The island of Susak
Susak, the Adriatic jewel, attraction and target of numerous explorers, journalists, film and TV cameramen, is still Insula incognita (unknown island).
In its own way, Susak is a natural phenomenon of our Adriatic sea and a small wonder of nature. Its unique features distinguish and separate it from other Adriatic islands.
A sandy island with surface area 3.7 km2, it was recorded in maritime cartography as far back as the 13th century.
The earliest known inhabitants of the island were the Illyrians who built a protective and look-out hill-fort on a peak elevation of the island – Vela straza (Great watchtower) – 98 m.
The only settlement on the island is divided into two parts: old Gornje Selo (Upper Village) – developed around the former Benedictine abbey of St. Nicholas in the 11th century and a new settlement, Donje Selo (Lower Village). Gornje and Donje village are linked by 150 steps.
Susak is an island of vineyards and cane which protect the terraced soil from sand erosion. Susakers are Croats whose occupation is wine-growing and fishing. By nature, they are extremely witty, resourceful, ingenious and religious. They are also noted for their old-Croatian speech and national costume, especially the woman's everyday mini peasant dress and festal dress.
The largest population of Susak was recorded after the 2nd World War. In the sixties of the last century, mass emigration to the USA depleted the population. It is estimated that today in America there are 2,500 Susakers, mainly in the state of New Jersey. From 1985 onwards, «Emigration Day» is celebrated on Susak the last day of July.
As far back as Roman times, the island was planted with grapevine and even today, it is known for its famous wines.
Susak has a lovely old parish church dating from 1770 with a huge wooden cross «Majestic God» from the second half of the 11th century. The patron saint of Susak is St.Nicholas. Susak's cemetary «Merine» is the most beautiful cemetary in these islands with impressive and valuable monuments, always beautifully kept and decorated with fresh flowers.
Susak has a magnificent sandy small bay, clear sea with medicinal properties attributed to its sand. It has a tourist office, post office, bureau de change, Harbour Master's office, medical clinic, two grocery shops, a Home for the Retired, Emigration Centre, a winery named Cosulich, parish office as well as several restaurants and cafes.
Accommodation with householders is the best choice as it affords the possibility of getting to know that authentic world.
The island is connected by a regular daily shipping line with Mali Lošinj and by catamaran with Rijeka.