Kornati National Park
National Park Kornati is an island archipelago of 89 uninhabited islands, islets, and reefs, famous for its high cliffs. This is the most indented island group in the Mediterranean. Kornati is a labyrinth of stony islands whose inhabitants have had to battle the greedy elements to survive. The park is located in the northern part of Dalmatia region, southwest of the city of Zadar, covering an area of 320 square kilometres. And if you like taking photos, Kornati is a must-visit place, as it was recently named one of the top Instagram locations in Croatia.
Kornati islands are the perfect destination for everyone looking for a sunny labyrinth of sea and islands, and the peace of untouched crystal clear natural splendour. Here are the most important information you should know before visiting Kornati.
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Getting to Kornati National Park
Getting to Kornati Islands is possible only by boat, usually departing from the small town of Murter. The most convenient way to reach Murter is by bus, since there are several bus connections with other Croatian cities.There are direct bus lines to Murter, notably from Zagreb and Biograd na Moru. Make sure to check our Murter Bus Station to see all routes, as departures are more frequent during peak season.
If you’re arriving from the northern parts of Croatia, you can choose between driving on the local road (“magistrala” in Croatia) where you will not have to pay a toll, or by taking the highway Zagreb – Split (A1), then exit on the Pirovac exit and continue on the D59 and D121 roads toward Murter.
When arriving from the southern cities, like Split and Zadar, distance to Murter is 90km and 50 km, respectively. If you are coming from Split you will have to take A1 route until you reach exit 20 Pirovac where you switch roads to D59 which takes you directly to Tisno, where the bridge connecting Murter to the land is located. If you are coming from Zadar then the fastest way is by taking the same A1 route and again exiting at Pirovac 20 towards Murter. Alternatively, you can take the coastal road along Jadranska Magistrala.
The simplest, most enjoyable and recommended way to get to the Kornati islands is to take one of the organised tours from Zadar, Šibenik or Murter. The price for a whole day tour is about 40-70 Euro for a minimum of two people and it comes with a few perks such as:
- A boat ride,
- A welcome drink,
- A Kornati National park entrance ticket,
- Lunch (fish or meat, salad, bread, wine or juice),
- A tourist guide
Entrances and fees
Every visitor to Kornati National Park should have a valid ticket for each day of their stay in the park.
Tickets purchased outside the park’s premises and from the web shop are cheaper than tickets purchased from the receptionists within the park.
It is worth to buy the entrance ticket to the park in advance, as the entrance fee is almost twice as expensive at the park than at the ticket agencies.
Kornati Park tickets can be purchased at several places:
- At the reception desk in Murter or at several other points of sale on the land
- On Parks of Croatia website
- At mobile reception desks at Kornati National Park (boats sailing in the area of the Park)
For those who are more interested in sailing, there are two boat entrances (Visitor Reception Centres) that operate within the Park:
- Zakan Harbour on the Island of Ravni Zakan, located at the southeastern part of the Park
- Vruje Bay on the Island of Kornat, located at the northwestern part of the Park
Here you can buy entrance tickets for boats, souvenirs, and permits for recreational fishing and scuba diving.
What to see at Kornati National Park
As you will see, the reasons to visit National Park Kornati are as varied as the marine life that inhabits it. Here are the must-see sights when visiting Kornati:
Strunac is a beautiful bay in the very heart of the Kornati archipelago, the uninhabited island of Zut. Here, only 25 km away from Murter, is an island of stone, olives, figs, grapevine and clear blue sea. Great food, beautiful warm sea, stunning view wherever you look, and good people! This is why Strunac is an absolutely ideal place to visit for those seeking a respite from our contemporary fast-paced technology driven lifestyles. Strunac bay is a rare slice of pristine nature.
Telascica is a nature park located in the southeast part of “Dugi otok”. It is a designated nature park, full of wildlife and sea creatures. With crystal clear sea waters, a restaurant where you can taste the authentic Croatian seafood and wines and one of the most stunning sights in the world, a lake on an island, this is what Telascica has to offer.
