“Come, little one, drink some more milk!” Kea Pika comes running around and even finds time for a sip of the drink, then she’s off again. As if the last sunny day of October (and the very last day of the month too) fuels her to the brim, she can barely stop. Singing, dancing, playing with Punky, pestering the parents… “Will you give a big hug to tata, sweetie?”
I walked slowly over the seaweeds the last storm left on the beach. It is always good to wake up and look at the waves splashing the coastal rocks in the light of the morning. The waves must have been quite high few days ago because heaps rotting algae could be found pretty far from the normal waterline, washed ashore in the last storm. I am trying to relax. I can sit down and drink my coffee. I don’t have to eat my breakfast while standing or chasing the kid around. I can have some time to myself, to observe the beautiful nature, to enjoy the company of my family, to take some photos and to relax. So let’s go to island Vir, it is nearby, not too much driving, there are practically no tourists around and we can enjoy the peace and the sun.
For quite some time I wanted to visit little Croatian island named Vir. Shadowed by its neighbouring islands, most notably Pag, this little rock, surrounded by sea (still 32 km ob the coastline, and the 20th largest island in Croatia) can offer one very distinctive quality – peace away from the crowds. But only off-season and sadly not during the summer, because the island has one advantage that brings its downfall at the same time – a lovely bridge connects it to the mainland. The island is populated by only 1.600 inhabitants, has basically no hotels but offers only rooms and appartments, and nevertheless tourists still make more than a million overnight stays per year.
Luckily, only the eastern part of the island is inhabited. The northwestern part is nothing but the bush and the coast. You can roam there freely, enjoying the views from the Adriatic to the Velebit, collect juniper berries and fill your lungs with fresh sea air. And when the day ends, I wish you a beautiful sunset.
The great places for a bivouac can be found near N44° 19.686′ E15° 001.788′, and 4WD is not mandatory. For other limitations to wild camping in Croatia, you’re on your own risk.
Not used only as navigation aid, a lighthouse built in 1881 is a very picturesque location at N44° 18.188′ E15° 001.575′. It is called Villa Lanterna and if you have quite some money, you can spend your holiday there.
Best viewpoint (“vidikovac” in Croatian) is at the hill of Sv. Juraj (Bandira 112 m ASL – N44° 18.104′ E15° 003.136′). Do experience the gravel road beneath it (can be driven with normal cars too) that traverses the island on its long axis and offers great views. The ruins of old fort “Kaštelina” are picturesque too (N44° 17.469′ E15° 004.619′).
Best activities on the island besides beaches and swimming? Trekking, walking, cycling, diving. For those who tend to miss the throb of the city, the historically and culturally rich cities of Nin and Zadar are just a few kilometres away. Local cuisine, especially seafood from shrimps on (škampi na buzaro) is supposed to be excellent too. We couldn’t verify that because all the restaurants we passed were closed. Off season, remember.
Some sweet moments can be seen in the video too