About 22km southwest of Sibenik, Zirje island is a continuation of the Kornati island archipelago. It's the most remote inhabited island of the Sibenik island group and the best choice for a rural island holiday particularly if you'd like to slip into the rhythms of a traditional way of life that is nearly untouched by tourism.
The topography is similar to the other Kornati islands with lots of rocks and sparse vegetation. It wasn't always that way The name derives from the "acorns" that sprouted from the once-plentiful oak trees. Now it's maquis that covers the limestone ridges while vineyards, olive groves, fig and plum orchards spread across the flatlands. The indented coastline is speckled with bays, islets and coral reefs providing ample breeding grounds for fish and lobster.
The island has an interesting history. There are remnants of a late-Hellenic fort erected in the 6th century as well as traces of other ancient defensive structures around the island. The island first belonged to Zadar and then became part of Sibenik in 1323. When the 15th and 16th-century Venetians controlled the Dalmatian coast Sibenik's aristocratic families built summer houses on the island. Later the economy, based on fishing and farming, foundered and much of the population emigrated.
There are no hotels on the island and a limited amount of private accommodation.
There is no tourist office on Zirje Island. For further information ontact the Sibenik county tourist office.
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