Activities

Diving

Scuba diving is permitted on four localities from April to November, offering an unforgettable experience of watching cliff ornaments in magnificent colors, abundant marine fauna and red gorgonian colonies. Diving among cliffs in the Nature Park is a unique and rare experience. 

Sestrica Mala

At the southeastern side of the islet, there is a buoy that can be used for mooring. Starting from there, we dive to the southeast until we reach a wall. We then follow the wall resembling a funnel that leads us towards the island. If we keep following the wall further to the southeast, we will reach magnificent cliff ornaments characterized by diverse shapes and colors, as well as abundant marine life.

This area is rich in diverse fish species and several sea snail species. Further exploration along the cliff, as we reach the southeastern tip and turn to the west, brings us to the part of the cliff covered in rich red gorgonian colony. After that, what follows is a light ascent along a slope to the plateau at the depth of 20 to 10 meters, partly covered by large rocks hiding many species, such as Mediterranean moray, red scorpionfish, white seabream, common two-banded seabream, red lobster and octopus. As we reach the end of the plateau and the wall of the islet, we follow the wall until we reach the plateau with the buoy.

Recommended time of year for visit: April to November

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Along the islet of Korotan

This diving site is located at the southeastern cape of the islet. Already at the depth of 7 to 8 meters towards the southeast, one comes across three to four cascades or steps that represent the beginning of a wall (two to three meters high) extending towards the southeast. This is where we encounter diverse submarine life, including sea snails, octopuses, various fish species and other intriguing marine organisms (sea worms, sponges, sea anemones...).

At the depth of 24 to 27 meters we come across a hole (small cave) in the wall, hiding large specimens of brown meagre, white seabream, red scorpionfish and black scorpionfish - an interesting site for divers who wish to take underwater photographs. Further on along the wall, up to the depth of approximately 35 meters, one can come across more red scorpionfish or catsharks. The wall ends at 35 meters. That is approximately the time when scuba divers should begin diving out. Slow diving along the plateau right at the top of the wall allows divers to encounter abundant small fish (common two-banded seabream, saddled seabream, Mediterranean rainbow wrasse, damselfish, salema, painted comber, sea worms). At the very end, what follows is decompression at the edge of the wall – again surrounded by many interesting phenomena of marine flora and fauna!

Recommended time of year for visit: April to November

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Garmenjak Mali

There is a buoy at the site, anchored at the top of the wall that partially reaches the depth of 58 meters. The buoy is located at the western side of the island, and diving takes place on both sides of the buoy. This site is characterized by an impressive cliff that abounds with all forms of life, in particular schools of fish swimming at the locality: primarily common two-banded seabream, saddled seabream, damselfish, common bonito, greater amberjack. At the plateau itself, we come across specimens of salema calmly looking for food on wide Posidonia oceanica meadows.

We can also spot dusky groupers, octopuses, Mediterranean morays, red lobsters, forkbeards and several sea snail species. It is best to return to the buoy by diving along the edge of the plateau, since the cliff immediately below the plateau is porous, and it hides many holes rich in flora and fauna, located at the depth of 8 to 15 meters. It is easy to proceed back to the buoy. Decompression can take place there, or immediately next to the buoy at the plateau. 

Recommended time of year for visit: April to November

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Garmenjak Veli

There is a buoy at the site, and vessels can also moor to it. Diving starts from the buoy, with an easy descent from the place where it is anchored by a chain. At the depth of 10 meters, not far from the buoy, there is a hole with large specimens of brown meagre. After that, we continue diving to the wall and continue diving along it to the right, i.e. in the direction of the island. We gradually enter a funnel-shaped canyon leading to the island.

At the depth of 23 meters, in the narrow part of the funnel, there is a semi-cave approximately 10 meters long. At the entrance to it, one can almost always come across greater forkbeard, with many striped red mullets in groups near the bottom. At the very bottom of the cave, we come across common lobster frequently coming out of its hole, especially during night diving. The cave is very rich in colors and diverse forms of marine life, including sea snails, red scorpionfish, white seabream, common two-banded seabream, and several dusky groupers. Upon leaving the cave, we follow the right part of the funnel (canyon) to the south. After 50 meters, this brings us to an impressive wall with abundant flora and fauna. This is where we frequently see red lobsters. After 50 more meters, we come to another small cave at the depth of 42 meters, where we can encounter species such as red lobster, red scorpionfish and forkbeard. In the cave itself and around it, we can see several sea urchin species as well. After the cave, we gradually dive upwards along the wall. Near the surface, at the depth of 15 to 10 meters, we dive along a plateau that brings us back from where we started.
That section is rich in octopuses and Mediterranean morays, and common dentex is no rarity either. Diving ends with the arrival to the funnel itself. It is in full shadow and very attractive for photo sessions, since the play of shadows and sunrays is truly impressive at that spot.

