All of you, that had ever been to Croatia, know, that they have probably the best shore in the whole Europe (maybe Greece tops them, but they are right behind). More than a thousand different islands make it very diverse and not so developed tourism keeps it as it used to be. The most beautiful and preserved of them all is the Kornati archipelago.
Kornati archipelago is situated in the Šibenik – Knin county, just south of Zadar and west of Šibenik. It contains 89 islands. It has been declared a National park in 1980, so it is under protection. It’s attracting for the yachtsmen, divers, mountaineers and other nature lovers. Grass and pine forest grow on most of the area.
Tourist agencies in Croatia offer different trips that enable you to see this beautiful nature: from daily boat trips (most of them depart from Zadar or Murter island), overnight cruises with older, wooden boats and boat rentals. If you have the possibility, the letter is the best choice to experience the National park.
Due to public holiday in Slovenia we took 5 days off. For the last few years we go cruising Kornati National park every June with Maruša’s parents. Her father has a license to operate the boat. We rent a fast boat for 4 persons in Sukošan (the biggest marina near Zadar) and depart on a private cruise.
Most of the islands in National park are small and uninhabited. Since on most of them there are no marinas for the boats, you have to moore the boat to a buoy or anchor it. Cruising around with a private boat allows you to stop on the most beautiful spots for swimming or snorkeling.
Some of the names of the islands (for example Babina Guzica and Kurba Vela, which in Croatian refer to buttocks and prostitution) has vulgar names officially given to many places in the Kornati archipelago. When Austrian surveyors came to record the archipelago at the end of the 19th century, their local guides mocked them by making up vulgar names for some locations 🙂
Some of the better known spots in Kornati National park, where also the tourist boats stop are:
Vrulje is a small village, located on Kornat island. Kornat is the biggest island in the National park, and Vrulje is the biggest village in archipelago. But don’t get the wrong impression. Vrulje is not big at all. It is a really small village, consisting of just 50 houses. For us it’s one of the most beautiful and obligatory stops in Kornati.
Telaščica nature park is located on Dugi otok (in translation: Long island), which is really quite long. 🙂 Telaščica is on the South East part of the island. It has a laid down coastline on one side and wild and rough cliffs on the other. The coast side is surrounded by many islands and islets.
From the bay it’s possible to walk to the cliffs. It’s just a short 5 minute walk on the other side of the island. The path is well signed. The cliffs on the other side of the island of Dugi otok rise up to 161 m above the sea level and fall down vertically up to 90 m below the sea level.
There is also a salted lake Mir (in translation: Peace) in this nature park. It’s located in the South Western part of the Nature Park Telašćica. The maximum depth of the lake is 6 m. The lake is salty because its underground channels are connected with the sea. Salinity of the lake is generally higher than the surrounding sea.
Telaščica has one more surprise for nature and animal lovers: Nature Park is a refuge for abandoned donkeys. In the past donkeys were the main transportation for goods and people. Over the years with the development they lost their important role in helping building houses and other facilities. They now move freely in this part of the island. They are very friendly, so it’s possible to approach them. If you have some sugar with you (you can grab a sugar bag from your coffee in the restaurant), they’ll be more than happy to eat it from your hand. 🙂
Many tourist boats stop in Telaščica and it can get quite crowded in the high season (July and August). But in the evening, when boats leave, it’s one of the most quiet and peaceful places. Electricity in both of the restaurants in Telaščica run on generators. In the night, when they turn them off, the only lights you see are the ones from the moon and the stars (and the other boats).
Oh and the sunsets are one of the most beautiful we’ve ever seen: