Tours in Croatia by Secret Dalmatia

Duration: half day

Difficulty: easy

Location: Zadar, Šibenik

Available all year round

War tour of Zadar

War tour of Zadar and its hinterland

One of our most thought-provoking and poignant tours focuses on the first half of the 1990s when the city of Zadar and its surroundings were strongly affected during the fierce Croatian War for Independence. Zadar was a focal point during the conflict and faced some of the most tragic days in all of its 3,000 years long history such as the siege which had kept the city without water and power for months. Countless marks of devastation stayed behind as reminders, yet it will be the stories and personal accounts that will resonate with you on this private tour. Along with a greater understanding of the complex triggers of the war, you will gain respect for the people of the region who bounced back from near destruction to again become a vibrant and beautiful destination.

  • This tour is fully private and on request only.
  • Tour includes collection from your hotel, villa or private accommodation in Zadar region by our guide and professional English speaking chauffeur in a comfortable luxury sedan car or passenger van.
  • Bring your camera, sports shoes, hat and sunscreen in the summer months.
  • OPTIONAL: The tour can include visits to other relevant war locations in Zadar region, as well as hearty, traditional peka lunch in the area of Benkovac. Available at additional cost.

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Tour description

What you'll see on this tour

Fought from 1991 to 1995 between Croatian forces loyal to the government of Croatia – which had declared independence from the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) – and the Serb controlled Yugoslav National Army (JNA) supported by local Serb forces in Croatia, the war is primarily referred to as the Homeland War.

During that time, Zadar had 7 JNA military bases within the city which made the situation extremely difficult for Croatian forces. Trying to expel the JNA with minimum casualties, Zadar was attacked from all means disposable and faced annihilation.

Exploring the region’s most recent tragic events on our private guided tour, you will gain insight and understanding of the complex history and wars that have shaken the proud people of Croatia and the Balkans.  Learn of the battles of Prkos and Novigrad, see the memorials of the brave young men and women who died fighting for freedom and visit the tragic site of the Škabrnja massacre. Perhaps the most moving part of the tour is passing through the empty villages of charred buildings and broken homes that were destroyed and have been abandoned ever since. Regardless of whether the villages were once home to Serbians or Croatians, the real scope of the tragedy is felt the most here.

We end the tour visiting the infamous JNA military base on the hill Križ over the village of Bibinje, passing by one of the destroyed JNA tanks left as a memory to those days of glory and sorrow. Your local guide for the day was present in Zadar during the war and will provide you with personal insights about living in these difficult times but also with bright perspectives of the present-day and Zadar re-establishing its position as the Croatian tourism jewel.

Quick Info


Zadar, Split



Distance to attraction


Zadar: 26 Km
Šibenik: 77 Km






During the attack on Škabrnja, and in its immediate aftermath, the JNA and the supporting SAO Krajina Territorial Defense forces killed 62 civilians and 7 Croatian soldiers in what later became known as the Škabrnja massacre. The JNA Paramilitary forces captured Škabrnja on November 18, 1991, which was followed by ethnic cleansing and then its annexation to SAO Krajina (Serbian territory). Škabrnja was reintegrated to Croatia in 1995.


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Join us for a unique and thought-provoking exploration of the dramatic events that took place in Zadar and its surroundings during the Croatian War for Independence in the 1990s. Your journey starts in the city of Zadar, which faced some of the most tragic days in its 3000-year history during this period. Today, while the city has regained its vibrancy and charm, the marks of devastation and resilience are still evident. Your knowledgeable local guide, who was present in Zadar during the war, will provide you with personal insights into these difficult times, enhancing your understanding of the war’s complexity and the resilience of the people in the region. We promise you a unique blend of poignant narratives, historical insights, and a glimpse of the present-day Zadar as it re-establishes its position as a Croatian tourism jewel.

Visiting the significant locations of the Battles of Prkos and Novigrad forms an integral part of our Zadar War tour. These were pivotal conflicts during the Croatian War for Independence. As we explore these sites, you will gain insights into the tactical maneuvers, challenges, and heroism associated with these battles. Our guides will bring the events to life with first-hand accounts, enabling you to understand not just the broader conflict, but the very personal experiences of those involved.

The Škabrnja massacre is one of the most somber chapters in the Croatian War for Independence, and our tour makes a respectful visit to this tragic site. On November 18, 1991, 62 civilians and 7 Croatian soldiers lost their lives here in an event later known as the Škabrnja massacre. Our visit to this location provides you with a moment to reflect on the atrocities of war, and the resilience of communities that have rebuilt in the aftermath.

The abandoned villages in the Zadar region are some of the most moving reminders of the war. As we pass through these settlements, you will see charred buildings and broken homes that have stood still in time since the 1990s. It’s a potent experience, creating a profound understanding of the extent of the devastation caused by the war. Irrespective of whether these villages were once inhabited by Serbians or Croatians, the immense scale of the tragedy is palpable here. This is a poignant reminder of the human cost of the war, beyond the geopolitical considerations.

Our tour concludes with a visit to the infamous JNA military base on the hill Križ over the village of Bibinje. Here, you’ll come face-to-face with the remnants of a destroyed JNA tank, a stark reminder of the days of conflict, glory, and sorrow. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the military aspects of the war and to learn more about the role of the JNA in the Croatian War for Independence. Your guide, with their personal insights and experiences, will provide a perspective that enriches your understanding of the complex nature of the conflict.

This tour is a historical and educational experience. However, it covers some harrowing events and includes visits to locations where tragic events took place. As such, it may not be suitable for young children or those who may find the subject matter distressing. We advise that you consider the nature of the tour and its themes before booking for younger participants or individuals sensitive to such topics.

We take care of all transportation needs on this tour. The tour includes pick-up and drop-off from your hotel, villa, or private accommodation in the Zadar region. Our professional English-speaking chauffeur will transport you in a comfortable luxury sedan car or passenger van, depending on the size of your party. The transportation ensures you can focus entirely on the experience without worrying about logistics.

Given that we’ll be exploring outdoor sites, we recommend you bring a camera to capture the sights, comfortable sports shoes for walking, and, during the summer months, a hat and sunscreen to protect against the sun. We also recommend bringing a small water bottle and any personal items you might need during the tour.

Yes, the tour is fully private and customizable upon request. If there are specific sites or locations you’d like to visit, we’re more than happy to tailor the itinerary to suit your interests. Additionally, we offer an optional traditional peka lunch in the area of Benkovac for an additional cost, offering an immersive culinary experience.

You can book the tour directly through our website or by contacting us via email or phone. As the Zadar War Tour is one of our more unique offerings, we recommend booking well in advance to secure your desired date. Please inform us of any specific interests or requirements you may have, and we’ll do our best to accommodate your needs. Our primary aim is to provide an enriching, engaging, and memorable tour experience, and we look forward to hosting you on our War Tour of Zadar.