Benkovac Fair, July 2023

Benkovački Sajam or Benkovac Fair is always a fun place to visit if you are around on 10th of each month.
It is more than a fair and it is not only a place to buy stuff/cattle, food but also a place to visit and to enjoy the proper local atmosphere. For over 100 years now.

Approaching the fair from Benkovac direction

Benkovac fair

Benkovac Fair, located in the charming town of Benkovac between Zadar and Sibenik, offers a unique and exciting experience for visitors. Known as the largest open-air fair in the region, this bustling marketplace attracts both locals and tourists alike with its diverse range of vendors and lively atmosphere. Whether you’re a fan of flea markets, antique hunting, or simply immersing yourself in the local culture, a visit to the Benkovac Fair year round promises an unforgettable adventure.

Currently, the fair is taking place just outside the regular fair grounds. There is a modernization in proces and we are all suspicious what that will look like. Traditions must be preserved. And Benkovac Fair is a mess. A lively mess.

Construction site

The Offer

Benkovac Fair captivates visitors with its vibrant energy and eclectic mix of offerings. As you approach the fairgrounds, the sight of a long line of cars stretching for miles is a testament to its popularity and allure. I usually park in the woods by the road. Like most of the others.

The fair is held on the 10th day of each month, throughout the year, providing ample opportunities for exploration and discovery. Its convenient location and easy access make it an ideal day trip from nearby cities, such as Zadar or Split.

Upon arriving at the fair, you’ll find yourself immersed in a captivating tapestry of sights, sounds, and aromas. The fairgrounds are brimming with vendors offering a wide array of products, from inexpensive clothing to antique treasures. While the fair may lean more towards affordable clothes and practical items, there are also dedicated sections for livestock, plants, vegetables, farm equipment, and local produce. After all, the origins of the Benkovac Fair date back 100 years when it was primarily a live stock fair.

Benkovac Fair in the Summer Months

During the summer months, Benkovac Fair reaches its peak in terms of size and vibrancy. The fairgrounds come alive with an even greater variety of vendors and a higher influx of visitors. The warm weather and sunny days create an ideal backdrop for wandering through the stalls, engaging with vendors, and soaking up the festive atmosphere. It’s an excellent opportunity to experience the fair at its most dynamic state.

Besides the antiques and all sorts of stuff, our goal is always to buy some seasonal food. And this time, the fair was full of delicious local fruits and vegetables.

But there is always a great selection of local cheese and bacon. Not something we buy in the hot summer months…

One of the main things people were buying were peka domes and grill equipment (gradele).

And the young ones are always looking at the bunnies and chickens.

Truly a Local Experience

Beyond the shopping experience, the fair provides a glimpse into the everyday lives of the local community. As you explore the fairgrounds, you’ll come across practical items that locals value.

Recently, the fair got more international since Senegalese street vendors found out about it.

And there is always popular “food court” that serves local delicacies like lamb on a spit and ćevapi.

We usually buy fruits and vegetables, rare flours and some home made juices.

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Visiting Benkovac Fair during the summer is an adventure that combines the thrill of exploration, the joy of treasure hunting, and the immersion in the local culture. This vibrant marketplace, with its diverse offerings and lively atmosphere, provides an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re seeking affordable clothing, antique treasures, or simply want to soak up the vibrant ambiance, a visit to Benkovac Fair is sure to leave you with lasting memories of a unique summer adventure.