Located at the very center of the Adriatic Sea, Northern Dalmatia with a number of islands, ‘as there are days in the year’ is a paradise for boaters and all searching to experience the beauty of unspoiled nature and millennium history.
Thanks to its location at the junction of geographically different Croatian regions here as rarely anywhere else can be found so much in such a small space.
In the area of two hundred kilometers, alternates a clear turquoise sea, emerald lake water, snow mountain slopes, national parks, ancient cities and isolated coves of the island.
With a local homemade food specialties, countless possibilities for active holidays and excursions, this region is one of the top tourist destinations in Croatia.
Top Northern Dalmatia Highlights
Pag island – the authentic lacework and the famous cheese
If you visit the island of Pag, you certainly won’t leave empty-handed. You will be impressed by the beauty of the lacework from Pag the symbol of the island, decorated with typical motifs inspired by its the moon’s like landscape.
If you would like to buy the lacework from Pag, I advise a walk through the streets of the town of Pag where you will find a countless of lacework. You will have also the possibility to see with your eyes how a industrious, skillful and patient lace makers’ hand works. There is also a lace-making school in this Renaissance stone town of Pag.
This island is also famous for the lamb’s meet of sheep grazing in the meadows around the island hills. These meadows are rich with seven different species of medicinal herbs blended with sea salt, making the lamb’s meat so special.
But what makes Pag famous is a local sheep cheese, which has been prepared carefully by the inhabitants of Pag by centuries. You can buy cheese (Paski sir) directly in the cheese factory in the town of Pag or it can be purchased by private producers.
Northern Dalmatia – Ancient streets of Zadar , unique sunset and sea-organ
Zadar, is a three thousand year-old town. It was the capital of Dalmatia for many centuries. Its peninsula still preserves the ancient street grid of the town, as well as a Roman forum dating back to the first century AD.
Zadar is one of the best scenic places along the coast. Remember that even famous Alfred Hitchcock while visiting Zadar, considered Zadar’s sunset as one of the most beautiful in the world.
There are few cities that can boast to have a sea-organ. Zadar organ a musical instrument played by sea, seventy meters long with thirty-five organ pipes built under the concrete situated a few steps from the Ancona-Zadar ferry dock. This remarkable piece of urban architecture built in 2005 by architect Nikola Basic, has become one of the most visited monuments in Zadar. Watch the video below and turn on your speakers!
Northern Dalmatia – Sibenik’s Cathedral of St.James
Sibenik is one of the the oldest Croatian town on the Adriatic coast located on extraordinary location in a picturesque and wide bay at the mouth of the River Krka.
One of the most outstanding monuments in Sibenik is the Cathedral of St. James, a triple-nave basilica with three apses and a dome.
This cathedral, part of UNESCO World Heritage was built between the15th and 16th century by three different architects (Francesco di Giacomo, Georgius Mathei Dalmaticus and Niccolò di Giovanni Fiorentino), demonstrating the strong influence among the three culturally different regions of Northern Italy, Dalmatia, and Tuscany.
It’s built entirely from stone and using unique construction techniques for the cellar and the dome of the Cathedral. The form and the decorative elements of the Cathedral, such as a remarkable wall paintings decorated with 71 sculptured faces of men, women, and children, also demonstrate the flourishing fusion of Gothic and Renaissance art.
Northern Dalmatia – Three National Parks
This region hosts three, the most picturesque National Parks, Kornati islands, Plitvice Lakes and Krka River National Park.
The last one is located entirely within the territory of Sibenik County. It was proclaimed a national park in 1985 and it’s one of the most visited national parks. If you love beautiful waterfalls, you can’t go wrong with either Krka or Plitvice, and it’s not a waste of your time to visit both.
There is few advantages of Krka National Park compared with Plitvice Lakes. Krka is much closer to Split and Zadar while Plitvice is more distant from the coast. Another advantage of Krka is possibility to swim. You can actually swim in the lakes at Krka, which is forbidden at Plitvice. (do not expect to swim in the full sense under the waterfalls as there is a protective barrier).
Entrance fees to Krka National Park range from 30-150 kuna (€ 3,99-1,90 Euro) for adults and 20-90 kuna (€ 2,60-11,97 Euro) for students and children. Prices are the highest July and August.
There are lots of organized day trips to Krka National Park from Zadar and Split. Some of tours also include Sibenik.