Šibenik, also known as the town of King Krešimir, got its name after the charter of Peter Krešimir IV from 1066 when it was first mentioned. Until the mid-17th century, it was the largest town on the entire eastern Adriatic coast until it was seized by the plague. From 1944 do 1945, for a short period of time, it was practically the capital city of Croatia.
Today, Šibenik is an extremely popular tourist destination because of its numerous cultural sights in and around the city. In 2018, The Guardian declared it the best city by the sea in which to live in the entirety of south Europe. So it comes as no surprise that apartments for rent and houses for sale in Šibenik are quickly disappearing from the real estate market.
However, if there's no property left in Šibenik, you’ll be able to find some in the neighboring towns. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy the surrounding nature, not be right in the center of the tourist throng, but still be close enough for visiting all the cultural goods on offer in the town of King Krešimir.
We've prepared our list of the most popular places to visit and stay at around Šibenik.
Only 15 km away from Šibenik, the town of Skradin was founded 6,000 years ago along the beautiful Krka river. Traces of this have been recorded at the site of Bribirska Glavica, which is located not far from Skradin, and where prehistoric, ancient and medieval remains are located. The history of Skradin dates back to the Illyrian era, whereas the town got its present name in ancient Roman times (then called Scardona). The present-day Croatian name Skradin was given to it by the Croats who settled in this area after the ancient city was destroyed.
Due to its rich history, Skradin boasts a beautiful historical center (which abounds in precious old stone houses - some of which are sometimes found on the real estate market!) and the nearby Franciscan island of Visovac. In the city center itself, you can visit many cultural sights such as the Church of the Little Lady which is known for its 18th-century bell tower, the Orthodox Church of St. Spiridona, and the church of St. Petak and St. Jerome, and all of that in the city’s historic core!
In the city, you will definitely find beaches and a diverse gastronomic offer that never disappoints!
You can find many natural benefits in the vicinity such as waterfalls (Skradinski Buk, Roški slap) and picnic areas. Of course, we must not forget the Krka National Park, which includes most of these marvels. It's easy to reach the Krka National Park from Skradin by car, but also by boat since they have regular routes in the summer months.
Located halfway between Šibenik and Split, Primošten is close to some of the most famous attractions in Dalmatia. However, it is also known as a beach town (there is almost no house in Primošten that isn’t close to at least one beach!), among which the beaches Porat and Raduča Mala stand out.
Porat is only a 10-minute drive from the center of Primošten in a beautiful, quiet bay overlooking the old town.
In comparison, Raduča Mala i.e. “Small Raduča” (which is not so small) is the largest beach in Primošten, spanning almost 2km in length! It is located right next to the city promenade so it’s always full, but that's why it offers a diverse range of attractions; from cafes, restaurants, taverns, deck chairs and parasols for rent, pedal boats, rowboats, playgrounds, and so on.
Apart from this, Primošten offers several cultural attractions including the Viewpoint of Our Lady of Loreto, the Primošten Sports Center, and the Church of St. George.
The Lady of Loreto is the patron saint of Primošten and it seems as though she's truly looking over the city from this lookout, at least metaphorically, in the form of a 17-meter-tall statue of the Virgin Mary that was placed there in 2017. The lookout is worth visiting because of the astounding panoramic view that it offers of the old town, all the surrounding beaches, Šibenik with its archipelago, Rogoznica, and the Kornati archipelago.
If swimming isn’t your cup of tea, Hotel Zora with its sports center offers many other sports facilities such as tennis, basketball, volleyball courts, a mini-golf terrain, but also playgrounds for children. Nearby, of course, you’ll also find beaches on which to cool off after a good workout!
The church of St. George dates back to the 15th century (it was reconstructed in the 18th century) and is one of the most beautiful cultural attractions in Primošten. However, the view from it is fantastic in itself because, much like the lookout, it offers a great view of the surrounding islands.
Twelve kilometers away from Šibenik, you’ll come to Vodice. Today, it’s primarily a tourist city that has been engaged in tourism for over sixty years. The Vodice summer festival attracts many visitors, and thanks to it and the enormous effort that the city invests in its tourist offer, Vodice has received numerous awards in the tourism sectors and praise from guests.
Starting from May 3 (the Day of the city of Vodice and the parish of the Invention of the Cross), until July 16, when the day of the patron saint of the city (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) is celebrated, as well as in the following summer months, Vodice is full of people.
If you’re attracted by the liveliness and fun of this city, you will be delighted that Vodice is a city that is continually evolving, so new houses are constantly being built in it, enriching the real estate market.
In line with the Dalmatian tradition, in Tribunj you can wander through many narrow streets and admire the beautiful stone houses. Since the population is engaged, in addition to tourism, with fishing and farming, you will also find some first-class farmland for sale. in Tribunj beside its charming stone houses.
Of course, the natural beauty is in line with this, and there is room for plenty of sports activities both on land and in the sea. And did we mention that Vodice has the cleanest sea on the Adriatic?!
Interestingly enough, the town grew from settlements established by fugitives from surrounding villages. However, since then, the city has made significant progress, so you can find beautiful cultural heritage in it, such as the church of St. Nicholas, the Turkish fort of Jurjevgrad, the remains of the church of the Virgin Mary, and so on.
Located on the Tisno Peninsula and partly on Murter, Tisno (meaning narrow or tight) and the peninsula itself were named after the strait which is only 38 meters wide that separates the island of Murter from the mainland (although today it is connected by a bridge).
The settlement of Tisno consists of three places: Dubrava, Dazlina, and Ivinj. In Ivinj, you can visit the church of St. Martin and the remains of an ancient Roman villa rustica dating back to the 1st century AD. In Dazlina, you can see the church of St. Elias, and in Tisno the church of St. Mary as well as the church of the Holy Spirit.
Much like other island and Dalmatian towns, Tisno abounds in fairytale stone houses overlooking the sea.
Today, Pirovac is, along with Murter, Vodice and Primošten, the main tourist center of the Šibenik Riviera. But lest you think it's all about tourism, in and around Pirovac you will find countless olive and fig trees, grapevines, cherry trees, and other traditional Dalmatian plants that point to the agricultural activity of the population.
You will also find some of these agricultural plots of land for sale today, but also some newer and older houses located right next to the sea or near one of the cultural heritage sites in the town of Pirovac: the old town walls dating back to the beginning of the 16th century, the church of St. George also from the 16th century, and the remains of an old Franciscan monastery on the island of St. Stephen where ancient Roman remains have also been dug up.
We can’t skip the islands within the Šibenik archipelago, especially Prvić and Zlarin.
Zlarin, usually the less populated of the two, thrives in the summer months when its population grows almost tenfold! Although in the past Zlarin often experienced a lot of emigration, today this isn’t the case, so it is better to grab a house or a piece of land on this fairy-tale island as soon as possible!
A similar thing is happening with Prvić, which is also experiencing a new wave of interest; from a bunch of small fishing villages and fertile agricultural land, it is gradually but surely growing.
"Armed" with this list, you can go on a tour of towns (and islands) in the vicinity of Šibenik and experience all their beauty – see the cultural heritage sites that enrich them, enjoy the pristine beaches, taste local wine, and enjoy the local cuisine. Have fun!