The Croatian island still relatively unknown to British travelers
While families frolic on the shaded Veli Rat Beach next to Kargita Camp, I follow a trail through the woods to an empty stretch of beach in Podlokvanj Bay. Just beyond is a causeway leading to Okljuk Islet, where waves roll on the open west side and calmer waters ripple on the east side. It’s like straddling two worlds.
But what about Dugi Otok’s most famous beach, Sakarun? During an octopus lunch at the campsite’s Momi restaurant, its owner Lidija warns: “Be prepared. This is not what it looks like in the photos. Instead of white pebbles leading to a sandy seabed in a sheltered bay bordered by pine trees, the shore is covered with black Posidonia, a vital part of the ecosystem that protects against erosion. Once you’ve waded through the seagrass beds, you’re in sparkling turquoise water.
Seagrass is generally not a problem on two of Dugi Otok’s best beaches, Veli Zal and Brbiscica, the former on an open expanse on the wilder west side of the island, and the latter further south in a cove. comfortable accessible by a narrow road that winds through olive groves. If it hadn’t been for the wind, I would have rented a kayak in Brbiscica and paddled in the bright blue sea cave of Golubinka, where the midday sun sends rays of light into the cave.
Instead, I went from Brbiscica to the rocky beach of Sali, the largest village on the island and my next stopover. Housed in Kuca 47 a lovely two bedroom apartment with swimming pool run by cheerful and friendly Neda and Darko, I find out why Sali is so popular with sailing enthusiasts. Asleep during the day, the village wakes up when the boats return. On languid Dugi Otok, it’s a classic Dalmatian summer scene – people feasting on fish, drinking wine, not feeling to be shaken but stirred by the stuffy air.
How to do
Double rooms at Villa Nai 3.3 (00 385 91 3030460; villanai.com) from £ 612 including breakfast. If you prefer to opt for self-catering, Adamo Travel (00 385 23 377 208; adamo.hr/fr) offers apartments for rent, like Kuca 47, from (£ 102) per night. Ryanair offers direct flights to Zadar, a 1 hour 40 minute ferry ride (gv-zadar.hr) from Brbinj to Dugi Otok. More information: dugiotok.hr
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