Kayaking Zadar Croatia

 

You are interested in sea kayaking and you have discovered the Zadar archipelago? Now, if a good match were worth a pot of gold, you would have just made your first million. (unless you have one already, then it’s your second).

Did you know that the Zadar archipelago is one of the densest archipelagos in the Adriatic, making it one of the densest archipelagos in the Mediterranean? That alone doesn’t make sea kayaking Zadar in Croatia the reason why so many kayakers return to our base on islands here. As it is with things in life, and good characters in books, good plot sin movies, there is always more than meets the eye.

 

Sea kayaking Zadar, under the radar

Before we get into the gist of kayaking the area, let’s take a look at why the area has not been ridiculously promoted earlier.

The main reason why sea kayaking in Zadar archipelago has been so much out of the limelight is that it is not easily accessible, at least not to today’s standards. Today everyone seems to expect to literally drive in everywhere, only to find crowds there. So, that one-hour boat ride keeps the islands, just far enough to keep the crowds away but be close enough for a seasoned traveler. 

In today’s fast-paced life, where everyone just wants a ‘day trip’ that lasts just 3 hours, places that are ideal only for multiday trips never make it to any list of top 10 things to do. That’s the way we like it. Sea kayaking Zadar Croatia is for sea kayakers and discerning travelers that appreciate the quality of slow travel.

As you may have guessed, to explore sea kayaking Zadar archipelago on our on multiday trips we start from one of the islands – island Molat. Here is a glimpse of what you can expect:

 

Zadar archipelago History

Submarine tunnels

kayak submarine caves in zadar

Another reason why the area around island Molat has seen less promotion and is somewhat underdeveloped in terms of sea kayaking in Zadar, is because island Molat was a military base during the Cold War Period. Sea kayaking in the Zadar area and is a perfect way to get explore the remnants of those military times.

 

Military caves

kayak to military caves from yugoslav period

Less obvious to spot than the submarine tunnels, these man-made caving systems have been developed to hide the gun positions and keep military operations clandestine. While you cannot paddle inside the tunnels, kayaking is pretty much the only way to get to those hard to reach places.

 

Shipwrecks

kayak shipwreck in zadar area

There are a number of shipwrecks in the area. One of the popular ones with nautical travelers is still partially above water. Most of the visible shipwrecks are former trading or cargo ships with histories that carry both intrigue and insights about the local history.

 

Zadar archipelago nature

Islands

kayaking islands around zadar

On the first impression, islands look a like, but a discerning paddler will find layers and layers of history, geology, and meaning. Much like peeling the skin of an onion. In their own wright, the islands themselves are good enough reason for sea kayaking is Zadar archipelago.

 

Hilltop vistas

hilltop views on kayaking trip in zadar area

Unlike many kayaking places around the world, sea kayaking Zadar archipelago is as much about actual paddling on the water as it is about exploring the little islands. A short hike provides the perspective for you’re your whole kayaking trip.

Sandy beaches (much fewer than media would like you to think :))

beaches on islands in zadar area

Your sea kayaking itinerary will take you to one of many sandy beaches in the Zadar archipelago.

 

Caves

experience_caves_sea_kayaking_croatia

Did you know that Croatia is home to some of the deepest caves in the world (1392m deep)? Islands in the Zadar archipelago are home to many underwater caves and some above water.

 

Contemporary living 

Fishing villages

kayaking to fishing village in zadar

Picturesque red-tiled roofs and small stone houses pitched on top of little island is the backbone of our kayaking trip (accommodation based) logistics in Zadar archipelago. History of abandoned harbors, monasteries, nobleman’s houses, vast farming fields create context for your sea kayaking trip.

 

Local life

local island life in zadar

Sea kayaking in Zadar archipelago is as much about nature as it is about cozy small island life and culture. As with many places around the world, island populations are declining and sea kayaking to the islands supports local economies.

For more information about kayaking accommodation based trips check this itinerary (our most popular).

For information about camping based trips take a look at this itinerary or our limited edition expedition-style trips.

To learn more about life on island Molat, see here.

For some eye candy, take a look at our trip report and video about kayak camping the archieplago.

 

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Marko

‘Adventure Travel Tips’ is a collection of posts designed to inspire you for an adventure to Croatia and the Balkans. Moments and insights from our adventure notes directly for your trip planning pages.’