September is the best month to be by the sea. The sun is not so strong now but it’s still warm; you’re unarguably looking delectable with that golden tan there, and you can spend all day in the fresh air.
Here are our tips for how to spend a weekend or a week enjoying Zadar.
Reserve a room in one of the great hotels. We recommend Hotel Art Kalelarga, Hotel Almayer,or Hotel Bastion . In each of these there is an excellent restaurant: Corte vino & more in Almayer,Kaštel in Bastion and Gourmet Kalelarga in Art Hotel Kalelarga.
Explore Kampo Kaštel
Spend your morning in the part of the Old Town peninsula named Kampo Kaštel. If you stay in the Almayer or Bastion hotel you’re already right there. Why not visit the other hotel and enjoy a morning coffee in their garden? Take a walk to the Chapel of Our Lady of Health and the park where you’ll find busts of significant figures in history. Over the road take a peek into Mali Arsenal with its award-winning interior. In front of Hotel Almayer, head down to Zadar’s waterfront (“Riva”) where you can listen to the soothing sounds of the famous Sea Organ and release your playful side on the photo voltaic dance floor that is the Sun Salutation. To end with you have a choice: go up onto the defensive walls where you’ll find the Garden bar where you can relax with a view of Zadar’s port; or, if you have a sweet tooth, stroll to the little street named Kazališni prolaz and try lemon tart or something chocolately from the L’orchidée, pastry shop.
As well as the aforementioned hotel restaurants, our suggestions for where to eat would be: Restoran Foša, Pet bunara, Bruschetta, Bistro Pjat, Restoran Niko and Restoran Kornat. And don’t miss Art Kavana for dessert.
In September it’s best to head for the beach at midday and stay there ‘til the sun sinks into the sea. Rent a bike, or take a leisurely stroll. Head by bike along Kolovare to Punta Bajlo and take a hammock with you because you’ll be able to enjoy the pine forest with a view of the Zadar archipelago undisturbed. Before you leave the beach opposite cape Punta Bajlo, head by bike to the lazaretto at Arbanasi or the Gubavac islet which is today connected to the mainland. If you fancy a longer bike ride you can head for the Vitrenjak beach or Puntamika which are both excellent places to relax. Or you can stay in the city and sunbathe on the Riva.
Zadar is not really rich in quality souvenirs, but there are places where you can find excellent gifts. The Museum of Ancient Glass has a souvenir shop with beautiful blown glass and jewellery made by Antonija Gospić, a versatile young artist. In the tiny street Ulica Kraljskog Dalmatina which runs perpendicular to Široka ulica (Kalelarga), you’ll find the Aneri gallery which offers very reasonably priced and original gifts created by Croatian designers.
If you’re the vintage type, opposite the City galerija shopping centre just outside the old town you’ll find a little antique shop with a lovely selection of treasures.
For foodies and wine lovers we recommend the Gligora cheese shop at the farmers’ market (pjaca), or head for the Uje shop where you can try their olive oil products. Wine lovers won’t be disappointed by the Bibich or Atrox wine shops where you can seek out wines from Zadar’s hinterland.
If you like herbal tea, is it not a rare treat to find just the blend you need? If you could do with a wonderful relaxing blend visit the shop owned by the herbalist Jerkin and ask them to put together something just for you.
Something for the little ones
If you are spending your week or weekend with the kids, apart from the beach try heading for the Museum of Illusions which is great fun for young and old alike. The best park for letting off steam is in Arbanasi, close to Punta Bajlo. The playground there is brand new and is very well equipped. Another option is the park in the city centre at Perivoj Vladimir Nazor. Also in the centre is Park kraljica Jelena where you’ll find the Ledana bar, a great place to relax with children in the morning.
And finally, sundown
Before you head home you will of course need to catch a great sunset to post on Instagram. Head back to the Sea Organ or, after bathing at Punta Bajlo enjoy a drink at Tequila Sunrise and enjoy the spectacle of the world-renowned Zadar sunset.