Photo by Stipe Surać

No Noise, No Roads, No Cars – Just You, the Sea and the Stars

Their beauty leaves you breathless, but in order to reach them you must leave your automobile miles away – on the mainland. These are islands where cars have always been ‘persona non grata’.

SILBA

This island of seafarers and sailors defended itself from automobiles by means of a decree issued by all of its inhabitants. Although a ferry sails to the island every day, even if a truck unloads from it, it cannot leave the ferry port premises. Residents of Silba went so far as to even reduce bicycle traffic.
Definitely the most popular attraction on the island is the Toreta – a tower with an external spiral staircase. According to legend, Captain Petar Marinić erected it in the 19th century in memory of his dearly missed love.

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UNIJE, VELE AND MALE SRAKANE

This little paradise is set in the shadow of the five times larger island of Lošinj. There are no cars on Unije, so the main mode of transportation on the island are wheelbarrows 😉 The northern side of the island is of special ecological importance because it lies on the path of migratory birds. The western and southwestern parts of the island also hold their speciality, and those are olive groves. Although small, Unije takes pride in as much as four native varieties of olives.
Unije’s “next-door neighbours” are the islands of Vele and Male Srakane, where there is no traffic, but that is why there are many healthy bees that attract biologists from around the world.

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KORNATI NATIONAL PARK AND THE ISLAND OF ŽUT

The only thing that “rules” on the Kornati Islands and their mysterious labyrinth of islands, islets, reefs, and passages between them, are boats and yachts of all purpose and size. Since ancient times, their owners would get to them by means of their small versatile fishing boats.
The Kornati golden rule is that every bay that has a house has a restaurant too, therefore Kornati are a paradise for gastro hedonists.

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OLIB

If you do not have a safe shelter in Zadar or Lošinj for your four-wheeled friend, you can bring it with you to Olib, but here your motorised adventure comes to an end and a new one begins. The island’s main mode of transportation are golf carts imported by American returnees.
On the island’s eastern side lies the Slatinica Bay, a favourite port for many sailors and much-loved beach of the islanders and their guests. The crystal clear sea that even after several hundred metres is still up to your ankles, and the sandy bottom, is the perfect combination for all-day enjoyment.

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ZLARIN

Zlarin is widely known for its corals, which comes as no surprise because the business of harvesting and processing coral has been present on the island as far back as the 15th century.
Despite the fact that there are about ten kilometres of road and landscaped routes on the island, cars are forbidden, and permission for noise is only given to tractors transporting goods brought over by boat. If you want to visit the local museum to see the coral exhibition, you will have to walk or hitch a ride with someone in an electric golf cart. Be sure to take a look at Leroj – the public clock tower located in the town.

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PRVIĆ

This island is the first towards Šibenik and the coast, hence the name Prvić (First). It is also called Faust Island named after Faust Vrančić, a renowned scientist and inventor from the XVII century who spent his childhood in Luka, and is also buried there.
There are two settlements on Prvić – Luka (or Prvić Luka) and Šepurine. These two lovely villages are located a kilometre apart from each other, which is a short enough distance that none of the inhabitants ever imagine going by car.

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SUSAK

Susak is specific in many ways, but it is most definitely known as an island abounding in shallow sandy inlets. A slightly less well-known feature is its national costume. This island and its mere 100 inhabitants has the shortest national costume in Europe, and the only one that does not cover the knees.
During the day, small tractors with trailers “operate” on the island, whose noise can only be heard when boats unload their cargo.

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Croatia has 1244 islands in its portfolio. You can get to some of them by land and to others by boat, but each and every one of them abounds in riches worth discovering.