Recommended time of year for visit: April to November

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Wildlife viewing

Visitors can enjoy watching bottlenose dolphins in the Park waters, and even approach them. It is a unique experience, and a guaranteed motive for future return ticket to Telašćica for many visitors. Bottlenose dolphins are frequent guests of the sea around the Park, with 220 of them living in the Adriatic. Donkeys are also a local attraction, since Telašćica became a shelter of sorts for abandoned donkeys.

Donkeys

Dalmatian or Littoral-Dinaric donkeys are a Croatian autochthonous breed. This autochthonous and protected breed is part of the national cultural and natural heritage of the Republic of Croatia.

Donkeys have always played an important role in the life of the locals, helping them in their daily lives. This animal represents an important part of tradition and customs in some regions of the country.  In the past, donkeys were used as working animals to carry goods, and they were immensely useful in inaccessible karst terrain. 
Due to the development of modern technology, donkeys are less needed today, and are often abandoned.
Telašćica Nature Park has turned into a shelter of sorts for abandoned donkeys that find refuge in the Park. This is where the locals bring and leave their donkeys. 
Donkeys are kept in an enclosure located in the cove of Mir, approximately 100 meters from the Tilago tavern.

Wildlife species that can be seen: Donkeys

Recommended time of year for visit: April to November

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Accessible

Bottlenose dolphin

Visitors of the Nature Park can enjoy truly unspoit nature, including spending time with a school of bottlenose dolphins in the Park waters.
Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a frequent guest in the waters around the Park.

Bottlenose dolphins are the last remaining marine mammals in the Adriatic.
Other dolphin and whale species can be spotted in the Adriatic only occasionally. 
According to estimates, there are approximately 220 bottlenose dolphins living in the Adriatic.
Since 1995, bottlenose dolphins are a protected species in Croatia.
Dolphins must not be chased, and it is prohibited to steer vessels towards them. 
Bottlenose dolphins may be approached only very slowly, in parallel with their direction of movement, avoiding sudden changes in direction and refraining from making noise. 
It is best to switch the engine off. Within a 100-meter radius from dolphins, there should not be more than one vessel. Within a 200-meter radius, there should not be more than three vessels at the most. 
When leaving the area with dolphins, acceleration must be gradual, and it can start only when the vessel is more than 100 meters away from dolphins.

Wildlife species that can be seen: Dolphins

Recommended time of year for visit: April to November

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Educational trails

Trails in the Park are remarkable, and three educational trails are dedicated to medicinal plants. The scent of plants adds to the unforgettable experience of exploring the Nature Park. Visitors wishing to get acquainted with the animal world can take the loop trail around Lake Mir. This trail, equipped with resting benches, offers a view of the magnificent beauty of the archipelago. 

Educational trail around Lake Mir

This loop trail is 2.2 kilometers long, taking visitors along the shore of Lake Mir. It is equipped with interpretation panels, benches for resting and litter bins. Interpretation panels provide information about the plant and animal world in the lake and in its immediate vicinity.

Trail length: 2.2 km

Duration: 40 minutes

Recommended time of year for visit: April to November

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Trail type: Gravel

Number of interpretation panels: 7

Educational trail of medicinal plants: Grpašćak – Gmajno polje

The trail includes panels with Croatian and Latin names of various plants.

Trail length: 1 km

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Trail type: Gravel

Note: The booklet Paths of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the Island of Dugi Otok can be obtained in the Park. The booklet contains descriptions of various plants and ways in which they are used.

Educational trail of medicinal plants: Gmajno polje – Mir

The trail includes panels with Croatian and Latin names of various plants.

Trail length: 1.7 km

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Trail type: Gravel

Note: The booklet Paths of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the Island of Dugi Otok can be obtained in the Park. The booklet contains descriptions of various plants and ways in which they are used.

