With a fascinating Roman, Byzantine and Venetian history, laid-back beaches, a shimmering promenade and audacious public art, Zadar is amazing. Among its attractions is Nikola Bašić’s underwater art installation, Sea Organ, with its mournful sounds and disco dancefloor-like Greeting to the Sun companion piece. Then there are the remains of the Roman forum and the imposing ninth-century St Donat church and wonderful Venetian marble lanes and stone houses. You can dive into the sea from the promenade or walk 15 minutes south to the pebbly Kolovare beach. For old-fashioned seaside atmosphere, head north along the coast to the Borik and Diklo beach resorts. The town is a great base for day trips: to islands, like Dugi Otok, one of the loveliest in the Zadar archipelago; and glorious national parks such as Paklenica.