Palagruža – heaven on the open sea that enchanted Diomedes himself

Palagruža – heaven on the open sea that enchanted Diomedes himself

The most remote Croatian island group

Most boaters like to dreamily sail the open sea in absolute peace and quiet. The outer Croatian islands let you enjoy this zen feeling. Far away from civilization, these islands defy the forces of nature like superheroes. That is why they are so beautiful, so remote and so irresistible.

 

One of these remote Croatian masterpieces on the sea is the Palagruža island group on the open sea. It consists of some ten islands and islets in the middle of the Adriatic. 68 nautical miles south of Split lies the most remote Croatian island group, which is closer to the Italian, than to the Croatian coast. The group consists of the main island Vela Palagruža, with a lighthouse, and Mala Palagruža, Kamik, Tarmuntona, Pupak, Kunj, Baba and Gaće, with shallows and reefs that can be dangerous. Three nautical miles towards the south-east lies the southernmost point of land in Croatia, the islet Galijula, around which the biggest storm waves ever seen on the Adriatic were measured.


In contrast to Jabuka, this island group has been an important navigation point because of its position since the antiquity. Although the nature here is not hospitable, people lived on Palagruža 9000 years ago, and certain archaeological findings indicate that the Greek hero Diomedes was buried on this remote island group. Diomedes was the king of Argos and a hero of the Trojan war, in which he accidently wounded Aphrodite, the goddess of love. He sailed into the Adriatic by accident, chased by her revenge and anger. Here he was recognized as a deity, in whose honour a shrine was built. Nowadays, Vela Palagruža attracts boaters with its beautiful nature and truly peaceful surroundings. It is recommended that you wait for fair weather in the summer months before setting off on a day trip to the island group, on which according to records, on Ash Wednesday on 9 March 1177, pope Alexander the Third hid from a storm and spent time with local fishermen. Boats are somewhat safe in two locations: The Veli žal beach on the southern side and Stara vlaka on the north-western side. When you disembark, you will be thrilled by the oldest lighthouse in Croatia, which was built in 1875 and watches over and directs passing ships like a caring mother. Two lighthouse keepers live there throughout the year in shifts and it is possible to stay here for those looking for Robinsonesque tourism.

While walking to the imposing building, you will feel like you have entered a new, parallel world. You can almost feel the stories of the Greeks, Romans, Benedictines and fishermen from Komiža who enjoyed this part of unspoiled nature. If weather conditions allow, have a swim on the Južno zlato beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia, and have a look around. The colour of the sea and the feeling of a huge, almost endless expanse will take your breath away.

 

Croatia’s heaven on the open sea is located on the position 42°23' N and 16°15' E.