Island Silba

Island Silba
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Silba Although Silba is the tourist center of the region (and in the history it was the administrative too), no description of it would be complete without saying a few words about its surrounding islands. Therefore, let's go to visit them, in the only way possible, across the sea. From the window of apartment Silba one can see the yacht harbor of Silba, where we embark on a small sailboat. With light summer breeze we proceed under full sails towards SSE, where at the distance of a few miles the island Ist lies.

Ist Ist (9,7 km²)
Ist is the highest island in the group, with 175 m high peak Straža ("The guard"). On Straža there is a small church - from here there is an excellent view in all directions. To reach the village Ist we need to go around the cape Jabučni on the SE of the island and sail through Zapuntel strait, between Ist and its neighboring island Molat. From SE we sail in the large bay Široka ("The wide one"), favorite destination of many skippers. The village Ist is situated at the end of the bay, protected from jugo (the SE wind) by a large pier. The village is spread over a low-lying piece of land connecting two big island hills, so when seen from the distance the island Ist looks like two separate islands. In front of the village there is a shallow but not too attractive beach. On the head of the pier docks the passenger ship that connects Ist with Zadar. We leave Široka bay and sail around cape Benuš. Now we are on the open sea, SW of Ist, between tiny islets Benušić, Kamenjak, Črnikovac, Maslinjak, Funestrala, Galijola, Dužac, Sestrice and Vodenjak. We pass through the strait of Škarda (not to be exchanged for the island Škrda near Pag!), between Ist and Škarda, and sail into the bay Kosirača. Now we are again in front of the village Ist, but this time at the other side of the island. In this bay there is a ferry port, built in 2005. NW from Ist there is also islet Križica and a nearby rock with the same name.

Škarda Škarda (3,8 km²)
We are on our way back to the Strait of Škarda. The sea between islands is usually shallower than the sea farther away from them, but the Strait of Škarda is an exception to the rule. Although the depth farther away from Ist and Škarda reaches only 40 m, in the Strait of Škarda the depth goes down to 70 m - in fact between Ist and Škarda there is a big underwater abyss! The currents between these islands are very changeable and strong. On SE of Škarda there is long and deep bay Griparica, the only anchorage on the island. The 102 m high Čimbel, the highest island peak, is not enough to protect the bay from the strong bora (NE wind) in winter. Anyway, the winter is still far away in this hot summer day! So let's rather go to enjoy the sea. For this, the only suitable bay on Škarda is Trate, on NE side of the island. Here is located the small village Škarda, with only a few houses. There is a small dock here, but with not enough place even for a small boat. House owners come to Škarda only in summer, in winter Škarda is empty. There is no boat connection of any kind to Škarda.

Grebeni Silbanski Grebeni (together 0,3 km²)
Right between Škarda and Silba, in line from NW to SE, Zapadni, Srednji and Južni Greben ("Western, Middle and Southern Rock") are located. Although called "rocks", they are in fact islets (small islands). They are ~50 m high and pretty steep. The sea around them is deep, except in the passage between Zapadni and Srednji Greben, where anchorage is possible on 6-7 m of depth. Sea is here clear and inviting for a swim.

Premuda Premuda (8,7 km²)
We head back towards Lopata, SE cape of Premuda. Premuda is situated NW from Ist and Škarda, protecting Silba from the open-sea waves from SW. It's an island with a steep and inaccessible coast. On SW coast of Premuda there are a few bays but there are only a few spots good for swimming. Divers can often be seen in the bay Široka. A little farther to NW, behind the bay Premuda, five rocks of which Masarine is the biggest protect Premuda's tiny port Krijal. In 2005 a ferry port was built here. Village Premuda is up on the hill, with many old ruined houses. Not far from the village there is an abandoned military base from which there is a good view all the way to Velebit mountain chain on the mainland. Just above Krijal many big new houses are built. As two restaurants in the harbor become noisy local discotheques in the night, we won't stay here but rather sail around the northern side of Premuda, close to islets Kamenjak ("The rocky one") and Lutrošnjak, all the way to the eastern side of Premuda. Here there is bay Loza, where the passenger ship docks. A steep road climbs from Loza up to the village Premuda.

Grujica Grujica (0,1 km²)
We continue our trip farther north to the islet Grujica. On Grujica there is an important lighthouse, the good spirit of any captain that wants to sail from the open sea to Kvarnerić. On the islet there is just the lighthouse keeper and his sheep. As there is plenty of fish around Grujica, in the evening many fishing boats come to fish around the islet.

Morovnik Morovnik (0,2 km²)
From Grujica we sail to the east, close to the northern coast of Silba, once upon a time island of captains and ship-owners, then continue towards the small islet Morovnik. Many dangerous underwater rocks make it difficult to approach the islet. When there is no strong wind (particularly northern wind) it is possible to have a swim in the "lagoon" on the southern side of Morovnik.

Olib Olib (26,1 km²)
From Morovnik it is not far away to Šip, a long and low rock NW of Olib. Between Šip and Olib it is not possible to pass through even with a small boat. We sail south between the rock Kurjak and Olib, towards the village Olib. While Silba was island of captains, Olib was island of workers. Although with an area almost twice larger than Silba, its highest peak is at only 74 m. In front of the village there is a dock where catamaran Silba remains during the night before it sails out on its regular daily route to Silba, Premuda and Zadar. The coast in front of the village being not very suitable for swimming, it is better to have a walk to the eastern side of Olib, to bay Slatinica. We decide rather to have a swim in the bay Šotorišće in Silba so we head to the west. After 3 miles across the Olib Channel we dock in the harbor where we had started the tour around the archipelago of Silba.


1 - Ist
2 - Škarda
3 - Silbanski Grebeni
4 - Premuda
5 - Grujica
6 - Morovnik
7 - Olib
8 - Silba
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