Prvic Luka and the iconic “Tijat” boat ride

I have been invited by my friends Gabe and Kristi Frlekin to visit them in Prvic Luka on the island of Prvic. Gabe’s father was from Prvic Luka so, when he first visited, he fell in love with the place and kept coming ever since.  Prvic Luka is a typical Dalmatian village still preserving it’s authentic charm.

I was also looking forward to a boat ride on board the old “Tijat” as this is probably one of the most beautiful public boat rides in the country starting in Šibenik and stopping at Zlarin, Prvić Luka and Prvić Šepurine before reaching Vodice and going back.

Tijat in Šibenik
Tijat in Šibenik

Built in 1955. in Split, Tijat still represents the old times when many more people lived on the islands and depended on the safe and secure connections with Šibenik and Vodice. Although the local sea transportation authority, Jadrolinja, wants to replace the old ships with new ones, they don’t have the money so Tijat is looking at at least several more years of connecting the mainland with beautiful Zlarin and Prvić.  So, when in the area, do not miss this boat ride or just visit one of the islands on this probably the most scenic boat ride in the Adriatic!

The channel of Sv Ante or the Šibenik channel
The channel of Sv Ante or the Šibenik channel

So, I was on board on Tijat at 9:30 and enjoyed the ride to Prvić where Gabe and Kristi were waiting for me. But first stop was Zlarin  – one of the most beautiful Croatian islands and definitely worth visiting for a full day or more. Still remember when we used to take guests on board or own “Barbarinac” to Zlarin and Krapanj back in late 1980s… Zlarin did not change much and it is still very authentic and preserved!


Next stop: Prvić Luka.

Prvić Luka
Prvić Luka

I met Gabe and Kristi in front of Tijat and, since I had to be back on the next boat back, we decided not to waste time and they took me around to see the village and to learn more on the memorial center/museum Faust Vrancic that is still under construction. So we met with Mr. Ivan Nimac who started this project out of pure enthusiasm and passion for this great historic heritage.

The models after Faust Vranicic's drawings
The models after Faust Vrancic's drawings

Here is more on Faust Vrancic:

Faust Vrancic (b. Sibenik 1551-d. Venice 1617), was a typical Renaissance “homo universalis”. A notable scholar whose interest comprised mathematics, physics, phylosophy and technology, he spent some time at the court of the German emperor Rudolf II who was also the sovereign to the Croatians, Hungarians, and Czechs. His major work was “Machine Novae” (New Machines), printed in Venice at the beginning of the 18 century, with the pictorial (49 etchings) and textual descriptions of 56 different technical constructions. He had anticipated the numerous technical inventions which were to be applied later to water or wind powered machines, to mills, ships, boats and excavators. His most interesting invention was, certainly, a parachute or “Homo volans” (The Flying Man) as called by Vrancic himself. Faust Vrancic performed a jump with his parachute somewhere in Venice in order to test it. This fact is explicitely stated in a book written by English bishop John Willkins (1614-1672), secretary of the Royal Society in London, only 30 years after the jump. The title of his book which contains this important testimony about Faust Vrancic is Mathematical Magic of the Wonders that may be Performed by Mechanical Geometry, part I: Concerning Mechanical Powers Motion, part II, Deadloss or Mechanical Motions, published in London in 1648.


See Vladimir Muljevic: Hrvatski znanstvenici Antun i Faust Vrancic, Encyclopedia Moderna, god. 14, II, Zagreb, 1993.

Every day life
Every day life

Prvic is a typical Dalmatian village with only 300 inhabitants left but lots of locals who now live in Šibenik,  come back during weekends and especially so in the Summer months when there are people everywhere. There is also a great local restaurant Stara Makina in Prvić Luka known for great food.

Only 15 minutes walking distance way is even more picturesque Prvić Šepurina but did not get there this time…

So, we had a lemonade in a cafe by the sea waiting for Tijat to come back and it was time to go…

Gabe and Kristi
Gabe and Kristi

And it was time to get rid of the kids who climb the sides trying to jump in that foam the ship creates when going in reverse…

Kids will always be kids...
Kids will always be kids...

This is truly one of the most beautiful boat rides in Croatia! Not being too long and touching several picturesque little harbors, it should be advertised as one of the last authentic experiences as Tijat itself has that charm of the mid 50s bringing back some other times to minds…

Under the walls of Sv Nikola fortress
Under the walls of Sv Nikola fortress

When in Šibenik or Vodice, get on board Tijat to enjoy Prvić and Zlarin: great experience of Croatia’s disappearing  island life… Fun for the whole family!


  1. Dubrovniklady says:

    A lovely post and it made me remember my first trip to the Dalmatian Coast in 1954. We need to do all possible to keep the island lifestyle alive and especially the Tijat.

  2. Morgan says:

    Is this kind of “island life” truly disappearing? Maybe at Hvar, or at Bol. but even on Brač and the island of Hvar there are still traditional villages seemingly undiscovered by tourists.

  3. Maria Costanzo says:

    How I will miss trip to Zlarin this year – but there is always next year – thanks for the beautiful photos and the wonderful memories of summers past.

  4. I absolutely agree! It is these unique things that make Croatia so special.

  5. @ Morgan – Yes…. There are very few people living on islands these days and most of them now depend on tourism although they have olive trees, they go fishing and some still keep the goats… We are the generation that is witnessing the disappearance of that traditional lifestyle and although there are some undiscovered villages on all islands, just count how many newborn babies there are and you will see that Croatian islands are changing forever.

    @ Maria Constanzo – You’re welcome!

  6. Morgan says:

    I guess “my” island is still behind the times; never a big tourist place, it has out of necessity depended more on olives and fish, lavanda and ruzmarin, chickens, goats, and vegetable gardening. I do know some young parents with babies, too. The biggest events in summer are the klapa fastival and the fishermen’s weekend. I know the population in the low season is dwindling, but as for the people who stay, they are even more strongly interested in maintaining the traditional lifestyle, or they would move to Split.

  7. @ Morgan – I think life on islands is much better than on the mainland but people feel limited by many things just because the society is imposing that feeling upon them and not because they really are. Also, you are talking about a big island and imagine folks on Premuda, Ist, Žirje… thinking about moving there some day.

  8. Norah Prouhet says:

    It took some effort coming from California but we were able to visit Prvic
    Luka in May of this year. The experience was something I will never forget. My grandparents were Rodin & Frlekin and approaching the island on the Tijat at dusk was incredible. Being the low season there was only one other
    person in the hotel and the island was so peaceful and scenic with no
    distractions of planes, cars, etc. We spent an additional 10 days in Croatia but that was the highlight of the trip.

  9. Thank you, Norah! While most of the travelers are still doing the Split – Hvar – Dubrovnik routine, I am glad that more and more are discovering Sibenik and the amazing archipelago just off the coast.

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