Where once forests stood, there now lies bare and arid land that creates a beautiful contrast to the blues and greens of the crystal clear waters. The only structures that remain are the stone fences built for long disappeared sheep, a smattering of small villages and isolated (and high class) seafood restaurants that now ply their trade to the yachting fraternity. Lively and picturesque mainland towns provide wonderful contrast, offering a place to let your hair down and stock up on supplies.
For ease of reference, our Kornati Islands section actually includes three island groups in northern Dalmatia - the northerly Zadar archipelago, the southerly Sibenik archipelago and the Kornati Islands in between. Don't forget the mainland coast however, where beautiful fortress towns such as Sibenik, Vodice and Primosten await with bars, restaurants and even a night club or two. Visit the coast to get your nightlife fix and replenish the stocks and then cast off to relaxing island bliss.
Also of particular note is the Krka National Park, which is accessed by sailing up the Krka River to the small marina at Skradin. From here you can take a ferry boat up to the beautiful Krka Falls, which feature in the photo slides at the top of this page.
The Kornati National Park
This beautiful national park, which lends its name to our wider section, lies south of Zadar and north-west of Sibenik. Covering a sea area of approximately 125sq miles, it is composed of 109 islands and is the densest archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, despite the fact that 76 of them are less than one hectare in size. In 1980 it was awarded national park status due to the sheer beauty of the landscape and the rich underwater ecosystem that flourishes around the rocky outcrops. Piskera holds the only marina of note in this area, though there are plenty of anchorages.
These islands stretch out from Sibenik, but also include the coastal town of Primosten, which is one of our most favourite places in Croatia. Like many (if not most) of the islands in Croatia, the Sibenik archipelago is best visited by yacht. ZIrje, Zlarin and Kaprije have been firm favourites of the staff here at Seamaster for many years. Quiet anchorages, traditional Croatian restaurants and relative proximity to each other make it a lovely sailing ground.
West and north west of Zadar is the Zadar archipelago, dominated by arguably the most beautiful and most dramatic of islands in the entire Kornati area. Dugi Otok, long and thin, this islands features a long dramatic west coast, with sheer cliffs plunging into the sea and a celebrated national park in the south, Telesica, which offers a safe harbour, lots of wildlife, and even an inland saltwater lake.
Wind and Weather (click here)
Like the rest of Croatia, the winds in the Kornati Islands offer an excellent all-round sailing experience. Winds very rarely stronger than Force 5 (fresh winds) in summer. A wind called the 'Bora' does bring stronger wind, but this is a winter wind that only very rarely features even early and late season. We recommend sailing here even for those without a great deal of experience.
Croatia is one of the most northerly sailing areas in the Mediterranean and therefore tends to have a slightly shorter season than other, more southerly countries. June and September enjoy settled weather, with temperatures in the mid to late twenties. During the peak months of July and August, temperatures are consistently in the early 30s.
Our bases in Kornati Islands (click here)
From south to north, we have bases for the Kornati Islands in Sibenik, Biograd, Sukosan and Zadar. While the decision on which base to use may be best decided by yacht availability, their respective locations may be used to narrow down the choices, but no more. The entire area is readily accessed by each of these bases.
How to get here (click here)
Split airport is still the primary airport for sailing in the Kornati Islands. It offers frequent and relatively inexpensive flight options and is just 50 minutes to our base at Sibenik. To Zadar, the northernmost base takes 80 minutes.
The alternative airport is at Zadar, where Ryanair flies on Fridays and Sundays from Stansted and Saturdays from Dublin. Look out for Liverpool and East Midlands flights as well, they were not confirmed at the time of writing this.