The Island of Budikovac, Where the Sea Touches the Sky

May 5, 2018, TCN is happy to welcome writer number 114 – Ana Matulić, Ana was born in Split and recently finished her studies at the Faculty of Economics in Split with a Masters in Tourism and Hospitality. For her first article, Ana shares her love and experience of a gem on the Croatian Coast – Veli Budikovac island. If you are interested in writing for TCN, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  The island of Veli Budikovac is a truly special place along the Croatian coast, with an official population of one, yet many tours offer you a chance to get a glimpse of real ‘island life’…

As the summer season of 2018 is slowly drawing nearer, I suppose many of you are planning to go on a vacation to just enjoy and relax by the sea. With the world at the tip of our fingers, sometimes it is very difficult to choose one destination that will wow us with its beauty.

In everyday life, many times most of us find ourselves rushing around, running all the time, working all day, going to college, cooking, cleaning and taking care of kids. And these are only a small part of our everyday obligations. But can you imagine yourself, just for a moment, escaping to one place, where you will be surrounded only by the crystal-clear sea, beautiful beaches, nature and serenity, far away from the city noise and crowded streets? A place where you will be able to enjoy with your family, best friends or maybe alone with yourself.

If this sounds interesting, you should continue reading about the most beautiful place which can provide you all of the things listed above. A place where you feel like the sea touches the sky. This place really exists and it is called the island of Veli Budikovac.

Veli Budikovac, sometimes referred to as Budihovac by locals, is a small, almost uninhabited island located in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea. Veli Budikovac (Veli means great) lies northeast of Ravnik island and is located about 3 km southeast of Rukavac – a settlement on the island of Vis. In the vicinity of Veli Budikovac, lies Mali Budikovac (Mali – small), whose surface area is 0.317 km², the length of the coastline is 3.46 km and it takes around 15 minutes from island Vis to the island of Veli Budikovac by boat.

According to the latest population census, there is only one resident living during the whole year on Veli Budikovac, Mr. Andro, the ex-ship captain, known by many on the Adriatic. I suppose many of you are asking yourselves – what is he doing there during the whole year, especially during the autumn or winter time? His answer is always the same, he enjoys spending time there with his animals and plants, surrounded only by sea and nature. He wakes up every morning early, at around 5 am and starts his day with a nice cup of coffee, taking in his picturesque view (wouldn’t you?). His home on Veli Budikovac is a quaint house made of stone, a typical Dalmatian stone house that can be seen in almost every historical dalmatian town. Andro runs a small restaurant on the island during the season, where you can buy the best of traditional Dalmatian cuisine.

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Credit: Tash Pericic,The view from Andro's restaurant

He also has a small animal farm and vegetable fields on the island which he tends to – so you can be sure that the food served in the restaurant is fresh. You can see domestic animals such as donkeys and chickens roaming around and they are very friendly. He often laughs, saying so far, he has raised four generations of chickens.


Credit: Tash Pericic, Andro with one of his best friends

Andro is a character himself but is also writing a book about the people he meets on the island – if he finds them interesting enough to write about. Andro claims that he would never like to return to a city again; now, he has the opportunity to do all the things he couldn’t do while he was living in a city, such as reading books and just sitting, enjoying in the nice view and doing nothing (fjaka). He spends at least 11 months on the island of Veli Budikovac and is easily recognisable by his little straw hat.

This incredible place is often called the Blue Lagoon. When you see the pictures, I am sure you will understand why. On the bottom of this both blue and green sea you can see many sea urchins. But, do not be afraid of them. Croatians love sea urchins because according to our ancestors, sea urchins are proof that the sea is extremely clean, so clean that you can almost drink it. It is not unusual to see schools of fish swimming around so close, sometimes you feel as if you could easily catch them with your own hands – I tried, trust me, it is not so easy.

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Credit: Slaven Starčević

Last summer I worked as a hostess on speedboats. Our tour visited the island of Veli Budikovac daily, and it was my pleasure to show my guests this unique place with breathtaking views. Every single guest was fascinated by its endless beauty and by the special sea colour. Observing how the sun reflects on the sea surface is truly enchanting; as a result, you can see the sea and its surface shifting between hues of greens and blues.

People always used to ask me how I didn't get bored visiting the same place every day. Actually, I didn't. Every day was a new experience and you never know what to expect there. Is the sea going to be an azure blue, or maybe a brilliant turquoise, or perhaps something in the middle, undefined yet still magical... Every time I have reached Veli Budikovac with my guests I found myself admiring the setting with them, as if for the first time.

When I posted a photograph on Instagram of Veli Budikovac with its turquoise sea (without filters), I received a call from a friend of mine – she was fascinated by the photo I posted, claiming that she had never seen something like it before, and she had visited many exotic destinations, including the Maldives. Sometimes I think Croatians are not aware of how beautiful our country is, especially the coast with its hidden bays, small beaches and turquoise sea. The truth is, Croatia is an exotic country and we don’t have to travel anywhere outside to experience something unique and unforgettable.

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How to reach the island of Veli Budikovac:

There are many travel agencies in Split (and other places near Split) that provide boat transfers to Veli Budikovac, or to any other island on the Croatian coast. Also, many travel agencies offer (in Split and many other places nearby) popular one-day Blue Cave tours that usually include the island of Veli Budikovac as one of the stops during the trip.


The prices average between 65 - 120 euro for a Blue Cave or 6-islands tour. You can book your trip or boat transfer online, just type keyword ‘Budikovac’ or ‘Blue Cave tour’, or in Split on the main promenade (the Riva), there are numerous small stands selling these tours. Of course, if you have your own yacht, then you can sail there and anchor in the bay - just be aware that the area is under concession.

Unfortunately, there are no hotels or apartments on the island of Veli Budikovac or any other accommodation provided. Andro is the only person who has the concession and he runs only a restaurant. But if you want to stay very close to this paradise, you can find yourself accommodation somewhere near, for example on the island of Vis.

The island of Veli Budikovac is not able to be reached by ferry; the island Vis is the closest island to Veli Budikovac, so you can get the ferry to Vis and an organised tour, or book a private boat from Vis – so you can visit this paradise of your own accord.

When you google Blue Lagoon try to be sure that the agencies or trips you book refer to ‘Veli Budikovac’ because ‘Blue Lagoon’ is used to refer to many different bays sometimes.

What to wear and what to bring with you:

If you are travelling on any of the speedboats from Split, you will often be provided with a jacket, but be sure to pack a light jumper just in case the breeze is a little cool – especially since you will be travelling at speeds of upwards of 20-knots. A hat and sunscreen are also advisable, as the summer heat can be intense but once you arrive, a swimsuit is more than enough. Packing goggles is also a good idea, so you can explore the amazing sea floor full of life. And don’t forget to bring some water or something to eat – unless you plan on dining in the hospitality of Mr. Andro. (Note: it is also worth checking whether lunch is included if you book a one-day speedboat tour). Besides this, there is only the one restaurant on the island and no other shops.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to bring a good mood with you.

And always remember: Try to meet yourself at the place where the sea touches the sky. 

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Credit: Slaven Starčević