Petrčane (pronounced 'Petrcharner') is a small village 15 kilometers west of Zadar, which is the cultural and historical center of the North Dalmatia. It is situated between two large capes, Punta Skala and Punta Radman, surrounded by dense pine forests and olive trees. Due to its natural beauty and breathtaking sunsets Petrčane is considered one of the most beautiful places of the Zadar County. Beautiful scenery was the fundamental requirement for the development of tourism and it is no coincidence that exactly here one of the first tourist facilities in the Zadar County were built.
The people of Petrcane are mainly engaged in agriculture (vineyards and olive), fishing and tourism. In the Middle Ages, Petrcane was one of the estates of the Zadar monasteries. Southeast of the village, along the coast, is the preserved former church of St. Bartholomew (12th-13th century) with a massive bell tower on the front, later converted into a residential building. Remains of mural paintings are found on the walls. The town of Nin is located near Petrčane, which is a culturally and historically significant location and it has many archeological sites so it is worth paying it a visit.
Since Petrcane is basically a neighborhood of Zadar, you will probably be spending most of your time in Zadar. Petrčane is very small village and it has approximately 600 inhabitants. What’s so fascinating about it is the combination of pine forests, crystal clear blue sea and the sunset we mentioned above. Zadar is famous for its fabulous sunset view, as the big Hitchcock agreed during his stay in Zadar. However, he did not visit Petrčane and did not see it from one of its capes. Imagine yourself sitting by the sea, dipping your toes in it while sipping a fine cocktail and facing one of the world’s most beautiful sunsets. You will not know just how exactly it is amazing until you come and see it for yourself.
Accommodation in Petrčane is versatile. However there are not many hotels in Petrčane. There is one hotel called Pinija and it is located on the cove which is facing that amazing sunset. It is surrounded with; guess what – pine forest and the Adriatic Sea. The beauty of Mediterranean hideaways like this one lies in the scents that surround them. Mediterranean herbs have a powerful effect on people in terms of relaxation. The smell of pine trees, lavender and sea combined with breathtaking view are a perfect foundation for even more perfect relaxation.
As for other accommodation, there are lots of apartments in Petrčane for you to rent. People here are kind and friendly and always trying to be up to date with their accommodation facilities. It gets crowded during the summer because each year there are more and more people visiting this place, and many of them are returning customers, to be precise. Because it is near Zadar it is excellent place for families with children who want to be in Zadar but have a relaxed holiday far from the noisy streets of the city. Apartments in Petrčane vary in quality, so you will find luxurious and expensive ones as well as modest ones. There are also villas in Petrčane for rent and if you prefer this kind of accommodation you will be satisfied with the offer.
For those of you who love to be outdoors all the time, there are a couple of camps in Petrčane. There is camp Pineta, for example, which has 30 camping units, and which is a small family camp. It is lovely because it is situated right next to the sea, surrounded with, guess what - pine trees. Places like this are ideal for people who want to feel the vibe of the nature and to listen to the song of those pine trees when the wind blows and they are going to sleep. It sounds great, doesn’t it?
Besides apartments, there are rooms that you can rent, but that’s about as far as it gets for accommodation in Petrčane. The good thing about this place is vicinity of Zadar and not only that, but also a couple of national parks you can visit and explore. There is also a mountain of Velebit if you have aspirations towards climbing a mountain. This area is famous for its monuments, exhibitions and festivals and a great offer of food and beverages. Well, whole Dalmatia is famous for this reason, to be honest and precise. Dalmatian smoked ham (pršut), cheese, excellent fish, mussels, shrimp and superb Dalmatian wines – all these will easily find their way to your stomach once you get there.
Do your research before the trip so you know what to expect in terms of accommodation in Petrčane, which is most important part, then in terms of supporting activities. Zadar area is full of sports grounds (golf courses, tennis ...) and biking trails. Petrčane has tennis ground, but it is a part of the only hotel in Petrčane. If you are a parent coming to Petrčane to spend a playful summer with your family, then most of your activities will be held around the beach and restaurants. Great, just don’t feed the kids with pizzas while in Dalmatia, there are lots of restaurants and konobas (old restaurants specific for this region) where you can eat high quality seafood and that are not pricey. Petrčane has both rocky (or pebble) and sandy beaches. There is a lovely long beach that is 2 km away from the village and that offers all the possibilities of water sports and games. Nearby are several camps, and most of the private accommodation in Petrčane that you can find is close to the beach.
In recent years Petrčane became a famous home to lots of musical festivals that take place during July and August at the Pinija clove (the one where the hotel is). The most famous is the Garden festival. People from all over the world come each year to enjoy music performed by live bands and DJs on a pine tree covered peninsula hugging the crystalline Adriatic waters. This is not hard core partying festival but more relaxed one that lasts up to a week. Because of the unique location combined with great music (chill out during the day and not-so-chill out during the night) this festival quickly became famous all over the world, especially in Great Britain because one of the founders of the festival was the guy from the British band UB40, Nick Colgan who came to live in Zadar. He says he fell in love with it. Maybe you will also? The Garden festival always had emphasis on quality and not big name attractions. This, together with location, made it special and people recognized it and rewarded it.
All things said, your holiday at Petrčane will be everything but boring.