Educational trail of medicinal plants: cove of Mir – Lake Mir

The trail includes panels with Croatian and Latin names of various plants.

Trail length: 2.5 km

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Trail type: Gravel

Note: The booklet Paths of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the Island of Dugi Otok can be obtained in the Park. The booklet contains descriptions of various plants and ways in which they are used.

Accommodation and catering

Six catering facilities, taverns and restaurants offer tasty dishes of the Mediterranean cuisine. In the cove of Mir itself, there is a restaurant right next to the sea, attracting many visitors with its location. This establishment can seat 200 persons.

Tavern - Tilago

The tavern is located at the coast in the cove of Mir. It can seat 200 persons.

Important information:

The tavern is open throughout the tourist season, from May to November. Opening hours: from 10:00 to 22:00.

Contact:

Cell: 00385 (0)99 270 9606
Phone: 00385 (0)23 377 096

Restaurant - Mare

The restaurant is located at the coast on the island of Katina, in the passage of Vela Proversa.

Important information:

The restaurant is open throughout the tourist season, from May to November.

Restaurant - Aquarius

The restaurant is located at the coast on the island of Katina, in the passage of Vela Proversa.

Important information:

The restaurant is open throughout the tourist season, from May to November.

Tavern - Bagatela

The restaurant is located at the coast on the island of Katina, in the passage of Vela Proversa.

Important information:

The tavern is open throughout the tourist season, from May to November.

Restaurant - Goro

The restaurant is located at the coast in the cove of Mogrovica.

Important information:

The restaurant is open throughout the tourist season, from May to November.

Restaurant - Mir

The restaurant is located at the coast in the cove of Mir.

Important information:

The restaurant is open throughout the tourist season, from May to November.

Boat trips and rentals

Excursion boats are key means of transport to the Telašćica Nature Park. These boats depart from Zadar, Vodice and Biograd, as well as from the islands of Pašman and Ugljan. On the island of Dugi otok, in addition to taking a tourist boat, visitors can also rent a small boat or speedboat, and visit the Park independently. These boat trips are an attractive way to enter the protected area.

Boat trips and rentals

One-day excursions by tourist boats to Telašćica Nature Park are available from Zadar, Vodice, Biograd and from the islands of  Pašman, Ugljan and Dugi otok. In addition, visitors can independently visit the Park by renting a small boat or speedboat on the island of Dugi otok.

Schools in nature

Participants can learn about high and low tide, and about the plant and animal life in the Park. They will also learn how to recognize various sea species, and how these species adapt to the constantly changing coastal habitat.

Dry Mediterranean grasslands and rocky pastures

Children get acquainted with the community of dry Mediterranean grasslands and rocky pastures in field training.

Upon arrival to the field site where the training is held, pupils are divided into groups depending on the number of participants. Each group receives the required material for collecting animals and plants. After collection, the pupils get together, with each group presenting their findings and giving their opinion as to why precisely these animals and plants live in this particular type of habitat.
After the presentations, field training teachers show various species from various habitats to pupils, with groups voting on which species belongs to which habitat. Pupils explain their choices and why they think that a given species belongs to dry Mediterranean grasslands and rocky pastures.

Target age group: Elementary school grades 1 to 5

Duration: 1.5 hours

Recommended time of year for visit: Spring

Suitable for individual / group visits: Group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Living organisms in the intertidal zone

Pupils get acquainted with the intertidal zone, organisms that inhabit that section of the coast, and ways in which life adapts to the specific conditions in the intertidal zone.

Pupils take a tour of the sea coast, using worksheets to recognize species and noting down data about as many marine organisms as possible. They record the species that they recognize in the worksheets, together with data on weather conditions, salinity and sea temperature. Pupils measure these values themselves, with the help of devices they get. Towards the end, pupils engage in a brief discussion about their impressions, and fill out worksheets that focus on adaptation of marine organisms to life in a changeable sea coast and intertidal zone habitat.

Target age group: Elementary school grades 1 to 4

Duration: 1.5 hours

Recommended time of year for visit: Spring

Suitable for individual / group visits: Group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Guided tours

The tour dedicated to the natural beauty of the cove of Mir includes professional guides who acquaint visitors with significant species and habitats of the undersea world of Telašćica. This tour takes visitors around Lake Mir along a loop trail, where they can learn a lot about the origin of the lake and about specific features of this unique and closed ecosystem.

