Zaton Near Šibenik
Zaton, a village in Croatia is a typical Dalmatian settlement located in the northwestern part of the Šibenik Bay, ten kilometers away from Šibenik, in a quiet bay at the mouth of the river Krka, surrounded by hills, built of old and new stone houses, sprouted on the edge of the bay of the same name in the canal that connects Lake Prukljan with Šibenik Bay. The bay is surrounded by hills Rastovac, Križeva glava and Glavica. The easiest way to get to Zaton is by sea. The sea in the Zaton bay is never expresses its bad side. It does not whip the shore, foam, or threaten small boats and houses that are very close to the shore. Unlike the coast and the sea on the nearby islands, several springs flow along the coast of Zaton. The salinity of the sea is felt only at the lighthouse on Jadrija at the relatively wide entrance to the Channel of St. Ante, because up to this place, sea water is mixed with the water from river Krka. When one enters the channel from the sea side, after a winding strait of steep, almost vertical shores carved out by the pre-flood Krka, the image of Šibenik bursts in front of you. The ship should be directed to Zaton to the left, right towards the slender arch of the Šibenik bridge which connected steep canyon shores in the late 1960’s and ended ship traffic that connected Zaton with Šibenik.
When the traveler finds himself on the shore, his gaze must ascend along the slopes of the hills, colliding with the red roofs and greenery of the canopy. Long paths by the sea, where you can walk comfortably in summer and winter, reflect the peace and harmony of this Dalmatian place. It is a beautiful promenade right by the sea that stretches for about three kilometers from the bay Dobri dolac to the bay Šarina draga. In the immediate hinterland of Zaton there are fields, gardens, vineyards, olive groves and fig orchards, and a small local market together with a fish market on the coast that is always full of local fruits, traditionaly produced. Its rich gastronomic offer includes local products, among which seafood specialties stand out.
The name Zaton was first mentioned in 1322 in a document by which King Charles I confirmed Šibenik’s privileges (Šibenik Diplomacy, p. 17). “Within the border is the island of Sustipanac near Pirovac, the land of Oštrica, Ivinj, Pišća, Zaton, Dolac Buzelaze (Dobri dolac), Vodokrat (Vodice and Srima).”
Archaeologists claim that deer and wild horses, and even rhinos, ran on these hills and bays. Their fossilized remains were found in the caves of Tradanj and Šarina draga. Remains of people have also been found there, all there since the Stone Age. Some people, including Greeks, used a settlement and a cemetery on the hill of Velika Mrdakovica, two or three kilometers away from Zaton. The road to Mrdakovica from the port of Zaton leads through the gentle and fertile valley of Draga.
In the book „Material culture of Croats from VII. to IX. centuries”, archaeologist Janko Belošević writes: “Among the prehistoric and ancient graves at that site, an old Croatian tomb was discovered. the tomb can be roughly dated to the 8th century on the basis of grave goods (two ceramic vessels and one iron knife). ”
Thus, the area of Zaton, at least for now with one grave, is included in the early Croatian history.
Zaton is an ideal place for rest, recreation and excursion tourism. Due to extremely favorable natural conditions, for the needs of the Mediterranean Sports Games, a quality rowing track with accompanying facilities has been arranged at the sea route between Šibenik and Zaton. In the hear proximity of the track there is a hotel “Panorama” which has all the facilities needed for athletes during their preparation for the competitions. The hotel also offers traditional cuisine that can be enjoyed on the terrace of the hotel from which a wonderful view of the bay of Šibenik and the town itself can be observed. Many teams and national teams chose Zaton as a training area for preparation for national and international championships.