by Roberta Rianna, Editor in Chief, L’Agenza di Viaggi, Travel Trade Newspaper
“Hi Pavarotti, singing in the shower? Do not do it, wash quickly, here water is precious”. Maks and Dana welcome us in their Stone House Buljanovic, a stylish b&b in Dugi Otok, the land tongue of the Zadar archipelago, in Croatia. A welcome that is the first and fundamental lesson of life on the Long Island: respect the resources of the earth, food, even money, because there are only a couple of ATMs here and the connection is interrupted at the first drop of rain. It is likely, if not certain, to run out of cash and find yourself asking to borrow Kune to the inhabitants. Inhabitants soon turned into friends.
Never heard of Dugi Otok before coming across a documentary: filmed by drones of cobalt blue bays, 44 kilometres of steep curves on the Adriatic, barely a thousand dwellers. And then the final invitation: “Come, people, here you will find the Maldives of Croatia”.
We arrive at the port of Sali, sleepy mooring of yachts and sailboats. Our house is on the harbour, from the window you can see the sea: crystalline as in the documentary. But the coast is mostly rocky. Nothing to do with the Maldives, except for the white sandy beach of Sakarun, the only overcrowded destination of Dugi Otok.
We decide to rent a scooter and ride it across this Long Island, and yet small. From the park of Telaš ica, green and wild with its magical salt lake, to the extreme north where the lighthouse of Veli Rat reigns. On the right, the sea with the Kornati on the horizon; on the left bushes and shrubs. The whistle of the wind and the buzzing of the bees as the only soundtrack of an island where Mother Nature still commands.
Photo: Roberta Rianna Editor in Chief, L’Agenzia di Viaggi at Dugi Otok