Most villages have their own cemetery and to my surprise many of graves had beed decorated with colorful plastic flowers arranged neatly upon the stone. The picture was taken at a village of Dragove which we visited on a lone warm day. If other settlements had at least minimal activity, then this one felt abandoned with a few voices heard within walls.... given its location high above the sea with no services, that appeared normal. At its highest level, the church dominated the hill and graveyard was next to it. Below, a row of traditional houses were laid among narrow paths and intersections, sedately embraced with few trees, figes and a vine. The abandoned ones fell vicitim of time and grasses were taking over the roofs and walls that were already falling apart.
While we were doing some research before we came to Dugi otok, we read about a camp in Luka from internet. For our surprise when asking locals, there were no camp here at all, and hearing that question, they seemed to be surprised as well.
Nevertheless, we managed to return to Luka. We had a lunch at the terrace of its Socialist era hotel where we were only people sitting. Looked inside the inner part, the kitchen looked devastated and so it was the dining part where there were no tables, just one porch for the staff whom seemed to have lunch break the moment we ordered our menu. High celiling, pastel painted walls inside, the articulation of the window and door - a museum like feeling, which isn't bad in those fast-come-and-go days. Waitress was young, but when she put on that white uniform she appeared more stern and for 10 years older.
Village is all quiet with little traffic and few of remaining locals seemed to be closely connected, sitting on a main open terrace in town next to once prominent building now falling appart in centre of Luka, by small gulf where few boats were tight. A group of Czech retired tourists were promenading along the coast and they seemed to be staying in that hotel.
A few restaruants there were in Luka, and beaches were not that splendind and wild, but the water looked clean. Next to main terrace, there's a mini shop and a little further, a small church similar ot other ones on the island. This is really quiet place to be and with its social properties quite an interesting one.
Once there was an islet, now there's connection between it and the land, guarded by one of the oldest churches on Dugi otok, St. Pelegrin, whose first sections (presbitery) were built already sometime at 7th or 9th century. Behind it, on a former island, there's cemetery and a quiet forest with pines, which altogether contribute to misteriousness of a place, within sublime atmosphere: one can evoke the times of ancient days when wild spirits of the sea and wind were roaming freely and then apparently shrines were built for man who seeked protection from the above. There was once also a modest monastery in Savar whom was dedicated to St. Anthony, nowsadays no longer standing.
Today, Savar people live of tourism and fishing, and there are few appartments to rent here. It's all very quiet with steep rocky shore and little traffic and the largest part of village stretches on higher elevation above the sea. I don't remember seeing any restaurant nor small shop, and it felt deserted when we visited in September. While there's stunning scenery around the shore, here is the place for quiet contemplation with nature.
Strasna pec is only one of the few caves on island, but the most frequented and explained, though it's never really crowded there I suppose - because you need to walk one hour to get there, and then another hour to get back from parking place along main road. Under strong summer sun, that can be exhausting, yes, and there is no civilisation anywhere along the unpaved access, just wilderness of the mountain above and the open sea below.
During our visit in September, the cave was 'closed'. We walked there anyways, just to confirm that unless you've got specific equipment you won't try to get in yourself. I don't know how is there during summer season, usually in that case there will be somebody anyways. Nontheless, the cave is open for tourism since recently, and she prides herself of visit by Austro Hungrian emperor Franz Josef and other significant figures.
Nearest settlement to the cave is Savar.
Some information on the site can be found on below site.
This is one more beach on Dugi otok with wonderful layer of small pebbles, white and rounded. There is some nice sound as you walk on it, like piceces of glass swinging in a wind and apporach to it is scenic over the hill range. It views open seas, so it's best to be visited on a calm day or you'll be facing large waves. The passage between land and sea is at some points pierced with sharp rocks - yet another reason to avoid it on windy days.
The shade is little, people built provisoric shelters. There was a bar in movable trailer, and there's small forest only around it. Getting popular but not very crowded that beach is still - in September when we visited there were just few people along this kilometer or so long stripe of stone.
The vegetation on the hill slope is low, typical Mediterranean bushes with a lot of Rosemary.
If you're on foot, exit the bus at the sign for Veli Zal and walk the narrow, winding road for about 2 kilometers or so before you'll reach the sea. If you have car, this is piece of cake, but there will be some maneuvering skills needed if two cars from opposite directions meet.
Nevertheless, it's worth to check out that place!
This little cove is facing open seas but the waters here are pleasantly calm; a small fishing hut is the only building here and there are a few boats anchored, giving the place the atmosphere of loneliness. Even during the hottest time of day there were almost no swimmers, while two guys from whom we bought fishes next day were doing repair works on their hut.
As they told us, this cove became popular with divers and apparently we saw them next day.
The beach is lovely with little pebbles and nice passage to water, and a little fruther sharp rocks begins to articulate the coast.
There are whole sets of breath taking underwater landscapes to see with your snorkelling mask (or in diving suit i bet it's even better) and myriad of fishes to swim with. Near open sea edge, the slope descends into water sharply, and soon there's 40 meters deep gorge below water surface where our fishermen went fishing and returned with bounty.
I would say this little cove is one of least crowded spots in the island.
Soon after you enter the Park area by car or bicycle from Sali direction, there's a small side road connecting towards the view point, or vidikovac. I would recommend you to go there if you can: the views over the southern tip of Dugi otok are stunning, and you're staying high upon the sea, with cliffs below falling more than 100 meters deep. This place is a little of the main paths because all the crowds gravitate towards the other sections of cliffs near Mir lake which is explained in another tip.
It's quiet spot here, the views end into nothingness beyond horizon, or end in mythic Velebit range, while towards the South you'll be seeing individual islands of Kornati, and little closer all the variations of Dugi otok's landscapes, from minimal patches of some agriculture towards rough shapes of bare land, or gentle contoures of nearby bare peaks struggling with winds and sun, forest covered slopes and .... sheltered waters of the gulfs where boats found perfect haven.
This tiny flat islet is called 'the showel' in Croatian; it's connected with rest of Dugi ototk with pebbled stripe of land (to explain that word combination better I added a few photos below) which actually make it for small peninsula and it takes good 10 minutes walk from Sakarun beach before you reach it.
The pebbles here are some of the loveliest I've seen on the island and it is nice swimming spot here on the quieter side of a gulf, while the other side of pebbled stripe is exposed towards open sea. This means stronger waves and current, and that sadly dispose more trash to its shores.
Here, on pebbles there's no shade so best time to swim here is late afternoon.
The islet/peninsula itself is covered with low pine trees and mostly rocky.