Maškovića Han located in Northern Dalmatia just next to Vrana Lake is a monumental building from the 17th century. It offers an autochthonous medieval experience with an oriental signature. Renovated and adapted into a heritage hotel, Maškovića Han provides a unique historical experience of tradition restored in the modern luxury guise.
Immerse yourself in a medieval fairy tale while exploring the place of encounter of the Orient and Mediterranean through this region’s cultural offer and rich historical heritage.
The heritage hotel is a witness of the past whose purpose is to breathe new life into the buildings of exceptional cultural and historical value. Maškovića Han is a cultural and historical building that testifies to the turbulent past of this region known as the place of the encounter but also of conflict between East and West. Maškovića Han is also known as Europe’s westernmost building of Islamic architecture, which on every step exudes the spirit of oriental mysticism.
The construction of this building, which covers more than 3000 m2 area, began in 1644 during the Candian War when this region was governed by the Ottoman Empire. A high dignitary of the Turkish court and supreme admiral of the Turkish fleet, Jusuf Mašković started the construction of this building to create a place that would serve as an inn and his summer residence. However, his original idea had never come to fruition since the sultan himself executed him in 1646.
Today this zero-category cultural monument regains its original purpose in the form of a heritage hotel providing the experience of exploring the historical and cultural wealth that has an oriental story.
Maškovića Han with its rectangular ground plan was designed as a medieval Ottoman fortress. There are characteristic Islamic sharp arches on the entrance, and the interior abounds with finely carved stone blocks. In the center, there can be found a spacious pavilion, the so-called shadirvan, under which once stood a water fountain. The pavilion is surrounded by side buildings and a hammam, i.e., a traditional Turkish bath, a mosque, and an inn.
Renovated by its traditional purpose and construction style, Heritage hotel Maškovića Han invites you to be a part of the medieval story and to explore its unique cultural heritage. Each room in the hotel represents an authentic reflection of Islamic architecture skillfully reconstructed and blended into a modern charm and standards of the top offer of this heritage hotel.
Heritage hotel Maškovića Han has 14 modern double rooms and 2 deluxe apartments with completely equipped ensuite bathrooms. Ten rooms have French beds, and four rooms have twin beds. All rooms are located on the ground floor, decorated in the original construction style, and equipped with original, impressive stone walls. The wooden furniture and tiled floors are providing an especially comfortable and romantic atmosphere
In addition, this heritage hotel brings you a diverse offer that will provide you with a perfect vacation and maximum enjoyment in the pleasant moments. Besides a restaurant with top speciality offers or wellness with a massage, in Maškovića Han you will also find a souvenir shop, museum, wine shop and archaeological excavation of Turkish Han. There is a wide range of various local wines and olive oil in the wine shop. This heritage hotel also offers the organization of various events and weddings.
If you want to escape the city hustle and indulge in a moment of enjoyment in the company of your closest ones for the weekend, the wellness offer of this hotel will certainly delight you. It includes a jacuzzi and sauna which are located on the spot of the original hammam. The traditional Turkish bath essentially had the ritual purpose of cleansing the body. Nevertheless, it was also a means of socialization, and it included a steam bath, bathing in cold water and finally a massage.
Today, the wellness of this heritage hotel reconstructs the original purpose of the Turkish hammam in a modern room equipped with a jacuzzi and sauna. In addition to relaxation, the beneficial trait of the sauna includes body and mind regeneration. The offer also includes a massage that will allow you a sensual experience of rejuvenation of your body.
Maškovića Han is an ideal space for organizing a variety of different events. Its unique interior design creates a specific ambience providing an unforgettable experience for social occasions. Stylishly decorated space, oriental flair and a unique location are the perfect places for diverse exhibitions, awards, banquets or weddings.
In addition, this place is also suitable for conferences, business meetings, organization of team buildings or internal education because it will provide your team with a specific context and an inspiring atmosphere for social gatherings.
Maškovića Han in its offer highlights the organization of weddings. This place is an ideal choice for all those who wish to feel truly special on this day. The enchanting surrounding of Eastern architecture will bring a touch of romance, while the medieval ambience will make this day extraordinarily special. The space that can host up to 50 guests is suited for creating an intimate environment. In addition, a top gastronomic offer will complete your experience with unique and original flavors that leave no one indifferent.
