Dalmatia – Zadar
Dalmatia – Zadar: The Oldest Dalmatians and the Art of Salt
Explore Velebit, the Zadar hinterland and the interior of the islands – we make art from salt that you can taste, not only here, but in all of Croatia!
This is where Dalmatia begins, and you can explore it in countless ways – with one national and three nature parks, 17 islands, 3000 km of marked bike trails and beautiful rivers and canyons where you can have crazy fun with us. Canoeing, kayaking or rafting? Hiking or swimming? Try it all!
In the villages, we will welcome you in renovated stone houses and provide a real atmosphere of authenticity and tradition. Here you will find both Mediterranean extremes: sun-exposed barrens where only the most durable medicinal plants can grow, food for only the toughest sheep, goats, donkeys, game and bees, and on the other hand, the most fertile agricultural areas such as Ravni Kotari, where we grow fruits and vegetables loved throughout Croatia. This is also a fishing area – we produce almost a fifth of the fish in Croatia!
What food to try?
We make Pag cheese, the most awarded cheese in Croatia, soaked in the flavours of Mediterranean herbs and salt, as well as pršut and Pag lamb. Be sure to try brudet, a speciality of cooked fish and crabs – we recommend the brudet from Kali, as well as a delicacy called iški lopiž – a meat dish cooked in traditional clay pots. Then there’s also grilled fish salted with the famous Pag and Nin salt, the Nin delicacy called šokol - dried pork collar dipped in red wine from around Benkovac and, the goat meat from Bukovac. Octopus or veal under the baking bell? Both! Juicy tuna steak is definitely one of the specialities of this area. We also offer a range of shellfish dishes, and Novigrad mussels alla buzara are a real treat and an autochthonous dish of our region.
Our Maraska sour cherries are known all over the world and you should definitely try our esteemed maraschino liqueur, a symbol of hard work and love of the Dalmatian farmer for the unforgiving karst land. In small idyllic towns and villages, numerous families produce top-quality wines, so take the wine route in Ravni Kotari learning about maraština, crljenak, debit, and plavina, as well as wines from famous varieties such as zinfandel, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and syrah. On Pag, be sure to try the native gegić. In the many wineries and tasting rooms throughout our region, everyone will find a variety they can enjoy.
What’s there to do?
Paklenica National Park offers visitors a variety of hiking opportunities and activities such as Velebit photo safari and learning about the natural and cultural heritage of the southern Velebit area. Don’t miss the canyon of the river Zrmanja - this place offers a number of sports, recreational and adventure activities: kayak safari, rafting, hiking tours and off-road cycling tours. Cycling enthusiasts will love more than 3000 km of marked cycling trails that provide a magical cycling experience with a combination of Mediterranean and mountain landscapes throughout the region.
In Velebit Nature Park, you can explore the Cerovac caves, and in Vrana Lake Nature Park, you can enjoy birdwatching and fishing. This is the largest natural lake and one of the largest wetlands in Mediterranean Croatia.
Telašćica Nature Park thrills visitors with its white, 161-metre-high cliffs, the steepest in the Adriatic, that plunge into the blue of the sea, and you can visit them with a tourist boat or kayak. In the park, you can visit many archaeological sites, much like throughout the region, go for a swim in the salt lake, and even try your hand at mouflon hunting. And we almost forgot to mention, the remains of the oldest Dalmatians were found here!
When you leave Pag, be sure to grab one of our authentic local souvenirs made of Pag lace. However, your most treasured keepsake will be the memories and the desire to come and visit once again. Because there’s so much left to see!
The text was provided by Croatian Rural Tourism Association