Three Park phenomena

The tour begins at the locality of Grpašćak, where visitors receive key information about the Park, and about the origin of cliffs and cliff habitats. Visitors then continue on foot towards the cove of Tripuljak, where autochthonous and allochthonous species in the Park are presented to the group, together with the meaning of open habitats and ponds for birds and bats. After that, visitors proceed to the cove of Mir, where they get acquainted with the phenomenon of this saltwater lake and life in the submarine world of the Telašćica Nature Park.

Duration: 5 hours

Recommended time of year for visit: April to November

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Suitable footwear (hiking shoes, etc.)

Natural wonders of the cove of Mir

The tour begins in the cove of Mir, where visitors receive key information about the Park and about significant species and habitats in the submarine world of Telašćica. Visitors then proceed towards Lake Mir and take a tour of the educational trail around the lake, where they learn about the origin of the lake and about the specific characteristics of this closed ecosystem.

Duration: 2 hours

Recommended time of year for visit: April to November

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Suitable footwear (hiking shoes, etc.)

Attractions

Burial mounds (tumuli) in the area of Čuh

In the wider area of Čuh, we come across an entire range of small and large burial mounds from the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. There are two major tumuli on the hill of Gominjak, southwest of the field of Čuh. On the neighboring hill of Stenjak, we can see the remains of a dry stone wall once built for defense purposes, probably belonging to a Liburnian hill fort.

Since ancient times, the shepherds had an observation post protected against the northerly wind on one tumulus, and they used it to watch over flocks of sheep. In the field of Čuh, we can also see the remains of the Church of St. Luke, not yet thoroughly explored. It was probably built in the early Christian period – a testimony to continuous life in this area since ancient history until the Late Middle Ages, when this field was abandoned due to the disappearance of farming and livestock breeding in particular.

Note:

Accessible by car. However, one part of the route is gravel road, with visitors climbing on foot towards the end. The climb from the base to the top takes 10 minutes, and it is not very hard.

Illyrian grave at Čuh

In the northwestern part of the field of Čuh, an Illyrian grave was found within a tumulus in 1957. It consisted of four vertically placed slabs with a stone cover. The grave was positioned northwest to southeast, with a skeleton laid in a contracted position on the right side, with the head facing north.

Two spiral bracelets, a decorative needle and a fragment of earthenware were found next to the deceased. On the basis of items found in the grave, it was concluded that the site originated from the second to the fifth phase of the Iron Age culture of Liburnia (i.e. from the 8th to the 5th century B.C.).

Note:

The site is marked with an information panel. It is accessible by car; however, one part of the route is gravel road.

Villa rustica

In the narrow passage of Mala Proversa, we come across the remains of a Roman complex. The narrow passage of Mala Proversa was not passable for vessels in the Roman period – back then, it was a strip of land up to one meter above sea level. That is where the Romans erected a complex of buildings that probably exceeded 90 meters in length. This complex was fairly large, with the sort of comfort that characterized only villas in major towns of the period (e.g. bathroom with hot and cold water). The villa was built in the 1st century A.D., which constitutes the best period of Roman architecture in Dalmatia, as estimated based on the finding of a coin bearing the image of the Roman Emperor Trajan in the deepest layer of the site. It is assumed that the Romans built a channel through the low strip of land and the villa itself, back in the time when Dugi otok, Katina and Kornat were one single island. That resulted in the flow of sea currents in both directions, which attracted fish. Smaller vessels were able to sail through the channel. It is also assumed that a vivarium was built close to the channel, as an enclosed space in the sea for keeping live fish.

Towards the 1980s, the sea passage of Mala Proversa was widened and deepened. Today, it is a 34 meters wide, 4.80 meters deep, and over 100 meters long channel.

Note:

The site is marked with an information panel. It is accessible by car; however, one part of the route is gravel road.

Church of St. Anthony

According to research, the Church of St. Anthony the Abbot in Dugo polje (later dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua) probably stems from the early Christian period, most likely from the 4th or the 5th century. It is assumed that the foundations of the original early Christian church served as the foundations for the current church, which underwent a range of changes to its exterior and interior over the years.