If you find yourself thinking “where is the closest restaurant near me?”, Maškovića han has an answer. The restaurant within a heritage hotel is a true oasis of top specialities that combines traditional oriental flavors with indigenous Dalmatian cuisine. The restaurant is located in the southwestern part of the Han where it once was a mosque. This extraordinary blend of indigenous cuisine, oriental flavors and the latest contemporary gastronomic specialities offer a variety that will be enjoyed by even those of the most demanding palate. The menu is composed of specialities based on authentic flavors of this region such as lamb or cheese with fresh vegetables from local family farms.
On the rich menu of this restaurant, besides traditional Dalmatian prosciutto, or Sea bass carpaccio, you will find lamb shank as well as many other delicious recipes that represent a reconstruction of traditional recipes of this micro-location. Original combinations such as Caesar salad are modernized with the newest gastronomic trends, while oriental flavors are embodied in the dish named Izmir kofte.
To complete your experience, the restaurant is offering a rich wine shop composed of specially selected wine varieties from this region, as well as other top wines from Dalmatia and Istria.
Maškovića Han is located in the heart of Dalmatia, in the place called Vrana, just next to a small maritime village Pakoštane. The favorable geographical location provides a diverse tourist and cultural offer which can be enjoyed throughout the whole year.
Excellent transport connectivity between neighboring urban centers by the A1 motorway and Adriatic Highway ensures a fast arrival to destination. Pakoštane, for example, is only 9 km away from the Maškovića Han, while in the north, 11 km away is the town called Biograd na Moru.
There is Nature Park Vrana Lake and as many as four National Parks in the immediate vicinity. The closest one, National Park Krka is only 46 km away from the Maškovića Han, providing the enjoyment of the natural beauty of waterfalls. National Park Kornati, a set of 89 islands, islets and cliffs of impressive geography located on the coast represents one of the pearls of the Adriatic.
In the north, there are also National Park Paklenica and Plitvice Lakes National Park. Near Paklenica, there is the Zrmanja river which offers an unforgettable rafting or kayaking adventure on river rapids with organized transport from neighboring places.
Apart from the natural beauty surrounding Maškovića Han, this place is close to urban centers such as the city of Zadar, 46 km to the north, the city of Šibenik 50 km to the south, and the city of Split, the administrative and cultural center of Dalmatia, 127 km away from Maškovića Han.
Near Maškovića Han there is Vrana Lake rich in natural beauty, flora and fauna providing diverse content for an active vacation.
Diverse Dalmatian places such as Pakoštane, Vodice or Biograd na Moru will delight you with their picturesque streets and rich tourist offer in the summertime. Here you will also find a theme entertainment park Fun Park Biograd whose adventurous stunts will surely be enjoyed by the youngest.
Numerous wineries nearby will thrill all lovers of top varieties of local red, white and rose wines. In the place called Stankovci is Roca Farm, which, in addition to the restaurant, in its offer includes the production and sale of prosciutto and local products.
In the urban centers such as Zadar or Šibenik, you will find a wide cultural offer and various cultural and historical monuments, some of which date back to pre-ancient times.
Nature Park Vrana Lake located in Northern Dalmatia, on the northeast side of Pakoštane represents an oasis of direct encounter with nature and all its charms. Lake Vrana is the largest natural lake in Croatia with a total area of 57 km2. The lake itself covers an area of 30 km2, while its average depth is from 2 to 5 m and is 13,6 km large.
The diverse flora and fauna attract many nature lovers, and besides birdwatching and fishing, Lake Vrana is ideal for cycling and large walks on educational trails. On Lake Vrana, there is a viewpoint located on the hill called Kamenjak which offers a beautiful panoramic view of the Kornati archipelago, the island of Murter and nearby places.
On the coast of Lake Vrana, there is also a camp Crkvine, only 3 km away from the seashore providing its visitor’s numerous activities in nature and the open air. The ticket price for the Lake Vrana Nature Park includes the entrance of three Info centers: Kamenjak, Prosika and Crkvine and is valid for one day.
What is the best spot for birdwatching near me? Lake Vrana is a place where you will find a special Ornithological Reserve which is considered one of the most important natural areas for birds in Croatia. It is located on the north-western part of Lake Vrana covering an area of 8,83 km2 in which a total of 251 species of wintering, nesting or migratory birds live occasionally or permanently. In this reserve, there are 102 species of shorebirds that are nesting here. Among them are Purple Heron and other endangered species such as Pygmy Cormorant for which Lake Vrana is the only stable nesting in Croatia.
The ideal time of the day for birdwatching is early morning and late evening, and for this type of activity, the unavoidable tool you will need are binoculars, comfortable boots, and a raincoat. You can embark on this ornithological adventure in the company of a guide who will reveal to you all the secrets of the bird world. On the other hand, you may prefer to explore it on your own in which case you will need a bird manual and a small notebook for inscribing the bird names and species.
