Zadar ain't so zad!

Trip Start Jun 03, 2010
Trip End May 28, 2011

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Boric Camping

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11

Well, the weather has turned to the good again, and made for a delightful day in Zadar. The bike trail from the campground was almost completely along the waterfront, with clear blue sea, and views of the old town, the ferries and the yacht harbours along the way. The old town was on a small peninsula, once an island, and was entered through a wall and renaissance era gate which is always a sign of a special town. It was fairly crowded with tourists and towns folks, especially given that it was a Saturday. We stumbled across a vintage motorcycle display in a museum annex right on the main square, to Bill's delight, and then spent a couple of hours touring the sights, which included some dramatic Roman ruins, a couple of Byzantine churches, and some more modern waterfront quays. One highlight was St. Donats;, which is a famour circular Byzantine structure of the town. It was built and rebuilt various times over the centuries, originally pre-Roman pagan worship site, then Roman, but the basic structure was Byzantine, form about the 5th C AD. It incorporated some Roman remains into its foundations, with a column or tow as part of its structure. It is often used for concerts due to its fine acoustics, and indeed, we were lucky to get in, as it was being fitted up for a film shoot later in the day, when it would have been closed to the public.

In the afternoon we rode out to the south of town along the sparkling sea. A little miscommunication resulted in us getting a litre sized mug of beer each at the far point of the southern peninsula… made for a nice ride back!

We got back to the campground safely though, in time for a chat with young Aussie couple who had just pulled in, and a good look at the sunset.

September 12, 2010

Headed north from Zadar toward the town of Nin and the island of Vir. Given the continuing fine weather we were in search of some naturist beaches in the area. We never did find them… it seems development had overtaken them… but we did have a couple of nice bike rides along some of the charming waterfronts. We ended up at a small and peaceful campground right on the edge of the beach on the island of Vir. Can’t say the island itself is anything special… it seems to consist of boring looking modernish small villas and apartment blocks with fat Germans blobbed along the beachfronts, the town is boring little cafes and pizza patios with tacky souvenir shops. But it was lovely relaxing on the beach here at the campground, and the pizza at the boring pizza joint was not half bad.

September 13, 2010

It was a lovely peaceful night at that campground, and in the morning instead of our usual Muesli and yogurt breakfast, we bicycled into the town of Vir and picked up Croissants.

Then we set off south towards Split. Along the way we stopped at Sebenik, a lovely little seaside town on this Dalmation Coast. It is famous for its St Jacob’s Cathedral, a particularly beautiful renaissance church, built all from stone, and with some very interesting features such as the 71 unique faces carved all around the church (see photo).

We were delightfully surprised to find that the town itself was as beautiful as the church, with extensive narrow cobbled alleyways, a monastery,with a bright little garden, a bustling waterfront with yachts and tour groups, a small fisherman’s harbour, and the obligatory castle.

This evening we are at Seget Camping just short of Trogir, which is just 7 or 8 kms short of Split. We rode our bikes into Trogir late afternoon to have a quick look around. It is a tiny renaissance town jammed onto a tiny little island. This whole area is swarming with huge yachts, and they are abundant around Trogir as well… but the town itself is walled, and has crenellated towers around it.

The plan is to go back in tomorrow for a better look, and explore beyond the small town onto the bigger island behind it as time allows. There seems to be a passenger ferry from Trogir to Split, so we expect to stay here another day and ferry over to Split for a good look at that old Roman fortress and town.

The campground here is within sight of Trogir, right on the water’s edge with a nice gravel beach. It is still on the expensive side…. about $34 per night… I guess that is expected for waterfront.
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