Zadar is a beautiful ancient town in the ideal position for visiting the famous Kornati islands. It has a very sheltered harbour behind the peninsula of the old town, many marinas in the vicinity and a well connected international airport very near the city.
With its 75.000 inhabitants it is the 5th largest city in Croatia and the 2nd on the coast. Inhabited by the ancient Mediterranean people from Neolithic times it became a Liburnian settlement in the 9th century BC from which they actively traded with Phoenicians, Etruscans and Ancient Greeks. In 59 BC it became a Roman town and for several centuries it was a flourishing community. It was later part of Ostrogothic Kingdom, devastated by an earthquake in the 6th century, conquered by the Byzantine Empire in 533, and it became part of the Croatian Kingdom for the first time in 925. It was later devastated by the Crusaders, and Italians, Venetians in particular, owned and influenced Zadar for several centuries. Very well fortified it was never captured by the Ottomans and although besieged for a long time and not able to function, its cultural scene was very active. Writers, poets, painters lived and worked in Zadar and even a theatre was built. Later it became part of the Austrian monarchy and in the 20th century a lot of regional history was influencing the city. It became a Croatian city again in 1947.
Remains of this rich and varied history remain everywhere in Zadar. Roman sites, the Cathedral and several nice churches, Citadel, The Land Gate, several grand buildings, and from the modern times a sea organ deserve a visit. And the old city still feels like a place with layers of history, which can be felt when walking around the town, shopping at an excellent open market or sitting in numerous small restaurants and cafes.
Marinas are in the old city and several big ones around both to the north and south, and even across the channel in Preko. Communication with other towns and ferries to many islands is good.