Already in the ancient times, that is, somewhere around 1800. BC, on the hills near today's Kolan, there were the settlements of the ancient Liburnians. The remains of the walls on the hill of Gornji Gradac and on the peak of St. Vid confirm this thesis. There is jet another castle under the name Donji Gradac that used to be the settlement of the ancient Liburnians dating from the same time, but unfortunately the walls of this pre-historical settlement were ruined during the construction of the road Kolan- Mandre thirty years ago.
Numerous pre-historical graves all over the pasture grounds nearby exist as the confirmation of the presence of population in these areas (bronze jewelry was found in them). The population of this zone continues through the times of the Roman Empire which is evident from numerous remains of roman rustic villas on the edges of the valley of Kolan (Kavrle, Ograda, Polacine, Jurevice, Rnakovac, Lazic, Didine, Stomorica.)
The name Kolan derives probably from Roman aqueduct (channel lat. kanalis) which carried water from the valley of Kolan (Bunar) to the place called Cissa, near Novalja.
Kolan is mentioned for the first time as a settlement in historical documents in the response from the Venetian Council to the Councile of Pag on March 2. 1441. In this document the Venetian Council gave permission to the Council of Pag to found a settlement in the area called Kolan. The parochial church in Kolan dates from the same year. In the area of Kolan district (today's district spreads within the same borders) there are partially preserved little medieval churches: St. Vid from the year 1348., St. Marko from the year 1493., St. Duh from the year 1391., St. Marija from the year 1393. and St. Jerolim (end of the 15 century).
Throughout the history Kolan has been primarily laborer's locality which lived from sheep breeding and agriculture, but the inhabitants also occupied themselves with fishing trade in the neighboring villages Mandre and Šimuni. Kolan used to have once its own coal mine in the valley of Kolan (Vele Grbe and Male Grbe) where coal was been dag for many years.
Kolan, including Mandre, has 720 permanent residents who more and more occupy themselves with tourism and catering, but at the same time they do not neglect the production of healthy food. Kolan had its own school hundred years ago (1903). There is the only ethnographic collection on the island in Kolan. It is a big tourist attraction. In Kolan KUD (Cultural club) "Bartol Kaouršic'' is active since 1978. It cherishes the old customs (dance, songs "nakanat" and carnival tradition). It is also active the singing group ''Kolan''.