Surroundings

Kornat is an island in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea, in central Dalmatia. With an area of 32.44 km² it is the 16th largest island in Croatia and the largest island in the eponymous Kornati islands archipelago.

The Kornati islands are an archipelago consisting of 140 islands covering an area of 114 square miles (300 square km). Most of the islands are part of the Kornati National Park – and with its natural beauty, numerous coves and crystal clear blue waters, it’s easy to see why.

There are no permanent residents of the islands and most of the area belongs to the people of Murter island who come to tend the olive groves, the vineyards and orchards. They have cottages on the Kornati islands in which they stay during the agricultural season.

The islands are best visited on a day excursion from Zadar, Sibenik or Split. It is possible to stay in one of the cottages for a Robinson Crusoe type holiday in which you stay in a house with no electricity or running water – the ultimate in “getting away from it all”! A boat from Murter delivers you there and picks you up a week later.

The largest island (32 sq km) is Kornat and the main settlement on the island is Vrulje. Although uninhabited there are a few dozen houses available for rental and a couple of restaurants open in summer. Other than that the sleepy island is cultivated for olives, figs, grapes and citruses.

Don't miss the 6th-century Tureta fort high on Tureta hill, built during the Byzantine era.

The sparkling clear water offers extraordinary visibility. The protected bay on Levrnaka island is the most popular swim spot and there's a konoba for refreshments.

On some hills of the Kornati islands traces have been found of settlements and fortifications from the Neolithic period. It appears that Libernians inhabited the islands during the Iron Age as well as the Romans much later. During WWII, Tito's Partisans constructed a workshop to repair boats. The Kornati Islands were once owned by Zadar but in the 16th century Venice took possession and subleased the islands to Zadar families. Now they are divided between private owners in Murter and Dugi Otok. The lack of regular ferry transport has discouraged human habitation but those who own land on the islands graze sheep there and cultivate the land.

Yachters can find shelter in a number of protected coves but the main marina is on Piskera with 120 berths. There are no ferries between the Kornati islands and the mainland. If coming with your own boat, tickets to the national park can be purchased online here. If you don't have your own boat, you can book an excursion from in Zadar which is the closest major town to the national park. There are a number of travel agencies in Murter which will also take you on a Kornati island tour.

VILLA OLIVA

Žaborić, Croatia

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