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Kvarner Sights

Goli Otok

  • Jail

Updated 10/06/2014

Fodor's Review

Like Communist history? Consider a day trip to this uninhabited former Yugoslavian prison island just off the coast of Rab. Goli Otok means "naked island" and was so named for the lack of vegetation and habitable conditions on the island. After Tito broke ranks with Stalin in 1948, the island became infamous as a place where Yugoslav political prisoners sympathetic to the Soviet Communist agenda were imprisoned. Men were incarcerated here while women were taken to nearby Grgur island. The treatment of these prisoners is wholly unknown, as very few prisoners lived to tell of their experiences, but a stone quarry indicates that prisoners were forced to do hard labor quarrying stone. Conditions on Goli Otok were harsh, with blistering temperatures in the summer, and brutal Bura winds ripping across the barren island in the winter. Any mention of Goli Otok was strictly forbidden in Yugoslavia until after Tito's death. The prison was completely abandoned in 1989, but prison barracks

remain there. You can make a short trip to this legendary gulag by taxi boat with one of the many charter companies in Baška or Punat on Krk island. Or book a full-day excursion aboard tour boats, which depart from all major coastal towns; expect to pay around 260 Kn for a full-day excursion to Goli Otok with lunch.

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Updated 10/06/2014


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