Old Bridge is draped over the emerald green Neretva River and minarets pierce the blue sky. Cafes and restaurants cling to the riverside cliffs and line the cobblestone lanes of Mostar, enticing you in for a coffee or meal.


Tours from Zadar to Mostar: Zadar excursions to Mostar are best done via car or hired guide – and you can search here for a Mostar Tour. There are no bus routes between the two cities that would allow for Zadar day trips.

{Read our guide to Visiting Mostar: 27 Things To Do


More Things To Do in Zadar, Croatia

Our free self guided walking tour zadar croatia

Zadar is one of the best places to visit in 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 free Zadar 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. 

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. 

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Planning a Trip to Zadar, Croatia

There is a lot more to planning a trip to Zadar than deciding which day trips to take! 

Get started with our tips for Planning a Croatian Vacation – where we highlight need-to-know travel info. 

As you research your trip, you will need to stay organized. With our printable Travel Planner, you can download the 26 pages and get started right away!

Travel Planner Printables by JetSettingFools.com


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.

Top Tip: For the Best 2 Weeks in Croatia, read our Ultimate Guide To Croatia!


Where To Stay in Zadar, Croatia

The best place to stay in Zadar is in the historic Old Town. We stayed in an Airbnb Apartment, but there are many Zadar Old Town hotels to choose from, too!

Check out these top-rated hotels (based on guest reviews!) for the upcoming trip: Art Hotel Kalelarga, Hotel Niko and Bastion Heritage Hotel

Budget travelers can search for Zadar Hostels – like Boutique Hostel Forum and The Hostel

Before making your reservation, read our tips for Booking the Best Hotels at the Best Rate.


Getting to Zadar, Croatia

Visitors can travel to Zadar by plane, boat, bus or car.

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

Flights to the Zadar Airport are seasonal, and are offered from Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Dublin and London (amongst others).

Although there are no trains to Zadar (at least not ones that are efficient for travelers), buses are a good option for reliable transport. Our preferred bus company is FlixBus – as it is economical, clean and comfortable with on-board Wi-Fi,

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.


How To Get Around Zadar: Transportation

It’s best to get around Zadar on your own two feet – as most of the Old Town is a car-free zone. 

However, travelers may want to consider renting a car for some of the day trips from Zadar. Having a rental can often save time and money (especially when traveling with more than two people) – and allows for greater discovery.  

Pro Tip: Read our Top Tips for the Best Car Rental Rates before you make your reservation.


What To Pack for Travel To Zadar

Now that you know the top Zadar things to do and have planned your Zadar itinerary, it’s time to pack your bags! Whether you travel with a backpack or a suitcase, you can use our pro packing tips! Find all of our advice on our Packing Tips blog page – and be sure to grab your FREE Packing Checklist!


The Right Shoes

Be sure to pack a pair of lightweight and comfortable travel shoes for your trip! I am most comfortable walking in historic Croatia cities in my versatile sneakers – but bring flip flops for the beach, too. Kris prefers wearing these shoes by Merrell.


Travel Camera

Croatia is gorgeous – and the stunning scenery can be seen on many of the day trips from Zadar. Rather than relying on your mobile phone to capture the sights, upgrade to an actual camera for higher quality photos. We travel with a Canon Rebel (which takes amazing photos and is a great budget camera for travelers). 


Guidebook and Map

Good research often equals a great vacation! It can be helpful to have a guidebook for Croatia prior to arriving – as well as a map!


Croatia Travel Insurance

If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, consider traveling protected with World Nomads.


Start planning your trip to Croatia! 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!


More Croatia Travel Resources

Visiting other Top Destinations in Croatia? Fantastic! Get ready with all the best tips with our complete guides!

Looking to go on an Croatia Island Hoping Adventure? Super! Get set with our detailed guides to Hvar, Korcula, Brac and Vis!


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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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