National Park Kornati

Few places in the Mediterranean concentrate so much of what the modern tourist needs for a complete rest on such a relatively small area, as do the Kornati Islands. The Kornati are the densest island group in the Adriatic, with small fields, hidden oases of large-crowned pines and olives, quiet and sheltered bays ideal for escape from the noise and worry of civilization.


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Cultural traces of past centuries, scattered throughout the rocks of this now so peaceful stone desert, are proof of permanent and restless life in this region. The Kornati are both tame and wild, they tempt and entice tourists to come and enjoy complete peace and forget everyday life here, so close to the city bustle and yet so far away, surrounded by breathtaking countryside, and to feel the vast strength of Nature in her original form.


The Kornati Islands lie between the Zadar, Biograd and Šibenik Islands. They are situated between Dugi otok, Lavdara, Pašman, Vrgada, Murter and Žirje. The islands stretch parallel with the Dinaric Mountains from Dugi otok to the end of Kurba Vela and include 148 islands, islets and rocks - alt together 35 km long and about 13 km wide. They were named after the biggest island, Kornat.


During the centuries the Kornati passed from Croatian rulers to the Venetians and to Zadar nobles, and after the abolition of feudalism their masters became farmers from Murter, Betina and Sali. The Venetians and uskok pirates burnt and plundered them, and so did the Nazi-Fascists in the World War II. Chapel of The Visitation (Gospino Pohodenje), on the naked hill of Tarac, (the island of Kornat) is already mentioned in the 10th century. It served for the shelter of fishermen and hermits.


Today farmers, fishermen and shepherds from Murter sometimes stay on the Kornati working their fields, guarding livestock and fishing. There are also fishermen and farmers from neighboring Sali and its surroundings. The Kornati are uninhabited and wild, with untouched nature, bizarre landscapes and magnificent sunsets and storms. This is why they attract so many tourists and are important for the development of excursion, sports and nautical tourism.


The sea bed near the shores is built of rocks of magical shapes: sharp points, bare slabs, deep fissures, cracks and caves, in which live red corals, pearly shells, sea snails and shellfish in hundreds of different shades. In this rocky world live the best and tastiest species of Adriatic fish. The Wagnerian romanticism of the seabed does not attract only underwater fishermen.


Many people find joy watching for hours through the simplest mask that world of silence, miraculous colour and form, and ever restless life. If you want to visit the Kornati or spend several days there with your Kornati hosts, you must turn off the Adriatic Tourist Road between Zadar and Šibenik and drive to Tisno, crossing the bridge to the island of Murter.


Continue to the town of Murter, whose inhabitants own over 200 fishing cottages scattered throughout the picturesque coves of the Kornati Islands. A holiday can be spent on one of the temporarily inhabited islands, completely cut off from civilization with the sea and maestral breeze, in the company of fishermen and seagulls, in a fishing cottage or in a tent - like present-day Robinson Crusoe.