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One the most popular parts of Croatia, this beautiful archipelago is a mixture of around 140 islands, islets and reefs. The large part of the archipelago has been declared a national park. The islands are not permanently inhabited. Some of them are inhabited during the summer, when the tourist season starts. The simple structures are used as shelters for the landowners and fisherman. The national park consists out of 109 islands, which are mostly stony, and a small part is cultivated.

It is considered one of the most, if not, the best place to sail in Croatia.

Additional Info About National Park Kornati

Airport and transport – Šibenik (around 34 km); airports in Zadar (around 32 km) and Split (from Šibenik around 60 km).

History – the larger part of the Kornati island group was proclaimed a national park in 1980.; human presence from the Paleolithic Era; the first colonization recorded in the time of the Illyrians (4-7 thousand years ago); during the Roman time life was very active (traces of antique buildings are now mostly under the sea); it is assumed there was no constant inhabitants on Kornati up to the 13th century; the island of Pišera was also inhabited during the Middle Ages and served as a storage point for fish.

Interesting to see: Tureta fort (island Kornat; probably 6th century; according to numerous experts the most imposing building, which can be found today in the Kornati); the early three-apse Christian basilica (building from the Byzantine era; located at the foot of the fort Tureta; greater part of the apse and a part of the former foundations are still visible; size of the church (30 x 13 m) assumed that there was a considerable number of inhabitants at that time); traces of foundations of Templars or a Benedictine monastery (in the immediate vicinity of the Christian basilica); church of Our Lady of Tarac (built on the site of an early Christian basilica and most likely from the remains of the old church; probably 12th/13th century); the remains of warehouses for salt and remains of salt pans (in bay Lavsa; probably 14th century).

Info – Kornati are the densest archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea; occupies an area of about 220 km2 and it includes 89 islands, islets and cliffs (although the Kornati archipelago occupies an area of about 320 km2 and includes about 150 islands, islets and cliffs); total coastline of all islands is 238 km; highest point 237 m Peak Metlina (island Kornat); the deepest point in the sea, near the islet of Purara, 125 m; the islands cover less than 1% of the total park area (slightly less than 50 km2); there are at least 2 500 to 3 000 species of benthic and pelagic fauna living in the waters of two parks (the most attractive is bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)); around 700 to 800 plant species; on the islands there are numerous fossils of crustaceans and fish; traditional activities olive growing, sheep breeding, fishing; at one time the sea was the richest in the Adriatic for sponge hunters; there are no permanent settlements in Kornati (only simple houses in well-protected coves used by land owners from Murter); considering the features of the localities included in the Mediterranean World Heritage List.

Where to go out: approximately 20 restaurants and taverns (mostly seafood specialties (fish and crabs) and local specialties (lamb))

Inevitable to see: the Kornati “crowns” (formed as a result of tectonic movements and the subduction of the African tectonic plate underneath the Eurasian plate; extends from the Istrian peninsula and ends somewhere in the middle of Dalmatia; in the morphological sense, these cliffs are one of the unique features of this area, and they stretch both above and below sea level across the entire Kornati National Park and the Telašćica Nature Park (the longest “crown” above the sea level is 1350 m (island Mana), the highest is 82 m (island Klobucar; climbing not allowed), and the deepest over 90 m (island Piskera)); Magazinova skrila (on the island of Kornat; a special type of land-slide site, where a “pack” of limestone slid on its cradle); belvederes (incredible views over almost the entire area of the National Park Kornati; peaks: Metlina (island Kornat; 237 m; the hardest one to reach), Otocevac, Opat (island Kornat), Vrujsko, Litnji vrh (island Vela Smokvica), Ravni Zakan,…).

Good to know: 90% of the Kornati land is private property (of people from the island of Murter); of the total land surface area of Kornati (62 km²), 85% is stony, and only 5% has been cultivated.

