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 Kornati islands by sailboat

Guide to the most beautiful destinations, coasts and islands of the Kornati archipelago

Hundreds of islands characterized by a wild landscape and virtually uninhabited: the perfect setting for an unforgettable sailing or catamaran vacation

Croatia seen from land is a different country than seen from the sea, and it is at the Kornati Islands that you will understand why Croatia is to be discovered by sailing. The Kornati Islands have always been a unique destination because of their lake-like calm watersgentle winds and some of the most beautiful harbors in the Mediterranean. You can lose yourself among a web of nearly 150 islands, islets, and rocks and be lulled by the waves of the sea. What makes the archipelago so distinctive are its "Corones": karst rock cliffs that emerge from the sea, reaching peaks of more than 60 meters above sea level on some islands. This conformation has allowed the islands to remain mostly intact and untouched, despite human interference. 

The attractions of the Kornati Islands are mostly natural, and the real star is the sea. You will sail the few miles separating one island from another, always covered and sheltered, stopping in quiet coves and admiring views that are more unique than rare. Most of the islands are totally uninhabited, except for fishermen's homes where you can find mooring, sometimes even water and power, for a fee or in exchange for dinner. You will then have the opportunity to discover the most authentic and genuine flavors in typical taverns, called konobe, and appreciate the hospitality of the locals.   

The best time

In the Kornati archipelago at any time you can enjoy the calm and serenity, the sea and the fresh air. However, the best season is from April to October, when the weather is warm and dry and the winds are mild.

Travel Ideas

Travel Ideas

The beauty of a Kornati sailing vacation is the certainty that you can always find a secluded bay all to yourself to dive into and a typical konoba where you can dine on local produce. An ideal destination for a vacation of a week or more. About 150 islands large and small, so many that you won't know which one to choose; just rely on your skipper and let him guide you to discover this paradise on earth!

Sustainable tourism

Sustainable tourism

Most of the islands in the archipelago form the Kornati National Park with paid entry and no fishing. The seabed is rich in plant and marine species-a paradise for snorkelers! Also in the area is Telascica Nature Park with its famous salt lake. For shore excursions you will find Krka National Park, which with its waterfalls is one of the most beautiful parks in Croatia

Perfect for

Perfect for

The Kornati archipelago with its many islands, most of which are uninhabited, is an ideal destination for those who want to escape the city and chaos and hide away in nature. A suitable destination for couples who want to spend romantic days and for families. The islands lack amenities, but offer several safe shelters in case of bad weather. Less suitable, however, for groups of young people looking for nightlife and movida

First time on a boat

First time on a boat

The Cornati Islands are among all Croatian destinations the most suitable for a first sailing experience. The short distances between islands allow for short stretches of sailing; the pleasant and never excessive winds in the summertime allow for sailing in calm and peaceful waters.

Vacation highlights in Croatia

The most beautiful islands of the Kornati archipelago

Wild islands with pristine beaches and typical taverns

Wild islands with pristine beaches and typical taverns

The beaches of the Kornati Islands, often accessible only by sea, offer scenery of rare beauty, where the white cliffs that fall steeply into the sea stand out thanks to its deep blue color. Almost all of the shorelines of these islands are made of pebbles, stones or rocks. Exceptions are only Sakarun Beach and a few others. The islands, which are virtually uninhabited, retain their wild and unspoiled charm at the expense of services and accommodations. In fact, there are no bathing establishments or equipped beaches in the archipelago. Some of the few services present are those offered in the harbor of Zut Island, the second largest island. This island does not have a permanent resident population, but it is a stopping point for the shepherds and fishermen of Murter. In summer it comes alive with the arrival of the owners of the only restaurant who move in for the season.

In fact, all you can find on the islands are konobe, the typical taverns, in which you can taste local dishes and freshly caught fish. Another local specialty is lamb, a symbol of the pastoral tradition. You can stop at the famous Opat tavern on Kornat Island or taste the traditional Croatian specialty peka at Konoba Levrnaka, on the island of the same name. 

Dugi Otok: the gateway to the Kornati Park

Dugi Otok: the gateway to the Kornati Park

Dugi Otok is the ideal destination for those who prefer to spend their vacation sailing by boat in search of enchanting and special corners, or a beach all to themselves. In fact, there are dozens of islands and islets around it. The highest point on the island is Mount Vela Straza, which measures 338 meters above sea level. Presenting considerable morphological diversity from one point to another, the island is also interesting for lovers of trekking or simple nature walks. The western coast of the island is characterized by high cliffs and bare limestone rocks that plunge 100 meters into the sea. The southern part, on the other hand, is home to Telascica Nature Park, which can be reached on foot, or by boat by skirting the various islands that dot the entire bay. Well sheltered from the winds by its location, the bay is ideal if you feel like mooring in a quiet place or perhaps spending the night without too much movement. The main attraction of the park is the Mir Salt Lake. In the southeastern part, however, there are quiet bays and sandy beaches, such as Sakarun Beach.

Kornati Islands: National Park

Kornati Islands: National Park

In 1980, to protect the integrity of the ecosystem, much of the archipelago was united under a National Park, mostly occupied by Kornat Island. This stretch of sea is indeed teeming with species, some of which are threatened by changes in the marine ecosystem caused by pollution. Characterized by an impressive natural phenomenon: many islands are enclosed by walls of rocks, called crowns, facing the open sea, reaching heights of eighty meters. Exploring the park above and below sea level, you will find algae such as the famous Posidonia, corals, sponges and mollusks. You will also happen to spot dolphins and sea turtles while sailing. On land, the fauna has numerous species of birds and non-poisonous snakes. Vegetation on the islands, on the other hand, is modest due to increasingly frequent fires and the scarce presence of rivers. Thus, Mediterranean scrub made up of evergreen bushes and shrubs, olive trees and brooms predominates. 

