Stunning coastline, delicious food and enchanting fishing villages – take a cruise to one of the most enticing hot Mediterranean destinations for the year ahead

The colourful harbour houses of Pag Island are just a 30-minute bus ride from Zadar, Croatia. Image credit: Zoonar GmbH / Alamy.

Zadar, Croatia

Cruise ships are just discovering this picturesque and compact Croatian port. Like Dubrovnik along the coast it has white marble traffic-free streets, fortified harbour walls and elegant Venetian architecture as well as Roman ruins including the forum. One must-see is the world’s only Musical Sea Organ. It’s on the quayside so you can’t miss it, and the sound of the sea forcing air through 35 underwater organ pipes to make music is quite surreal. There are fruit and vegetable markets plus a fish market where the colourful fishing boats are moored, and if you want beaches you can catch a bus to Pag island, about 30 minutes away.
Cunard has a 14-day Dubrovnik, Venice and Istanbul cruise on Queen Victoria on 11 July from Civitavecchia to Istanbul, with calls including Zadar as well as Kotor in Montenegro, Trieste in Italy and Izmir in Turkey from £2,649pp, based on two people sharing. Visit or call 0843 374 0000.