The Traveler's Guide
Top 10 Reasons to Visit Dugi Otok This Summer
Are you headed to Zadar this summer and wondering which island you should visit while you’re there? Croatia’s “long island” Dugi Otok is the answer. Here are ten reasons why the longest of the north Dalmatian islands should definitely be on your itinerary this summer!
Table of Contents
1. It’s off the beaten track
Even during Croatia’s busy summer season, Dugi Otok offers a relaxing spot to enjoy some peace and quiet.
2. It’s easy to get to
In high season, there is a car-ferry service between the mainland city of Zadar and Brbinj on Dugi Otok, which sails three times a day and takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Otherwise, it’s an hour from Zadar to the town of Sali by catamaran.
3. There is a gorgeous sandy beach on the north side of the island
Imagine a secluded white sand beach stretching for half a mile, surrounded by pine trees and crystal-clear waters. This is Saharun Beach (or Sakarun), one of the island’s biggest draws, and a hit with families.
4. It has arguably the most beautiful Adriatic bay
One of the largest natural ports in the Adriatic, Telašćica Bay will take your breath away with its spectacular cliffs, small coves, and picturesque islands. You might even catch a glimpse of dolphins leaping out of the water!
5. It has a gorgeous nature park
At the southern tip of the island, Telašćica Nature Park (which encompasses Telašćica Bay) is a must-visit for its untouched natural beauty and donkey refuge. And if you’re sailing, why not also explore the neighboring National Park of Kornati?
6. It has a salt-water lake with healing properties
While in Telašćica, go take a swim in Lake Mir. Connected to the sea through underground channels, this salt-water lake is actually warmer than the Adriatic in the summer! You can also slather on mud from the southeast side of the lake as it’s said to be therapeutic.
7. It boasts the highest lighthouse in Croatia
On the northern tip of the island, the active 19th century lighthouse of Veli Rat is an iconic landmark. Standing 137 feet tall, it offers superb views of the surroundings. When you’re there, take a moment to enjoy the scent of sea and pine trees at the nearby beaches.
8. It has some of the most beautiful diving sites in Croatia
Scuba enthusiasts can head straight to the underwater Brbiščica cave where beams of light create an eerie scene, or explore a shipwreck site near the Veli Rat lighthouse. Of course, Telašćica Bay is also a top diving spot.
9. It has a festival you don’t want to miss
Every summer, the town of Sali hosts the Saljski užanci festival, a big folkloric event with fireworks, drinking, dancing, donkey races, parades, and the local Tovareća mužika (‘donkey music’). Join the locals as they leap into the sea in full traditional costume!
10. It’s a dream for cyclists of all levels
If you’re a keen cyclist, you’ll love exploring Dugi Otok’s panoramic paved trails and off-road tracks on two wheels. You’ll be pedaling along scenic olive groves, seaside cliffs, and discover hidden bays along the way. Plan your rides in the mornings or evenings to beat the heat!