If on the other hand you're searching for the best place for fishing nearby, Lake Vrana is rich in marine and freshwater fish, providing an ideal place for sport fishing in untouched nature. Two out of seventeen species are indigenous, Eel and Freshwater Blenny, while many other species have been introduced. The most numerous species is Prussian carp, and among the marine fish, there can be found European bass, Common sole, Gilt-head bream, and others. In Lake Vrana, there are some endemic species such as the Common rudd or Scardinius dergle.
Sportfishing on Lake Vrana requires a fishing license which can be annual or daily. In the Information for fishermen, you can find all that you need to know about the closed season and prices of the license for sport fishing. There are different kinds of fishing chairs available for rent in the Info center.
If cycling is your passion, and if you were wondering where to find the bicycle trails near me?, Lake Vrana is the right place for you. On the more than 50 km bike trails in different sections, you will be able to enjoy nature and its enchanting and beautiful landscape.
One of the most visited trails begins at the starting point next to the local church in the place of Vrana and it stretches 20 km to the small hill called Majdan with a beautiful panoramic view of the Ornithological Reserve. Indispensable places on the bike trail are Viewpoint Kamenjak and Babin škoj peninsula where the remains of a fortress from the pre-ancient Liburnian period as well as the old Venice watchtower can be found.
In the middle of Lake Vrana, there is a Viewpoint Kamenjak which can be reached by one of the numerous hiking or bike trails. The beautiful panoramic view which leaves you breathless overlooks the whole of Vrana Lake and nearby places such as Pirovac, Drage, the island of Murter and the Kornati archipelago.
There is a telescope at your disposal as well so you could enjoy this unforgettable view to the fullest, and whose charm you will experience the best at the twilight when the moment of magical game of colors of reflecting sun and water takes place. On the sightseeing point, there is also a souvenir shop, informational panels, a big plateau with benches for rest and a tasting room with prosciutto, cheese and wine.
Educational trails distributed throughout the whole of Vrana Lake provide information on the natural beauty of this place which is a natural habitat for many interesting animal and plant species. On the educational trail Birds of Vrana Lake, for example, you will be able to find out everything about the diverse world of birds that lives in the wetland. Here you can see a Purple Heron as well, the protected species that is also a trademark of Vrana Lake.
At the Educational trail Viewpoint Kamenjak, you will be able to find out everything about the history, cultural heritage, and natural characteristics of Vrana Lake. If you wanted to know are there some other interesting educational trails near me?, in Vrana Lake you will find the Educational botanical trail, the Fish educational trail and many others.
Right next to Lake Vrana is a small maritime place called Pakoštane. It is surrounded by numerous islands and the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea, the picturesque landscape and Mediterranean streets where time seems to stand still. With its playful simplicity, it leaves breathless every visitor who decides to spend their vacation in this place, which you can get to know through the Pakoštane live camera webpage.
Beautiful beaches provide a complete experience of the sun and sea. In the summer months, the weather in Pakoštane is ideal for swimming, diving, and other water sports. One of the most known beaches is Pine Beach Pakoštane, a sandy beach ideal for a family vacation. There you will find diverse content from bungalows and camp houses to restaurants.
Water sports are an indispensable part of water pleasures, and on this beach, you will be able to experience sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, water polo and other sports such as beach volleyball or aerobics. There is also an aquapark and different animation programs for the youngest.
In Pakoštane you can experience a unique historical knight tradition called Days of Knights of Vrana which takes place in the summer months. This manifestation is showing the historical picture of Pakoštane and the wider area.
Knights of Vrana are also known as the guardians of rich history. They include a medieval story about the place Vrana which in history was a city guardian of the royal crown, but also the papal estate, and the seat of the bans of Croatia. This unforgettable historical spectacle, which takes place every year for three days provides a display of knights, tournaments, horsemen and jugglers. In addition, you will enjoy a rich offer of traditional recipes accompanied by the sound of authentic medieval music.
The town of Benkovac is located 12 km northwest of Maškovića Han, on the border of the fertile area of Ravni kotari and a karst region of Bukovica. Benkovac has a rich pre-ancient history, where archaeological sites of ancient villa rustica can be found in localities such as Ponaiti, Glogovac and Veleševo. The Benkovac Heritage Museum is in the medieval Benković Castle, with diverse archaeological, ethnological, cultural, and historical material from the wider region.
