Every summer, since I was a child, we would travel to the Island of Ugljan placed in the archipelag of the city of Zadar.


This year I did the same trip. Flying from my lovely Brussels  to Zadar where I was supposed to meet my brother Martin who was travelling from the norther  part of Croatia to the south: Adriatic sea! ❤

This flight is my favourite flight since the craft is flying over the coast and sometimes you can see the coast of Italy too. I am every time more and more excited.

Flying over cost of Croatia – the country of more than thousand islands

We both adore Zadar and its rich history. So we always stop to add one more thing on our ‘list to do when in Zadar’ before we hop on the ferry or boat to the Island of Ugljan

Zadar is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia. From the traces of human life from the late Stone Age, neolithic and later the Ilyrian tribe Liburnians (around 4th century BCE there was Ilyrian king Teuta whos pyrates were sailing along the Adriatic sea and robbing boats) when Zadar was known as Iader.

In 1 BCE  the city became a Roman colonia. It was during the Roman rule that Zadar acquired the characteristics of a traditional Ancient Roman city with a regular road network, a public square (forum), and an elevated capitolium with a temple. The main street is still called Kalelarga (lat. Cale larga – long street) and the other streets are seated at a 90 degree angle.

Roman Forum
Kalelarga (main street) and the entrance to the city (defence system)

The city is surrounded by the city walls as the city was mostly under numerous attacks of Mlets (nowadays Venice) and the main entrance is built in the form of a triumphal arch, to give an impressive look.

Landward Gate: main entrance to Iadera (lat. Zadar)

There were the times when Mlets succeeded in their hikes, hence the Lion of Venice  and St Mark (patron of Venice) at the main portal, holding the Bible. Republic of Venice, burned the city which was helped by the Crusaders to spread the christianity.

I can not say enough about the collection of Roman artifacts  and later ages of croatian kingdoms (romanesque).

Museum of Archeology, Zadar
Relief depicting the mighty dancers – menadas, worshipers and dionysos (Bakha)

The first Croatian rulers gained control over the city in 10th century. In order to be recognized as the Kingdom, it was important to get official by the Papal state. The Croatian rulers decided to spread the nre religion – christianity. This is why croatian cost is full of small early mediaval (romanesque) primitive churches. One of the most beautiful examples is Church of St. Donat – a symbol of the city of Zadar and the most famous monumental building in Croatia from the early Middle Ages. It derives from 9th century and actually belongs to preromanesque era.

Church of St Donat – 9th century

Behind the church there is a  Cathedral of St. Anastasia (croatian: Katedrala sv. Stošije), 12th century and its tower bell (croatian Zvonik). This  Roman Catholic cathedral is the largest church in all of Dalmatia (the coastal region of Croatia).

Saint Stošija Tower Bell

But the main patron of the city is Saint Chrysogonus (Sv Krševan, cro.)  with his own church built in Romanesque style and consecrated in 1175.

Interior of St Chryogonus  church, 12 century

Zadar is a very vibrant city. I remember as I child, we would arrive early in the moring and every time we would go on a local market and have a coffee as well, before we would take the ferry to go to the island.

Market of Zadar

You can also buy many great souvenirs there.

Souvenirs of Zadar

Recently, it is also inevitable the exhibition Pozdrav Suncu or Monument to the Sun. It is the  22-meter diameter circle, with the solar modules underneath. During the night, the solar layers make amazing lightening.

This is only one of the reasons why people say Zadar has the most beautiful sunsets. In May 1964, Alfred Hitchcock checked into hotel in Zadar. The hotel’s location was one of the best in town and it was from there that the famed director opined that “The sunset of Zadar is the world’s most beautiful and incomparably better than in Key West, Florida.” This is a fact that Zadar residents have long known, but which the celebrity mention made world famous.

Solar Monument to the Sun during the day
…and night

Monument symbolizes communication with nature, with the aim to communicate with light, while the nearby Sea organ represent aim to communicate with sound. Which menas, if you sit down near by, you could literally hear how the sea is playing is own rhapsody.

