If you plan a longer stay in Zadar’s old city, there are five-day trips from Zadar you can add to your Croatia itinerary.
With four of Croatia’s National Parks on Zadar’s doorstep, including an archipelago of islands, Zadar is one of the best places to visit in Croatia.
We often say it’s better to spend a week in one place to really get the local feel of the place you are visiting.
And staying in Zadar is one of the best cities in Croatia to spend your time.
Hire a car and book ahead online to visit one of Croatia’s National Parks:
- Krka National Park
- Paklenica National Park, and
- Plitvice Lakes.
Five-Day Trips from Zadar
1. Spend a Day in Krka National Park
Krka National Park is a must-see stop on your road trip to Croatia.
The park covers an area of 109 sq km and offers much more than just the main Roski waterfall. Especially if you have hired a car.
Make sure to keep your entrance ticket day pass, to drive inland to the Island of Visovac.
The monastery on the island was built in the 14th century, and you could be mistaken on your first view, thinking it is Lake Bled in Slovenia.
But if you decide not to hire a car, another option is to book the ferry from Skradin. This is one memorable excursion to enter Krka National Park.
For entrance prices for the park, here’s their website National Park Krka.
2. Climb and Hike in Paklenica National Park
“Where the mountain touches the Sea”
Paklenica National Park is popular with climbers who climb the sheer face of Anica Kuk.
It is amazing to watch the climbers scaling the rock faces. And if you want to have a go at climbing, the Park offers training on smaller cliffs for beginners.
But if you don’t like hiking or climbing, a visit to Paklenica National Park can be enjoyed for a day in nature under the shade of the Black Pine forest. Or a cooling dip in the waters of the waterfall near the entrance to the park.
The park covers 95 km2 with the highest peaks, Vaganski at 1752m and Sveto Brdo at 1753 meters.
For prices and times of entry to the park, click here: Paklenica.
And if you do decide to do some free climbing up and over rocks, the reward is stunning views out across the rocky hills to the sea.
Paklenica National Park is a worthwhile day trip from Zadar.
3. Lunch in the seaside town of Sibenik
Sibenik, with its medieval old town on the seaside waterfront, has had many conquerors throughout the centuries.
With rulers from Venice, Hungary, Byzantium, Bosnia, and Austria, Sibenik had a military presence.
A visit to the UNESCO St Nicholas Fortress is just one example of the four fortresses in Sibenik.
Barone Fortress, St John’s Fortress and St Nicholas Fortress are also reminders of Sibenik’s defence against the attacks of the Ottoman Empire.
The Cathedral of St James, with its large dome cupola rising above the old stone houses, is famous for its sculptures.
As you walk along the outside of the cathedral, you can admire some of the 71 stone heads popping out of the walls.
If you decide to stop at Sibenik, there is a large car park on the waterfront.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Five Day Trips from Zadar, Croatia to explore four National Parks and old medieval towns. Sunshine, beaches and great food, what more could you ask for?” quote=”Five Day Trips from Zadar, Croatia to explore four National Parks and old medieval towns. Sunshine, beaches and great food, what more could you ask for?”]
4. Island Hopping from Zadar
Along the seafront promenade, you will find stands selling day trips to the islands.
Zadar has an archipelago of islands offering snorkelling and swimming, with most tours spending time in the Kornati National Park.
Kornati National Park covers 69sq km and with 147 islands, mostly uninhabited.
Catching the sunset on your return from a day tour to the islands is definitely one of the highlights.
For an alternative to the seafront sellers, you can check reviews and book online with Viator for an island experience.
5. Stop for Coffee at Novigrad
If you just want a couple of hours to explore away from Zadar, then a suggestion is to visit Novigrad.
Novigrad is known as the Croatian Portofino.
The sea has crept deep into the mainland, creating a fjord lined with stone houses, a fortress and plenty of fishing boats.
Once again, we have to say Croatia is full of stunning locations.
Visit Plitvice Lakes
While you can get up early and spend a day at Plitvice Lakes, a better option is to arrive mid-afternoon to see the lakes with fewer tourists.
We purchased a two-day pass so we could enjoy sunset views of the lakes on Day One and then arrive early morning on Day Two to see the lakes in a new light.
In the off-season, a two-day pass will cost Kuna150 (€20) and covers the train bus and ferry within the park. Car parking is extra.
Click here for more information on Plitvice National Park.
Airbnb suggestion: Rooms Family Glumac
Dinner suggestion: Bistro Vučnica for tasty burgers made with local produce.
If you haven’t signed up with Airbnb to get a discount on your first booking, just click on this link Airbnb.
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