Due to its favorable geographical location, Benkovac is known as an agricultural and livestock mecca. This is the reason why it’s home to one of the biggest and oldest fairs in Croatia, the Benkovac fair. This fair has a hundred-year-old history, and with its rich offer, every month gathers and attracts numerous visitors, traders, farmers, and craftsmen from all over Croatia. The fair is held every 10th of the month. In its diverse gastronomic offer, autochthonous and handmade products from all the Croatian regions, everybody will find something for themselves.
In addition, Benkovac is a place where you can visit different manifestations such as Benkovac Vinfest which takes place in the summer months and gathers the very best winemakers from Dalmatia. You can also visit The Garlic festival in the summer, a unique fair dedicated to this healthy food and an indispensable spice for many dishes.
Near Benkovac can be found one historical locality called the Kličevica fortress which dates to the 15th century. This impressive military fortress was built by the noble family Kurjaković who played an important role in the Croatian-Hungarian Kingdom situated on the border of Venetian Dalmatia.
Biograd na Moru is a historical town on the coast of Dalmatia. In the summer months, this place is full of life and attracts visitors with its playful rhythm of numerous interesting events. In history, this place was also known as one of the first seats of Croatian kings and bishops in the 11th century. Later it became the capital of Croatian rulers wherein 1101 the Croatian-Hungarian king Coloman was crowned.
The rich cultural and historical heritage of this town is reflected in the sacral buildings such as the oldest early Romanesque church of Saint Anthony dating to the 13th century or the Basilica of Saint John from the 11th century. Biograd na Moru is also a nautical port. Nearby are the Kornati archipelago and Telašćica Nature Park which can be reached on an organized boat excursion. These sites are indispensable for all lovers of sea depths who will enjoy exploring the untouched nature of Dalmatian islands.
In the summer months, the weather in Biograd na Moru is most suitable for the enjoyment of beautiful beaches and indulging in all the charms of the sun and sea. The most famous beaches with a lot of additional water sports facilities are Soline Bay in the southern part of the town and Bošana Bay in the north. In Soline Bay a Soline Camp Park is providing the accommodation for numerous caravans and tents on the 15 hectares of land.
Biograd na Moru is also a place for diverse events such as the Biograd Boat Show, one of the biggest Croatian and Central European fairs at sea. Here you will be able to explore a Street Music Festival, a unique summer manifestation full of charm and romantic moments. Nearby there is also a Fun Park Biograd, a theme park that will provide an unforgettable adventure for the whole family.
In the heart of Adriatic, there is the town of Zadar, a cultural and historical center whose rich history reflects on every step of the old city streets that whisper a singular story of this ancient city. What sets Zadar from the rest of the Dalmatian towns is the largest number of preserved cultural and historical monuments, the more than 3000 years old history and the indispensable sunset whose magic left breathless even the most famous American filmmaker, Alfred Hitchcock. During his stay in Zadar, he said that this town has the most beautiful sunset in the world.
The old town is located on a peninsula that still preserves an old Roman street grid of properly arranged streets. What you need to see in Zadar is the monumental church of Saint Donatus, one of the most valuable Pre-Romanesque monuments which dated to the 9th century. In Zadar are also preserved numerous sacral monuments such as the cathedral of Saint Anastasia, the church of Saint Mary whose Benedictine monastery houses The Permanent Exhibition of Religious Art. This museum is also known as The Gold and Silver of Zadar, and it is the treasury of invaluable examples of sacred art.
An indispensable place that you need to visit in Zadar is the modern installation of Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun that will enchant you with the beautiful play of light and color as well as the sound of sea waves. In the summer months, Zadar abounds in various cultural and social events, and one of the most important ones is The Full Moon Night. This traditional manifestation is the place where you can explore all the gastronomic specialities of Zadar and the surrounding area, and with souvenirs, you will be able to take with you part of this magical city.
Zadar and its surrounding area also abound in diverse gastronomic offers of top restaurants and traditional taverns with authentic Dalmatian specialities such as fresh sea fish, seafood or homemade prosciutto and cheese. There are for example various restaurants located in the city center such as Dva ribara, Pet bunara or Bruschetta restaurant.
Another romantic town on the Dalmatian coast that thrills with its rich history and variety of cultural and historical monuments in Šibenik. Walking through the narrow streets of this beautiful city you will experience the authentic Mediterranean as it once was.
Due to its monumentality, Šibenik was the filming location for the world-famous Game of Thrones series on three occasions. One of the filming locations was the Cathedral of Saint James. Besides the Cathedral, the most valuable Renaissance monument from the 15th and 16th centuries in Croatia, that was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list, Šibenik is also the city of medieval fortresses such as St. Nicholas fortress or St. Michael fortress with a beautiful panoramic view of the whole Šibenik archipelago.
