Šibenik successfully made its way to world’s filmmaking map when St. Nicholas and St. John’s Fortresses became a set for the award-winning hit TV series Game of Thrones.
This oldest native Croatian town on the shores of the sea is experiencing a sort of tourist renaissance, especially after some historic sites – such as St. Michael’s Fortress – were restored with EU funds, but also following private investments – one of the biggest Turkish conglomerates, Doğuş Group, opened a new luxury hotel and resort complex, D-Resort. One of the new EU-funded projects is also a fleet of electric ships which are supposed to take tourists to nearby islands.
You probably know this is the home of the most beautiful sunset in the world, as Alfred Hitchcock once said when he visited Zadar in May 1964: “Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world, more beautiful than the one in Key West, in Florida, applauded at every evening.” Be sure not to miss catching it from the popular Zadar waterfront where you can also enjoy the famous monument, a solar-module called Greeting to the Sun while listening to the calming sound of the Sea Organ nearby. The sound of the Sea Organ is transposed into a light-show that starts after sunset. Zadar architect Nikola Bašić, the author of this unusual installation, has received numerous international and national awards. Greeting to the Sun is a 22-meter diameter circle representing the Sun with smaller nearby installations that represent planets of our solar system.
Zadar has become the regional center of RyanAir and is experiencing a tourism boom, so the offer is ever-expanding when it comes to must-see locations, things to experience and food to enjoy. What you should definitely pin on your tourist map while walking its quirky streets:
St. Donatus Church, St. Anastasia Cathedral and Bell Tower (climb to the for the best view of Zadar!), St. Mary’s Church and Convent, the city walls and Gates, the Five Wells Square, Foša – the Land Gate, Kalelarga – a main and most famous street in the city of Zadar, the Armory (Arsenal), Archaeological Museum, Museum of Ancient Glass…
There are also numerous festivals and events, concerts to be seen and surrounding attractions to visit: do not miss an excursion to Kornati or Krka National Park, and be sure to visit the historic town of Nin, home to the smallest cathedral in the world and the statue of an influential medieval bishop Gregory of Nin. Touching the big toe of this bronze statue is said to bring good luck 🙂
Spectacular canyons, Mala (Small) and Velika (Big) Paklenica, a perfect place for extreme sports lovers. Highest peaks of the Velebit Mountain are located here: Vaganski vrh (highest peak of Velebit, 1757 m), and from Vrh (summit) Liburnije you can enjoy the most spectacular view on the Adriatic coast. Paklenica is Croatia’s biggest and most important climbing site with 400 marked routes/trails, the most popular rock being Anića kuk where the climbing season starts in May. Fun fact: as much as 7 out of 11 Winnetou films were shot in Paklenica National Park.