Sea organs

Time to go on a ferry…

Ferry and the Zadar
Ferry with the Zadar and Velebit mounntain in the background

Once I reach the island of Ugljan and the city of Preko, I know I am at my second home, after my hometown Krapina.

Its old centre consists of typical Dalmatian architecture and numerous patrician family summer houses.


A beautiful church with old cemetary is placed in the center, as well. It’s name is St Stošija.

The church is placed a bit higher, above the center of Preko, typically to make every christian prayer humble.

Even though it is in the center of happening, its peace and tranquility is showing the high respect from the locals towards the faith they have.

But the best way to feel the Mediterranean atmosphere is by walking along the quay or sipping a favourite drink or reading a favourite book on one of the terraces with a view of the Zadar Channel.


Above the coastline of the island spreads the highway – one of the best views and moments you could have in your life, while driving it. The view is amazing on the blue sea and local islands, green pines, Zadar cannal, big boats and yachts. The smell of pines, the sound of crickets…

Capture sgr
View from the highway to the Preko, islet of Galovac (Školjić) and Zadar channel

Getting higher above than the highway, in the mountains above Preko, is the castle of St Michael, which was built by Eastern Roman empire (Byzantine Empire) in the 6th century. In the 13th century the castle was rebuilt by the Republic of Venice. Its main purpose was control above channel of Zadar and group of islands behind the island Ugljan. The castle was sacked by English crusaders on their way to the Holy Land, and by the Nazis in World war II.

sv Mihovil
view Sv Mihovil

The St. Michael’s fortress is 265 m above the sea level). The view from the fortress spreads over more than 200 islands of the archipelago of Zadar and Kornati National Park.

The high position of the castle made it the perfect lookout and listening station for the occupying Germans. Today, the castle is home to a telecommunications station.

The place is quite difficult to access whether by car, bike or on foot, but it will give you memories for a lifetime. As I said: beautiful view of Preko, Zadar, and dozens of other islands!

In the hills of the island you can also find cute benedictinian monastery St Kuzma and Damjan or as the local people call it Ćokovac.

Benedictines built a 13th century Romanesque church with a monastery bell tower and typical fragments of folk decoration from the time of the Croatian dynasty Trpimirović.

The monastery was attacked couple of times by the Mlets, the then Republic of Veneto, nowadays Venice but the monks managed to safe some of the most precious relics as well as the old books written by hands, inkunabule before the time of the press machine invention.

The monks are nowadays growing lavender and honey and gardening.

Monastery Ćokovac

If you want to go completely on the other side of the island, where is no civilisation, no electricity, no internet signal then I recommend you The bay of Svitlo (cro. the light). It is kinda Robinson Crusoe tourism, but is nice. There are high cliffs from wich you can jump and later watch the sunset. I went there once with friends and got suburned, however it was precious.

uvala Svitlo
Bay Svitlo

But places are always hiding some sad memories, isn’t it? The story about Priješke lavandijere (the washerwomen from Preko) started in 1891.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, many of the female citizens of Preko were earning for their families by washing the clothes of the gents in Zadar. But the tragic death happened of on November 2, 1891, when 16 women died in overturning of a ship carrying clean linen ready for delivery to their owners.

The story is witness to the tough life of the washerwomen.

The washerwomen used to go for the laundry to Zadar on Monday and then washed goods return to their owners on Saturday sailing or paddle boats. The laundry was washed in pots using ashes and soap from home labor. After washing the laundry, they wore it to the sea shore for the rinse.

On the mentioned date, at 7 o’clock, the boat sank, carrying washerwomen to Zadar and killing 16 of them. Not far from the islet of Galevac (Školjić), the boat, under the storm bend over, overturned and sank to a depth of three meters. Of the 31 passengers, seven men and 24 women died. All these that were stuck inside of the ship, locked in their deck lids, which protected them and their garments from stormy weather. The oldest washer was 75 years old, and the youngest was 14, and two pregnant women were among the washers too.


Moving back to the happy and present themes!

