Bench of the Week: Impromptu Bar on Žirje Island

By 4 September 2017

With this week's feature on The Bench, an unofficial thesis seems to be forming: the best examples of The Bench are to be found on the islands.

After Korčula and Hvar, we're heading to Žirje, the furthermost island in the archipelago of Šibenik. Measuring just a bit over 15 square kilometres in size and inhabited by an impressive number of 50 residents, Žirje is a perfect destination for a Robinson vacation... or anyone who's just looking for a little peace and quiet.

The island is a beautiful oasis covered in unspoilt nature where life seems to slow down as soon as you step off the ferry; even in summer months, the temporary population doesn't grow further than 500. A visit to Žirje implies leaving the commodities of the modern world behind: the island doesn't have a resident doctor, no police station, there's no running water, and electricity is scarce. Whatever envy-inducing shot you were planning to post on Instagram will have to wait, as there's no internet either.



Getting groceries used to be an adventurous feat that entailed traveling to other islands or the mainland; these days, there's a small market open in the summer months. As you can see in the photo above, it's stocked only with essentials: half sweets and snacks, half beer. What else do you even need for a day at the beach?

In such conditions, what better place for a focal point of social life than in front of the said market? Here you can see TCN's leading man in his natural habitat – island, bench, beer – accompanied by what I presume to be three laid-back locals drowning the ennui and enjoying some quality conversation.


Ah, island life. So harsh at times, yet so pleasant and carefree... as long as there's beer on hand.