The Traveler's Guide
Top 10 Things to Do in Dugi Otok
Known for its pristine natural beauty, the Croatian island of Dugi Otok is an outstanding destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking for peace and tranquility. Here are 10 things you shouldn’t miss when visiting this scenic “long island” near Zadar:
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1. Cycle the island
There’s no better way to explore Dugi Otok and take in the magic of its wild nature. Hit the main road, which is ideal for cycling as it has very little traffic, or venture off-road to explore further.
2. Spend a day in Telašćica Bay
Rumour has it that Telašćica is the most beautiful bay in the Adriatic with its spectacular cliffs, sheltered azure waters, and small islets. Go and see for yourself! Just don’t forget to pack a picnic basket before you pick a shaded spot on its shores.
3. Hike along the ‘Stene’
Rising high above the sea, the plunging cliffs of Telašćica, locally known as ‘stene’, will take your breath away. Follow the trail across the cliffs to take in the views and witness majestic falcons in action.
4. Take a relaxing dip in Mir Lake
This unique saltwater lake located in the southwestern part of Telašćica Nature Park offers warmer waters than the nearby Adriatic in the summer months. With its high concentration of salt and healing mud, it’ll pretty much feel like being at the spa!
5. Catch some rays on some of the island’s glorious shores
No visit to Dugi Otok would be complete without a trip to the island’s best beaches. Relax on Sakarun’s fine white sands while staring off into the sparkling turquoise sea, or while the day away on the equally attractive Veli Žal beach.
6. Climb the Veli Rat lighthouse
A well-known landmark on the island, the active lighthouse of Veli Rat simply cannot be missed. Standing at about 135 ft high, it is the tallest in Croatia and offers splendid views of the surroundings.
7. Meet the island’s donkeys
Donkeys used to play an essential part in community life on the island. Stop by Dugi Otok’s donkey shelter in the Telašćica Nature Park to mingle with the friendly island creatures, or see them roaming freely around Mir Lake.
8. Sail off to the Kornati islands
Just south of Dugi Otok, the Kornati archipelago is a popular sailing destination. Whether you have your own yacht or book an excursion to the islands, you’ll no doubt appreciate the peaceful atmosphere and inviting turquoise waters.
9. Explore Dugi Otok’s underwater world
Considered one of the most beautiful diving sites in Croatia, Dugi Otok is sure to win your heart. Join a diving excursion into the waters of the Telašćica Bay or the Kornati islands to discover enchanting forests of gorgonians, reefs, and caves. Learn more about Diving in Croatia here.
10. Indulge in local cuisine (with a view)
Those looking to enjoy the local food will find plenty of excellent restaurants to choose from on Dugi Otok. Be sure to get a table at Gorgonia Grill, a beachfront restaurant serving flavorful traditional cuisine.