Silba and Olib Day Trips from Novalja: A Complete Guide

Posted in   Uncategorized   Updated on February 17, 2024    By Jelena Samaržija  

If Novalja's sun-soaked beaches and buzzing energy start to feel a little overwhelming, escape is surprisingly close.  From the port of Novalja, the tranquil isles of Silba and Olib beckon with a slower pace and captivating natural beauty. 

Imagine car-free Silba, where sandy coves and a sleepy village await, or Olib, with its ancient Roman ruins and fragrant olive groves. Day trips promise to soothe your soul with simple pleasures and a glimpse into Croatian island life at its most authentic. 

Whether you seek sandy serenity or a stroll through history, Silba and Olib offer a delightful counterpoint to your Novalja adventures.

Why These Two? A Little Intro

If Novalja sometimes feels like it's bursting with energy, Silba and Olib are the complete opposite. Imagine this:

Silba: The Car-Free Wonder: Picture an island where walking, bikes, and the occasional tractor are the only transport. The pace? Think slooooow and oh-so-peaceful.

Olib: History Comes Alive: Cobblestone villages, ancient ruins whispering of old empires, and olive groves so old you feel time warp as you wander them.

The Best of Both: Each island has its own personality, yet they share a quiet charm that feels like a balm for the soul after busy days on Novalja.

(photo credit Sunturist)

Practical Stuff That Makes Planning Easier

Let's take care of some logistics before you dream of pristine beaches and the smell of pine trees:

Getting There is Half the Fun: Ferries and catamarans run regularly from Novalja, especially during spring and summer. The boat ride itself is a visual treat - island views all around!

Day Trip Doable, Overnight Even Better: See one island in a day? Sure! But I swear, they have this way of keeping you for an impromptu night at a lovely guesthouse. Pack light, just in case.

Timing's Everything: Avoid weekends if you can, even small isles get more crowded. Go early in the morning, come back on a later ferry – maximize your serenity!

Websites Can Help: Look up [Ferry Company Website], especially off-season when schedules change. Don't rock up at the port without being sure there's a boat back!

Day trip Silba

(photo credit TZ Silba)

Silba: Like Stepping Back in Time (In the Best Way)

Here's why Silba works its magic, especially if you want utter escape:

Village Vibes: The main settlement has that cozy Mediterranean feel: terracotta roofs, colorful flower boxes, cats sunning themselves, and zero car noise. Bliss.

Beaches to Yourself: Even in peak season, find sandy strips and pebbly coves with hardly a soul around. Pack a picnic, swim, read... pure simplicity.

Toreta Tales: Silba's known for a tower at its highest point. Hike up for sweeping views and a little local lore – think pirate attacks and star-crossed lovers.

Souvenir Hunting: Seek out locally crafted jewelry, often inspired by the sea and Silba itself. It beats those generic 'Croatia' keychains every time!

Olib: For Explorers & History Buffs

This island's calling card is a fascinating past mingling with natural beauty:

Roman Ruins Aplenty: Remains of a villa, fortress walls, even an early Christian sarcophagus... they're scattered casually, a constant reminder of civilizations long gone.

Sandy Surprise!: Slatinica Beach is Olib's gem - golden sand (rare here), gentle waters for swims… perfect family spot, but rarely crowded.

Olive Oil Heaven: Olives have been grown here for ages, some trees incredibly ancient. Small farmstands sell delicious oil for edible souvenirs.

Foodie Finds: Being small, Olib restaurants specialize in local catch and grandma-style recipes. Think fresh seafood, slow-cooked lamb... don't rush lunch!

Tips for Making the Most of Your Trip

Here's some insider advice to take your island hop to the next level:

Embrace Getting "Lost": Maps are useful, but the best finds are down unassuming alleyways or forest paths. Let serendipity be your guide for a bit.

Chat with Locals: Even with basic knowledge of Croatian, smiles and gestures go a long way. You'll get insider tips on hidden spots or the best bakery treat.

Sunset Missions: Both islands have magical spots for sunset watching. Pack a drink, find your place, and let the show melt away any lingering city life stress.

Stargazing Stars: Light pollution's minimal here. After dark, it's nature's own dazzling light show above you – pure silence and a starry sky for company.

Who Is This Trip Right For? (Be Honest!)

Let's be real, Silba or Olib aren't right for everyone. The charm is that they're NOT Novalja, so these getaways are ideal for you if:

You Need Slow: If the thought of lazy hours seaside with barely a schedule brings a sigh of relief... hop on that ferry!

Explorers at Heart: Whether it's sniffing out historic sites or hidden paths... you're up for adventure, but maybe a gentler kind than what Novalja offers.

Couples Craving Connection: Leave the world behind for stolen moments on empty beaches or lazy lunches in a sun-drenched garden. It's pure romance.

Solo Serenity Seekers: This is introvert heaven. Book in hand, sunhat on... rediscover your own rhythm without distractions.

(photo credit Boat Franeša Excursion)


Do I need to book ferry tickets ahead? 

Peak summer, absolutely! Spring is often fine for day trips with more spontaneous plans, but don't risk it on weekends.

What about food on the islands?

It's all about simple restaurants serving local flavors: fish grilled to perfection, seasonal veggies grown nearby. Few fancy joints, but tons of charm.

What should I bring? 

Besides swimwear and adventurous spirit? Sunscreen, comfy shoes for exploring, and maybe a light jacket, as sea breezes can get chilly.

Are there ATMs? 

Not always reliable! Better to draw cash on Novalja beforehand. Small places prefer local currency anyway.

Can I do this with kids? 

Yes! Beaches are often calm, the pace is easy-going. Just a reminder: Silba is car-free, so strollers aren't great on its paths.

Silba & Olib Day Trips from Novalja: Final Thoughts

Silba and Olib day trips from Novalja will linger in your memory long after the tan fades. There's an authenticity about them, a slowness that forces you to appreciate the small joys: the perfect curve of a pebble found on the beach, the warmth of a freshly baked pastry bought from a friendly local, the symphony of crickets as darkness falls.

Sure, Novalja and Pag Island has its buzz and excitement, and I do love the energy of that too. But sometimes, the heart needs the hush of waves and cobblestone streets that feel steeped in stories.  

Whether you come back from your island hop relaxed and radiant, or inspired to create something with those new thoughts swirling in your head, consider your mission accomplished. The essence of those islands is pure nourishment for the soul.

And hey,  who knows?  Maybe after this little taste, you'll be tempted to explore all the other gems nestled in our archipelago... but one step, and one ferry ride, at a time. 😉

About the author

Jelena is a Novalja Local. She is an expert in local tourism as she worked for a tourist agency for over a decade, received her tourist guide license, and also organized tours all over Croatia. Local cuisine is her forte as both of her parents are renowned chefs who specialize in Dalmatian food.

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