It was in use until 1844, when the notorious outlaw called Kutleša thoroughly plundered it. Following that, the church was temporarily abandoned and left roofless. The inhabitants of Sali raised a new church on the remains of the old one in 1913, and dedicated it to St. Anthony of Padua. Holy Mass is held in the church every year on the occasion of the feast day of the saint, on 13 June. In addition to the Holy Mass, a procession carrying the statue of St. Anthony is held as well, departing from the church to a pond at Njarica and back.

Note:

The site is marked with an information panel. The church door is locked. The site is accessible by car. The church is owned by the parish of Sali, and church door opens only on the feast day of St. Anthony. Church interior can be seen through the window glass. In the front, below the bell cote, people usually leave candles and their vows.

Remains of the Church of St. John at Stivanje polje

The Church of St. John was built by the nobleman Grubina from Zadar in 1064, as a gift to the monastery of St. Chrysogonus in Zadar. The church is a single-nave rectangular building with a semicircular apse, just like most churches on the islands around the city of Zadar.

It is very likely that this church, like most of Croatia's pre-Romanesque monuments, was built on the foundations stemming from classical antiquity. Historical records referring to the church as cella, which means a small monastery, together with architectural fragments found in the church and around it, point to the conclusion that there could have been more rooms next to the church, such as the discovered narthex. It is also possible that an earlier building from the period of classical antiquity once stood here.

Note:

The site is marked with an information panel. It is accessible by car.

Church of St. Victor

Remains of the Church of St. Victor are located on an elevation called Citorij, at the southeastern end of Stivanjska gora. Built on a mild southern slope of the plateau, at 92 meters above sea level, the site offers a view of the open sea. In the course of 2008, the Archaeological Museum in Zadar engaged in research of church remains, fully clarifying the character of the site.

The church is assumed to date back to the early Christian period, i.e. the second half of the 5th or the beginning of the 6th century, due to an old floor layer discovered in the nave of the church and artifacts found in it (ceramic fragments, bronze cross, glass fragments), as well as due to layout characteristics. The church was renovated towards the end of the 10th century. Back then, it was equipped with new stone furniture, the fragments of which have been found in the course of various research efforts in recent times. Ceramic fragments from the Early Bronze Age have also been discovered on the site, pointing to the existence of a Bronze Age tumulus on the site before the church was built.

In the past, the internal area of Telašćica was named after St. Victor.

Note:

The site can be approached by car, followed by a climb along a walking trail, taking only 10 minutes. The site is marked with an information panel.

Saltwater (marine) lake Mir

Lake Mir is located in the southwestern part of the Nature Park. The lake is located on the narrow strip of land between the bay of Telašćica and the open sea. After the last ice age, the sea level rose by approximately 120 meters, and the karst depression was filled by sea through many subterranean micro cracks, particularly numerous at the northern side. Sea sources can easily be noticed during high tide. The lake is approximately 900 meters long, and its maximum width is approximately 300 meters. Maximum depth is 6 meters. The lake is salty, since it is connected with the sea through underground channels.

The salinity of water in the lake is higher than in the surrounding sea, due to considerable evaporation and enclosed position of the lake. Sea level changes in Lake Mir are minimal, because the permeability of cracks connecting the lake with the sea is low. In periods marked by strong southerly winds, the sea begins to overflow into Lake Mir in the southeastern part of the lake. The shore of the lake is largely low and rocky, with a number of karrens, and small sand accumulations can be seen only in the far northwestern part. The bottom of the lake is rocky in its shallow parts. Deeper areas of the lake bed are covered in pelite, and the southeastern part of the lake bed is also covered in medicinal mud.

Temperature oscillations in the lake are considerable (water temperature goes up to 33ºC in summer, and down to 5ºC in winter). As a result, the lake is warmer than the surrounding sea in summer, and cooler than the sea in winter – a consequence of the shallow nature of the lake. The salinity of the lake is above average due to evaporation. These extreme conditions are reasons why the lake is biologically poor. In addition to plankton, we come across only several other marine species: algae, gobies, mullets, seabasses and several species of bivalves, snails, echinoderms and hermit crabs. The European eel (locally known as kajman or bižat) also lives in the lake, and it can reach up to 3 kilograms.

Note:

There is a walking trail around the lake, marked with an information panel.

