With a cluster of stone houses at its core and an extensive suburban spread of modern villas, Murter constitutes a relaxing blend of Dalmatian history and easy-going modern vacations. Most Murter families were granted farm land on the nearby Kornati islands in the past, which explains why most of the houses in Murter face out to sea, with a small jetty and boat mooring serving as some kind of aquatic front door. Locals do indeed claim that Murter has the highest number of boats in proportion to the local population than anywhere else in the Mediterranean. Of the several yachting marinas in Murter, the ACI marina at the northern end of town is one of the best equipped in the Adriatic, with a big repair yard. Everything in Murter revolves around the irregular-shaped, café-lined town square, Trg Rudina, which opens out towards a palm-lined seafront promenade at its northern end. Stroll west from here along the narrow alleyway known as Luke to enjoy a taste of Murter’s traditional stone architecture. One of the most atmospheric parts of town is Selo, grouped around a cone-shaped hill 800 metres south of the seafront. The narrow streets of Selo lead uphill towards St Rock’s Chapel (Kapelica svetog Roka), a gleaming whitewashed building that is the site of a major religious procession on St Rock’s Day (August 16). From the chapel’s forecourt you can enjoy a stupendous panorama of Murter with the lumpy brown-green forms of the Kornati islands rising up in the distance. The narrow streets below the chapel contain some of the oldest and most picturesque of Murter’s stone houses. Rising beyond the yachting marina on the northeast side of town is the scrub-covered hill known as Gradina, site of an Illyrian fortress subsequently occupied by the Romans - who went on to build the settlement of Colentum on the hill’s slopes. Follow the shoreline path around the graveyard of the Church of Our Lady of Gradina (Crkva gospe od Gradina) and you will arrive at a the former site of a Roman villa, its walls partially rebuilt by conservationists to provide an idea of what it once looked like. There is not a great deal else of Colentum to see (much of it lies underwater), but the bayside location is a powerfully evocative spot.
Most popular of Murter’s beaches is Slanica, 1.5km west of the main square, a part-shingle part-sand beach that gets crowded in summer. There are bars and a pizzeria behind the beach, and coastal paths that lead to rockier (and potentially more secluded) parts of the coast in either direction.
Follow the coastal path south from Slanica and you will arrive after 20-30 minutes at Čigrađa beach, an attractive crescent of pebble bordered by a jetty for small boats. Behind the beach lies a cool beach bar in the shape of Lantana, and a well-regarded seafood restaurant the Čigrađa. Čigrađa can also be reached by road from the centre of Murter – take the main southbound road out of town and turn right when you see the sign.