Unspoiled nature, hundreds of small islands: a paradise for boating holidays

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8 reasons to choose the Kornati Islands for your next sailing cruise

  • Vertical cliffs

    You can admire the famous "Crowns": the vertical cliffs typical of the Kornati Islands on the side facing the open sea. They are characteristic of the local landscape.

  • Unspoiled nature

    Since there is no permanent population on the islands, the sea is clear and pristine, perfect for swimming. It is often said that the waters are among the bluest in the world and can even be seen from space.

  • So near, so far

    Here you will experience a tranquility that you will not find anywhere else: at night the sky is full of stars and the only sound you will hear is the gentle roar of the sea. 

  • Small taverns and fresh fish

    Enjoy fresh fish, wine, excellent local olive oil, and all the charm of konobe: local taverns, often the only settlements on the islands. 

  • Out-of-the-ordinary landscapes

    Visit the salt lake of Dugi Otok in Telascica Park, separated from the sea by a steep cliff, and swim in Sakarun Bay: a long sandy beach and deep blue waters await. 

  • Unusual navigations

    Sail through several canyons to Skradin. Mooring the boat there you can visit Krka National Park with its spectacular waterfalls and monastery built on an island in the middle of the river. 

  • Gymnasium for newbies

    Learn to sail and practice under the supervision of an experienced skipper. The weather in this area allows for the best sailing conditions. 

  • Zadar and its landscape

    Stroll along Zadar's city walls and its waterfront. Here you will find the Sea Organ (Orgulje), an award-winning work that emits a pleasant melody as the waves break. The atmosphere created is truly magical, especially at sunset.

Practical Info


The Kornati are the archipelago with the largest number of islands in the Mediterranean. There are nearly 150 islands, islets and reefs. They lie across from northern Dalmatia, roughly between Zadar and Sibenik. 89 of these islands form the Kornati National Park. Some are characterized by a landscape reminiscent of the lunar landscape with barren, bare expanses, others with sheer cliffs and sparse vegetation. 

How to get there

The nearest airport is Zadar, which is connected to major European cities by low-cost flights in the high season. For those coming from northern Europe, it can also be reached by car via Italy and Slovenia.

Getting around

The only island that can be reached by ferry from the mainland is Dugi Otok. The only way to move between the islands is by private rented boats, if you have the necessary permits, or with a skipper. 


The climate in the Kornati is ideal for a sailing vacation from April to October. The humid temperate climate ensures a dry winter and very hot summer with little precipitation throughout the year. July and August are undoubtedly the hottest months.


In the Kornati region, strong Bora is not very common; most of the time there are pleasant Mistral winds.

Ports and marinas

The main marinas from which one embarks on a Kornati sailing vacation are Zadar, Sibenik and Biograd. The islands, however, are dotted with numerous smaller ports and anchorage points. 


A sailing vacation to the Kornati is almost for every budget: starting at 500 euros per person for a week in the spring period and rising to around 600 euros in June. Travel to the port of embarkation, galley, port stops and supplies are to be considered excluded. Depending on the month, vacation style and type of boat, prices may vary. With the strong tourist development in recent years and the rising costs of various services, prices have increased, not only in Kornati, but throughout the country.

If you are an already formed group, you may choose to take a charter sailboat. Numerous charter companies are based in this area, and by informing yourself in advance you will find a wide range of proposals.  

6 must-see stops during a Kornati Islands vacation

  • Sakarun Bay, Dugi Otok Island

    It is one of the most beautiful bays in the Adriatic. During the day it also hosts swimmers arriving from the mainland, while at night only moored sailors. Here you can enjoy the multi-hued turquoise sea and very shallow waters; ideal for swimming, snorkeling and diving. 

  • Opat Bay, Kornat Island

    It houses a famous tavern where you can enjoy delicious local cuisine. It is recommended to book a berth because the pier offers docking for a very limited number of boats. 

  • Ravni Zakan Island

    A paradise where unspoiled nature dominates, the waters are crystal clear and the seabed sandy. The location of this island is strategic, in fact many boats decide to moor here; its flavors and scents are unique and will make you fall in love. 

  • Lojena Bay, Levrnaka Island

    Levrnaka is the highest island in the Archipelago and offers the best view from above. There is only one beach on the island: Lojena, a sandy bay next to a typical konoba. In addition to natural beauty, Levrnaka offers safe shelter from the weather. 

  • Baia Strunac, Isola di Zut

    Located on the uninhabited island of Zut, an island covered with stone, olives, figs, vines and surrounded by crystal clear sea. Great food, beautiful warm sea and breathtaking views everywhere you look! These are the reasons why Strunac is a must-see stop!

  • Rava Island

    Its coastline is very rugged and full of bays, in fact there are as many as thirteen of them. Here you can spot sea turtles, dolphins and starfish! There is also a legend on this island: it is said to be the center of the world, a huge hole in the earth where there was once a mulberry tree. Inside this hole the islanders periodically pour a few drops of oil to facilitate the Earth's rotation.

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