The archipelago of Kornati is a wonderful piece of paradise consisting of 147 islands of various shape and size. Endless bays with crystal clear water and landing places for boats allow the arriving charter tourists to have a great time amidst a virtually pristine scenery. This area is one of the most beautiful regions of the Adriatic Sea.
Sea & Coast
Off the northern Dalmatian coast in Croatia
, in the Adriatic Sea
waters, there is one of the most beautiful and densest archipelagos in the Mediterranean
. Just west of Sibenik
, the Kornati archipelago has 150 islands which spread across an area of 320 sq km. Most of them are small and uninhabited, which is why the southern part was declared a national park back in 1980, but that doesn’t stop yacht charter enthusiasts from sailing these waters.
The biggest island of the archipelago is Kornat island which makes up for two thirds of the park’s surface. The archipelago also consists of numerous islets and coral reefs which are scattered around the azure waters of the Adriatic. All of them are affected by erosion from the sea and from the human influences (farming and overgrazing). On the southwestern side that faces the open sea the coasts are generally steep (as high as 80m), limestone cliffs, alternating with karst depressions.
However, the zone is extremely popular with sailors who come here for daytrips from the Croatian coast. The Kornati Islands are characterized by a sparse vegetation. However, there are also extensive olive groves and fig plantations, not to mention vineyards and citrus trees. These are the only man-made modifications to the archipelago.
The weather is somewhat similar to that on the Dalmatia
coast, with mild winters, with an average temperature of 7 degrees in January while in July it goes up to 24. During the summer the days are mostly sunny and there are few precipitations, however, as winter draws in cloudy days become more frequent. Snow is only a seldom occurrence. In conclusion, the best time to visit the Kornati archipelago is during the summer months.
Culture & History
Since this area hasn’t been inhabited there are few buildings, modern or ancient that survive to this day. It is believed that during prehistory there was a population living on the islands but since then there have been no permanent dwellers. The only sights left for visitors are a few old Roman ruins and some churches.
Today, the islands are mostly inhabited by farmers who come seasonally to harvest crops and tend to the sheep flocks. Sailing is permitted everywhere, including in the national park, but for fishing, sailors need a special permit issued by the authorities. Another popular pastime in the Kornati islands is scuba diving, but that too requires a special permit and certain areas are off limits.
Seamanship & Experience
There are plenty covers and bays where a yacht charter crew can seek refuge but there’s only one marina in Kornati, on the island of Piskera, within park limits, and one outside the park, on the island of Zut. There is plenty of exploring to do but care must be taken when sailing between some of the closer islets as there are underwater rock and coral formations that could cause damage to your boat.