The Olive Gardens of Lun Project was created in 2010 as a joint effort of the City of Novalja and the Novalja Tourist Board; the beginning of its implementation was in 2012 and its completion in mid-2013. The project aims to protect the natural and cultural values and promote a unique landscape. A necessary document basis was drafted to improve the infrastructure inside the area of the olive grove in order to arrange easier access and more successful promotion of this protected area. The offer forms a unique whole consisting of multiple elements: sightseeing of the protected area by electro-vehicles, strolling along gravel paths stretching more than 7,000 meters, front desk also serving as an info-point for further information on the location itself, stone houses / stands where small and medium entrepreneurs can sell local homemade products, stone benches and wastebaskets.
Most of the funds were provided by the European Union through the IPA IIIc programme – regional competitiveness, as part of European heritage, and a smaller amount by the local government and the Novalja Tourist Board, enabling the realisation of the project to the delight of all visitors. It is thus the intention to protect these natural and cultural treasures in the interest of preserving heritage for future generations and to enable visitors to enjoy this ancient beauty in peace and quiet upon new paths.
Lun olive groves stretch over about 24 hectares and account for more than 80,000 oblica cultivar trees grafted on a wild substrate of the Olea oleaster linea olive. Around 1,500 oblica trees stand five to eight meters tall, with an average age of about 1,200 years, while the oldest olive tree in Lun is 1,600 years old. This olive grove is unique in the world due to its large number of millennial trees all in the same location, something that not even the famous olive groves of Israel and Greece can boast.
“The world has its seven wonders, and these olive groves with well preserved wild olive trees, protected from fire and other human forms of ignorance and devastation, are a prime world wonder. Surrounded by clear waters and rugged bare rock, nature created something no human genius could have contrived. This olive grove is a rarity that belongs not only to the island of Pag and to Croatia – nowhere else in the entire Mediterranean are wild olive trees this well preserved in their natural habitat. This is an admirable example of the olive tree defying its surroundings of rock, the bura wind and mankind. This battle of the wind against the centennial tree trunks provided each tree with a distinct character, thus by observing these shapes, each olive tree may tell the story of its struggle with the bura wind”
(Karmelo Poštenjak, PhD).
Bonsai of Lun
“Our sheep made sure that we look like Japanese bonsai.Unlike other olive groves, the branches are cut high so the sheep can pass freely. While we were small bushes, the sheep nibbled on our young leaves that hide sharp branch edges. In this way, sheep carved us into various shapes that look like they were formed by an artist.”
A unique example of the so called bonsai of Lun can be seen when passing along the main route of the main axis marked on the map of the olive gardens of Lun.
* all info and photos from Lun Olive Gardens official web site.