It is one of the Croatian national parks. The park's territory includes the area around the Donji Kornati (Lower Kornati) a group of westernly islands (including the biggest one – Kornat) of the Kornati archipelago, which is in the northern part of Dalmatia, south from Zadar and west from Šibenik, in the Šibenik-Knin county.
The name of the archipelago is the plural form of the name of the largest island, called Kornat (Italian: isola Incoronata). There are no permanent settlements in Kornati. Simple houses in various small bays such as Vrulje, Kravjačica, Lavsa and others are used by mainland landowners as temporary shelters. Most of the land owners are from the island of Murter and Dugi Otok.
In 1980 the area was declared a national park.
The park includes 89 islands with a total area of 50 square kilometers and a coastline exceeding 238 km. The total area of the park with the sea area - 220 km². The uniqueness of archipelago is that its area is densely "populated" by bigger and smaller islands, so the passages between them are sometimes almost like a maze among the rocks.
From the neighboring islandы of Pasman and Dugi Otok, the archipelago is separated by straits, and from the island of Murter by the bay of Murtersko more (Murter's sea).
Two-thirds of the park is occupied by the island of Kornat - the largest one in the archipelago with an area of more than 32 km². The length of the island - 25 km, the width is about 2.5 km.
Flora and fauna
Despite the semi-desert appearance of a large part of the islands, flora and fauna of the archipelago is rich both on the land and underwater. There are 537 species of plants there, with trees are mostly represented by pines and olive trees.
In addition to a variety of rodents, snakes, lizards, insects, fauna of the island is presented by martens, squirrels, and birds, the most notable of which were owls, falcons, kestrels, buzzards and cormorants.
The seabed consists of reefs of different shapes, rich of coral, pearl shells and shellfish. The waters are rich of fish.
The average monthly temperature for January is 7.3 °C (45.1 °F), in July it is 23.9 °C (75.0 °F); the average sea temperature in winter is 14 to 15 °C (57 to 59 °F) and in summer 22.8 °C (73.0 °F).
The only way to visit the park is by boat:
- By organised day-trips from Zadar, Šibenik, Murter and other tourist locations around
- By private or chartered boats
Fees and permits
Visiting the park is paid on per boat basis. For organised trips the entrance fee is included into a price of a trip.
If visiting by a own or chartered boat then tickets could be either bought at some tourist agency outside the park, alternatively the park's rangers are issuing tickets in situ, but bear in mind that this way you'd pay twofolds of the "outside" price.
For more details check the links Ticket prices and fees and Spots of comission ticket sales at the bottom of Useful information page at the park's official site.
Between the islands only by boat.
- Krune (Crowns). A geological phenomenon: a rock, "growing" out of the sea. Reach up to 100 meters as in the underwater part, and in the freeboard. Hiking on the crowns is prohibited!
- 1 Magazinova škrila. A flat limestone plateau on the island of Kornat, inclined at an angle of 40°.
- 2 Tureta. Ruins of a Byzantine fortress at the Kornat island, just opposite the island Levrnaka. The oldest building at the archipelagos dating from the VI century.
- 3 Crkva Gospe od Tarca (church of Our Lady of Tarac). A modest late Romanesque church. Here also can be seen remains of an early Christian three-nave Byzantine basilica.
- 4 Crkvica na Piškeri (church at the island of Piškera).
- Ilirske gradine. Remains of Illyrian settlements are located on several islands of the archipelago.
- 5 Mana (island of Mana). Quite a curiosity as there in the late 1950s was a movie shooting location. Some remains to the stone decorations still can be seen there.
The park is popular with boaters, divers, wildlife enthusiasts and even cyclists.
A small convenience shop is in Marina Piškera on the islet of Vela Panitula. It's closed out of season.
There are a few restaurants scattered among the bays and the islands. The most of the restaurants there are open only in season.
Refreshments could be bought at the head of the bay Mir.
Camping is only allowed at the authorised locations (Ravno, Žakan, Levrnaka).
A few private accommodations could be found inside the park. For details check the Accommodations page at the park's web side.
- Sali and other locations on Dugi Otok
- Telašćica Nature Park – is often combined with Kornati into the same organised day trip