Although the island of Silba is small in area, it is full of sandy and pebble beaches and coves, areas overgrown with holm oaks, and unusual sights
Discovering Silba Island: A Mediterranean Haven
Situated snugly between Olib and Premuda, Silba embodies a rare, awe-inspiring essence that few other Croatian islands can claim. Its allure is a symphony of uniqueness, painting a canvas of distinction that stands proudly against the backdrop of the sea. Amidst this picturesque setting, the azure waters embrace a fleet of charter vessels and luxury yachts, gliding gracefully, adding a touch of sophistication and elegance to Silba’s already enchanting maritime panorama.
Charter your yacht today for an unforgettable island voyage
Authentic Island Experience with Iconic Toreta Tower
Although it is a small island with only 15 square kilometers, Silba abounds in sandy and pebble beaches and coves, as well as unusual sights like Toreta Tower.
Silba’s central spot, descending to both eastern and western coasts, is named after this very place. The island’s untouched northern and southern regions, abundant with holm oaks, offer perfect terrain for explorers and hiking enthusiasts seeking hidden gems.
Cultural Appeal and Artistic Heritage
Although Silba is best known as the island of captains and shipowners, perhaps because of these hidden corners it is also a favorite among creative people. Ever since the 1970s, when it was discovered by free and often naked artists and some famous musicians, who spent hot days under the shade of pine trees in an informal camp, but in peace and rarely beautiful beaches, the island has (p)remained a favorite among artists.
That art ‘vibe’ somehow survived until the 21st century, and today it is most active through the platform ‘Sea Silba environment art’, artistic as well as activist under the leadership of Natasha Kadin, an artist who is dedicated to improving the quality of life on the island, with concerts, shows, exhibitions and environmental actions that enrich life in the summer months.
Fortunately, there is no hotel on the island, and you can forget about cars because there are none on Silba, so tractors are the main means of transportation, even a kind of attraction, given that we are in the 21st century where everything is electrified.
Maritime Roots and Architectural Heritage
However, in the past, the island of Silba was both known and recognized, especially because of its location, as an ideal stop on the way to the then very important and 30 nm distant city of Zadar.
The island is already mentioned in the 9th century, when it belonged to Zadar, and in the middle of the 19th century, the inhabitants bought it and became masters of their own island.
Because of its location, some people call Silba the gate of Dalmatia, so the island was often a target for pirates, so the inhabitants had defensive towers – castles (remains of only one preserved) and small watchtowers built in nearby bays, such as those in Papranica and Sv. Ante.
Navigating Silba’s Scenic Beauty
Moorings and Secluded Bays
This bay in the southwest of Silba is one of the more popular moorings with 20 buoys, and in the middle of the season it is quite crowded. In the western part of this spacious bay, which is well protected from winds like tramuntana and mistral, there is also a chapel of the same name, and in the east there is a beautiful sandy beach.
When sailing over a long distance, you should avoid the shallow NW punt, but also pay attention to the reef in front of the SW punt, so it is best to tie to one of the buoys. Lovers of anchoring (depths five to 15 m) should keep in mind that the bottom does not hold well here. A little further south is the bay of Južni Porat with eight buoys, which is well protected from winds from the north and east.
Exploring Hidden Gems
On the island, it is also possible to anchor in the quiet bay of Papranica (unsafe for the south), which is located a mile north of the town, and from which the road leads to the highest peak of the island – Varh (83 m). On the eastern side of the bay there is a small port, anchored on the sand, and ten buoys are available here.
On the coast there are about thirty moorings equipped with water and electricity connections, which from this year are under the jurisdiction of the County Port Authority, as well as the pier in the Port (Žalić), and there is also the office of the Harbor Master’s Office, and a small landing stage of the local ŠRD Galeb, which will come in handy if you need to fix any malfunction on the ship, so you can contact secretary Bogdan Lazarin.
Local Eateries and Gastronomic Delights
The first building on the waterfront is the Silba tavern, the interior of which is decorated with numerous nautical flags, each of which tells a sea story. There is also the Katrida restaurant nearby, and both offer classic island cuisine, because fine dining doesn’t fit on an island like this anyway.
For the end, we have left the best and perhaps the most relaxed place on Silba – tavern Alavija, a favorite place for locals and tourists alike, because whether you are waiting for the ferry or a loved one, you are on your way to the beach, or you have come here attracted by the smells of Dalmatian pašticada, baked or roasted fish, this place rightfully enjoys a great reputation and offers a perfect view of the open sea with famous sunsets.
Yacht your way into Silba now
Luxury sailing yacht SCORPIOS was built in 2003 by yacht builder Radez, offering 6 cabins, from which 4 convertible, for up to 12 guests, catered by 11 crew members. This luxury cruising yacht is a true gem, considering her luxury design and exceptional service, offering her guests an unforgettable charter experience. SCORPIOS boasts plenty of unique areas, all designed with ultimate luxury and guest comfort in mind.
Captivating Allure of Silba Island
Maybe that very view or the heavenly sandy beaches, the lack of cars, the artistic vibe or maybe everything in the package, are the hook that almost everyone catches and there are few who do not return to Silba, because as the great Herman Melville wrote a long time ago – ‘Water and meditation belongs to eternity’, and part of that eternity, we are convinced, is also scattered on the beaches of this special island.
Text Filip Bubalo
Photos Boris Kačan, Mihaela Miškić & Shutterstock