Do something unusual and try your hand at caving - an activity that is off-the-beaten track for most tourists to the city. Located around 30km from the city, Modrič Cave was only discovered late in the last century and access must be made with suitable helmets and overalls carrying a carbide lamp.
We all know so much about the sea and mountains, but few of us know much about caves. Therefore, if you’ve found yourself on this page, let this be your sign to visit one of the caves that we will introduce you to!
The world of caves is for those who love mysticism, mystery, and riddles. Caves have untold historical stories carved in their stalactites and stalagmites, which unfortunately none of us know how to read. They have seen more days than many of us could count, and when you enter a single cave, you'll feel the breath of history as it echoes through the room with the sound of your footsteps.
That’s why we love caves! They’re so fun and beautiful once you give them a chance, and this is the list of our favorite caves in the Zadar Region! These are an absolute must-visit for every cave lover (and for cave lovers in the making)
Cerovac Caves (Cerovačke špilje)
Cerovac Caves, in the cave lovers world, are something like Beyonce in the pop industry - everybody loves them and knows about them, but for a good reason!
They are situated on the southern side of Velebit. However, only the first 7km have been explored and only 700m is available for visitors.
Down there is a whole different world. You’ll feel as if you just landed on a very cold planet and are wandering through the unknown. However, something about them makes them still feel like you're at home. Maybe it's the silence interrupted only by the falling of an occasional drop of water, and maybe the peace that can rarely be felt like this anywhere.
If you’d like to find out more about them, make sure to check out our Velebit Nature Park guide which contains everything you need to know about Cerovac Caves and Velebit in general.
They’re only an hour's ride away from Zadar. Can’t miss the opportunity to visit them when they’re so close!
This cave has nothing to do with Luka Modrić, but it's well worth a visit! Situated near Starigrad on Paklenica riviera, it's just a 40min ride away from Zadar. Another splendid cave nearby!
We like to say that Modrič Cave is the Queen of the Croatian underground because of its incredible stalactites, pillars, speleothems, and stalagmites. These formations are scattered around like teardrops flowing down the ceiling and up the ground. In their unity, they create an impressive sight you must see for yourself to believe. Even kids love them!
Apart from being a true pleasure for the eyes, this cave is also a well-respected historical site. The remains of a Bronze Age man were found there, as well as 4000-year-old pottery.
Keep in mind that you need to wear suitable helmets and overalls, as well as a carbide lamp if you intend to enter.
If you’re planning a day trip to the Paklenica National Park, you absolutely must visit the Manita Peć cave! It’s the only cave you can visit in the Park, and you can enter it from the parking lot at Velika Paklenica.
Reserve at least 2 hours for the complete exploration of the cave, as it takes about 1,5 hours to get to the cave, and the visit itself lasts about 30 minutes.
What can you expect? More astounding stalactites and stalagmites. Your jaw is going to drop at the sight of these gracious formations, especially the gravity-defying ones.
This is one of those trips that are going to stick with you even after the end of your vacation, as it brings to your awareness of how truly beautiful the world we live in is.
Don’t forget to bring a jacket to keep you warm! Even if it’s hot outside, the temperature in the caves can reach as low as 9 degrees Celsius.
Strašna Cave (Strašna Peć)
The final cave on our list is Strašna Peć (literal translation would be Scary Cave), but there’s nothing to be afraid of.
If you’re planning to visit the island of Dugi Otok, make sure not to miss out on the Strašna Cave. Strašna Cave is going to greet you with one the most amazing underground sights there is - calcite formations graciously spread through the cave as if it was all a project of an interior designer. Truly amazing!
What makes this cave even more special is that it’s got a legend tied to it. The legend says that fairies used to live in the narrowest parts and worked hard to divide the island into two parts. They were unsuccessful because they were caught and trapped for eternity. This is the reason why people will tell you not to touch anything in the cave - if you do, it’s believed that you’ll disturb the fairy’s peace.