Veli Rat lighthouse is one of the most iconic places on all of the Croatian coast. Dugi Otok island is (to me) the most beautiful of all of our islands but it lacks press coverage, good accommodation options and more historic towns to have travelers visiting. Of course, the peak season is crazy but that is only about 30 – 40 days. The rest of the year is quiet and peaceful. I remember few winter visits and fantastic coastal drives from Telascica bay to Veli Rat lighthouse… Will have to repeat it soon.
Veli Rat lighthouse is the oldest (1849) and the tallest lighthouse on the Croatian coast (42 m). One of the most popular curiosities is that, for its yellowish facade, 100 000 egg yolks were used.
It was built back in the days when Austrian empire decided to protect increasingly important trading routes leading all the way to Northern Adriatic ports of Rijeka and Trieste. Along with Veli Rat, numerous other lighthouses were built and all of them are still standing and in use. One cannot imagine our coastline without these beautiful “monuments” and they are an essential part of our maritime heritage. Of course, many other places have had less impressive, much older “lighthouses” and one still survives on Murter. Probably from the Roman times or even earlier Some of the used to lure the unsuspecting ships to disasters…
In total, 189 steps lead to the top. Looking down, it is almost surreal and quite abstract. The same with the side windows.
Once you reach the top, beautiful views of the coastline open up…
Although many lighthouses have been abandoned and new, automatic lights have been installed, several will keep their crews due to their importance. Veli Rat is one of them and there is always one family living here. Its well known white light can be seen over 20 miles away and for many sailors and fishermen, is the first light of our home coast.
We met Zvone, current lighthouse keeper who is actually from Slavonija and lives here with his wife and two children. He is known for his 1980s Mel Gibson styling and is a great guy to hang out with!
If you are looking for a special accommodation option, Veli Rat lighthouse is quite popular although the two apartments offered can be much nicer and there is quite a bit of traffic in the peak season. But still, it is a very special holiday.
Veli rat is not as peaceful as it was while I was visiting as a kid, before the war, but it is still very special place to see and to visit. No matter if you are just coming here on a day trip or visiting in style as the guests on this monster:
We had a special privilege to organize a stay here for one of our royal clients on a very unique helicopter journey down the Adriatic coast.
Veli Rat lighthouse and sheer beauty of Dugi Otok is equally impressive for royalty and commoners alike.
One can clearly understand why is there an ever increasing number of escapists applying for a job of a lighthouse keeper. Running away from the madness of modern way of life, this looks like a perfect job place where one can enjoy a good book (or hundreds of them) and to raise a family.
And am so looking forward to my winter visit!