Whenever you stumble across an article about this magnificent archipelago, they all have the same conclusion – there is no place in the world like the Kornati islands. Each of its 140 islands is different with a unique structure, size, and view but together they hold the title of the densest archipelago in the Mediterranean. Dry stone walls, unique landscapes, an impressive aerial view of the wonderful presence created by nature, and additionally shaped by humans – Kornati islands truly are something special.
THE KORNATI NATIONAL PARK
The Islands are known for their National Park Kornati. They say once you meet its wonders, there will be a place in your heart forever taken by the natural beauty, freedom, and meditation. It most certainly has a special place in the heart of the author of ‘Pygmalion’ George Bernard Shaw, who described the Kornati as a crown of God’s creation: ‘On the last day of creation, God wanted to crown his work and created the Kornati from tears, stars, and wind.’
The Kornati National Park consists of islands of just over two hundred square kilometers and is divided into two groups of islands, the Piškera and Kornati islands. The largest island of this park is also the island after which the park was named – the island of Kornati.
Besides the islands, the park also includes a high-value marine area. The mainland part of the park is distinct karst, and limestone – that is why all karst phenomena are present here: cracks, oysters, sinkholes, and caves.
With the views described as royal, no wonder the Kornati Islands have their crowns! The most impressive parts of the landscape are the cliffs – also known as the ‘Kornati crowns’ – that rise on the sides of the open sea. They are tens of meters high, and the highest crown belongs to the cliff on the island of Klobučar, which is 80 meters high. There are also cliffs on Mani with 65 meters, Obručan with 50 meters, and many others.
Crowns have become a home for many bird species and endemic plants that have found their place on that inaccessible land.
AQUARIUM AND SEA LUNGS
The astonishing view above the sea is almost the same as the view under the sea surface. The park unites 89 islands, islets, and reefs that are home to various species such as dolphins, crabs, and many different types of butterflies.
Countless species found their place on the Kornati islands. Coral is abundant along the steep slopes that fall into the sea. The sea is very clean and extremely transparent because the light penetrates deeply which creates a specific habitat for fish and various species of very beautiful corals. The whole area is very well preserved, a real source of biodiversity, and very attractive, and only divers know the story of all the colors of the depths below the Kornati cliffs.
Kornati island is home to a Mediterranean endemic plant – sea flower Posidonia – that grows only in the clean sea. This plant is also known as the ‘lungs of the sea’. Don’t be surprised if you catch a glance at the bottlenose dolphin it can often be found here. There are over a hundred of them in this area since they are permanently inhabited in the Adriatic.
A special experience for each visitor will be an encounter with the sea turtle, which has a special status here because it is extremely endangered everywhere in the world. This turtle comes to the Adriatic for food and stays in the winter because of the suitable climate, enough food, and peaceful surrounding.
That’s why one of the best activities is diving. However, in order to maintain this rich sea world, exploring underwater is only possible in groups with permission.
SAILING TO KORNATI ISLANDS
Cruising the Kornati Islands for the first time you will see hundreds of meters long so-called dry-stone walls, built by the ancestors. These walls were built to preserve the estate and protect their ‘pasture’ and prevent sheep from moving from one estate to another.
While you can go on endless exploring, swimming, sailing, and snorkeling anywhere you like within the unique national park and this archipelago, there is one thing you can’t do – drive around the island! The Kornati Islands have no cars, no hotels, no shops, and no ferries. If you want to come and stay, the best way to go is by sailing.
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