Zirje Island

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What I think about Zirje island? Get away from the hectic lifestyle - enjoy the crystal clear blue water of the Adriatic and relax...

Zirje is an island located with the Sibenik archipelago, along the Dalmatian coast of Croatia.

With an area of about fifteen square kilometers, it is the largest island of the archipelago and is inhabited by just more than a hundred permanent residents, expected to decline some more in the years to come.

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How to reach the island?

It is accessed from the mainland via a ferry service from the city of Sibenik and docks at the cove of Muna.

Ferry services from the nearby islands of Zlarin and Kaprije are also available. Private sailing vessels can also stop by the island and take shelter in one of its several coves.

Sailboats in a bay in Zirje island

Sailboats ankering in a bay

Zirje Island: A Nature-Oriented Holiday

It is also a popular stop among those who wish to get away from the hectic lifestyle and have a taste of a laid-back and nature-oriented holiday. Its place-name was derived from the word "zir" that translates into "acorns". The island was once a location of a thick forest of Mediterranean oak.

Zirje enjoys a mild climate and has an average annual temperature of 15 degrees. It rarely experiences drastic weather changes, with both summer and winter seasons comfortable enough for tourists to stop by and explore some of its attractions.

Rain occurs mostly during the winter season and snow is considered a rare occurrence. There are several paved roads in the island, making some places accessible by motor vehicles.

The island boasts of exceptional natural beauty, with a long stretch of coastline characterized by beautiful and pristine beaches teeming with underwater marine life. The hinterland area is mostly covered with shrubs.

Numerous vineyards, olive groves, and fig orchards have been established in Zirje, making agriculture one of its main industries. Most of the agricultural features of the island are located within its central valley where the soil is rich and fertile. This valley is flanked by two limestone ridges.

Zirje island olive trees

The locals also make a living off the bounty of the sea, with a good number of them living as fishermen. Fishing enthusiasts can also head out to the waters surrounding this island if they wish to have a good catch.

Zirje Island Has Great Outdoor Possibilities

Several nature and cycling trails can be found all over Zirje, making the island an ideal destination for those who wish to enjoy the outdoors.

Along the way, visitors can enjoy scenic views, breathe in the fresh air, glimpse some animals and birds, and generally take in the unspoiled beauty that has become a trademark of the island.

There are also ruins of several ancient forts in Zirje, indicating a period of the island's history in which it was used as a strategic point. These forts can be seen above the Velika Stupica and the Mala Stupica bays and were commissioned by Emperor Justinian during the 6th century and onwards.

Visitors can explore the remains of these former military structures and enjoy the spectacular coastal sceneries provided.

One of the island's historical monuments is the church of Velika Gospa that was constructed in 1480.

Those who wish to stay in the island overnight or for several days have to make arrangements with local inhabitants for shelter, as only the private type of accommodations are available.

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