Not enough. That’s how I sum up my visit to the recently opened – Digital Nomads Valley in Zadar, a hotel & campsite turned into a small village for remote professionals and digital nomads.
During my two weeks stay in January 2022, I was one among 15 nomads. Group of young guys & girls, some single, some with a partner, from places like Israel, Poland, United Kingdom, Germany, Czechia, and Syria.
On the day of arrival, I was greeted by the community manager, who handed me the key to my studio unit and gave me a tour of the valley – the cowork, restaurant, bar, gym, pool, spa, beach, laundry, and parking – all within the perimeter of the valley, or 1 to 5 minutes walk.
My room was a 20 square meter apartment, with a balcony, kitchenette, and dining-work area. There is also a large TV for those who watch, and a bonus Bluetooth speaker embedded in the ceiling, great for those “dance like nobody’s watching” moments.
It is more than enough space for a single person. For couples or friends, the Valley offers a 2 or 3 bedroom unit.
The amenities are excellent, it’s really everything one needs, and all one wants. It is so convenient to jump between the gym, spa and the cowork, I made it my routine right after I unpacked my suitcase for the duration of my stay.
It is probably the best-equipped co-live I stayed in, but it would be unfair to call it a co-live, since the valley is first and foremost a community. The people I met were the highlight of my stay, and the reason I was sad to leave, – we, humans, we get attached to people, not places.
The valley attracts like-minded people who understand what the digital nomad lifestyle is about, celebrate it, and openly discuss the challenges.
A group of strangers turned into close friends, travel buddies and business consultants within a few days.
We jumped together to the cold water of the sea, we dined together, and had long co-working sessions followed by happy hour, workouts, movie nights, and day trips to nearby islands – Croatia is rich in nature, and we made sure to take advantage of it.
I am not new to the digital nomad lifestyle, I’ve been living of a single carry on for over 8 years now, traveled to 100+ countries in the process, and created a vast network of connections and friends, yet, the sensation of staying at the valley was different, it felt familiar, it felt like I belong there, or had been there before – it felt like a good old routine.
A word about Zadar, the city hosting the valley.
Zadar is the 5th largest city in Croatia, home to around 70,000 people. The land is kissing the sea on one side, and looking over a chain of mountains to the other side, the views are beautiful anywhere you look.
Old town Zadar is five minutes taxi ride away, that’s where many cafes, bars and restaurants are tucked between the old city walls. The city has its own magic, it can be romantic, and it can be wild. The options are all there
The 2nd largest city in Croatia, Split, is an 1.5 hour drive away, and Zagreb, Croatia’s capital is a short 3 hours bus ride, if you choose to hit the road – you will be rewarded with beautiful landscape throughout the drive.
So why do I summarize my experience with ‘not enough’?
Simply because my two weeks were not enough time to enjoy it all, live it to the fullest, make the best of it, and too early to say goodbye to my new friends.
If you go, and I encourage you to do so, consider staying a solid month, if not longer.
You will fall in love, I promise you.
Digital Nomad Valley in Zadar is what a co-live should be like, and what a community should feel like, I will be back and will be staying way longer this time.
Say YES! Go Explore,
King of Digital Nomads
For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, check out the dedicated TCN section.