travel

Dugi Otok – Long Island in Croatia

Imagine an island where there are beaches, woods, a port, a lake and is 45 km long and only 5 km long… well this is the place. The name of the island means “long island” in Croatian. They do not get creativity points for this one. The decision  to go to this specific island was because I read somewhere that it had the nicest beaches and that not a lot of tourists know about it. I knew that I would be going to super popular Hvar and Split so I decided to “rough it” for a couple of days and visit an island that’s much less popular.

Nothing prepared me for what I saw and experienced…

To get to Dugi Otok you take a ferry from Zadar (Price was about 10 dollars per person one way). The ferry takes about an hour and there’s beer! (as seen in the picture below)

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From the ferry you should take a bus to wherever your hotel/apartment is but alas… we didn’t see the bus. I had to call the hotel and ask them to pick us up as the next bus would have been 5 hours later. We thought about walking… but after 20 minutes of walking with our backpacks we decided that we wouldn’t of made it. (there are about 5 or six small villages on Dugi Otok) We stayed in the Gorgonia Apartments which was in Verunic. We highly recommend! http://www.gorgonia.hr/ The facilities are not 5 star but the owners are amazing and the rooms are clean and everything you need. Attached to the apartments is a restaurant and a market. (where we bought some great wine and groceries)

This picture shows the view from the window.

IMG_5814Food we bought in the market!IMG_5818

The first day we went down to the beach that was close and discovered some great local food along with an amazing beach. (and beer) The owner of the restaurant suggested we try “sdkjaf;doi” (that’s what it sounded like to me) he then described it by saying little fish but not sardines. So what the hey… we tried it! And we were both glad we did. A little “fishy” but delicious. Notice the portion sizes… HUGE! The beach is beautiful and one of the few “sandy” beaches in Croatia. I say “sandy” because to me after experiencing beaches in Thailand and Mexico it was still rocky but after seeing the other beaches around Croatia I now understand why they say its sandy.

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The following day the owners suggested that we take a scooter and travel around the island. We decided on a quad and we accomplished just that. We discovered their national park and a famous cave.

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The scooter was a great idea as it allowed us to go from one end to the other. At the “bottom” of the island is a national park. This is the first time I saw pine trees along the coast line. It was amazing to see. On the other side we saw yet another great view. Scattered trees and a lighthouse that made me feel like I was in a completely different part of the world.

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I really recommend Dugi Otok to travelers who want to get away from the crowds. It’s guarantees amazing views and great experiences. (a real hidden gem)IMG_5908 IMG_5914

Tips for Dugi Otok:

– make sure you know how to get from the ferry to the hotel (beforehand)

– make sure you have enough cash for your trip (as we saw no ATM’s)

– Rent a scooter so that you can see the island (biking would be fun but there are so many hills that I think the most fit would have some issues with biking throughout the island)

– eat the local food

– try the local wine and olive oil

Have you ever discovered any hidden gems along your journeys?

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