This is a story of a small gem within many beautiful places of Sibenik archipelago. A perfect spot for a day trip – quiet, traffic-free getaway with nice pebble beaches, narrow streets and stone built houses.

A small ferry is for pedestrians only. It takes only 5 minutes ride to cross a narrow, 400 meters wide channel between Brodarica (a village on the mainland, 5 km distance from Sibenik) and Krapanj.

Archipelago Tours Blog and Tips: Krapanj - hidden treasure

So, what makes this island so special?

Krapanj is the lowest and smallest inhabited island in the Adriatic sea. It has a very specific, yet simple shape – it is completely flat with the highest point of just 1.25 meters above sea level and it has a surface of just 0.36 km2.

Back in the sixties of the last century, it was also the densest populated island of the Adriatic. Nowadays around 200 people live there.

History

The colonization of this island began in the 15th century when local people were searching for a retreat from Turkish attacks. Due to the limited surfaces for cultivation, the people begun to exploit the sea.

This island is famous for its 300 hundred years long tradition of sponge harvesting. Today there are several very valuable collections displaying the items connected to this trade. The oldest collection is the one within island’s Franciscan monastery.

You will be able to see old diving equpiment, spears and various tools, but also priceless items such as coins, sculptures, jewelry and amphoras originating from Roman times.

Dalmatia as it once was – stone built houses with small fishermen’s boats moored next to it

Sea sponges

These immobile aquatic animals cling to hard surfaces such as rocks or corals. They are classified as animals, but have neither a central nervous system nor brain.

Sponges are found in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.

They are also the oldest living animals on our planet.

Living sponges are coated with dark elastic skin that has pores through which water flows. This way they feed or rather filter nutrients. Processed sponges have had the outer skin and the entrails removed from the structural element or skeleton. Their skeleton is what we use as a sponge.

Archipelago Tours Blog and Tips: Krapanj - hidden treasure