The national media are beaming with pride reporting record overnight stays, music festivals are back in full force, and the motorways are finally paying off again. Croatian tourism is where we all hoped it would be. In fact, we’re running out of space with the most popular destinations including the famous cities, Istrian villages, and the islands of Dalmatia. It’s time to start looking for alternatives. We tried telling you to go see Lika and Gorski Kotar, Slavonija and Baranja, but we do understand the desire to stay close to the sea. This is why today we will share a little gem that has got it all. Welcome to Biograd na Moru, famous among Croatians and Czechs, but still waiting to be fully discovered.
The little town of some 6000 residents is located only 30 km south of Zadar and about 50 km north of Šibenik, or 130 km from Split. It is nestled between two bays and overlooks the most indented part of the Adriatic coast. Surrounded by national parks and nature parks, it boasts plenty of tourist and recreational facilities but keeps a calm, homely atmosphere even in the height of summer. Get to know this charming little place through our top list of activities in Biograd na Moru. Here are some of our favourites that we suggest you try this summer:
Whether you are the type to go for an early morning run and swim, like to chill all day or go late night dipping, you will find a spot that suits your needs. With the most famous ones being Bošana, Dražica, and Soline, Biograd offers a variety of terrain and conditions on its beaches. They range from pebbles and rocks, an open swimming pool for training, to a sandy beach perfect for the little ones. There is plenty of space both in the sun and in the shade. For perfect comfort, we suggest renting a lounge and/or an umbrella. As for sustenance and entertainment, you can find pretty much anything there. The little stands include everything from bakeries, fast food and ice cream to fresh fruit and salads. As for the little ones, there are water slides, aqua parks, playgrounds and attractions such as VR.
Early morning at the beaches of Biograd. Photos by Author
Thanks to the neighbouring islands being so dense and so close to Biograd, a sunset will look different depending on where you stand. If you plan it just right, you could have it so that you can still see the sun nesting between the islands from one point when it’s not visible from another point just a few hundred metres down. Whether you want to see it reflecting in the sea, disappearing behind Pašman, or glistening through the trees, one thing is always true – every sunset is more beautiful than the previous.
Photos by Author
Count the Islands
The big ones, the one with the lighthouse, the heart-shaped island… Ugljan, Pašman, Dugi Otok, Sv. Katarina, and Galešnjak can all be seen from Biograd or places nearby. Hop on a ferry and visit some of them, or try counting and naming them while having your afternoon swim, we promise it’s fun both ways!
Galešnjak Island, photo by PIXSELL (Filip Brala)
Eat and Drink
With pubs and restaurants densely populating the entire stretch of the beach, as well as the city centre, we challenge you to stay hungry or thirsty in Biograd! Start with brunch at the beach, have your afternoon iced coffee in the shade of one of the beach bars, go about your evening enjoying some fresh local seafood followed by Italian-inspired gelato, and of course, round it all up with a cocktail or two right by the sea. If you prefer cooking at home, get up early to catch the local fishermen coming back from their nightly catch and buy some of the best fish directly from them, or visit the local market for more fresh produce. As for edible souvenirs, you can never go wrong with some dried figs and olive oil which are produced in something like every other house. If you notice fruit or olives in backyards, try knocking on their doors and finding out if you can buy some to take home. Chances are, it won’t take more than a few knocks to declare mission success.
Photos by Author
Get Some Movement In
After you’ve eaten and fed your entire family, never go swimming! Embrace the healthy Dalmatian ways and chill in the shade for a bit until it all settles down. Only after a little nap under the pines will you be ready to move. The 4 km stretch by the sea should be enough for recreational joggers, and if you get up early you will be rewarded by the sun rising above the pines in the most charming of ways. If you prefer running long distances or cycling, we suggest heading out of Biograd, and following the Adriatic Highway towards Zadar for some truly breathtaking views. With most of it being covered with cycling paths, it is suitable for all kinds of activity. It will take you through a few charming little villages, but its true beauty lies in the fact that for the most part, it passes right by the sea and provides perfect little private swimming spots.
Photo by Adventure Park Biograd
Go on an Adventure
If swimming, running or cycling doesn’t cut it for you, and you need a little bit of adrenaline to spice up your day, try one of the activities at the beach, in the forests, or nearby. Our favourite beach activities include parasailing and jet skiing, followed by renting a SUP and exploring the bays. If you’re looking to entertain the whole family, you can also rent a paddle boat and try sliding down into the open sea. Needless to say, always make sure the weather conditions are right and listen to the advice of experts to stay safe! For those who aren’t afraid of heights, check out Adventure Park Biograd and test your climbing, hanging and ziplining skills, or head out for a day of rides in Fun Park Mirnovec.
Photo by PIXSELL (Dino Stanin)
Discover Vransko Jezero
Tired of the beach, had too much ice cream, or maybe the sea is too salty? Head out to Lake Vrana, a nature park just a short drive from Biograd, which is also the largest lake in Croatia. With an area of 30.2 km2, it makes up its own ecosystem, with interesting flora and fauna. It is filled with brackish water and is home to many species of fish and birds. The area of the park also encompasses a few localities dating as far back as the 9th century. Even if you’re only out for a day of birdwatching and walking, there is plenty to see. If you’re looking for a more active visit, try renting a bicycle or a kayak, or hike to one of the viewpoints to see the Kornati National Park from above.
Photos by PIXSELL (Hrvoje Jelavic and Dusko Jaramaz)
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