Without any doubt, one of the most attractive excursion by boat from Klenovica is the one to Goli otok (Naked Island). With its notorious former prison, among tourists the island is also known as “Croatian Alcatraz”. Numerous buildings, prison cells and workshops have witnessed cruel destiny of convicts on island’s stone surface.
Goli Otok, Infamous Alcatraz of Yugoslavia.
Sailors call it Mountain Canal or Bad weather canal due to the constant year long, hot and cold winds. Here, in the Gulf of Kvarner, Goli Otok can be found, sometimes known as ‘Bare Island’. It is a five square kilometer rock cliff of blinding limestone, bare and almost devoid of vegetation. The northeastern wind chills the island during the winter. The southern wind scorches it in the summer.
The coast overlooking the mainland is steep and inaccessible. The sea is up to thirty meters deep. The south coast is more sheltered. You can dock a boat here and see bushes and pine trees dotted about. The nearest point to reach Goli Otok from the coast is Lukovo, a small village of eleven inhabitants, about two nautical miles from the island. There are three islands surrounding it: Prvić, San Gregorio and Rab. Like Goli Otok, the first two are uninhabited.
In 1939, under the monarchy dictatorship of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, General Dušan Simović proposed to turn Goli Otok into a concentration camp for communists. The proposal was rejected, but ten years later an irony of fate marked the destiny of this island. Tito organized actual deportations to an isolated and difficult to reach place able to accommodate thousands of people. A prison that looked something between an Alcatraz and a gulag. A place wanted, created and managed by Communists to punish, reeducate, and deprive other Communist comrades of their dignity and freedom.
And so from 1949 until 1956, Goli Otok become the prison of those who were condemned as enemies of the people of Yugoslavia. All its captives remember it simply as a living hell.
You can reach Goli Otok by joining an excursion on Kremenik boat. The trip includes a visit to the prison & panoramic train ride as well as a stop on the neighboring island of Grgur. The ticket price includes lunch menu in one of the island restaurants. From Klenovica it takes about 50 minutes to sail to Goli Otok.
Watch the Documentary to find out more!