That Croatia has much to offer for everyone is a known fact. Sailing along the Dalmatian coast, for instance, one is greeted with sights that tease and beckon. Beaches with pearly sands, seas as blue as the deepest sapphire and then, should one tire of the gentle rocking of the boat, vast fields, ancient ruins and views to soak in and enjoy. Finally, as the last slice of that orange orb in the sky disappears beyond the horizon, a sip of local wine to wrap up the day in true Croatian style.
Few people know, however, that the north of the Dalmatian coast also harbours a secret or two. Being less touristy, it is very often missing on visitors’ radars who tend to go for other, better-known spots in the south of Croatia and the respective islands. If you’re opting for a boat rental in Zadar, Croatia, do make sure you don’t completely ignore the elusive north. While it might not classify as showing off the same sort of beauty as the south, it has its own charm and beguiling spots, well worth a visit if you’re sailing in the area.
Zadar & Premuda – Vibrant, Unique & Soothing
While tourists may swarm towns like Dubrovnik and Split, or converge on the islands of Hvar, Korčula or Vis, the city of Zadar in the north retains its genuine character – which suits its residents very much. This is still quite a surprise. What Zadar may lack in landscape beauty it makes up for in its contrasting historical and futuristic touches. The centre of Zadar is a vibrant area, with boutiques, restaurants and bars, while the red-topped roofs so typical of the Adriatic coast, lends it an iconic feel present in the larger cities. A peninsula juts out into the sea and is the first thing to greet you as you sail into this Croatian city. Moor your boat along the city walls of the Old Town and pass through the many Venetian gates to get to the heart of the town, where you can visit relics from the Roman period and the 8th up to the 15th century.
If you wish to balance out your intake of historical reliquaries, head to the Sea Organ, where tubes located beneath marble steps are played by the crashing sea waves. Like Pan playing music to the sea nymphs, the soothing sounds will ease your mouth into a contented smile. And while the Sea Organ relieves any frowning creases on your face, the Sun Salutation, another unique display close by, will please the eye with its colourful display meant to simulate the solar system.
source: Yachts Croatia
If you’re eager to relax and (dare we say) escape from civilisation, take your rented boat out to the Premuda Island, where a handful of residents still reside. Their livelihood consists mostly of sheep herding and olive growing and with a total of around three restaurants on the whole island, you can expect nothing but blissful solitude. Diving is also popular in the area, with a WWI relic lying at the bottom of the ocean, a memento of weapon turned sanctuary for hundreds of creatures.
source: Bruneko Charter
Croatia has something for everyone and renting a boat is the surest way to explore every inch of this rich country. While the south is unmatched in natural beauty, the north offers refuge to those who seek peace, while not disappointing with its distinctive touch you are not likely to forget.