This gorgeous bay is located on an island of the same name in the archipelago. Levrnaka is an island with a high peak at 117m and offers a great view of the area. On the island of Levrnaka there is the only sandy beach in the whole Kornati archipelago, called “Lojena”.
Activities at Kornati
If you arrive with your own boat, don’t miss the opportunity to cruise through the Kornati islands (make sure to have a valid entrance ticket to the Park.)
Swimming, diving and snorkelling are among the must-do activities on Kornati, especially since there’s no special permit required for snorkelling (diving without autonomous diving gear). If you intend to dive using your own, autonomous diving gear, you can do so only as part of an approved and organised group.
If you plan on hiking on the Kornati island, it shouldn’t be hard to reach the hilltop vistas. Keep in mind that summer heat can make hiking somewhat challenging. It is recommended to take a hat and other sun protection products because there is not a lot of shade on the islands. If you can soldier through the heat and sunshine, the views are well worth it
As for recreational fishing, it is allowed only if the interested visitors previously take recreational fishing permits.
For those interested there is wild bird and animal watching, a fun time for children.
Apart from natural beauty, Kornati also offers traditional events such as:
- Festivity on Tarcu is held on the first Sunday of July, due to the Catholic holiday of Madonna of Tarca on the Kornat islands. A boat procession in the form of a religious ceremony is celebrated. If you are interested, you can attend the masses being held especially during the festival.
- The Kornati Cup, held in April, is a traditional sailboats regatta, which marks the beginning of the tourist season.
Accommodation on Kornati:
Visitors interested in overnight accommodation in the area of the park may contact any tourist agency (mostly from Murter) who rent cottages on the islands, organize transport to the park and also provide additional services such as boat rentals and periodic catering from the mainland (agency must be registered as a provider of such services).
Anchoring and camping on the vessel is allowed only in 16 precisely marked coves.
In the surrounding area, like Murter Island, there is plenty of private accommodation, hotels and camps.
- Camping Jezera Lovisca*** (400 camping units on a land plot of 30 hectares)
- Camping Slanica** (150 camping units on a land plot of 2 hectares)
Did you know?
- The highest peak of the archipelago is Metlina, 237 meters of elevation. The view is idyllic and more than worth the effort it will take to climb it!
- Murter is connected to land with a bridge in a place called Tisno, which means ‘tight fit’ in Croatian.
- Just outside the Telascica bay, situated in the southeastern portion of the island of Dugi Otok, you can find a salt lake, which is open for swimming. This is one of the very few places in the world where you can find a lake on an island!
FAQs – National park Kornati
- I am in a wheelchair. Can I visit Kornati National Park?
Unfortunately, as the national park is an archipelago there are not many places that are wheelchair accessible.
- Can I enter Kornati Park without paying?
No, every visitor to Kornati National Park must have a valid ticket for each day of their stay in the park.
- Can I bring my dog?
Dogs are allowed into the park; the only requirement is that they are leashed at all times.
- Can I swim in the sea?
Swimming is allowed in the whole of the Kornati National Park except in the zones of strict protection. Autonomous diving is allowed only in organised groups, with a licence for autonomous diving in the Kornati National Park obtained in advance.
- Can I ride a bike at Kornati national park?
Unfortunately cycling is not allowed, but hiking is! All land in the Kornati National Park is privately owned. The visitors are permitted hiking only on trails and paths specially marked for that purpose.
- Can I sail through the Kornati national park?
Sailing is allowed in the whole of the Kornati National Park except in the zones of strict protection. Anchoring and overnighting is permitted in the following bays and coves: Stiniva, Statival, Lupeška, Tomasovac – Suha punta, Šipnate, Lučica, Kravljačica, Strižnja, Vruje, Gujak, Opat, Smokica, Ravni Žakan, Lavsa, Piškera – Vela Panitula, Anica on Levrnaka, Podbižanj and Koromašna.