Zadar old town

About the area

Zadar old town

Our favorite restaurants, a few tips if you want to be active, and beautiful places in the Zadar area if you want to explore the rich cultural heritage and the stunningly beautiful nature.

Restaurants

You’ll have lots of options to enjoy both the local culinary scene and international kitchens. We have a few favorites in Kožino and Zadar you may want to try.

  • Restaurant Vila Park, Kozino: Great Balkan classics, pizza, and salads. This is our go-to if we don’t want to take the car as it’s only 20 min walk from the apartment up to Kozino village. The walk is on the backroads through the olive groves with a beautiful view of the green surroundings and the sea. If you’re going there for dinner, time your walk to catch the sunset. It’s busy during the season, so consider reserving a table. Plenty of parking spaces.
  • Mamma Mia, Zadar: One of our favorites for Italian and Croatian food. Their pasta is excellent (pst.. the truffle pasta..). 4,5/5 rating from 1350 reviews on Tripadvisor. Located in Borik on the north side of Zadar, 15 min by car from our apartment, and they have parking just outside.
  • Restaurant Pineta, Kozino: Similar culinary experience as Mamma Mia, but much closer, on the main road north of the Kozino. Considered the best restaurant in Kozino with 4,5/5 rating on Tripadvisor. They have Mediterranean dishes, and is situated in beautiful and peaceful surroundings of pine forest.
  • Butler Gourmet & Cocktail Garden, Zadar: Great place for a fancier dining experience and mingling with the in-crowd. The Top#1 restaurant in Zadar on Tripadvisor, and I understand why. Great food, great cocktails, great service, great atmosphere, and good location, so (too) easy to continue to the nice bars in the narrow streets of old town afterward.
  • La Famiglia, Zadar: This is our favorite breakfast and brunch place in Zadar. Hidden in the small streets between the main shopping street and the market. Also 4,5/5 rating from 1100 reviews on Tripadvisor. Proud of their excellent burgers, but they have plenty of options if that’s not your thing, including a great breakfast menu before 11:30, and a vegan selection of dishes.

Wellness

We like to stay active all year around and being by the sea in Kožino makes it very easy.

  • Running: Life has few better experiences than running by the sea as the sun rises if you ask us.

    Start south through the pine forest and run directly by the sea all the way to Zadar. It’s 5km to Borik Marina, where you can rest in the café overlooking the beach, or you can continue to Zadar Old Town, which is another 5km. From our apartment, around Zadar Old Town and back is a beautiful half-marathon.

    Start north through Kožino and run through the olive groves to Petrcane; it’s about 4km, and a morning coffee on the square as the village wakes up is cozy.
  • Gym: Our favorite is La Palestra in Borik. Friendly staff, just show up and work out. They have all you need: free weights, including two proper squat racks, treadmills, machines, and various classes.
  • Spa: If you want to treat yourself to a luxury spa experience 5+ star hotel Falkensteiner Punta Skala‘s Spa Iadera comes highly recommended. Located in Petrcane, 4km from our apartment.

Shopping

You don’t need a car for the essentials, but if you have one you have all the shopping possibilities of any European town.

  1. Groceries, Kozino: There are two mini-markets in Kozino, Studenac is the closest, 800 meters away, and Bakmaz (with better bread, in our opinion) is 1300 meters away.
  2. Groceries, Zadar: You’ll find all the big European chains in Zadar. We prefer Spar/Interspar and Eurospin when we feel like Italian.
  3. Doctor and Pharmacy, Kozino: You’ll find both up by the main road. The doctor in the crossing from main road down to the apartment, and the pharmacy opposite Restaurant Vila Park.
  4. Shopping mall, Zadar: The biggest is Supernova and it’s like any other European shopping mall. There’s a smaller shopping mall in the city as well, City Galleria.

Places worth visting

From Kožino you have many places around worth visiting.

  1. Zadar Old Town: A short drive from Kožino, Zadar’s Old Town is a historical gem with Roman ruins, medieval churches, and charming cobblestone streets. Don’t miss the famous Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun installations along the waterfront.
  2. Dugi Otok: The island you see from Kožino is Ugljan, and Dugi Otok is the very west island behind. There are many options to get to Dugi Otok, but few options to get around on the island. We suggest taking the car ferry from Zadar to Brbinj so you have the freedom to explore this very long island. You have the famous Sakarun beach in the north and Telašćica Nature Park in the south.
  3. Nin: Explore the nearby town of Nin, known for its well-preserved historical center and the smallest cathedral in the world, the Church of St. Cross. The salt pans of Nin, which have been in operation since Roman times, are also worth a visit.
  4. Paklenica National Park: Nature enthusiasts will enjoy Paklenica National Park, known for its impressive canyons, rock formations, and diverse plant and animal life. It’s a great destination for hiking and rock climbing.
  5. Kornati National Park: Embark on a boat trip to Kornati National Park, an archipelago of stunning islands. The park is a haven for nature lovers, offering pristine landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and a rich marine ecosystem.
  6. Plitvice Lakes National Park: While a bit farther from Kožino, Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its cascading waterfalls, turquoise lakes, and lush greenery. It’s a paradise for photographers and nature enthusiasts.
  7. Historical Sites in Zaton: Explore the historical sites in the nearby village of Zaton, including medieval churches and the remains of a Roman villa rustica. The area provides a glimpse into Croatia’s rich history.
  8. Cycling in the Surrounding Countryside: Take advantage of the picturesque landscapes around Kožino with a cycling tour. The region offers various cycling routes, allowing you to enjoy the countryside and coastal scenery.
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