The jewl of the Croatian Adriatic - Kornati Archipelago
Posted on Feb 15 2010
Situated in North Dalmatia, not far from Sibenik, there is the most indented island group in the Mediterranean also known as the crown jewel of the Dalmatian island chain - Kornati. Due to its exceptional natural beauty, interesting geomorphology and particulary rich biological communities of marine ecosystems, the greater part of the Kornati archipelago was declared a national park in 1980. Kornati should be the focus of any cruise in the area because of many islands, islets and reefs which allow you to try out your nautical skills and all you need for this challenge is just a ticket to the Park.
Kornati islands are rocky, covered with thin grass, rare trees, and although there are no permanent inhabitants, present owners from nearby Dalmatian island visit Kornati every now and then to tend their olive groves and vineyards, or to bring their sheep to graze. Consider this as an opportunity to explore local customs and to perhaps learn more about vine, cheese and olives which are popular Croatian products, often brought home as tasty souvenirs for your family and friends. Find the time to dive into the depths of crystal-clear sea around Kornati islands and choose between seven areas intended for diving groups. Each has its own secrets and thrills so put yourself in hands of well experienced divers in their centre and enjoy.
There are also several magnificent viewpoints (Metlina, Otocevac, Opat, Vrujsko, Litnji vrh, Ravni Zakan ...) and it’s difficult to single out just one. Perhaps Ravni Zakan and its bay are more known due to pristine turquoise waters and elegant Konoba Zakan where you can enjoy in delicious dinner and glass of wine for only about €50 per person. Keep in mind that land of the Park is entirely privately owned so be thoughtful and considerate guests when climbing the peaks of the Kornati.
If you’re planning on staying overnight along the coast of the Kornati islands, you have permission to stay anchored in 16 bays, specially provided for that purpose. Enchanting sky with hundreds of stars and mild wind for cooler night, but still warm enough for a long walks, are the main attractions why many visitors spend their nights in the bay. Of course, when the sine rises, have breakfast and head for more adventures and excitement.
In the immediate vicinity of the Kornati National Park, there are two jewels of protected nature in Croatia - the Telascica Natural Park, which includes a spacious and deep bay of the same name on the neighbouring Dugi otok, and Krka National Park, with seven waterfalls and a total drop in altitude of 242 m that represent a natural and karst phenomenon.
The most frequently visited areas in of Krka National Park are Skradinski buk and Roski slap. Skradinski buk is the longest and the most beautiful waterfall on the Krka River where bathing is permitted and visitors are advised to view the travertine cascades of the river on a safe and leisurely walk along the walking trails and wooden bridges. Near the falls you can stay in a little charming town called Skradin, a town that has its own secret. As its inhabitants like to point out, the secret lays in the harmony, way of life, in its fertile fields and the depths of its rivers, and also in the sea and in its unusually beautiful scenery. In Skradin, you can stay in Skradinski Buk, which is perfectly situated to allow for numerous excursions to nearby national parks and offers you accommodation in exquisite rooms; nights spend enjoying the dalmatian specialties, live music and smaller gatherings on the smaller terrace with breathtaking view of the canyon.
Dugi Otok is well known for it's nature park Telascica, a large and long bay which is also natural extension of Kornati islands. The bay itself is very indented with 25 bays, capes and 5 islands. Thanks to its position it is protected from the blows of the north-eastern wind from the mainland and the south wind from the open sea so it's also very popular among sailing crowd, as safe haven for their yachts and boats. Salty Mir lake is located in the south-western part of the Nature Park and is a ˝must see location˝ while visiting the bay. The lake is salty because its underground channels are connected with the sea and its shores are mostly low and rocky. Be sure to explore island Katina, one of the most picturesque islands in the Adriatic, interesting islet Taljuric, cave Golubinka next to open sea and famous cliffs of the island Dugi Otok, so called ˝Stene˝, rising up to 161 m above the sea level and falling down vertically up to 90 m below the sea level.
All these natural pearls are on the palm of your hand if you choose to visit Kornati islands. So, there's no better way to spend your vacation then sailing among the bays, cliffs and islands; enjoying with your family and friends while tasting well known dalmatian cousine; learning a bit about homemade wine and olive oil; and exploring the Croatian wonder known as Kornati.