If you follow the winding promenade around from Land Gate along Kralja Dmitra Zvonimira and then along Kolovare, the first beach you’ll come across is Kupaliste Kolovare. Close to the city, you’ll find pine trees, diving boards and if you don’t like pebble beaches here there are concrete sunbathing platforms. For drinks, there are a number of cafes and hotels lining the promenade.
At Kolovare, don’t miss the Imperial Fountain built in 1546 which was used to supply Venetian ships and locals with fresh water. The doomed, circular building has a vaulted ceiling with intricately carved stone pillars and arches and is particularly beautiful at sunset.
Continuing along Kolovare which turns into Karma there are more good swimming beaches (with pebbles) with stairs along the promenade leading you down to which ever bathing spot takes your fancy. Further along there’s Arbanasi Point with a harbour and swimming cove Uvala Bregdetti.
On the other side of town, try Uvala Maestrala or further north one of Zadar’s most popular beaches – Borik. If you want to swim right in the heart of the city – it’s possible. The best place is off the Riva in front of the Sun Salutation and Sea Organ.