Are you looking for a quiet, picturesque spot along the Adriatic Sea to escape to? Iž is part of the Zadar Archipelago, nestled between the island of Ugljan, Dugi Otok and Rava. The Croatian island of Iž (pronounced Idg) might be just the destination you are looking for! Only a two-hour ferry ride away from Zadar, makes it a perfect option for a day trip. For those of you who are planning a longer trip to Croatia, the crystal-clear waters and numerous hiking trails in the area make the Island of Iž a great choice for an extended weekend with an overnight stay.
Despite being relatively small with a total population of only 500 locals, the island of Iž has a rich and intriguing history. With some Roman traces found in the area, it is believed that the village was first inhabited during the prehistoric times. Later on, during the Middle Ages the island belonged to the nobles of Zadar, who built two castles across the island – Canagietti and Fanfogna. You need just a few hours of exploring the small island to see why it was popular with the aristocracy. Not only are the views truly spectacular but it is also the perfect place for swimming.
Getting to the Island of Iž:
While it might be located in the heart of the Adriatic Sea, the Island of Iž is very easily reachable via ferry. Visitors can take the journey from Zadar to Iž and spend the journey admiring the peaceful crystal-clear waters of the sea and the hills of neighboring islands peaking in the distance. It is best to book your tickets beforehand for the Jadrolinija line. Make sure to always pay attention to the port where the ferry is leaving from, as there are two in Zadar – one in the center, while the other one is a short bus ride away. You can read more about my Zadar stay on the 7 Weeks in Zadar post.
Things to Do:
Home to charming little churches and surrounded by lush greenery and turquoise blue waters, the Island of Iž has a lot more to offer than you would expect! There are two main villages on the island – Mali Iž, meaning small and Veli Iž, meaning big, both are worth visiting: Veli Iž might be slightly more off-the-beaten-path with secluded, hidden gems. Mali has a nice little village and restaurants.
The Saint Mary Church in Mali Iž, for example, has a spectacular rotunda dating all the way back to the 11th century and is an excellent example of a Croatian catholic church.
Situated on the South-eastern side of the island, the Komoseva lighthouse is another truly charming spot, which will treat you to spectacular views of the Adriatic Sea.
One of the most fascinating and interesting facts about the Island of Iž is that it’s the only pottery producing islandin Croatia. As you stroll down the streets, you would definitely be tempted to purchase some authentic traditional pottery pieces.
One of the best times to visit the Island of Iž is the end of July, when a traditional ancient festival is taking place in Veli Iž. Locals dress in traditional costumes and perform old songs and dances. There is also plenty of delicious traditional food. The highlight of the festival, though, is the election of the king, who gets to be crowned for a year. The festival is long, the colors are vibrant and the atmosphere is exciting.
Last but definitely not least, the Kornati national park is another reason why taking the trip to the Island of Iž is so worth it! It is not only the ideal sport for a quiet retreat and recreation, but it also offers a wide selection of fantastic activities, such as swimming, diving, water skiing and sailing. The best way to experience the tiny unspoiled island part of the protected area, is by taking a day trip by boat inside the reefs and cliffs of the national park.
If you have decided to fully take in the tranquility of the island, you might want to stay overnight as well. Located on top of a hill, the Korinjak Hotel is the highest point on the island and an excellent accommodation choice. Surrounded by a peaceful green oasis, this vegan-friendly hotel is the place to reconnect with nature and recharge your batteries. Even if you are not going to book an overnight stay, you can walk along a path with breathtaking views of the bay.
Most of the time on the Island you will spend on foot, that is the reason why good and comfortable walking shoes are advisable.
In Croatia the women carry an extra bathing suit. It’s impossible to visit the stunning Dalmatia region without taking a dip into the clear refreshing waters. After spending some time swimming, Croatian women will change into their dry swimwear to walk around and explore the area. During your exploration, you most probably will stumble upon another swim-worthy spot and you will not miss the fun because you have another bathing suit.
There are just a handful of restaurants, it’s advisable to make a reservation, as they tend to only prepare enough food for the people who have booked beforehand.
Make sure to book a day trip to the Island of Iž, if you are looking for the ultimate hidden gem offering unspoiled nature, crystal clear waters and quaint fishing villages.
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