For sailors:

National Park Kornati – general information (official fairway entrances are the Door of Opat (Vrata od Opata) and the passage Velika Proversa; national park stretches to the length of around 20 NM, from the Dugi otok (NW) to the island Žirje (SE), and broadways for about 8 NM): (outside of the islands) exposed to strong bora, jugo or NW wind (depending on one’s location); inside the islands winds are not strong. Mooring: temporary berth and mooring is allowed in the bays Stiniva, Statival, Lupeška, Tomasovac-Suha Punta, Špinate, Lučica, Kravljačica, Strižnja, Vrulje, Gujak and Opat on the island Kornat; and also on the islands Smokvica, Ravni Žakan, Lavsa, Piškera-Panitula, and in the bay Anica on the island Levrnaka. Warning: in the S passages (of the islands) currents are very strong; navigation is allowed in the whole area of national park, except in the zones of special protection (islet Purara, cliffs Kint and Volić, and the sea belt with 500 m of distance from their shores; visit is allowed only with special permits and escort (National Park’s staff member); because of extremely large number of cliffs, reefs, islands and shallows it is not recommended to sail at night). Special rules: fishing by the hook is allowed only with previously obtained permit (by National park); usage of artificial light is not allowed; snorkeling is allowed only with previously obtained permit in 7 specified areas (Oključ, Mala Panitula, Rašip, Mali Rašip, Mana and Borovnik); fishing and collecting shells is forbidden.

ACI Piškera (placed on the N side of the islet Panitula Vela near the SE coast of island Piškera): Approach: from the W or S side (between the cliff Škanji and S cape of Panitula Vela; depth in the middle of the passage is 7 m); approach from the N side (along the islet Veseljuh; behind is a channel Lavsa-Piškera; after passing through the channel marina stays on the right). Exposed to NW and jugo (both cause waves in marina); sheltered from bora. Depths: along the moles are from 1.5 – 3.3 m. Shallows: along the coast of the island Piškera (marked with buoys). Warning: in front of the entrance in marina are islet Panitula Mala and cliff Škanji; approach from the NW side (through the passage between Panitula Vela and Piškera) is not possible; wind bora is making approach and departure from the marina difficult.

Islet Kameni Žakan (bay on the W side of the island): sheltered from NW wind; suitable for mooring. Depth in the passage between Jančar and Kameni Žakan is 2.6 m and between Jančar and Žakanac 6 m. Warning: there are two unmarked reefs with zones of shallows (0.4 NM SW from the bay).

(Island Kornat) Koromačna: exposed to NW; sheltered from jugo and partly sheltered from NW wind (by the breakwater). Shallows: along small moles (in front of the houses). Mooring: in front of the breakwater (buoys).

(Island Kornat) Kravljačica: exposed to SE and jugo; sheltered from all other winds. Shallows: around few smaller moles (in the bottom of the bay; under the houses; below 1 m). Mooring: (smaller vessels) in front of the moles (3-4 m); (bigger vessels) in front of the NE coast (of the bay; depth of 20 m; and berth to the shore).

(Island Kornat) Lopatica: exposed to the winds of the II and III quadrant. Berth: (smaller vessels) along small pier in the inner part of the bay (shallow: depth from 1-1.8 m). Mooring: (bigger vessels) in the passage between the coast (island Kornat) and the islet Koritnjak (depth from 12-20 m; sandy bottom; holds well). Warning: during the stronger jugo the best shelter is in the bay on the island Lavsi or in marina Piškera.

(Island Kornat) Lučica: exposed to W wind; sheltered from bora and jugo. Berth: along first two moles (on the N side of the port). Mooring: before the moles (depth of 3 m); (bigger vessels) on the outer part of the bay (depths from 15-20 m). Shallows; along heads of first two moles (1.5-2 m); in the very end of the E part of the port (0.5 m). Warning: during the W wind, move over the anchorage in the bay Kravljačica (around 1.3 NM SE from the bay Lučica) or in the bay Anica (on the island Levrnaka).

