Starigrad is a picturesque coastal town set on the Velebit Channel and framed by limestone mountains. Not to be confused with Stari Grad on Hvar Island, Starigrad combines beautiful beaches and delicous Dalmatian cuisine with easy access to Paklenica National Park.
Things to do in Starigrad
Starigrad is a launchpad to Paklenica National Park. Surrounded by the rugged limestone peaks of the Velebit Range, the 9,500-hectare park boasts some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Croatia. Follow trails through deep gorges framed by 400-metre-high cliffs and hike through lush pine, beech and oak forests. There’s a good chance to spot chamois mountain goats grazing in the lowlands.
Swim, sunbathe and on Starigrad Paklenica. The beach is set on the Velebit Channel and features silver-pebble sand and crystalline water. A few kilometres south is Večka Kula, a beautiful beach set beneath the ruins of an ancient stone castle.
Stroll along the waterfront promenade and enjoy beautiful views of the Velebit Channel. Cafes, bistros and seafood restaurants dot the promenade and make the most of the views. Order Dalmatian specialties like “dagnje na buzaru” mussels simmered in a white wine broth, “salata od hobotnice” octopus salad tossed with olive oil, parsley and lemon juice and jet-black “crni rizot” squid ink risotto. Pošip, a juicy and aromatic wine grown in the Dalmatian region, pairs perfectly with seafood.
Hike 400-metre-high Mali Vitrenik and unlock spectacular views over the Velebit Channel and surrounding peaks. The out-and-back trail takes around two hours to complete. Pack supplies and enjoy a picnic at the summit before heading back down.
Getting around Starigrad
Starigrad is compact and easy to get around on foot. The town is in Zadar County, a one-hour drive from Zadar and 1.5 hours by bus. Rental cars offer the freedom to visit Starigrad and explore surrounding sights and attractions at your own pace. Zadar Airport is a 45-minute drive away.