Biograd na Moru as (not so) alternative destination
August 2, 2022 – Don’t like the crowds of Split or Dubrovnik? Finding accommodation on the islands has become a bit complicated? Don’t worry, we’ll sort you out with an underdog, Biograd na Moru.
The national media are beaming with pride announcing record overnight stays, music festivals are making a comeback and the highways are finally bearing fruit. Croatian tourism is where we all hoped. In fact, we are running out of space with the most popular destinations including famous cities, villages in Istria and islands in Dalmatia. It’s time to start looking for alternatives. We’ve tried to tell you to check out Lika and Gorski Kotar, Slavonija and Baranja, but we understand the desire to stay close to the sea. That’s why today we’re going to share a little gem that has it all. Welcome to Biograd na Moru, famous among Croatians and Czechs, but still waiting to be fully discovered.
The small town of some 6,000 inhabitants is located just 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 natural parks, it has many tourist and recreational facilities but maintains a calm and warm atmosphere even in the height of summer. Get to know this charming little place with our list of activities in Biograd na Moru. Here are some of our favorites that we suggest you try this summer:
Whether you’re the type to go for an early morning run and swim, relax all day, or take a late night swim, you’ll find a place to suit your needs. The most famous being Bošana, Dražica and Soline, Biograd offers a variety of terrain and conditions on its beaches. They range from pebbles and rocks, an open 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 you rent a lounge and/or a parasol. As for food and entertainment, you can find almost everything there. Small stalls include everything from bakeries, fast food and ice cream to fresh fruit and salads. As for the little ones, there are water slides, water parks, playgrounds and attractions such as VR.
Early morning on the beaches of Biograd. Photos by author
Thanks to the neighboring islands being so dense and so close to Biograd, a sunset will be different depending on where you are. If you time it right, you could make it so that you can still see the sun nestling between the islands from one point while it’s not visible from another point a few hundred meters down. Whether you want to see it reflected in the sea, disappearing behind Pašman or shimmering through the trees, one thing is always true: every sunset is more beautiful than the last.
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 nearby places. Hop on a ferry and visit some of them, or try counting and naming them while having an afternoon swim, we promise it’s fun both ways!
Island Galešnjak, photo by PIXSELL (Filip Brala)
Eat and drink
With densely packed pubs and restaurants all along the beach, as well as in the city center, 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, spend your evening sampling fresh local seafood followed by an inspired ice cream Italian, and of course, finish it off with a cocktail or two right by the sea. If you prefer to cook at home, get up early to catch the local fishermen returning from their nightly catches and buy some of the best fish, or visit the local market for more fresh produce. When it comes to edible souvenirs, you can never go wrong with dried figs and olive oil which are produced in something like every other home. If you notice fruit or olives in backyards, try knocking on their door and find out if you can buy some to take home. Chances are it won’t take more than a few hits to declare the mission successful.
Photos by author
After eating and feeding your whole family, never go swimming! Adopt healthy Dalmatian habits and relax a bit in the shade until everything calms down. Only after a short siesta under the pines will you be ready to move. The 4km beachfront stretch should be enough for recreational joggers, and if you get up early you’ll be rewarded with the sun rising above the pine trees in the most charming way. If you prefer long-distance running or cycling, we suggest heading out of Biograd and following the Adriatic highway towards Zadar for breathtaking views. Largely covered with cycle paths, it lends itself to all kinds of activities. It will take you through some charming little villages, but its real beauty lies in the fact that much of it passes by the sea and offers perfect little private swimming spots.
Photo by Adventure Park Biograd
Go on an adventure
If swimming, running or biking isn’t enough for you and you need a little adrenaline to spice up your day, try one of the activities at the beach, in the forests or nearby. Our favorite 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 pedal boat and try gliding out to sea. Needless to say, always make sure the weather conditions are good and listen to expert advice to stay safe! For those not afraid of heights, head to Adventure Park Biograd and test your climbing, hanging and ziplining skills, or go for a day of rides at Fun Park Mirnovec.
Photo by PIXSELL (Dino Stanin)
Discover Vransko Jezero
Tired of the beach, ate too much ice cream or maybe the sea is too salty? Head to Lake Vrana, a nature park a short drive from Biograd, which is also the largest lake in Croatia. Covering an area of 30.2 km2, it constitutes 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 park area also encompasses a few localities dating as far back as the 9e century. Even if you only go for a day of birding and walking, there is plenty to see. If you’re looking for a more active tour, try renting a bike or kayak, or hike to one of the viewpoints to see Kornati National Park from above.
Photos by PIXSELL (Hrvoje Jelavic and Dusko Jaramaz)
To find out more, see our lifestyle section.