Discovering the island Dugi Otok by kayak

The Adriatic Sea surrounding the island Dugi Otok near Zadar (Croatia) is the perfect location for a kayak tour. During our day trip from Zadar with Kayak & Bike Tours Zadar, my boyfriend Wiebe and I kayaked several hours on sea, jumped off a cliff, floated in a cave and snorkeled near a sunken shipwreck.

We started our Friday morning at 9 am with a walk from our Airbnb house in southeastern direction to the port Luka Gazenica where we had to catch the ferry to Brbinj, a small village on Dugi Otok and the starting point of our kayak trip. While the temperature was rising steadily and the first blister appeared, we realized the port was too far to reach by foot so we started to look out for a bus or taxi. However, the few taxis that passed were all occupied and at one of the bus stops we found out we would never reach the port on time with the local means of transportation…

Ooops, we almost missed the ferry to Dugi Otok...
Ooops, we almost missed the ferry to Dugi Otok…

With only 20 minutes on the clock to catch the ferry of 10 am, I knew we had to switch to plan B as the next ferry was hours away. We decided to hitchhike and thanks to Wiebe’s direct approach –speaking to car drivers in front of the red light-, we got a ride quite quickly. A friendly German driver made a detour and dropped us at Luka Gazenica at 9.55 am, just in time to buy two tickets and board the boat. We made it!

The starting location of our kayak trip
The starting location of our kayak trip

About 100 minutes later, we met our fellow kayakers and enthusiastic guides Sven and Filip in Brbinj. Distributed over 2 vans, we drove to a rustic beach were we could practice our kayak skills after some instructions. The kayak of Wiebe and mine flipped already after 2 minutes! A warning for both of us to cooperate more carefully! Luckily our stuff (sunscreen, bottle of water and camera) was safely stored in a dry bag or we could have gone fishing at the sea bottom…

With our group of seven kayaks we soon approached the spot for cliff jumping. I only jumped from the ‘baby cliff’ which is 5 meter high, but for the more brave ones there are cliffs of 7 and 10 meter too. We only had one fearless German in our group 😉

Ready to jump?
Ready to jump?

Our visit to the cave came at just the right time as the midday sun was burning my shoulders. As first and foremost, I swam towards the black entrance of the cave which had a mysterious appearance. There was, however, no way back as the waves were pushing my body inside the cave. Rays of light were lightening up the dark cave through a hole in the ceiling which was stunningly beautiful. Inside the cave we could either relax with a beer or use the snorkel gear. While Wiebe was spotting the clear water for fish, I was observing the rocks inside the cave. I am a geologist after all 😉

After lunch, we continued kayaking from another part of Dugi Otok with only one mission: reaching the shipwreck for snorkeling. This sunken wreck is home to a large diversity of fish, probably related with the nearby Telascica Nature Park and Kornati National Park where fishing is strictly regulated. I loved to see how the sponges and coral were claiming the wreck as homes.

Playing the local game picigin
Playing the local game picigin

Before taking the boat back to Zadar, we relaxed on the beach and had fun playing a Croatian game in the water called picigin. The goal is to keep the small ball in the air and out of the water by bouncing the ball with the palm of the hand.

We loved our day on the water with Kayak & Bike Tours Zadar and went home with many memories. This day trip is promoted as a kayak tour but it so much more. The diversity of activities and the fun guides made the time fly. Don’t hesitate to book (€75) this fantastic tour if you are looking for an active day in a stunning location.


Would  you consider kayaking around Dugi Otok?

This story is brought to you in partnership with Kayak & Bike Tours Zadar. As always, all words, thoughts and opinions are my own.


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Travel tips Croatia | Travel tips Zadar | Things to do in Zadar | Places to visit near Zadar | Kayaking around Dugi Otok | Snorkeling Dugi Otok

13 Replies to “Discovering the island Dugi Otok by kayak”

  1. This sounds like so much fun! I’ve been meaning to spend some time exploring Croatia (in particular its islands) since its such a quick flight from me, and this would definitely be the kind of activity that would interest me. Bookmarking for future reference!

  2. This looks like a fun adventure! You are so brave for jumping off 5 meter cliffs! That’s way more than I would do lol. Definitely saving this post for later and will look into Kayak & Bike tours Kadar when
    I visit Croatia.

  3. Looks beautiful but I can’t swim so kayaking is like my idea of hell haha! You’re brave jumping off that cliff too, seriously well done! Glad you had a fantastic time.

  4. This looks like a wonderful tour to do. We’ve been to Zadar as well but didn’t go kayaking. I’d love to snorkel and see this ship wreck bustling with life! Great share!

  5. This sounds like a great experience. I never heard about the island Dugi Otok in Croatia, but kayaking over-there sounds fun, but hopefully I won’t flip over after 2 minutes haha!

  6. This sounds like SO much fun! I’d love to revisit Croatia – I only made it to Zagreb as I fell ill and couldn’t make it to the coast. I’ll definitely be back & doing a tour like this. Your photos are beautiful!

  7. yay for hitch hiking! This looks like such a cool activity for an active day, I would definitely explore via kayak 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  8. Hi I have booked to do this trip in a around 10 days with my Boyfriend. Just wondered if you had any tips for the day? I am very fair skinned and worried about burning in the sun, I plan on covering up where I can, loose t shirt etc. but obviously I have to bear in mind it is going to be hot too 🙂

    If you could go again, would there be anything you would make sure you did returning that you didn’t the first time?
    Any advice and/or tips would be much appreciated! Im so excited! your pics are fab!

    1. Hi Laura, it’s nice you booked this trip. I am sure you will have lots of fun. It is indeed a good idea to wear a t-shirt and short to prevent burning (don’t forget spare clothes). The good thing is that you will be sheltered during the hottest moments (12-15h), as you will be in the cave or having lunch 😉 Bring lots of water! You can also bring a hat… Don’t book a return ticket for the ferry, it is included in the fee of this activity 😉 Have fun!

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