Dugi Otok Triathlon Long Island in September embraced by nature

The inaugural Triathlon Long Island on the gorgeous Dugi Otok (near Zadar) will take place on September 23rd – surely one of the most picturesque triathlons or sports activities in Croatia this year. Dugi Otok (its name literally means ‘long island’) is known far and wide for its pristine natural environment, although it remains a pleasantly low-profile destination, despite Croatia’s current popularity.

Triathlon Long Island

At 43km long and just 4km wide, Dugi Otok has plenty of relatively untouched natural beauty for everyone to enjoy. With plenty of hidden coves, sheer cliffs, ancient ruins and gorgeous white pebble beaches, the island is the perfect place for travellers seeking unforgettable scenery and historical sites. In particular, the southeastern coast of Dugi Otok is marked by steep hills and cliffs, whilst its northern half is cultivated with vineyards, orchards and sheep pastures. The centre of the islands see a series of karstic hills rising to 338m at Vela Straža, the island’s highest point.

The island is also home to the stunning Telašćica Nature Park, which acquired protected area status in 1980 because of its valuable flora and fauna, geological and geomorphological phenomena, versatile sea bottom life, and interesting archaeological heritage. The Park is also in immediate contact with two other protected areas, National Park Kornati and the significant landscape of the Sit-Žuz Island Group.

Telascica Nature Park

A triathlon is an increasingly popular way of spending your holidays or getting to know a new destination, and Croatia is no exception to this! Dugi Otok itself abounds with numerous bays that are ideal for a triathlon. Telašćica Bay is one of the safest natural harbours on the Adriatic, and therefore one of the potentially most scenic triathlon destinations. The bay itself is protected from winds and waves; part of Telašćica Nature Park, boat speeds are also limited, contributing to the safety of the entire area.

Triathlon Long Island

The swim section of Triathlon Long Island starts at Sakarun bay – one of Croatia’s most loveliest spots, known as a true paradise beach. Shallow waters and a sandy sea bottom are set off by dark green pinewoods on land, shimmering white pebbles on the beach, and a sea that changes hue during the day, depending on the position of the sun.

Sakraun

After a 1900m swimming lap in a counterclockwise direction, triathletes then head south on a 90km long bike ride (1266m elevation ride) towards Telašćica Nature Park on the southeastern part of island. Dugi Otok is perfectly designed for a bike competition such as this, and the course will be closed to public traffic.

With the bike course finishing near Telašćica, the run part of the Triathlon will then cover a 21km course through this Nature Park – one with breathtaking views and a stunning panorama. The Triathlon Long Island finishes in Sali, the municipal and administrative centre of island and the largest settlement with the largest population. Sali is a typical Dalmatian village with thousands of years of fishing tradition and ancient olive groves that surround the village.

Triathlon Long Island

Triathlon Long Island - Dugi otok, Pantera bay and Veli rat

Dugi otok, Pantera bay and Veli rat

Ivan Peri, one of the race organizers and a member of Triathlon Club Zadar, says:

“Dugi Otok is, as its name suggests, the longest island of the Zadar archipelago and offers everything that is needed for organizing a unique triathlon experience: a long road and the beautiful sea. Swimming at the sandy beach of Sakarun, cycling along the length of the breathtaking island of Dugi otok (from Sakarun to Telašćica Nature Park) and continuing with running through the park takes the power of the entire experience to a whole new level, while also stimulating our motivation to be even faster and better. Join us on this beautiful triathlon adventure and see why you’ll never forget Dugi otok.”

Ivana Čari, director of the Tourist Board of Dugi Otok, says:

“We appreciate team from Triathlon Club Zadar recognizing the opportunity this premier triathlon event brings for Dugi Otok in our island’s sports tourism development. All our guests come to tell us not to change anything, to preserve natural beauty and mystery. That’s why our slogan is Dugi otok – undiscovered island. The island is characterized by a dramatic landscape of great contrast, with steep slopes, thick pine forests, numerous sandy beaches, hidden bays, and coves. It is a perfect place for those in search of tranquility and relaxing holidays, swimming in the stunningly turquoise sea, enjoying sea and sun. We do hope all the participants will enjoy our magnificent island as we are delighted to welcome them.”

To really get a feel for the island, check out this Triathlon Long Island teaser clip:

Dugi Otok is the perfect destination for those who want to combine racing triathlon and relaxation; ‘switch off’ from the world and take a break from your routine. It’s still an undiscovered Croatian island of adventure and peace at the same time, providing a unique low-cost late season island race destination in the European triathlon calendar, on an island abundant in nature and perfect for outdoor activities. At the race finish, you’ll also be able to experience the island fair featuring crafted products and festivities common to this small community.

Registering for Triathlon Long Island

Registration for the event is currently open. Fees for registering for Triathlon Long Island until 15 July are:

  • Licensed athletes – €70
  • For non licensed athletes there is additional fee of €10
  • Relay race (licensed & non licenced) – €90

Registration fees from 15 July until 1 September:

  • Licensed athletes – €100
  • For non licensed athletes there is additional fee of €10
  • Relay race (licensed & non licenced) – €120

All athletes from Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia have a 40% discount on the price.

All participants who book their accommodation with a partner of the event are entitled to a discount on 20% on accommodation.

For a code name, go to the website contact.

Go to www.triathlonlongisland.com/register to register your place!

Telascica

How to get to Dugi Otok?

The closest airport to the island is Zadar Airport – see our page on Getting to North Dalmatia to see who flies there, and Getting to Zadar for other transport connections to the town.

Zadar is also a key transport hub with ferry connections to the surrounding islands. From Zadar, Dugi Otok is served by regular Croatian Jadrolinija ferries to Brbinj, 12km south of Božava. A high-speed passenger shipping line and a ferry line connect Dugi Otok island (Sali village) with Zadar (peninsula) daily through four round trips; journey time is 1 hour 20 mins; cars are permitted. Brbinj village has a connection with Zadar through a ferry boat line. The departure point of the line is the ferry port Gaženica in Zadar. Božava village also has a connection to Zadar (peninsula) through a high-speed passenger shipping line with one trip a day.

More on Triathlon Long Island and Dugi Otok

Please see  www.triathlonlongisland.com for full details on the event.

For more on Dugi Otok, see the Dugi Otok Tourist Board website, or the Nature Park Telascica website.

With thanks to Jurica Cvjetko for content and images on Triathlon Long Island.

Triathlon Long Island
Dugi Otok, Croatia
23rd September 2018

Triathlon Long Island