Stene (Cliffs)

On the outer side of the cove of Telašćica, we see vertical rocks rising to form the most pronounced cliff of the Adriatic – the famous stene of the island of Dugi otok. This cliff extends from the cape of Mrzlovica in the northwest to the slopes of Veli vrh in the southeast, reaching the height of 161 meters at the locality of Grpašćak. The submerged part of the cliff reaches up to 85 meters. This area is rich in intriguing plant and animal life, and dolphins can also be seen swimming next to the rocks. Below the sea surface, there are various corals living on the rocky habitat, including the increasingly scarce red corals. The site is interesting above the sea level too, for example due to the Dubrovnik knapweed species that grows on the steep cliff. This is also the northernmost habitat of tree spurge. Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) nests on the rocks, and we can also encounter Eleonora's falcon (Falco eleonore) in the area. Thanks to the substantial presence of these two protected species, Telašćica became part of the network of Important Bird Areas (IBA).

Two endemic door snail species also live on the cliffs of the area: Delima edmibrani and Agathylla lamellosa. The first species, Delima edmibrani, has been discovered only within the Park area so far, which means that we can consider it a stenoendemic species of the Telašćica Nature Park.

Dubrovnik knapweed is a rare endemic species. It is present only in Croatia, at several localities, but the populations of this species are rare. It can be found in the vicinity of the coastal town of Cavtat and on the islands of the central and southern area of Dalmatia. This species has two subspecies in the area of the Telašćica Nature Park: Centaurea ragusina ssp. ragusina that grows on cliffs and in the cove of Čuška dumboka, and the subspecies Centaurea ragusina ssp. lungensis, which is present only on cliffs.

Along the cliffs in sea depths, we come across gorgonian species Eunicella cavolinii and Paramuricea clavata, as well as sponges such as the species Axinella cannabina. In the undersea world below the cliffs, up to the depth of approximately 20 meters, the predominant community is the community of photophilic algae, consisting of the species Halimeda tunaAcetabularia acetabulumPadina pavonica and many other species. This is also the area where we encounter colonies of an endangered red coral species (Corallium rubrum) at bigger depths. Several sea urchin species live around the cliffs, as well as many fish and crustacean species.

In the undersea crevices of the cliffs, we come across semi-dark caves with various sponge, cnidarian and coral species... 

Note:

There are several walking trails marked with information panels at the site.

Lighthouse on the island of Sestrica Vela

Author: Boris Šeper

The Tajer lighthouse on the island of Sestrica Vela is located 15 nautical miles south of Zadar, and one mile away from the island of Dugi otok and Kornat, at the edge of Kornati National Park and Telašćica Nature Park. Modern travelers who like to explore the world in the style of Robinson Crusoe might be intrigued by the opportunity to visit the renovated lighthouse Sestrica Vela, also known as Tajer.

The Tajer lighthouse is special in many ways. In addition to the fact that it was built on an island facing the open sea, which has given it strategic importance and made it inaccessible to visitors, it is also special compared to other Croatian lighthouses due to its characteristic appearance and the method of construction. The lighthouse was built in 1876 on the islet of Sestrica Vela on the northwestern side of the Kornati National Park. It consists of a high octagonal metal tower and the adjacent building. The lighthouse is located at 47 meters above sea level. The metal structure of its 26-meter high tower is connected by rivets that have not been changed since the construction of the lighthouse. The stone building of the lighthouse, approximately 500 square meters in surface, is connected with the tower via an enclosed stone bridge that was allegedly built subsequently, in order to make it easier for lighthouse keepers to access the tower in bad weather. In addition to its metal construction, the tower also attracts attention from the sea due to its red and white spiral ornaments, making its appearance quite special compared to other lighthouses in the Adriatic area. The lighthouse obtains electricity from solar modules and power generators, and it is also equipped with its own water cistern.

A quay is located on the northern side of the island of Sestrica Vela, sheltered from the wind. The stone quay was built during the Austro-Hungarian period. It takes about ten minutes of walking through centuries-old coniferous forest to get from the quay to the lighthouse. The lighthouse building is surrounded by spacious stone terraces offering an attractive view all the way to the peaks of the Dinarides. To the west, one sees the cliffs of Telašćica, and to the south wide open sea.

