Dugi Otok is one of the larger islands in the archipelago west of the Croatian city of Zadar. Approximately 31 miles long and three miles in width, Dugi Otok Croatia is accessed via ferry from Zadar. The trip takes about an hour and a half, with ferries leaving and returning all day long, which means about three to four times every day during summer; the winter service is a little less predictable. Given its relative remoteness, Dugi Otok is considered to be off the beaten track for most tourists. As a result, it's a quiet, untouched, and astoundingly beautiful destination. For those who want peace and quiet, and the chance to appreciate genuine natural beauty, Dugi Otok Croatia is a great place to go.
Sali Dugi Otok is the administrative center and cultural hub of the island. According to written records from as far back as 990, the town, situated on the northeast coast of the island, has a history that reaches back into antiquity. From those ancient times, Sali Dugi Otok has been referred to as the ante-room to the Kornati archipelago and is enveloped by natural parks that feature an abundance of olive trees.
Geographically, the island of Dugi Otok is composed of contrasts. The Dugi Otok beach is located near the Sali area and is situated amid sweeping rocks and cliffs, while more sandy, quintessentially idyllic beaches are found in nearby coves that can only be accessed by boat. There is, however, one white sand beach—Saharun—that is located in the southern area of the island and can be accessed by car as well as boat. Nudism is common practice on Saharun, as it is in many of the beaches on Dugi Otok, apart from those situated adjacent to villages or towns.
Since Dugi Otok Croatia is located centrally in the Adriatic Sea, its weather is generally considered to be even better than that of other tourist spots located along the Dalmatian coast. The island has a diverse morphology and is great for tourists who love trekking and camping; although with plenty of hotels and guesthouses dotted around, that’s not to say you need to bring your best camping gear.
Toward the south of Dugi Otok, you can get to the nature park of Telascica by walking via the mainland area of the park up to its bay. Telascica is a natural paradise, with its main attraction, a huge salt lake that has a drainage area of more than a mile particularly popular among walkers. The water here is lukewarm (and salty!), so swimming is more than possible.
There are a handful of villages here that make for great isolated exploration. Zaglev is one such place. Located about three miles from the main town of Sali Dugi Otok, it’s a seaside township that boasts a harbor, a guesthouse, a few restaurants, and a couple of shops. That may not sound like much, but once you’re in Zaglev, it’s immediately clear that you need no more to enjoy your stay. This is as peaceful and relaxing place as you’ll find anywhere in Croatia.
If island-hopping is your thing, checking out some of Croatia’s other islands is a must. Krk and Vis are both popular among tourists looking to relax and take life as it comes, while Hvar is just as naturally beautiful, though it also boasts of a more rambunctious nightlife scene.