Travel Guide to Ugljan Island, Croatia

If Norther Dalmatia is you next destination, than Ugljan Island is going to be your perfect place for summer holidays. There are some facts that are in favor of this closest island of the Zadar archipelago, opposite the town of Zadar.

  • The first is its perfect position from Zadar town. It’s only a 25 minutes short sail away from Zadar. You can reach it by either car ferry or only passenger ship . Here you can find more info about Zadar islands connections!
  • This island gives a visitor a possibility to hop to few outstanding sights as Kornati islands or Telascica park of nature.
  • It’s one of the islands with more sandy beaches than any other island along the Adriatic coast.
  • If you are a naturist, here you’ll find the best secluded nudist beaches.
  • Island offers very convenient and lower prices in private accommodation than on any other Croatia’s island.
  • There is a bridge between this island and island of Pasman, allowing easy hopping visiting both islands. Island Pasman is connected with car ferry from Biograd to Tkon (Pasman island).

How To Get To The island?

Being only 3,5 NM (nautical miles) from the mainland, in fact from Zadar town, the best and the cheapest way is to take a ferry or ship from Zadar, Gazenica port to Preko village on Ugljan island.

The ferry runs every hour from the port of Zadar and the trip takes about 25 minutes. The price per person is 15 Kuna (about 2 Euro) one-way, while the price of a car is 86 Kuna one.way (about 12 Euro).

If you are heading to the island by car, than you should take a car ferry line N° 431 from Zadar (Gazenica port) to Preko village. In case you are traveling as a foot passenger, you can take from the same place, the ship line N° 431A .

There is also another way to reach island of Ugljan, from nearby Pasman island. Both islands are connected by bridge. In this case you have to take a ferry from Biograd to Tkon (Pasman island) with ferry line N° 432. It’s only 19 Km from Tkon to Kukljica village on island of Ugljan.

All about Ugljan island

This island usually called the green island is covered with typical Mediterranean vegetation, pine trees, olive trees , fig groves and vineyards. It has a surface of 51,85 km2, while the coastal line is 74 km long.

It has been inhabited since the Roman times and some remains of old Roman summer residences, are still visible. Noble families from Zadar used to built their residences on the island, most famous of which is the Califfi castle from the 17th century. Nowadays it is completely restored and has a name of world famous basketball player Kresimir Cosic.

The name of this island (Ugljen) derives from the word ULJE (olive oil) but I couldn’t find explanation why the letter (g) was added. There are some other versions but this one makes sense as olive trees are everywhere!

The island has seven villages. Below are some most important:

  • Ugljan is a place and small harbor on the northeastern part of the island of the same name that is connected to the mainland by daily ferry lines Zadar – Preko. The island’s most beautiful sandy beach is located 2 km away in the bay of Muline. I recommend Ugljan primarily for a quiet family holiday.
  • Kukljica is located on the far east end of Ugljan island, in Zadar’s archipelago just in front of Kornati National Park and Tealscica Nature Park. Situated on a narrow area of land, Kukljica has an exclusive exit onto both shores, north and south, known as popular point for yachts owners.
  • Kali is the biggest place on the island.This village is known as the most important fisherman’s center. After a day spent on the beautiful beaches of Kali, try excellent fish and shells in some of local restaurants.
  • Preko (it means – over) is a ferry port which connects the island with the town of Zadar. It located in the middle of the island. It was inhabited even in Roman times, where some remains can be found there.

Ugljan Island Beaches

It’s true that Croatia’s Adriatic coast and islands do not have many sandy beaches. But in case of this island there are several sandy beaches. All sandy beaches on the island are shaded by centuries old pine woods. All beaches can be found on both sides of the island.

  • Big Sabusa beach is situated on the west coast of the island, which looks on Dugi otok (Long island), about 15 minutes of walk from Kukljica. The sea bottom of the beach is sandy with shallow water, suitable for small children and various water games.
  • 10 minutes walking to the north of Sabusa, there is a Small Sabusa beach. It is a secluded sandy beach perfect for those who want a quiet place for swimming and sunbathing (clothing is optional).
  • Kostanj beach is situated north from Kukljica, about 15 minutes of walking from Kukljica. This is a sandy beach surrounded by pine trees. Sea depth is suitable for small children. Nearby you can visit a noteworthy historical monument, the renewed old church of St. Jerome from the 13th century.
  • South of Sabusa beach there is Jelenica naturist / nudist beach with sandy bottom and surrounded by olive trees and Mediterranean maquis . Further to the south, there is a small nudist islet of Karantunic, which is also a favorite scuba diving spot.

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