Primošten packs some good clubs - before heading out, young partygoers hit the bars lining the Mala Raduća seafront. Spots include Popaj, and Nautica, a few steps down the seafront towards the Old Town. Marina Frapa, in Rogoznica, continues to draw a mixed crowd to its summer programme.
In summer, the Garden and Arsenal clubs continue to lead the way as far as good music and good vibes are concerned. But for all Zadar’s new cachet, many youngsters are happy to stick to their local haunts. East of the footbridge on the mainland, or head to the big-name clubs near Primošten, Vodice and at Zrće, Novalja on Pag.
Close to Primošten town centre, Legends is a house of fun that fills a large old building, revamped to an Irish theme. It appeals to older locals and mainstream expats with a musical agenda of traditional Dalmatian klapa and evergreen hits. Waterfront terrace tables usually fill pretty quickly. Once the tourists have vanished, regulars take over, the topic of conversation moving to sport, the Legends interior completely decked out in framed Croatian football shirts and photos of World Cup and Wimbledon heroes.
Opened in 2016, Agape Kitchen & Wine Bar has a more modern approach to cuisine than the more traditional and longer-established taverns surrounding it. Here, meals may start with tapas, which come in four varieties, Agape (with Dalmatian smoked ham, bacon and cheeses), Dalmatian (a chef’s choice of seafood), Primošten (with swordfish, tuna and truffle cheese) and marino (a platter for four featuring grilled octopus, salmon and stuffed squid). Steak and lamb feature heavily on the main menu but if the tapas have done the job, then you can opt for a lighter fillet of monkfish with cauliflower purée and sun-dried tomatoes. It’s also a wine bar, you’ll find quality Pošip Čara from Korčula, Plavac Mali from Brač and Babić produced nearby.
Marina Frapa is Croatia’s classiest marina, with entertainment in a big complex near Rogoznica, a short drive from Primošten. Its nightclub, Admiral, shed its risqué image after being taken back into direct management. Now locals join sailors who moor up overnight. With space for 500, Admiral stages a live act each night, with dancers and resident MC DJOJ while bartenders juggle bottles and throw fire.
Calling itself both a tapas bar and a pub, contemporary Francos is the kind of place where you can graze on platters of Dalmatian prosciutto and cheese, perhaps with a bowl of rough-cut chips alongside, order an Aperol spritz and let the evening take its course as a DJ kicks things into gear. Its wine selection is one of the best in Primošten and, although informal, it usually attracts a slightly higher class of clientele. Lunch could be a modest portion of pasta or a finely composed salad, and the beachside location is always a winner, whether first thing in the morning or late at night.