The heat wave that struck Zadar and the rest of Croatia at the end of June forced us to seek refreshment on one of the nearby islands. Ugljan, known as "Green Island" or "Adventure Island", proved to be an excellent destination.
We used to visit the Ugljan island with our small sailing boat, when we went swimming in coves and beaches like Sabuša and Kostanj and visited places like Kuklijca, but this time we decided to experience the island in a different way and explore parts with our scooter that we were not able to reach by boat. The advantages of the island are its proximity to the city, and good development and connectivity, very frequent ferry lines, almost every hour.
Our trip started in the Gaženica port, where we boarded a ferry to the Ugljan island. The boat tour lasted about half an hour, the price for one person was 18kn, and the scooter was 36kn in one direction. The ferry left us in Preko from where we went to the northern part of the island and the place Ugljan. Preko is the most developed place on the island and has everything you need, gas station, ATM, supermarket, restaurants, tourist info etc.
On the way we passed the other smaller towns along the coast Lukoran, Poljana and Sutomiščica which are considerably quieter. Driving through the central part of the island we realized why it has a nickname "green island", there is almost no part that is not covered with a tree or plumage :) The roads on the island are asphalted and in good condition, without too much corners and ups & downs.
When we arrived in Ugljan we decided to find a place to drink coffee and accidentally run into the most famous bar on the island! "Ritam Bar" is really a fine place for relaxation, but even better place for the evening entertainment, where various bands and DJs are playing during the weekend. In front of the bar there is a beautiful pebble beach where you can look for refreshment. During coffee break we have been studying the map of the island we took in Preko in tourist info and trying to find some more hidden places.
Južna Luka Beach
Our first task was to find a sandy beach called "Južna luka", located near Muline. There is a white road to the beach, but there is not much parking on the beach, so we recommend that you walk around this part. The beach immediately seems to leave the impression that it is different from the other classic sandy beaches, which is because of stones that rise from the sea in some parts. There were not too many people on the beach, and around the beach is a pine forest which was perfect for putting our hammock in the shade :)
Suha Punta Beach
The next beach we visited was Suha Punta, which is also a sandy beach but the entrance to the sea is pebbled. On one side of the cove there are flat stone plates that look like they've been cranked by the heat from the sun. On the beach there is no shade except two pine trees, everything else is bushes, so take a parasol or an open-air tent if you plan to spend the afternoon there.
There is nothing to buy on the beaches, neither food nor drink, so don't forget to take some with you.
After all day spent on the sun and the sea, it was time for dinner. We found a fine bistro Isola right at the begining of Ugljan where we had the chance to try pizza prepared in the domestic way insted of delivery pizza and pizza cut that we always eat :)
While we were having dinner a group of people wearing traditional clothes passed by the restaurant. It turned out that a cultural gathering was held in the center, where folklore societies from all of the island were singing and dancing.
The next morning our island adventure continued at the now well-known place, Ritam Bar.. Of course we came back for another good coffee that we need in the morning to make our brains run :) Ah Dalmatians and coffee, that's a story we will write a special article about. Now, let's get back to Ugljan.
The local beach Mostir in Ugljan, is a sandy beach where you can spend almost the whole day, there is not too much shade but there are restaurants and bars where you can always look for refreshments.
After the first day we can say that the northern part of the island and its beaches were explored, so we decided to move on the south side of the Ugljan island the second day.
On the way to Kukljica, we stopped by the beach Ćinta near Ugljan, which is a rocky beach. The edge of the beach is paved and covered with pine woods that create dense shade. Ideal place to relax in peace :) The easiest way to find the beach is to follow the road which leads to the camp nearby.
The next destination was the sandy beach of Mala Sabuša near Kukljica. There is a white road leading to the beach, but you need to stop before the end of the road and walk the last 100m through the woods. You will see a small private parking and a trail right next to it.
Don't make a mistake like us and go all the way down and then hardly find the way to the sea through the forest and then realize that you have crashed on a nudist beach. From there we had to walk to the beach by the coast over sharp rocks in flip flops and with a bunch of stuff.
But it does not matter, as soon as you get there you see it paid off. On the beach there was no one besides us and a dinghy anchored in the bay. The sea was not warm, it was hot so we decided to spend a whole afternoon there.
Since neither Sabuša beach didn' have any catering facilities on the beach, we went back to Kukljica to drink coffee at the Zelena punta.
Towards the end of our trip on the Ugljan island, we wanted to experience something else but just the beach so we went to the fortress of Sv. Mihovil on top of the hill above the place Preko. The road that leads to the fortress is winding asphalt road with a great scenes as you drive up to the hill.
You will walk past the olive groves that are practically growing from the stone. From the fortress view is simply perfect! You can see almost the entire archipelago of Zadar, Kornati, Dugi otok, Iž but also the city of Zadar and the Velebit behind it.
Our island adventure ended at Preko with a delicious dinner and beautifull sunset.