A pearl in the Zadar archipelago. The island of Ošljak is the right place for those looking for a peaceful vacation!

The smallest inhabited island in Croatia, Ošljak, has always been home to a unique blend of history, tradition, and natural beauty. Today, only 35 inhabitants live there.

Located in the Zadar canal, this island pearl is only half a nautical mile from Preko on the island of Ugljan.



Ošljak island, View from Kali, Photo: Jean-Noël Lafargue, CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED


Ošljak has deep roots that go back to antiquity. It is an example of traditional Mediterranean architecture where there is an old and idyllic fishing harbor and the interesting church of St. Mary from the 6th century.

The name Ošljak itself is not the only one that the island bears. The local population often calls it Lazaret, a name that carries its own story. In the 17th century, Ošljak served as the Zadar Lazaret, a hospital intended for the isolation of leprosy and plague patients.


Ošljak island, Photo: Maarten van der Bent, CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED


And where does the name Lazaret come from? It is the name of the Venetian island [Santa Maria di] Nazarèth, which in turn was named after the monastery of the same name on the island, the place of the first quarantines and the oldest hospital for the isolation of leprosy and plague patients.


The best accommodation in the vicinity of Ošljak can be found at the Heritage Hotel Dunatovi dvori.


The Lazaret is also connected with the name of St. Lazarus, the protector of the infected.



Today, Ošljak is no longer a place of medical isolation, but an idyllic refuge for those looking for a vacation in a peaceful environment. The island delights visitors with its beautiful nature and the clear sea that surrounds it.

The hiking trail on the island is two kilometers long and passes by the lighthouse and the remains of windmills – mills from the 16th century and through a forest park with dense vegetation of pines, cypresses, and holm oaks.




Ošljak was therefore declared a forest park in 1985. Today it is connected by a ferry line with Zadar (Gaženica) and Preko and deserves your visit at any time of the year!



The publication was created as a result of the joint work of the editorial staff.

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