The island of Ugljan is known as the island of olives. Have a look!

The island has more than 1,000 pieces of the olive trees.


Next to Preko, is my second best place at Ugljan, It is called Kali, and known as the fishing place since the old times. First times mentioned in 1325, but dating from the times of neolithic. The present settlements date back to the Middle Ages. It is also home to Califfi Castle and many old historic mediterranian houses of wealthier society.

Castle Califfi, Kali on the island of Ugljan

The place is famous by their local fešta (cro party, from ita fiesta) about the fishing life and food. That day, all the fishing boats, cro kočarice are sailing around the port, hunking and notifying the local people (and tourists) that the fešta is about to begin.

The local food is guaranteed in mass.

kali lovrinja 01
Fishermen ❤ and fishing boats behind
Oyster stew

If you got hungry in the mentime, except the local food from the fešta, I can recommend you the Konoba Dido Šime and Restaurant Muline at Muline.

Restaurant Muline

Only about 80 m from Preko lies the idyllic islet of Galevac (Školjić), covered with dense Mediterranean vegetation that shelters the 15th century valuable monastery of Franciscan friars of the third order.

Islet of Galevac (Školjić) and monastery
Small display of the church

The entire islet is walkable in 15 min. Its rocky beaches make it as a popular but quite swimming place, due to the local monks and the fact it  carries the Blue Flag – a symbol of clear sea.

Walking around the islet of Galovac (Školjić)

In case you are enough of Ugljan, there is always a possibility to drop to the nearby island of Pašman. The two islands are connected with the gorgeous bridge Ždrelac. Feel free to stop at the bridge and have a breathtaking view.

Bridge Ždrelac that connects the two islands Ugljan and Pašman

From the island of Pašman and the city of Tkon, I usually take a ferry to the coastal city Biograd na moru to attend the local fešta called Bila noć (cro dialect White Night).

The local food and music is guaranteed!

Biogran na moru fešta
Biograd na moru, fešta!


  1. An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment.

    There’s no doubt that that you need to publish more about this
    subject, it may not be a taboo matter but generally people
    don’t talk about such subjects. To the next!
    Many thanks!!


  2. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well
    written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of
    your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.


  3. Hello there I am so happy I found your webpage, I really found you by error, while
    I was looking on Google for something else, Regardless I am here
    now and would just like to say kudos for a marvelous post and
    a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all at the minute but I have
    bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have
    time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do
    keep up the awesome work.


  4. Greetings from California! I’m bored to death at work
    so I decided to browse your site on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the information you present here and can’t
    wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my phone
    .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, fantastic blog!


  5. naturally like your web-site however you need to take a look at
    the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with
    spelling issues and I to find it very troublesome to tell the truth however I will definitely come back again.


  6. I must thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website.
    I’m hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well.

    In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very
    own blog now 😉


  7. I’m not sure why but this weblog is loading extremely slow
    for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?
    I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.


  8. Hi there, I discovered your site by the use of Google whilst searching for a comparable topic, your web site
    came up, it appears to be like good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google
    Hello there, just became alert to your weblog via Google, and found that it’s really informative.
    I’m going to be careful for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you happen to proceed this in future.

    Numerous folks will likely be benefited out of your writing.


  9. I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing,
    it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one today.


  10. I’m now not positive the place you are getting your information, however great
    topic. I needs to spend some time finding out more or working out more.
    Thanks for magnificent info I used to be in search of this info for my mission.


  11. hello there and thank you for your info ? I have certainly picked up
    something new from right here. I did however expertise several technical points using this web site, as I experienced to reload the web site many times previous to I
    could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK?
    Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and
    can damage your quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords.
    Anyway I?m adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look
    out for a lot more of your respective exciting content.
    Ensure that you update this again very soon..


  12. I wanted to visit and let you know how much I liked discovering your blog today.
    I would consider it a good honor to operate at my office and be able to utilize tips contributed on your website and also take
    part in visitors’ reviews like this. Should a position connected
    with guest publisher become available at your end, make sure you let me know.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.