Kornati National Park is a real treat for those who want to experience sailing among the islands and islets of this amazing archipelago.
Kornati archipelago is a National Park in Croatia, located in the waters halfway between the cities of Zadar and Šibenik. This beautiful group of some hundred islands, islets and rocks is scattered like stone pearls across the deep blue sea and attracts many visitors and yachtsmen each year. It is also an ideal destination for boat trip so if you are staying in Šibenik or Zadar, do not miss the opportunity to visit Kornati.
The name of the archipelago is derived from Kornat, its largest island. Kornat, as the rest of the archipelago has never been inhabited permanently, but in the past people from the coastal region of Šibenik and the islands of Murter and Dugi Otok continuously came to the islands and kept their livestock there, and went fishing in Kornati waters. Today numerous kilometers of dry-stone walls can be seen as evidence of human presence on the island. Other human-made attractions on Kornat include the remains of Tureta, a Byzantine fortress from the 6th century, then an early Christian basilica situated in the vicinity of the fortress, followed by a small church Gospe od Tarca. Other islands of the archipelago also have remains of previous structures such as Vela Panitula where the remains of a 16th century Venetian castle can be seen. Next to it there is a small church from the same century. The church was renovated and is still used for sermons.
When it comes to natural attractions, Kornati archipelago itself is beautiful enough that sailing around its islands alone is a rewarding experience. But we must mention some very interesting and lovely sites that must be visited. Kornati „crowns“ are steep cliffs on the outer part of the islands that face the open sea. The longest cliff (1350 m) is part of Mana island while the highest one (82 m) is located the Klobučar island. Many bird species nest there thus climbing the crowns is strictly forbidden. Another interesting site is located on Kornat and it is called Magazinova škrila – it looks like a human made quarry but actually it is a place where a huge block of limestone slid into the sea some time in the past during a strong earthquake.
Kornati archipelago is very attractive for all scuba divers, as its sea bed with numerous fish species is very attractive for diving. Diving agencies from Zadar, Šibenik and Murter offer organized tours for divers so contact them if you wish to go under the surface as individual diving is not allowed. Besides divers, Kornati is also very popular among the yachtsmen and there are several marinas at the archipelago, accompanied by several excellent restaurants so you can also treat yourself with a delicious meal when visiting the Park.
Still, if you are staying somewhere in the coastal part of Dalmatia, the best way to visit Kornati is going on a boat trip. Many agencies offer this excursion as guests that stay in Šibenik and its surroundings don't want to spend their entire vacation on one place, just swimming at the beach and chilling at their apartments or villas. Kornati, and other National Parks nearby such as Krka and Plitvice Lakes, provide an opportunity to enjoy natural beauties of Croatia and have a more interesting and memorable stay in Croatia.