(Island Kornat) Lupešćina: exposed to N; sheltered from jugo and NW. Berth: along few moles (on the E side of the bay; in front of the houses). Shallows: in front of the entrance in the bay is a shallow with a cliff Kamičić; (on the E side of the bay; in front of the houses) along the head of the first mole (1.5 m); while along the other moles is less than 1 m; along whole W side of the bay (in the bottom of the bay is only 0.2 m). Warning: bay is not recommended for longer stay.

(Island Kornat) Modri Bok: sheltered from NW wind. Mooring: in the inner part of the bay (depths 8-10 m; sandy bottom; holds well). Shallow: all along the coast of the bay.

(Island Kornat) Opat: exposed to jugo; sheltered from bora. Berth: (smaller vessels) in NE part of the bay (depth 4 m); along the stone jetty (shallow: depth around 1.5 m). Mooring: (bigger vessels) on the entrance to the bay (depth around 25 m); on the middle of the bay (two buoys). Shallows: 180 m S from the W cape of the bay (2 m); along the stone jetty (around 1.5 m). Warning: the best enter in the bay is from the SE; (in NE part of the bay) the reef on the middle of the branch (about 100 m from the bottom of the bay).

(Island Kornat) Ropotnica: exposed to jugo; sheltered from all other winds. Depth on the entrance to the bay is 4.5 m. Shallows: in front of the W cape of the bay (in direction to the S) all along the cliff (that is 500 m away from the coast); (in the bay) along all 4 smaller moles and the pier (depth is less than 1 m). Warning: bay is shallow.

(Island Kornat) Statival Donji: exposed to bora and SE; partly sheltered from jugo. Berth: small closed port (in the bottom of the bay); small concrete mole (under the N coast of the bay; the best shelter from jugo). Mooring: (bigger vessels) E from the bay (sandy bottom; depth around 25 m).

(Island Kornat) Stiniva: exposed to bora; sheltered from all other winds. Berth: (vessels with the draught of up to 1.5 m) along small mole with the breakwater from piled up stones (in the bottom of the bay; inner side of the mole is shelter from bora).

(Island Kornat) Strižnja: Warning: in front of the bay there is an islet (between it and the coast is 4 m). Berth: 2 long moles and a small closed port; (vessels with the draught of up to 2 m) along the heads of the moles. Shallows: inside the small closed port (1.5 m); all bottom along the coast (warning: also have reefs).

(Island Kornat) Valica: exposed to bora (blows from different directions). Berth: (only vessels with the draught lesser than 1 m) in the small closed port (sheltered with the small breakwater). Mooring: (bigger vessels) in front of the bay (depth 14 m). Shallows: along few smaller jetties (in front of the houses; depth is below 1 m); along the head of the longest jetty (1.3 m).

(Island Kornat) Vrulja (bay is divided in two branches; smaller W and E with a small seasonal settlement): (central and W part of the bay) exposed to jugo; sheltered: from jugo (in the E branch of the bay; completely sheltered) and from the NW wind (W branch of the bay). Berth: few small moles (in the bottom of the E branch of the bay). Mooring: in central part of the bay (depth 8-18 m). Shallows: along the first moles at their heads (in the bottom of the E branch of the bay; 1.5 m deep); around other moles toward the bottom of the bay (below 1 m); in W branch of the bay (around 2 m).

(Island Kornat) Šipnata: sheltered from all winds. Mooring: (smaller vessels) in the bay (up to 5 m deep; buoys); (bigger vessels) in the passage between island Šilo Velo and the coast of the island Kornat (depth 12-15 m; muddy bottom). Shallows: and cliffs around the islet Tovarnjak (approach from the S side); N from the islet Tovarnjak (3 m long); along the shores of the islets and along the coast of the island Kornat. Warning: there are two more islets in the passage (between the island Šilo Velo and the coast of the island Kornat) the safest way is to sail around them from the W side and approach to the bay from NW direction; in the passage (nearer to the coast of the island Kornat) is 4 m deep (but only exactly in the middle of the passage); along S coast of the bay there are many cliffs and reefs.

