Discover our small island village

About Kali

Kali kamena kuća

Get to know Kali

Kali is a small village, extending approximately 15 km. The distance from Zadar is app. 3 miles or a 30-min boat / ferry ride. It is situated on the southern part of Ugljan island. On the north, it borders with Preko village and on the south with Kukljica village. Kali was first mentioned in a document dating back to 1299 AD, however the archeological findings at Orjak hill prove that it has been inhabited since prehistory.


Kali fishermen, the most famous fishermen in the world, indeed have a claim to fame. Besides putting bread on their table (and sardines), the fishing craft simply runs in their blood. Since the 19th century, fishing gear can be spotted all over Kali. There isn’t a family in Kali that hasn’t bred a fisherman. Fishing in Kali started developing more intensely in the 19th century. As fish is scarce close to the shore, Kali fishermen had to sail out into Zadar channel and the open sea of the Adriatic to look for it. They specialized in tuna fishing using purse seine nets, and since mid-20th century, they have been using purse seine nets to catch small pelagic (blue) fish. Kali fishermen are also employed all around the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean.

Olive growing

Villagers have been growing olives and producing olive oil for centuries. Olives are also the main crop, habitually cultivated in an eco-friendly way. Kali boasts of one of the largest oil mills on Zadar islands. Kali oil is held in high esteem on the market, due to its exquisite organoleptic properties. In the past, people have used it for treating stomach, bile and kidneys diseases. Olive oil is vastly used in local Kali cuisine. In the late morning, a local would get things rolling by having a wine and olive oil soup with some bread on the side – an appetizer of a sort.

Local dialect of Kali

It is not unusual for Croatian towns and villages to have unique dialects, distinct from the closest town, even the village next door. Kali is famous in the Zadar archipelago for its archaic local (chakavian) dialect, locally called ‘kualjski govor’. Instead of standard Croatian ‘more’ (sea), the locals say ‘muore’ (sea), replacing the vowel ‘o’ with a diphthong ‘uo’. Used habitually by both younger and older generations, Kali inhabitants have thus expressed love for their village for over decades. If you want to learn Kali dialect, go to, an online dictionary of Kali dialect, which actually started as an attempt to bring extinct words back to everyday use. Kalipedija contains over 3500 words in local dialect. But that’s not all! Wishing to preserve ‘the real’ Kali local dialect, the villagers’ unique expressions were recorded as an audio addition to Kalipedija - a reference to what the dialect actually sounds.