From the coast of Dražica Beach near the Mediterranean Village of San Antonio, one may spot a breath taking view of the Kornati National Park , a stone labyrinth of the most populated cluster of islands in the Mediterranean. A boat trip to Kornati departing Biograd is ideal for getting a full taste of this natural paradise during your stay in San Antonio. The trip is suitable for all age groups including families, groups of friends, young and elderly couples.
Landscape from Mars
The Kornati archipelago consists of almost 90 islands, islets and sea cliffs forming a fascinating landscape, often described as having a terrain similar to the one found on Mars. Whether being viewed from the air, sea or the island lookouts, the islands provide a unique insight into the 216.78 square meter area of this land of fancy.
The Kornati archipelago is unique for its dotted dry stone walls built by Murter farmers who had bought out the island land around the end of the 19th century. The stone walls served as a fence for private plots and as such present one of the several forms of human intervention which had an impacto on the original landscape on the islands. Couple of thousands of years ago, the Kornati islands were full of pine vegetation, but had since been deforested and turned into rock-strewn terrain.
Contrary to first impression, the Kornati islands are full of life: more than 650 plant varieties, including nine species of orchids, as well as a number of birds, insects, reptiles and butterflies had found home among this rugged and sparse rocky area.
We recommend full-day boat excursions to the Kornati National Park and the Telaščica Nature Park by a private speedboat. Such trips depart from Biograd na Moru and include a skipper. During the voyage expect to pass by the several pictoresque islands including Pašman, Žižanj and Žuta. The cruise typically includes a swim break in one of the many bay shelters of the crystal clear Adriatic, accompanied by a healthy snack such as bruschetta with tuna, cheese and olive pate.
The biggest attraction during the trip is a stop over in Nature Park Telašćica during which visitors have about hour and a half of spare time to swim in the salt lake Mir, walk on the top of the 160 m tall rocks in order to be amused by a spectacular view and create memorable photos of the Adriatic horizon. Duringg the break, a light Mediterranean lunch is typically served, such as mussels with pasta and tomato sauce.
Some excursion programs include a stop over on the island of Kornat where you may explore the secret fortifications from the 6th century as well as the history of the whole archipelago.
- Typical duration of the trip: 1 day (6 to 8 hours)
- Availability period: from mid-March to the end of October (depending on weather conditions)
- Typical group size: 4 – 11 people
Diving and Educational Trails
The Kornati seabed is rich in diverse animal and coral species. Its splendor and beauty had been one of the key attributes propelling Kornati to earn the status of a national park.
While on the boat, we recommend diving in order to explore the beauties of the crystal clear Kornati underwater world, and this is possible with a simple mask and snorkel, while for a more comprehensive experience you need to join the programs of professional diving clubs.
On the Kornati there are educational trails Trtuša and Vela Panitula. While Trtuša offers a geological insight into the archipelago, Vela Panitula illustrates a whole range of geographical, meteorological, biological and traditional features. A walk along these trails tells the story of the Kurnatars, the ancient inhabitants of the islands and their struggle for survival. Some excursion arrangements also offer this form of exploration of the archipelago, ideal for the Robinson Crusoe type of excursion.
The Unknown About the Known
- The largest island is called Kornat, after which the entire national park received its name which had originated from the Latin word “corona” meaning crown, or steep cliff.
- The Kornati archipelago is characterized by crowns – steep cliffs facing the open sea. They were formed as a result of cracking and disintegration of the earth’s crust and the process of corrosion, erosion and abrasion. The highest cliff is 82 meters high and it’s situated on the island of Klobučar, while the longest cliff is 1,350 meters found on the island of Mana.
- The height of the highest peak is 237 meters and is located on the island of Kornat.
- Kornati host the largest stone layered limestone surfaces on the Adriatic, known as Magazin’s slate.
- Fortress of Turret is from the Byzantine period (6th century A.D.) and as such it is the oldest fortress on the Adriatic built for the protection and navigation control of the coast.
- The national park consists of the sea and land areas which are 100% privately owned by the farmers from the nearby island of Murter who had bout out the plots towards the end of 19th century.
- Deep penetration of sunlight has enabled the flourishing sea bottom rich in diverse species of fish, crabs, corals, mollusks and algae.
- The bottlenose dolphin has a habitat on the Kornati islands.
- It is less known that sheep and olive growing are still active on some of the islands- currently there is a total of about 2,000 sheep and 18,000 olive groves.