[ IMAGE: Motif from Trogir ] Island temperas (...continued)

The tourist resort of Kukljica has beautiful beaches on both sides of the island. Every August there is the famous feast of Our Lady of the Snows, with a pageant and fishing boats' convoy from the village to the church in the Zdrilac strait, where, says the legend, it snowed in early August some four hundred years ago. The ancient fishing village of Kali, whose patron saint is St. Lawrence, boasts the best fishermen and sailors in the whole of the Mediterranean.

The neighbouring Island of Pasman is in fact fused with the Island of Ugljan. The narrow sea channel of Zdrilac could be forded in earlier times. In 1883 it was dug up and made navigable for small ships, and a bridge was added in 1973. Pasman is quieter than Ugljan, but as both are covered with silver- green olive trees, they are almost identical. Real twins. The old fishing village of Tkon is on Pasman, with a naturist camp site. There are many nice small beaches on the sandy coastal strip known as Sovinja. The picturesque church of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows stands on the hill above Tkon. Between Pasman and Dugi Otok, lies the Island of Iz, famous equally for what it has and what it doesn't. It has rich Mediterranean vegetation and no cars. It also hosts the well known Iz Festival where famous dances seem to appeal to both young and old. The Island of Rava is a favourite destination for yachtsmen, due to its mild climate and indented coast.

[ IMAGE description below ]

The fortress of St Nicola (16th century) at the mouth of the Sibenik Channel.

For those who want to spend their holidays in a unpolluted environment, Dugi Otok (Long Island), with an area of 114 sq. km, should prove a happy selection. There are fishermen and farmers, beautiful solitary beaches and tourist facilities for local and overseas visitors. There is also Telascica, the largest natural harbour on the Adriatic islands, a nature park and the habitat of the mouflon. The pine covered coast of Bozava is already well known to nature buffs. The wooded north-western coast of Dugi Otok is ringed with sandy coves. There is also the magnificent beach of Saharun, with its 41-metre-tall lighthouse at Veli Rat. When it was built in 1949, some 100,000 egg-yolks were mixed into the mortar, together with pebbles from the nearby beach. Neither sea nor the sun will mar its beauty.

Sali, the largest village on the island, has always lived of fishing. Life assumes the natural rhythm of the trawl, the cast and the haul. Your host, the sea wolf, will tell you his story and share his philosophy, told during an island night when only crickets and waves can be heard.

According to legend, the Kornati, the labyrinth of straits and islands, was created from the fistful of rocks that were left over when God was creating the world. He threw them into the sea, looked down and decided that they were perfect as they were. "The gods wanted to crown their work and on the last day they created the Kornati Islands out of tears, stars and breath", wrote George Bernard Shaw about the most indented island group in the whole of the Mediterranean.

[ IMAGE description below ]

The Krka, the most dramatic of river of the Croatian Karsts

The Kornati consist of 140 islands and reefs and are attractive largely because of the vertically cut coastlines. Inlets of some islands descend steeply into the sea, a hundred metres deep in places, and dramatically razor sharp. These islands are unique for the variety of their coastline and beauty.

People lived on them once and built thousands of kilometres of dry-stone walls. There are several small fishing villages and tempozry habitations on the islands. Vela Flora, on the northern face of the Island of Kornat, is quite special: a smooth limestone plateau, with a 30 to 40 degree slope, about one hectare in area. The larger islands include Kornat, Zut, Piskera, Kurba Vela and others.

[ Croatia - the country of a thousand islands ]