Island Escape to Dugi Otok, Croatia

As the largest island in the Zadar archipelago, Dugi Otok has plenty of to offer tourists. The island is known for its peaceful, relaxing and even spiritual vibe. Dugi Otok is gifted with outstanding natural beauty with its impressive cliffs and luscious vegetation. Charming villages occupy the island while secluded beaches and coves welcome any traveler who is looking for some tranquility and privacy.

The Capital

The administrative capital of Dugi Otok is Sali, situated on the northeast coast of the island. The town is home to the largest population on the island. Sali has an extensive tourism industry, organizing frequent excursions, sports and activities for island guests. The town has important facilities like medical and dental clinics, a sport office, and an ATM.

The main harbor office is also located within the town’s vicinity. Sali’s reading room is not only a place to borrow books written in different languages, but it is also a regular host of events like music concerts and traditional food tasting events. Sali’s cultural and religious heritage is reflected through its old traditional churches like St. Roch, St. Nicholas and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The town beautiful countryside is given more character by hundreds of olive trees, some of which are about 700 years old.



If you came to Dugi Otok to relax on the beach, then proceed to Sakarun, the most widely known beach in the Zadar archipelago. Located on the northwest coast of the island, this 800 meter long beach has an outstanding reputation because of its clean water and white sand, adorned with pine trees. Aside from Sakarun, there are other untouched beaches and hidden coves left to discover. Just ask the local tourism office and locals for some suggestions.

Near Sakarun are other interesting spots like Soline, Veruni, Bozava, and Veli Rat. Speaking of Veli Rat, this fascinating spot is the location of the island’s 19th century lighthouse. Specifically located on the northwestern tip of Dugi Otok, it is Adriatic’s tallest lighthouse, standing at 42 meters. The lighthouse offers amazing views of the sea and the island’s landscape. It even has apartment accommodation for tourists to stay in.

Dugi Otok is a good jumping off point to see the other outstanding attractions around the Zadar archipelago. Some examples of attractions you don’t want to miss are Nature Park Telaöcica and the National Park Marine Park of Kornati.



Fishing is definitely one of the highlight activities on the island. It can be enjoyed in several ways like rock fishing, underwater fishing and big game fishing. The best time to catch huge fish species in the region is during spring until autumn. The surrounding waters of Dugi Otok are blessed with bountiful marine life, making it one of the best spots in the region for diving. Around the island, there are three main dive sites.

The adventurist in you will find that the best ways to experience the island are by hiking or cycling some of its numerous routes and trails. Mountaineering is also a popular activity for nature lovers as the islands landscape is mostly rocky and mountainous. Dugi Otok also has three hunting zones, where you can put your hunting skills to the test and capture some mouflons.

About Author:

Arie Boris has extensive travel industry experience, including business and sales development for commercial aviation, the International emergency assistance & travel insurance industry and a national association of travel agents. He was a contributing editor to several print and Internet travel publications, including Fieldings’ Worldwide Cruise Guide and was part of the start up team for CruiseCritic. He has written over 400 cruise ship reviews. Arie also produces and hosts Cruise Gourmet Voyages, a variety of fundraising & theme group cruises for various charitable and arts organizations. He has produced theme cruises for a variety of special interest groups including opera, comedy, spiritual retreats and fan clubs for TV shows like Dark Shadows and Dancing with the Stars!