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Discover Palagruza island - a glimpse into the life of the lighthouse keepers

Discover Palagruža island - a glimpse into the life of the lighthouse keepers

An oasis in the middle of the open sea - Palagruza!

Palagruza is an uninhabited small group of islands in Croatia, 68 nautical miles (125km) south of Split and about 59km away from the first inhabited island of Lastovo. It's only 52km to Italy. The nature reserve belongs to the Komiza municipality and consists of several smaller islands: Vela Palagruza, Mala Palagruza, Kamik od Tramuntane, Kamik od Ostra and Galijula.

Palagruza comes from the ancient greek word “pelagos”, which means “open sea”.

People on the mainland who have never been there would compare the island to a natural prison. But for those who have been there once, it is the place of absolute freedom. Surrounded by nothing but the sea, you can find Yourself here. Strong winds and a swell with waves up to 9m high sometimes show the power of nature and the actual powerlessness of humans. Either way, it is a truly unique experience.


The main island of Vela Palagruza is 1,400 m long, 92 m high and 300 m wide. The lighthouse has been located here on the 90m high mountain since 1875, and is alternately inhabited by 2 guards throughout the year. Not so long ago it was customary for the lighthouse keepers to spend the whole year on the island with their families and only be allowed to enjoy 12 days of vacation on shore. There was a vegetable garden, goats, chickens and a donkey. They caught their own fish. Today, due to new technologies and possibilities, there is a monthly change and the guards are alone. The vegetable garden is still there. :-)

The archipelago belonged to Austria-Hungary until 1918, after which it was ceded to Italy as a result of the war and only in 1947 to Yugoslavia, under the Paris Peace Treaty. However, archaeological finds show that Palagruza was inhabited more than 9,000 years ago. In the Middle Ages, there was also a monastery here, the ruins of which can still be found on the island's middle saddle.

Today this small oasis in the middle of the open sea only receives visits from the fishermen from Komiza. Since the 14th century, Palagruza has been known for being one of the most generous positions to catch small blue fish (sardines, anchovies). Blue fish are still caught today, including tuna and salmon, but in smaller quantities, and fishermen in the area mainly catch lobster and skimmed fish.


What is also very interesting is that the islets are covered with caper bushes. Capers have been used since ancient times and are a savory delicacy in Croatian cuisine. In the past, they were often considered a natural remedy or aphrodisiac.

In any case, this place is something very special and gives its visitor a strange feeling, which will certainly be remembered for a long time.

If you have booked one of our villas with pool in South Dalmatia and you have the opportunity to visit this jewel of the Adriatic on a boat trip, then do not hesitate and experience the absolute freedom of the island of Palagruza in the middle of the open sea.

Daniela Vuleta

+385 1 222 70 50