The Tajer lighthouse is automated, and it is part of the remote control system. There is a permanent crew of lighthouse keepers at the lighthouse.

Note:

Prior notice is required for sightseeing of the interior of the lighthouse.

Islet of Taljurić

Author: German Grbin
This unusual islet is actually a small stone plate approximately 60 meters in diameter, and only approximately three meters high. It consists of horizontal limestone layers, with the upper layers damaged by waves. From the distance, this flat plate only three meters high resembles a round flat kitchen board also used on ships, so sailors of the past referred to it as tagliero in the Venetian dialect, which eventually resulted in the diminutive name of Taljurić.

In rough weather, this small island is completely immersed in sea foam, so there is no vegetation on it. One interesting geological phenomenon on the island is a cave without a ceiling – a consequence of dissolution or collapse of the ceiling at some point in geological history. The marine area around Taljurić is very rich in diverse fish populations, especially deep sea fish species.

Note:

Permit of the Telašćica Nature Park is required for scuba diving.

Island of Katina

Katina is an uninhabited island located at the entrance to the bay of Telašćica, between the island of Dugi otok to the north and the island of Kornat to the south. Katina is separated from Dugi otok by the channel of Mala Proversa 100 meters wide and barely 2 meters deep. On the southern side of the island, there is the channel of Vela Proversa, approximately 500 meters wide and suitable for navigation, dividing Katina from the island of Kornat. The island is part of the Telašćica Nature Park.

The surface of the island is 1.12 square kilometers, and the coastline length is 7.107 kilometers. The highest peak of the island is called Velki vrh, at 117 meters above sea level.

The island is composed of Cretaceous limestone.

Lojišće beach

At the end of the cove of Lojišće, we come across the only sandy beach in this area, attracting many visitors enjoying its wonderful natural sand. Behind the beach, there is a freshwater pond at the sea level, receiving water during the rainy period.

Research of the submarine world conducted so far has resulted in the discovery of areas covered in Posidonia oceanica meadows, spreading within the photophilic zone approximately 5 meters to 20-25 meters deep. This species, commonly referred to as seagrass, is an endemic species of the Mediterranean. Due to various impacts such as climate change, the spreading of invasive species, and various forms of human impact such as anchoring, Posidonia oceanica meadows are highly endangered. The best-conserved Posidonia oceanica habitats can be found in front of the cove of Lojišće, because of a favorable impact of open sea currents.

Note:

Walking trail is available at the site.

Čušćica beach

Not far from the cove of Čušćica, we come across a speleological phenomenon – a pit approximately 18 meters deep. The coast itself is characterized by a rudist colony.

In the past, the local population used stone from the quarries by the sea that they needed for building their houses, and these quarries are still visible today. Stone furnaces were used to obtain lime in limekilns with the help of intense fire. One particular locality in the cove of Čušćica is thus still referred to as japnenica or limekiln. Remains of burned stone can also be found at localities by the sea situated east of the cove of Jaz, and in the cove of Tripuljak.

In the wider area (the southeastern part of Dugi otok and islands of Katina, Gornja Aba, Veli Buč and Mali Buč), the dominating features are pastures and a recognizable landscape (consisting of habitat types Stipo-Salvietum officinalis and As. Brachypodio-Cymbopogonetum hirti). Over the centuries, livestock breeding represented a significant activity. That is particularly true for sheep breeding, which has resulted in semi-enclosed localities by the sea defined by single lines of dry stone walls – the so-called barkariži that served to catch sheep and lambs.

Note:

Walking trail is available at the site.

Cove of Čuška dumboka

The cove of Čuška dumboka is a particularly interesting geomorphological site. It is a good example of so-called fluviokarst, arising from erosion effects of surface watercourses. The cove is formed by the sea cutting into the land for almost 900 meters in length, where it separates into two dry branches. The longer northwestern branch is approximately 1000 meters long, and the shorter eastern branch is approximately 500 meters long. Maximum width is 150 meters, depth is 40 meters, and the cove gets narrower towards the end. Steep rocks of the cove include communities of a subspecies of the Dubrovnik knapweed typical for the island (Centaurea ragusina ssp. lungensis), so the cove and its coast have been declared a strict protection zone.