Islet Lavsa (deep indented bay on the N part of the island; an anchorage for non-permanent settlement): exposed to N wind. Berth: few moles (along E coast). Mooring: in inner part of the bay. Shallow: (unmarked) between cape Lonča and islet Gustac (approach from the E side; 5 m); inner part of the bay (depths under 4 m). Warning: undertow happens (after lasting jugo; and after a very short time lowers the sea level for 0.5 m).

(Island Levrnaka) Anica (N part of the island): exposed partly to bora (causes waves) and partly to jugo (in the bottom of the bay; jugo blows from the other side of the island over the low coating); basically sheltered from all winds. Berth: quarter mooring along the small jetty (in shape of the letter T; in the bottom of the bay; depth in front of the jetty is around 3.5 m). Mooring: SE part of the bay (depths from 10-15 m). Shallow: in the passage between the island Levrnaka and the islet Obručan Veli (along the NW cape of the island Levrnaka; depths are only 2.5 m). Warning: (in front E cape of the bay there is an islet Sušica that extends in NW direction) passage between it and the coast (of the island Levrnaka) cannot be used for approach in the bay; in the passage between the islands Levrnaka and Kornat blows strong jugo and the sea currents are intensified; there is a stranded wreck in the bottom of the bay.

(Island Levrnaka) Lojena (S part of the island): exposed to jugo; sheltered from bora. Mooring: (smaller vessels) in E part of the bay (depth around 3 m); (bigger vessels) on the middle of the bay (depths 8-15 m). Warning: bay is not recommended for longer stay (because of exposure to wind jugo; shelter is in the bay Anica, on the N side of the island).

Islet Piškera (known as Jadra): Shallow: in the passage between the island Piškera and the islet Veseljuh (along NE side of the island; depth only 2 m). Warning: from the other side of the island (opposite the marina) there is a cliff Kamičić along which is from its E side one reef. Notice: ACI marina (in the passage between the islands Piškera i Panitula Vela) on the N side of the islet Panitula Vela.

Islet Purara: from SE toward N island is steeply climbing (it is cut off from the outside; rocky cliff is 30 m high; depths along this side of the island are very high). Shallow: along NW side of the island. Warning: 0.35 NM NW from the island there is a cliff Volić; Island is protected ornithological reserve! Approaching, docking and debarkation on the island are forbidden!

Islet Ravni Žakan (has two bays: on the S side and on the NW side) – NW side: exposed to bora. Mooring: possible. Warning: stony bottom (careful when anchoring).

Islet Ravni Žakan – Luka Žakan (there is a restaurant in the bay): exposed to the winds of the I and III quadrant; sheltered from bora. Berth: along long knee mole (depth from the outer side is 4.5 m). Mooring: (bigger vessels) S from the bay (nearer to the shore of the island of Kameni Žakan; depths around 30 m; sheltered from bora). Shallow: toward the heel of the long knee mole (0.5 m).

Islet Smokvica Vela (non-permanent settlement is in the bay Lojena on the S side of the island): Shallows: many around the island; on E side there are two (of 2 m and 3 m). Warning: around 650 m ESE (from the islet Smokvica Mala) there is an unmarked reef.

Islet Smokvica Vela – bay Lojena (bay is seasonally populated; with restaurant and water from the cistern) exposed to jugo; sheltered from the winds of the I and IV quadrant. Berth: along the pier (quarter mooring by stern or by bow; warning: depth 1.3 m). Mooring: in the bay (on depths from 10-15 m). Shallow: along the pier (depth 1.3 m). Warning: recommended approach to the bay is from SE direction; with first signs of jugo one should move on the anchorage between islets Ravni and Kameni Žakan (W from Smokvica Vela); (in the bay) undertow occurs after long lasting bora.

Islet Vela Proversa (passage between NW side of the island Kornat and island Katina): exposed to bora (blows strong from different directions); jugo develops waves. Shallow: minimum depth in the passage is 1.9 m; SE from the cliff (is marked shallow). Warning: sea current flows toward E with the speed of up to 2.5 knots; narrowest part of the passage is marked with 4 stone tags; (on the NE enter in the passage) there is a cliff 250 m W from the islet Buč Veli.

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