Friday, May 18, 2012

Ugljan, aka Extra Virgin Island

Today we decided to hit the seas and explore Ugljan, the closest island in the Zadar archipelago. The ferry ride was quick and easy -- it only costs $2.50 and takes about 25 minutes each way.

Our ship has come in.
The name Ugljan (we think it's pronounced "oo-glan") originates from ulje, the Croatian word for oil. That's because the island produces some of Croatia's best olive oil. Ugljan is covered with family-run olive groves and a few low-key fishing villages.

Olive you.
Our tummies were grumbling, so we stopped by a local market for pecivo, sir, kobasica (sandwich fixin's) and pivo (beer). Here's a shot of the view from our picnic spot. We're on the east side of the island, directly across from Zadar.

Jaz beach at Uglian. Can you see Zadar and the mountains in the distance?
After we refueled, we were ready for the 2.6 mile walk up to Fortress St. Michael. It's located at the highest point on the island, at an elevation of about 750 ft.

See those TV antennas at the top of the hill? That's where we're headed!
The Fortress was constructed in 1203. While most of the fortress lies in ruin (it was heavy shelled in 1991), that didn't detract from the spectacular views of the surrounding islands.

The remaining walls of Fortress St. Michael.
Views of Dugi Otok to the west.
Inside the Fortress St. Michael.
A little piece of heaven. You can't put a price on this view!