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Founded 3000 years ago, the city of Zadar is a cornucopia of magnificent palaces, churches and monasteries. The former capital of Croatia spread out on a wall-supported peninsula is reminiscent of an idyllic postcard setting. While many locations throughout the Old Town still show traces of the reigns of the Romans and the Venetians, Zadar also is a venue for modern art such as the Sea Organ or the Monument to the Sun.
If you plan to tour the Old Town of Zadar, be prepared to be amazed: Pass the ramparts listed as UNESCO world heritage and make your way to the unique ensemble of the Roman forum, the Byzantine-style Church of St. Donat and the Gothic cathedral in the city center. To relax your feet, take a seat on the promenade and listen to the sounds of the Sea Organ or marvel at the sensational light effects of the Monument to the Sun.
From the edge of the waterfront, let your eyes wander over hundreds of small islands, most of them uninhabited, nestled in a haven for yachtsmen. There is plenty to see inland, too: A short car ride from Zadar will take you to splendid Paklenica National Park where the Velebit mountains are intersected by rugged canyons. Plitvice Lakes National Park has been famous ever since Winnetou made an appearance there. The myriad of lakes, sinter terraces and waterfalls will take your breath away.
Dalmatia also is a paradise for sun seekers. One of the best-known bathing spots is located in the bay of Nin. It also is referred to as Queen’s Beach, named after the wife of Tomislav, the first king of Croatia.
To satisfy your hunger and quench your thirst after a day of sightseeing or sunbathing at the beach, visit any of the specialty restaurants for fresh delicacies from the ocean or lamb kebabs which also delight the palates of the local and are famous throughout Dalmatia.