Get to know the surroundings of Nin
Together with Nin, this riviera includes Grbe and Zaton which belong to it administratively, then the independent municipalities of Vir, Privlaka and Vrsi as well as Petrčane which officially belong to Zadar. These are all beautiful tourist places each having its own interesting story. This story is further enriched with the close places of Ninski Stanovi, Žerava and Poljica-Brig, also administratively part of the town of Nin, whose idealistic rural setting is completely new, but equally interesting to the visitor.
The administrative part of the town of Nin is a small place called Zaton only 1.5 kilometers south of the old town of Nin. Zaton dates back to the 17th century when the parish church, dedicated to the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built. The most important monument in Zaton is the Tower of Kaštelina from the 16th century, built by the Venetians in order to defend Nin from the Turks. In front of the headland Kremenjača there are the remains of the ancient port of old Nin (Aenona), which is the subject of underwater archaeological research. Ships, called Serilie Liburnice from the 1st century were found here, whose partial reconstructions are kept in the Museum of Nin Antiquities. Near to the ancient port there are the remains of the Church of St. Andrew from the 16th century. In the old part of the village Dalmatian style architecture can be seen (17th - 20th century). This is the place tourists often choose for a family holiday. Its position facing the Zadar channel offers an unforgetable experience of the setting sun.
The tourist place of Grbe is located northeast of Nin and has an interesting history. It developed at the beginning of the 19th century on the remains of the once residential and commercial premises of the tobacco factory which was built by the Venetian nobleman Jerolim Manfrin. Even today, one of the monumental gates to the former tobacco factory is evident, and most tourists call it the „Triumphal Arch“. The plantation of the tobacco did not last for long and on its remains the place of Grbe developed, building its present and future on tourism.
If a visitor wants to feel the atmosphere of a former fishing village, he does not need a time machine, he should visit Privlaka which is only 4 kilometers away from Nin. It is located on a spacious, flat peninsular and is surrounded on three sides by the sea and beautiful beaches. The sunsets here are unforgetable. Privlaka is famous for its „sabunjari“, that is people who dug out sand from the Nin bay using special wooden boats. Today, however, Privlaka is primarily a tourist place, which like Nin, thanks to its sandy beaches and warm, shallow sea is, ideal for a family holiday.
The island of Vir is one of about 300 islands of Zadar's Archipelego, seven kilometers from Nin. In fact today it is not really an island because since 1976 it has been connected to the mainland by an arched bridge. Because of the depth of the sea around Vir there are important maritime routes nearby. Tourists can find accommodation in private rooms, apartments and private houses most of which have safe berths for boats, so this is a place often favoured by boat owners. An important cultural monument is the Tower of Kaštelina from the 17th century, which served as a defence from the Turks and as a shelter for the population of the Nin region.
The village of Vrsi, widely known for its seamen, is located on a small peninsular and has a beautiful indented coastline 30 kilometers long with a lot of bays and beaches. Many will be surprised to find as many as four small churches in Vrsi. Those who know Vrsi well, know the reason why, as this place was formed from four parts. Two of them are the small islands of Mišjak and Zečevo. In fact Zečevo is only conditionally an island, that is it can only be called that when it is high tide and seawater floods its low connection with the mainland, and during low tide it becomes a peninsular. Along with the old village centre, most attractive for tourists are Vrsi-Mulo and Vrsi-Zukve, right by the sea in the Nin bay.
Church of st. Nicholas
Did you know that a widely known symbol of Nin is the Romanesque church of St. Nicholas from 11th/12th century, built on a hummock and also used as the coronation church? National folk legend has it that in Nin seven kings were crowned, and during the coronation, accompanied by a magnificent escort, the crowned ruler would ride to the Church of St. Nicholas where he was presented to the people. From that hummock, as a sign of his royal power, he would strike a sword to all four cardinal points.