Still little known to mass tourism, the island of Dugi Otok is a peaceful place to spend a relaxing holiday surrounded by nature.
It is the largest island in the Zadar region. Its name means ‘Long Island’ and betrays the curious shape of the island, 43 km long but only 4 km wide.
There are no museums or famous monuments to visit, the attractions here are the beaches and the enchanting landscape: along the south coast are impressive sheer cliffs, while the landscape to the north is gentler, with expanses of pastures, olive groves and orchards.
Have fun driving along the beautiful scenic road that runs along the island’s rugged, rocky coastline, getting dirty in the healing mud in the salt lake of Mir or diving into the clear waters of the nearby Kornati islands. Uncrowded compared to other Croatian islands, Dugi Otok is no less charming.
The main town on the island is Sali, a pretty village that owes its name to the medieval salt pans. The heart of the town is the harbour, overlooked by a long trail of restaurants, bars and cafés and from which a beautiful path leads to the upper town.
There are no famous sights to visit, but the 15th-century Church of St Mary, with its wooden altar and some Renaissance paintings, is worth a look.
Dugi Otok’s most famous attraction is the beautiful Telašćica Bay, which bisects the southeastern tip of the island. The bay penetrates deep into the hinterland and is formed by a series of smaller coves along the 28 km coastline and five islands.
The area, still uninhabited, has been declared a nature park and is an ideal destination for those who want to escape the crowds and find a piece of paradise. The enchantingly beautiful landscape alternates between stretches of Mediterranean scrub and limestone cliffs, with sheer cliffs over 160 metres above the coast.
The island’s other famous natural attraction is the salt lake of Mir, near the bay of the same name, created by an underground channel that reaches the sea through porous limestone.
The lake’s waters are clean and warmer than those of the sea, but the bottom is muddy. Take some mud from the bottom and rub it on your skin: it is said to have therapeutic properties.
The second tourist resort after Sali is the green village of Božava, overlooking a bay, where you can lie in the sun, swim in clear waters and take relaxing walks in the shade of pine trees.
Approximately 6 km from Božava is Cuna Bay, where you will find the charming tourist village of Veli Rat.
There are numerous beaches on Dugi Otok, here are the ones not to be missed:
Dugi Otok is very close to the Kornati Islands, a beautiful archipelago whose beauty was also extolled by important writers such as George Bernard Shaw. It comprises 147 islands and islets, mostly uninhabited, characterised by karst terrain, caves, crevices and steep cliffs.
The archipelago’s more than one hundred islands are arranged along four rows stretching from north-west to south-east.
The two rows of islands furthest from mainland Croatia have been declared the Kornati National Park. The establishment of the park aims to preserve the beautiful landscape of the islands and surrounding waters.
From Dugi Otok you can visit the Kornati Islands by taking one of the many boat trips that are organised daily by local tour operators.
During your holiday on Dugi Otok treat yourself to a boat trip around the island to admire its rugged coastline and numerous coves, or a day trip to Zadar, an interesting city with a rich cultural and historical heritage.
Due to its proximity to the Kornati islands, Dugi Otok is a popular destination for diving enthusiasts, who can find diving centres on the island where they can rent equipment and book excursions.
In addition to diving on the Kornati, other interesting spots for divers are the northern coast of Dugi Otok, which with its large caves and shallow waters is also suitable for beginners, and the small uninhabited island of Mezanj.
Although the highest peak of Dugi Otok is only 338 metres above sea level, its geomorphological features make the island an ideal destination for all those who enjoy trekking and climbing. An easy but scenic walk along the coast is the one that leads from the Veli Rat lighthouse to the Pantera bay.
The hilly landscape is also perfect for exciting bike rides, while the Telašćica bay, protected from waves and wind, is particularly suitable for kayaking. Sailing and fishing are other popular activities on the island.
To reach the island of Dugi Otok from mainland Croatia, you must take a ferry or catamaran from the city of Zadar: the former leaves from the port of Gazenica, while the latter leaves from the port of the old town.
Internal connections on the island are poor and it is therefore difficult to get around without a private vehicle. We recommend hiring one in Split. It is best to do this online before arriving, so that you do not waste time during your holiday finding an agency and so that you can take advantage of cheaper rates.
To see all the facilities and book accommodation in Dugi Otok use the form below, entering the dates of your stay.
The island of Dugi Otok is located just off the coast of Croatia, near the city of Zadar; it is the largest of the more than 300 islands and islets in theZadar archipelago and is known for its rugged coastline and unspoilt nature.