14 July, 2017
Olive Island Tour
By Zadar Archipelago
Our friends from the Zadar Archipelago have planned an attractive route on the island of Ugljan, for this season. One that combines a location experience with carefully selected, cultural and gastronomical sensations
After boarding in Zadar, we wave goodbye to the famous Sea Organ and head towards the island of Ugljan, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Zadar archipelago. We pass by two smaller islands. The first is Ošljak, with its 12 inhabitants in a single village of the same name, it is the smallest inhabited island in the Adriatic. The highest point on the island is a 90 metre high peak, you can’t miss the beautiful hiking trail that surrounds the island, overlooking Kali and Preko. The other islet, Galevac or Školjić, is located only 80 meters from Preko and has a 15 century Franciscan monastery. We stop and walk around the island through a thick pine forest with a well-maintained path, leading us to the very centre of the island and its monastery, the church of St. Paul. We meet Fr. Božo, one of the three islanders living in the monastery, who tells us about the rich, historical heritage of this region.
As well as valuable books in the old Croatian language and artworks, the monastery also contains the remains of a Croatian Catholic printing works, transported from the occupied City of Zadar, to Preko in 1925 and then to Galevac, where it served as the central point of Croatian publishing and social information up until 1945. We stop for a moment in the tavern, an old house with embrasures, in order to try some specialties of the island – walnut and carob brandies and limoncello. Invigorated, we continue towards Kornati and the island of Žut, where we spend a pleasant afternoon at the Fešta restaurant, enjoying top delicacies and a beautiful, coastal ambience. However, if you decide to stay at Ugljan longer, do stop in Preko for at least a day. As is the case with the rest of the island, it is a location where olives have been processed for over two thousand years. Almost every household grows olives. There are hundreds of thousands of olive trees, olive groves and drywall throughout the island and the remains of ancient oil mills in Muline are evidence of traces of the past. Ugljan, deservingly bears the name, Olive Island. If you go up the hill to the fortress of St. Michael, you will experience an unforgettable view of the whole archipelago and 200 miles of open sea.
To the South you will see all the islands in the archipelago, more than two hundred of them, including the Kornati Islands and the island of Dugi Otok, which protect the coast from tempests coming from the sea. Meanwhile to the Northwest, you will be able to see Ist, Olib, Pag, Molat and the islands of the Northern Adriatic. Finally, if you look ahead, you will see Zadar, an old city of exceptional beauty and abundent historical heritage. With its 263 metres, the hill of St. Michael is the second highest point on the island. It has been an important strategic point of the Zadar archipelago since the ancient times. The first fortress was erected in the 4th century and a new fortress, still standing today, was built in 1203, shortly after the Siege of Zadar by the Crusaders. It was built by the Venetians to oversee Zadar, prevent its reconstruction and protect its ships and merchants. The fortress represents a very valuable cultural heritage of modern day Croatia and is protected as such. The route will take you further through the inhabited spots on the island, to visit a painter’s atelier or an old olive oil production plant or to dine in one of the best restaurants on the island, and taste daily, fresh, seafood delicacies. End your tour of the Zadar archipelago in the most beautiful way – sunset at Monument to the sun. It’s not without reason that the citizens of Zadar claim to have one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.