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Kornati Islands Sailing: Best Spots To Visit By Boat

Rent a Boat in Kornati National Park

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The Kornati Islands in Croatia are a popular destination for sailing holidays due to their stunning beauty in the Mediterranean Sea. Comprising 149 islands, islets, and reefs near Šibenik and Zadar, they are easily accessible from these cities. However, since the entire expanse is within a protected National Park, a daily entry fee is required.

Kornati National Park boasts pristine nature and a history dating back to prehistoric times, best explored by boat as you hop from one island to the next. This archipelago offers a range of activities, including swimming, snorkelling, and diving in crystal-clear waters, as well as hiking and land exploration. Your holiday can be tailored to your preferences and those of your crew, making it an ideal spot for boat rental and customised sailing trips.

If you're considering a sailing vacation in Croatia, continue reading to discover the top destinations in the Kornati Archipelago. We're confident you'll make your decision in no time!

Boat Rental Croatia: Book Your Sailing Holiday in Kornati Islands

How did Kornati Islands form and where are they exactly located? 

The Kornati Islands are a stunning archipelago formed through geological processes primarily involving karstification, which shaped the limestone formations characteristic of the area. Located in the northern part of Dalmatia, Croatia, they lie in the Adriatic Sea between the cities of Šibenik and Zadar, creating a picturesque seascape dotted with islands, islets, and reefs.

How do I reach the Kornati Islands in Croatia?

When planning a visit to the Kornati Islands, private boat rental emerges as the optimal choice for travellers seeking flexibility and freedom in exploration. By renting a boat from nearby cities like Zadar or Šibenik, visitors can conveniently access the islands and embark on personalised journeys through the archipelago. This approach allows for the unhurried discovery of the islands' hidden coves, secluded beaches, and vibrant marine life, ensuring an unforgettable sailing holiday in Croatia.

Best time to visit Kornati Islands by boat

The best time to visit the Kornati Islands by boat is during the summer months, from May to September when the weather is warm and the sea is calm. This period offers ideal conditions for sailing, swimming, and exploring the islands' natural beauty.

However, it's essential to note that peak tourist season typically occurs in July and August, so visiting earlier or later in the season can offer a more peaceful and relaxed experience.

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Top Destinations in the Kornati Archipelago

Lojena Lagoon - Levrnaka Island

Also called the pearl of Kornati, Lojena Lagoon is the only sandy beach in the entire archipelago and one of the most beautiful in the Adriatic Sea. It boasts pristine waters and a white-sand beach that stretches along the bay, making it a unique location for a day of snorkelling in the turquoise waters.

Levrnaka is the fourth largest island of the archipelago and one of the few that faces the open sea. On the island, you can also find a konoba (tavern) that has been in business since 1994, offering excellent local cuisine.

Another highly recommended konoba is Konoba Žakan, located in the southwestern bay on the homonymous island of Ravni Žakan. The turquoise waters of the bay provide a perfect backdrop for a relaxing lunch surrounded by nature, while the little harbour in front of the restaurant offers a good place to moor for the day.

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The Crown - Mana island 

Mana Island features the longest cliff above sea level in the archipelago, known as "Crowns" or "Strmac" by locals. This cliff, stretching around 1,350 meters, is a true spectacle to view from the boat under favourable weather conditions.

These vertical cliffs, typical of the Kornati islands, can rise up to 80 meters from sea level, with the highest on Klobučar Island. Sculpted by the wind and the sea over centuries, they present unique features depending on their location. Around the cliffs, you might spot peregrine falcons and other birds that use the sheer walls to build safe nests.

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Lake Mir - Dugi Otok

Located on the southern side of Nature Park Telašćica, between Telascica Bay and the sea, lies the beautiful Lake Mir (literally, Lake Peace). This saltier-than-sea lake, because of evaporation and its isolated position, offers a surreal landscape with its turquoise colour and pristine surrounding vegetation.

The whole Nature Park is definitely worth a visit. One of the most popular trails is a 2 km circuit around the lake, offering stunning views of the archipelago. Expect to encounter friendly wild donkeys along the way, as this is their natural habitat!

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Old lighthouse - Sestrica Vela

Sestrica Island is a very peculiar islet of the archipelago because it houses a huge lighthouse overseeing the Adriatic Sea.

This beautiful tower is around 28 meters tall and dates back to 1876, but the best part is that it is still perfectly preserved and hosts two bedrooms that can be rented for an exclusive and unique stay!

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Boat With Skipper Croatia: Kornati Island-hopping

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History and ancient buildings - various islands 

The Kornati Archipelago, though seemingly desolate, features ancient buildings that reflect human presence throughout the centuries.

  • Fortress Tureta on Kornati Island is a Byzantine-era defensive castle used to control both land and sea.

  • Church of Our Lady Tarac, dating back to the 17th century, was erected from the ruins of an older basilica.

  • Ancient Roman structures, such as the Villae Rusticae in Proversa, showcase the historical significance of the region. Many of these buildings are now submerged due to rising sea levels.

  • Prehistoric ruins of small square dwellings on various islands indicate the presence of herders and fishermen.

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Wildlife Encounters

Dolphins are often spotted in the Kornati archipelago, as they frequent the area to search for food and reproduce. These playful creatures are accustomed to human presence, so keep your camera ready! The island of Pašman is a prime spot for dolphin sightings.

Remember to enjoy the presence of wild animals from a safe distance to ensure both your safety and theirs.

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