Veli Iz / Iz Veli (Iz)

Veli Iz: Entrance to the bay with the town set amongst the trees

Veli Iz: Entrance to the bay with the town set amongst the trees

Veli Iz is known for its pottery. It used to supply much of the Adriatic coast. Local folklore says the artisans, when returning from their sales trips, would throw unsold items overboard.

The village is surrounded by greenery, including fig and olive trees. It’s the largest settlement on the island of Iz, though the population is just a few hundred. The island has close links to Zadar, who’s nobility owned much of the land in the middle ages. Today, yacht charter crews are not the only visitors – there’s a ferry service from the mainland.

The high bell tower of St Peters looks out across the bay. Marina Veli Iz on the south side only holds around 45 yachts. alternatively, you can use the town quay at the west end, by the church. Ashore you’ll find a couple of supermarkets and a selection of restaurants and cafes.

You’ll find plenty of pottery shops. There used to be a workshop where you could see some of the few remaining potters at work but I’m not sure it’s still there. You will however find plenty about the craft, along with many examples and old tools, in the Heritage Museum  (Zavicajni muzej), an offshoot of Zadar’s National Museum.

There are several Romanesque buildings, a couple of churches and the remains of a fortress to explore in town. There’s also a pleasant walk up from town up the Korinjak Hill.

Visitors in late July should check the exact date of the 2 day Iz Festival. The locals get dressed up in traditional costumes and there are various contests including tug of war, water polo and football. Home made food and grilled pilchards are on offer. The evening party includes a concert and the festival culminates in the election of the new King a Iz, a long standing ceremonial position.

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