My wife and I (together with our 2 young childred aged 4 and 20 months) stayed at Apartment Anella and we can only find superlative words for our experience. The owner and her daughters are only next door and are so lovely and helpful - No hotel in the world would be capable of providing a similar experience!
The apartment is large - the lounge is open plan with aircon, a fold out bed if needed, a nice modern kitchen and furniture, a flat screen telly with plenty of channels in different languages. There is a balcony outside. There is a large entrance/hallway, 2 bathrooms, 2 large bedrooms (one with a double bed and large sliding door wardrobes and bedside tables and another with 2 single beds, another wardrobe and 2 edside tables).
The apartment is a very short walk (2-3 mins) to a small private stoney beach and about a 7-8 min walk (possibly quicker if you don't have young children with you!) to a larger more public beach surrounded by lovely cafes and bars and a really nice Pizzeria (Porthos) which is right by the sea. There are 2 supermarkets which are about 5 mins walk away.
Although not in Zadar town centre, this is a far better location if you want to be near a good beach. You can get a taxi to the town centre at a fixed price of 40 Kuna (ie £4) so it is very affordable and convenient. It definitely takes less than 10 minutes by Taxi to get to town. We considered hiring a car before arriving and decided not to - it turned out to be a good decision as it was simpler and cheaper for us to travel by taxi unless you want to fo father afield. A taxi to/from the airport shouldn't cost any more than 110 Kuna (£11 or 15 euros)
All in all a fantastic apartment with wonderful, helpful owners who are only too happy to help. Highly recommended.
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This is simply the best rental I've ever spent time in.
Everything was as we hoped it would be, without the slightest disappointment at any level.
The house is all new. It's actually more an apartment than a house, but with a balcony (with table and chairs) as well as an actual terrace on street level with a large wooden table where you can enjoy a nice breakfast or meal. The whole place was entirely renovated very recently. My two friends and I were the second occupiers of the place. Everything was clean, and functional: fully equipped kitchen, living room with a sofa, table, satellite TV (only 12 Croatian channels) and AC, two bathrooms (one has a shower, toilets and a sink, the second one only toilets and a sink), one bedroom with a king bed and one with two singles.
The location of the apartment itself was great. Only 50 meters from the sea through a little shortcut the owner showed us. Though it was close to everything we needed, it was also in a very (very) calm neighborhood and not the slightest noise could disturb us at any given time of day or night.
Some distances on foot: 5 minutes away from a convenience store, 20-25 minutes away from the entrance of the old town, 10-15 minutes away from the main bus station, 10 minutes away from the closest beach, 15 minutes away from a great club next to the sea (the Hitch, very animated after 1-2 AM).
From the main bus station, you will be able to go almost anywhere you want in Croatia. Some Islands are accessible by bus (others by ferry from the old town). You will also be able to visit other towns, close or distant, and national parks from there (Plitvice is a must-see).
As for beaches however, don't expect sand anywhere in Zadar. In the 6 days we spent on the coast, we weren't able to locate a single grain of sand. I hear there are beautiful sand beaches in Croatia but those are very rare. You'll have to get out of town to hope to find one. From our experience, beaches in Zadar are usually gravel beaches.
In a country where few people speak English very well, it was a chance to have Ana, the owner's daughter, as our main contact. Her mother, who lives next door to the house, also speaks English pretty well. Both gave us tips on which restaurants to try, which Islands to go to, which festivals were worth attending, etc.
Are arrival was very well prepared and they always helped us with questions or requests any time of the day during our stay.
So to sum up, I highly recommend you rent this house/apartment. It's a great base for all the activities you have in mind when going to Zadar.
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