Zadar, Croatia – The World’s Most Beautiful Sunset | Travel

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Blog, Mine, Travel | One Comment

Traveled May 18th – May 19th.

Previous Destination: Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

After our day trip to Plitvice we continued on south in our car and made our way to Zadar. We arrived a little later than planned because of our late start in the morning from Volosko but luckily we got in with still some day light left. A big selling point of adding Zadar to our itinerary was it’s legendary sunset. Alfred Hitchcock described it as the following: “The sunset of Zadar is the world’s most beautiful and incomparably better than in Key West, Florida.” After experiencing the sunset for ourselves I definitely agree with him.

Zadar is an ancient city dating back to the Greeks and Romans but it feels very much lived in. There’s a huge mix of old and new. It’s comparable to Rome in that you can walk around and seemingly just stumble upon an ancient ruin, albeit at a much smaller scale. Here are a group of children playing a game of soccer in one of the many ruins that line the streets of the old town.

What also makes Zadar unique is the number of ugly communist era buildings littered throughout. Some would say these buildings bring down the beauty of the city, and when I first saw pictures of Zadar I thought the same thing, but after visiting I think they add to the overall uniqueness of the city. Zadar doesn’t just feel like an open air museum, it feels like a real, breathing city which is also aided by the number of University students inhabiting it. Here is example of these buildings. This is on the main road in the old town which has been (and continues to be) a major artery of Zadar for hundreds of years.

But lets get back to the sunset which is one of Zadar’s main draws. One of the best places to view it is along the edge of the old town where two modern structures exist. Most places that are billed as having great sunsets have only that. You sit and watch the sun dip below the horizon and that’s pretty much it. Not in Zadar. Here you have two attractions built by architect Nikola Bašić in 2004. First you have the sea organ which is a series of organs underneath a set of steps that use the power of the waves to create aimless music. It’s actually very beautiful and peaceful to just sit here and watch the sun dip. Here you can see people sitting on the sea organ. The holes within the steps are where the sound comes out of.

Making our way towards the second attraction.

As the sun lowers people will eventually make their way down to Zadar’s second attraction called the Sun Salutation. Here there is a collection of solar panels which collect the suns rays during the day and then use that energy to preform a beautiful light show that starts at twilight. Here it is before the light show.

Here is the light show that seemingly starts as soon as the sun falls over the horizon. There is a series of lights that change color and move around as if this was a huge outdoor dance floor. Apparently it’s pretty rare for nobody to be on this. A local student came up to everyone and asked why we were all just standing around on the edges.

But once one person got on everyone else soon followed.

This was the best sunset I’ve witnessed in my entire life. The sunset was indeed very beautiful. It went down in the perfect location and provided some beautiful magical colors that only sunsets and sunrises can produce. But the entire vibe aided by the sea organ and sun salutation was fantastic. Everyone was happy and super friendly and just enjoying the view and the sounds. There were couples, families, and groups of friends all enjoying the view.

As twilight got darker we decided to take a stroll around the old town. This is the Church of St. Donatus which has stood here since the 8th century. This is right by the main street, Kalelarga.

Here is the five wells. In the 16th century the Venetians built these wells to help the city withstand Turkish sieges. There is actually a large nightclub to the right of this up the steps.

We didn’t have enough time in Zadar as we really only had one night to see the city since we arrived late and had to leave early in the morning to make our way to Split. If doing this trip again we would have loved to add another night here. I had intended Zadar to be a nice stop to breakup the trip from Northern Croatia to Split but it ended up exceeding all my expectations. I really enjoy visiting cities that have a mix of old and new and that feel lived in and not just like a tourist destination with an open air museum. Zadar most definitely had that mix.

Previous Destination: Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia