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Donkey race in Tribunj - Experience a competition of the stubborn in Dalmatia

Donkey race in Tribunj - Experience a competition of the stubborn in Dalmatia

A spectacle in honor of the symbol of Dalmatia

We have already written a lot about Dalmatia in our posts and we can say that it offers everything. Beautiful cities full of historical sights, great food, crystal blue and clear sea, beaches and everything your heart desires for a perfect vacation. Have you decided to spend your dream vacation in one of our villas in Dalmatia? If so, learn more about an interesting attraction that you should not miss!

In order to better understand the attraction or rather the competition that we will present to you, it is necessary to explain the tradition and life of the Dalmatian region. In Dalmatia, olive oil and wine have always been produced, fish caught and delicacies made from smoked and dried meat thanks to the bora wind. As cars have not always existed, and the products were supposed to be transported from the coast to the hinterland and vice versa, the donkey played a large and important role.


These stubborn animals have always been used by humans for transportation and have even been used to help in plowing. In addition to physical labor, donkeys were also highly valued for their milk. Their milk is very healthy and has many medicinal properties and today it achieves extremely high prices. But let's go back to the beginning of the story… You must have realized by now that the attraction we are talking about is in some way related to the donkeys. Now we will explain what exactly it is about.

The small town of Tribunj is located near Sibenik, about which we do not have to write too much because it is already very well known to most people. So Tribunj is a small town on a small island that is connected to the mainland by a bridge and was named after the old Slavic god of the autumn sun Trebunj. The town has become a very popular destination because the "Tribunj donkey race", which takes place there at the beginning of August. The first race took place in 1950, when a group of young men returned to the island from their studies during the holidays. The young men organized the race due to nostalgia, but also for fun. From then until today, the race takes place in Tribunj in early August.


The donkey race takes place in honor to one of the symbols of Dalmatia, usually grey stubborn donkey. Before the race, a parade with competitors dressed in traditional costumes of the area takes place. After the parade, the spectacle begins. The race starts on the main square of the city, goes across the bridge, around the peninsula and ends again on the square, where it started. The audience is gathered all the way to cheer on their favorite, but the real stars of this competition are still the donkeys.

They decide who will win and who will reach the finish line at all. Their main characteristic is stubbornness and if they decide that they dont feel like racing, there is no way or force that will make them move! Thus, during the race, you can often hear: "Come on, for God's sake!“, "What are you doing, go ?!", "Run, oh God!", etc. The donkeys are often interested in the audience, so instead of running towards the goal, they decide to visit the audience. But if they are „in the mood“ they can run so fast that they do not have to be persuaded in order to get started. All in all, these animals are very fun and pleasing to the heart and the competition will never, ever be boring or without surprises!


The race itself has 3 laps and a total of 12 competitors and donkeys. In the first round, 3 qualifying rounds are held with 4 competitors. The two best from each group go to the finals. This is followed by the next race, in which the losers of the first race participate and the best goes to the finals. In the final, the nine best compete and the one with the fastest donkey wins the race. At the very beginning of the competition, only men participated, but on the fiftieth anniversary, women were also allowed to participate in the competition. It is important to note that the competition can only be entered if at least one parent is from that area! Women, men, donkeys and the summer heat are the perfect combination for an unforgettable experience full of laughter and cheering.

Visit Tribunj during this unique race, cheer, make a tour through the small town and, of course, taste local specialties. Book one of our beautiful villas with pool in Dalmatia and discover why Croatia is the best choice for the perfect vacation!

Petra Stazic

+385 1 222 70 50