Guide to Visiting Kornati Islands: What to See, Where to Stay, What to Do
Did Bernard Show exaggerate when visiting the Kornati islands for the first time describing it as ‘On the last day of the Creation God desired to crown his work, and thus created the these islands out of tears, stars and breath’.
Probably he did! But only until you see them with your own eyes. Should you ever decide to visit these islands (you will regret if you don’t go), you may at first be astonished by the contrast of sharp white rocks (similar to the moon surface) and the relaxing blueness of the sea, hiding infinite secrets of its inhabitants.
However once you became aware with this natural surroundings, you will become conscious that you are in the middle of the heaven on earth with two unbelievable patterns perfectly matching each other.
Based on the union of these two extremities, Kornati National Park will take your breath away.
A trip to the Kornati islands will definitely be a significant piece to the puzzle of your visit to Croatia, because strolling on the islands will be an favorite pastime. A view of the Kornati beauties will convince you that Mother Nature truly thought of everything. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the beauty that the these islands have to offer.
How to enjoy Kornati islands?
Sailing & boat renting
Experiencing Kornati by taking a boat tour or sailing by your own, is an essential magnetism for visitors. It is the best way to discover the archipelago in the richness of its remarkable indented islands and numerous coves.
An yummy fish lunch (in many konobas (restaurants) , combined with swimming in secluded locations difficult to reach from the mainland, provide a genuine self-indulgent experience of the islands .
There are many excursion providers available during the main tourist season, with many excursion schedules daily from Murter island. Typical offer includes daily excursion with departure in the morning (around 09 AM), and return in the afternoon (06 PM).
If you are a diving devotee than these islands are created just for you. Whether you are an experienced diver or a beginner, Kornati submarine life will not disappoint you.
Seven diving zones invite you to discover the underwater excitement. All you have to do is follow the lead of one of the local diving centers that are sure to point you in the right direction. My choice is Najada Diving Club from Murter.
Hiking & walking trails
There are two educational trails in the National Park: Trtusa and Vela Panitula. The both trails offer visitors an opportunity to discover the environmental story of Kornati from geography, meteorology, terrestrial and marine biology to island traditions.
Keep in mind that the terrestrial part of the park is privately owned by the local inhabitants (mainly from Murter island). They are owners of the island’s land with the exception of the coastal area that is part of the maritime domain.
Hiking to numerous viewpoints is not particularly demanding, but visitors are advised to always carry sufficient quantity of drinking water with them and to use the existing island paths and trails.
Where to eat and sleep?
The whole Kornati archipelago offers a great number of taverns (konobe) and some private accommodation. Vacation houses on Kornati Islands are the ideal choice for everyone who wants to enjoy a Robinson style vacation or looking for a peaceful and quiet destination.
This house in Suha Punta settlement on Kornati is located 15 m from the sea. The nearest beach to this accommodation is a rocky beach.
The house is categorized as “Facilities near a beach”. You will be the only guest in this house ( it can can accommodate 6 persons). The owners will not be in residence during your holiday in this house.
This house also includes a yard of 200 m2. The house owner also owns a boat, which can be rented but it must be booked in advance.
His house accommodates 4 persons in the Statival village, Kornati. It’s located 20 m from the sea. The nearest beach to this accommodation is a sand beach. The house is categorized as “Facilities for peaceful vacation”. You will be the only guests during your holiday. The hosts will not be in the house for the duration of your holiday.
A boat renting is available, but it must be booked in advance. The property cannot be reached by car. This house is considered as ‘Robinson Crusoe style’ property type.
Accommodation capacities are rather limited, but visitors can arrange boat rental or delivery of supplies with landowners, in order to make their island stay more comfortable. More info you can find on private rentals inside the National Park you can find on Kornati National Park website.
Kornati Islands Attractions
The famous “crowns” (steep cliffs) of Kornati are a characteristic feature of most of the islands of the archipelago that face the open sea. The highest ‘crown’ in the Kornati National Park can be found on the island of Klobucar (rising 82 meters above the sea). The longest ‘crown’ (above the sea surface) is on the island of Mana (1350 meters long).
Proof that the islands were inhabited at the time of the Illyrian. Small individual or grouped rectangular dwellings are still visible on islands of Kornat and Zut (Yellow).
From the Byzantine period, the most remarkable historical monument in the Kornati archipelago is the fortress of Tureta on the island of Kornat, most probably built in the 6th century.
It was for sure the military garrison that controlled navigation through the Kornati archipelago. It’s the only monument left.
Island of Lavsa salt-works
The cove of Lavsa on the island of the same name hides the submerged remains of the salt-works and salt storage facilities from the second half of the 14th century. During low tide, these stone remains rise above the sea surface.
Church of Our Lady of Tarac
Only the apse and part of the foundations have remained from the original Church of St. Mary. In the Late Middle Ages, a small church dedicated to the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built in the nave of the original church. This small church is also known as the Church of Our Lady of Tarac.
Kornati Islands dry stone walls
Dry stone walls represent one of the most impressive cultural attractions in the Park area. These stone walls (present on each island) were built across the entire width of the islands, connecting both sides of the islands.
The height of these walls is enough to prevent sheep to jump over them and into pastures belonging to other owners. The total length of dry stone walls in the area of the Kornati islands park is 330 kilometers.