Find out more about the Adriatic jewel with a mesmerizing nature park and one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Croatia.
Dugi Otok is the largest among the North Dalmatian islands near Zadar. Its name, literally meaning “long island”, perfectly describes the shape of this lush Adriatic beauty — the island is 45 kilometres long and among the longest in the Adriatic. Many would agree that Dugi Otok is Croatia’s undiscovered treasure because it’s not as packed with tourists as some of the neighbouring islands. However, it’s becoming more popular due to its breathtaking nature consisting of both rugged cliffs and friendly beaches.
The island is well connected with the mainland by ferries and fast boats. If you want to get from Zadar to Dugi Otok, check out the Jadrolinija ferry which sails three times a day during high season, with a journey time of 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Wild cliffs and a serene bay
One of the reasons tourists choose to visit Dugi Otok island is Telašćica Nature Park. Once you get there, you should check out its three natural phenomenons. The park’s main star is Telašćica bay, which is so serene and secluded that many consider it the safest natural port in the Adriatic. Next, you should visit the salt-water lake Mir, known for its medicinal properties and connected to the sea by underground channels. Lastly, you’ll be in awe of the magnificent cliffs rising up to 161 metres above sea level.
Dugi Otok is all about contrasts — steep cliffs, barren karst and almost no vegetation on dry terrain could have you thinking that this is an abandoned island. But vineyards, olive groves, lush forests and, of course, Dugi Otok beaches, will take away any doubt that this island bursts with life.
A perfect day at the beach
Surely, “Sakarun, Dugi Otok” is one of the most searched beaches in Croatia. It’s everything a family with children could wish for during hot summer days. White sand and kilometres of shallow and exceptionally clean waters are a dream for anybody looking to build sandcastles, snorkel or just ride around on a pink flamingo floatie. Also, the beach is surrounded by pine trees providing much-needed shade.
Cue donkey music
After a long day of relaxing on Sakarun, grab a bite in Sali, Dugi Otok’s municipal centre. The village got its name due to the production of salt in the middle ages. Today, it’s the island’s most populated village with several restaurants, cafes, shops and a unique summer festival Saljske užance. The most anticipated act of the festival is Tovareća mužika (donkey music) in which local artists play interesting tunes on horns originally used to signal the catch of the fish.
If you want to get away from the usual Croatian summer crowds, Sali is your ideal destination. Although it’s quiet most of the time, the village gets busy with travellers wanting to visit the nearby Kornati National Park. The unforgettable Kornati archipelago has 89 islands, islets and reefs with diverse flora and fauna, stretching over 220 km² of water. To spend a day on a magical boat ride through the park, you can book an excursion directly from Camping Village Šimuni.
If you’re interested in camping near Dugi Otok, Croatia, check out the mobile homes, pitches, and bungalows in Camping Village Šimuni. Once you get settled, you’ll be ready to start exploring this beautiful Adriatic jewel.