I wanted to visit Obonjan since Jared Leto and 30 Seconds to Mars came to the island back in 2019 for a special festival they created. As a private island, Obonjan got opened for visitors a year earlier or so but it really caught my attention with the Jared Leto event. Alas, I was not able to make it then but I finally visited in August 2022. Is Obonjan a fine place for your vacation? Here is what you need to know.
The island may not be that big but it offers all kinds of accommodation – regular tents, glamping tents with private bathrooms, or mobile homes with one or two bedrooms. The personnel even mentioned a hotel type of accommodation although I never saw one. Still, the options got you covered for sure. There is no typical campground where one can use one’s own tent. No worries though, because you can have the full camping experience with the tents that the resort provides.
They promise the so-called “unique experience” on the resort’s website and they deliver. The experience felt unique to me – being on a small island, sleeping in a glamping tent for a first time, wandering around and enjoying the nature. You will have all you need in terms of nature, food, drinks, activities (yoga, some water sports, kids club once a day), and having fun. It is just so cool to be on an island that is not too big, but big enough for all you need to do, if that makes sense. Only visitors of the resort can be on the island, so it is not over populated as many top destinations in Croatia (Dubrovnik, of course). The maximum capacity here is 852 people which felt pretty reasonable in the middle of August when the resort was fully booked.
Breakfast is a must
The breakfast at the island is served from 7:00 until 11:00. There were plenty of options for breakfast and it really got us a good start of the day, so I recommend booking a stay with breakfast included.
The primary thing that some may miss is probably a typical beach with easy access to the water. The main beach on Obonjan is really charming and the water is so blue and clean! However, the only possible access is via jumping in the water or climbing down stairs. This was not a problem for me, but children or older people may find it a bit difficult for swimming. Once you’re in the water, you’re in the deep and cannot step on the ground, so if you cannot swim – not an ideal situation.
The main beach offers plenty of sun beds that come at no additional price but are not enough for all the visitors. Very early in the morning people come and “reserve” these sun beds by putting their beach towels and stuff on them. So every day I would arrive before 8:00 to find out an empty beach with all the sun beds actually “taken” which was not cool. Only around 30% of the people would be there at around 10:00, so the sunbeds are not used and there are many people lying on the rocks…
The South beach
The south beach looks awesome but it was really difficult to get in the water and swim here. I tried getting in at four different places on the beach wearing my swimming shoes, but the rocks were so slippery that I gave up and went to the main beach. I never noticed anyone swimming here during my stay.
Keep in mind
Arrival on the island
The resort has an organized boat twice a day that arrives next to the main beach. We used the Jadrolinija ferry that comes from Sibenik daily just before 10:00 and is at a very reasonable price – around EUR 5 one way. However, we didn’t consider that the check-in is not scheduled until 15:00 so for the first couple of hours we felt a bit out of place. We fixed that feeling at the bar on the main beach. A silly advice probably, but keep in mind boat arrival and check-in times : )
The island is usually open from mid-June to the end of August. In 2022, September was booked for private events and I believe the case was similar for 2021.
Mars Island Festival
Jared Leto and his band did a second edition of the Mars Island event. The first one was in 2019 and the second one – in 2021. These last for three days and are a bit pricey, but be sure to subscribe to the band’s newsletter or so to be in the know if a third edition is on its way in summer 2023.
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