Prvic

  • prvic

    Windiest Croatian island

    Prvic is an uninhabited island in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea, located in the Kvarner Gulf. It is the largest of the so-called Senj Islands, a group of small islands and islets located off the coast of the mainland city of Senj, lying between the larger islands of Krk and Rab. Prvic has an area is 12.76 km˛, which makes it the 30th largest Croatian island, and its coastline is 23.12 km long.

    Prvic and parts of the nearby island of Krk are areas with the highest concentration of Common sage (kadulja) shrubs in the entire Croatian Adriatic.

    The island itself is shaped like a steep cliff stretching northwest-southeast and is 7.4 km long. Its westernmost point is called Debeli Art and its northernmost point is cape Brezonjin, where an automatic lighthouse called Stražica is located. The lighthouse was built in 1875 and consists of a small stone house and a 5 meters tall lighthouse tower. A crew of lightkeepers were stationed on the island until it was made fully automated in 1974.

    arta Although most of the island is inaccessible as its coastal areas are made up of steep barren cliffs 250-300 m high, the western slope where the lighthouse is located has several gullies through which the island's plateau can be reached. The western side also has several coves which are suitable for swimmers, and near the beach called Njivice on the southwestern part of the island the remains of a medieval settlement owned by the House of Frankopan were found. The sea around the island is on average 70-90 meters deep, with the deepest point being at cape Šilo, where a depth of 107 meters has been recorded.

    The island is also notable for the bora wind (locally known as bura) which blows in gusts on average 203 days per year, and even reaches force of 11-12 on the Beaufort scale (indicating a violent storm or hurricane-force winds) 73 days per year, according to weather records which used to be kept by the lighthouse crew. Because of this, Prvic is considered the windiest Croatian island. Although the island is uninhabited, it is frequently used by shepherds for pasture and by local beekeepers who keep apiaries on the island. Prvic and parts of the nearby island of Krk are areas with the highest concentration of Common sage (kadulja) shrubs in the entire Croatian Adriatic, and honey produced by bees feeding on the plant's nectar is prized for its quality.

    Griffon Vultures, a protected bird species, are known to breed at Prvic, and their colony on the island is second in size only to their main breeding ground on the island of Cres, to the south of Prvic. The island marks the northern boundary of their coastal habitat. In addition, there are 17 species of endemic plants which grow on the island. Because of this the island of Prvic is legally protected as a botanical and bird reserve.

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