Šibenik was also the home of Dražen Petrović, one of the best basketball players not only in Croatia but in the entire world. In addition to a diverse cultural offer, Šibenik provides many beautiful beaches and hidden bays such as the Banj and Guberina beaches or Minerska and Škar bay. On the beach Solaris there is also a Solaris Beach Resort on which you will find a camp with a wide offer of mobile homes, pitches, and additional activities for the whole family. Here is also an entertainment aquapark providing the youngest with unforgettable water adventure, also an Adventure Mini Golf and Dalmatian Ethno Village with an authentic story of Dalmatia and its tradition.
For all those eager to experience an adrenaline activity, Šibenik offers a Bungee Jumping adventure on the 40-meter high Šibenik bridge. What is worth visiting in the Šibenik archipelago is an island called Žirje, the only permanently inhabited island among the wider Šibenik area islands. Untouched nature and the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea provide with the returning to nature and escaping from hectic everyday life experiences. The numerous natural caves on this island such as Golubnica, Mala Jama or Gradine cave will take you on an extraordinary sea adventure.
Located in the north of Šibenik, the tourist centre called Vodice provides many benefits for enjoyment in relaxing summer moments and a diverse tourist offer. In addition to beautiful beaches and a pleasant climate, Vodice offers the possibility of an active vacation which includes cycling, diving, fishing or sailing.
Numerous beaches of this picturesque maritime village are in the protected coves and provide with indulging in all the sea charms. Many of them provide additional activities. For example, Blue Beach features a restaurant, beach bar, shop, children’s playground, rock climbing activities and beach volleyball. Other interesting beaches ideal for the family holiday are Vićevica, Mali dvor, Srima or Imperial. In Vodice, you will also find three dog-friendly beaches.
Don’t miss to visit one of the traditional restaurants with an exquisite gastronomic offer based on indigenous dishes of this region such as olive oil, fresh fish or local wine.
Vodice is also a place of many archaeological findings such as Velika Mrdakovica which dates to pre-Roman times and is associated with a Liburnian-Roman village called Arauzona. Another interesting finding called Rakitnica was first mentioned at the beginning of the 14th century. The remains of the former houses built in the traditional drywall technique were also found on this site. Nearby is an island called Prvić, a small fisherman’s island where there are less than 400 inhabitants. This island in history served as the residence of Šibenik nobles.
The adrenalin experience of rafting through the canyon of the Zrmanja river is an adventure that leaves breathless even the most daring ones. The Zrmanja River canyon is 200 meters deep and is rich in spectacular waterfalls. On day trips you will be able to enjoy a 14 km long trail full of contrasting rapids and waterfalls which is the reason why Zrmanja has been named beauty and beast.
The beautiful landscape and enchanting beauty of nature invite you to undertake this unforgettable experience. The prices of the rafting on the Zrmanja river vary, while the one-day trips in company with experienced guides include transfer, preparation and instruction for the excursion, additional equipment and a picnic lunch break under the beautiful waterfalls. The price for the Zrmanja rafting experience also depends on the length of the trip, for which you can embark on full-day excursions or shorter routes of a few hours. On the Zrmanja river, you can enjoy a relaxing ride on the kayak as well. The most frequent starting point is Kaštel Žegarski, a one hour ride away from Zadar, or Mićanovi Dvori next to village Kruševo.
There are many wineries nearby that will thrill every true wine lover. Dalmatia is known for its traditional wine and olive growing and production. Numerous wineries testify of this ancient craft, which today represents an authentic scenery of the history of this region.
Nearby there is the Karaba Winery in Pakoštane, and it offers its production of wine in the family cellar. The MasVin Winery nurtures the production of top varieties of extra-virgin olive oil and table olives in various preparations. It also offers the production of wine of exceptional quality, as well as figs and its processed products, another traditional Dalmatian product.
The Benkovac Winery provides the top offer of rosé wines, which also represents the trademark of this winery. In addition, the winery offers homemade brandy, as well as products of the finest wine distillates, which are also used to produce the European award-winning old brandy Glembay. In the Zadar hinterland, in the place called Nadin, there are Škaulj Winery and Vrsaljko Winery which on the other hand cultivates the production of the top white and red wine, which are grown and processed by ecological standards.
In Petrčane next to Zadar there is a popular winery called Kraljevski vinogradi. It is located on the slope above this maritime village whose geographic location on the rocky soil with a slope to the southwest and with a constant circulation of the air from the south and north favored the production of top-quality wines.