There are several legends connected with the cove and the surrounding area (called Petrovi konali). These legends speak of spells and supernatural beings and events that characterize the area. According to one such legend, an old lady was once turned into a pillar of dust by dormouses. According to another legend, this was the area where witches wreaked all sorts of havoc. Folk tales also speak of strange events caused by thunderbolts.

Note:

Walking trail is available at the site.

Skrača

The southern, outer side of the Dugi otok island, south of Lake Mir and the peak of Muravjak, represents an interesting locality due to the presence of many geological phenomena in a very small area, including the folding of layers, stromatolites (fossil remains along the sea coast), cross bedding and calcite clusters filling out larger and smaller cracks and cavities. This area is characterized by tectonic features in the form of numerous cracks positioned vertically to the coast, in parallel with the coast, or even mutually intersecting, which points to periodic tectonic activity with diverse directions of forces. Due to the still ongoing phenomena such as karstification processes and erosion caused by waves, this is also an area where we come across many karrens in diverse shapes.

Skrača is the site at the southern end of the lake, towards the coast, where the sea has been breaking the rocks and shaping the landscape for thousands of years. In recent years, visitors began using the rocks at this site for artistic expression, by building and shaping stone sculptures. After the tourist season ends, it is intriguing to see hundreds of small pillars in this park of stone sculptures.

Viewpoint Grpašćak

Due to partial subduction of the Adriatic microplate under the Eurasian tectonic plate, the area of Dugi otok lies in a seismically active zone characterized by folding, faulting and thrust faulting of the Earth's crust. The Dugi otok fault extends along the southwestern coast of the island, continuing towards the Kornati archipelago. This phenomenon is most impressively visible from the Grpašćak viewpoint, at the site of the tectonic cliff of Grpašćak reaching 161 meters above sea level and diving to approximately 90 meters below sea level. This particular part of the Dugi otok cliff is where we come across speleological sites of Remetina peć and Golubinka, with approximately 2000 Geoffroy's bats (Myotis emarginatus) and about 1000 greater horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) living there.

The rocks of Dugi otok are nesting areas of peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), and visitors can also witness the flight of Eleonora's falcon (Falco eleonore). Two endemic door snail species also live on the cliffs of the area: Delima edmibrani and Agathylla lamellosa. The first species, Delima edmibrani, has been discovered only within the Park area so far, which means that we can consider it a stenoendemic species of the Telašćica Nature Park. Yet another rare endemic species is the Dubrovnik knapweed. The entire surface of the cliff of Dugi otok is part of the strict protection zone, including the undersea section of the cliff.

The fortress of Grpašćak was built on the peak of the Dugi otok cliff during the Austro-Hungarian period, in the 19th century. It served as a military lookout point of the Austro-Hungarian Navy.

Donkey shelter

Dalmatian donkey or Littoral Dinaric donkey is an autochthonous Croatian breed, one of the indigenous and protected breeds of the Republic of Croatia, and part of its national cultural and natural heritage. Donkeys were playing a very important role in the life of the locals in the past, helping them in their daily lives. This species represents an important part of tradition and customs in the area. In the past, donkeys were used as transport animals, and they were immensely useful on inaccessible karst terrain. Today, however, with the development of modern technology facilitating our daily lives, donkey is increasingly losing the importance and the status it once had. People use donkeys less and less, and the species is simply not needed as much as before.

On the island of Dugi otok, just like in other parts of Croatia with a tradition of using donkeys, these animals are being abandoned. A problem has therefore arisen in terms of where to properly shelter abandoned donkeys.

That is why the Telašćica Nature Park and the island of Dugi otok have become a refuge of sorts for abandoned donkeys in the past couple of years. This is where the locals bring and leave their donkeys. There are 14 donkeys currently living in the Park, eight of them male and six female. In the past three years, they have produced three foals. All of them freely roam the area from the cove of Mir to the southern tip of the island. However, they tend to stay in the area of the cove of Mir and around Lake Mir.

They are accustomed to the presence of people, and they can easily be approached. They are curious and adore sweet food, so they can frequently be encountered at the lake in summer, as they check out the content of people's bags while their owners are swimming. If you decide to approach them, be careful, because even though donkeys are tame animals accustomed to people, they too can have their nervous moments. Enjoy their presence, photograph them, and take wonderful memories from the Telašćica Nature Park with you.

Nature Park Telašćica

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