New gem of Europe

Zadar, in Croa­tia, beats Paris and Rome in on­line vote for best Euro­pean desti­na­tion.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TRAVEL -

THE re­sults of a pub­lic vote have crowned the city of Zadar on Croa­tia's Dal­ma­tian coast Europe's best desti­na­tion for 2016, a place Al­fred Hitch­cock called the home of the most beau­ti­ful sun­set in the world.

The wa­ter­front town beat big­ger, more cos­mopoli­tan des­ti­na­tions like Paris, Rome and Madrid to take the top spot and gar­nered about 57,600 of 289,000 on­line votes.

Over three weeks, the pub­lic was in­vited to cast their choice in an on­line poll on the best des­ti­na­tions in Europe. Vot­ers from 179 coun­tries cast their bal­lots, favour­ing smaller, qui­eter, and sun- soaked des­ti­na­tions over peren­nial favourites.

Round­ing out the top five spots are Athens; Plov­div, Bul­garia; Nantes, France; and Azores, Por­tu­gal.

Though not a house­hold name, Zadar's win could help poach a bit of the spot­light mo­nop­o­lised by neigh­bours Dubrovnik and Split, two of the more pop­u­lar sea­side des­ti­na­tions also found along the Dal­ma­tian coast.

In Zadar, an­cient Ro­man ru­ins, cob­ble­stone streets, me­dieval churches and ram­parts whisk trav­ellers back in time.

Not far from the town, tourists can visit the world's small­est cathe­dral – the Church of the Holy Cross in Nin – and also travel to nearby na­tional parks that of­fer climb­ing, trekking and swim­ming ac­tiv­i­ties in some of the most dra­matic lo­ca­tions along the Adri­atic Sea, olive groves, white Dal­ma­tia stone, and crys­tal blue wa­ters.

Dur­ing a spring visit to the town in 1964, di­rec­tor/ writer Hitch­cock had called Zadar's sun­sets the most beau­ti­ful in the world.

Brus­sels- based Euro­pean Best Des­ti­na­tions is re­spon­si­ble for the pro­mo­tion of cul­ture and tourism in Europe.

Here are the bot­tom five of the 10 Euro­pean des­ti­na­tions of 2016 ac­cord­ing to the on­line poll: 6. Paris, France 7. Novi Sad, Ser­bia 8. Brus­sels, Bel­gium 9. Ko­tor, Mon­tene­gro 10. Mi­lan, Italy – AFP Re­laxnews

A view of the city of Zadar har­bour and Velebit moun­tain in dal­ma­tia, croa­tia. — AFP

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