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Kornati Islands Yacht Charter

Stunning independent and crewed yacht charter to the Kornati Islands

Welcome

The Kornati Islands... An island-hopping, natural paradise

Off the beaten track

Unlike the Dalmatian Islands, this island group is an 'off the beaten track' oasis. It's generally quieter than it's neighbour, with smaller islands, smaller villages, fewer yachts, and fewer people.

Outstanding natural beauty

The Kornati Islands are stunning in their physical beauty. In 1980 the Kornati Islands were awarded national park status due to the sheer beauty of the landscape and it's easy to see why.

Short-hop island sailing

The Kornati Islands are scattered like confetti along the Croatian coast. Most are uninhabited with idyllic anchorages while others host small, isolated, high-class seafood restaurants.

Gentle sailing conditions

During the summer, the Kornati Islands are a generally easy sailing area with easy to light winds and flat seas. Peak season is June-September, outside of which you may get stronger winds.

Description

What you'll love about sailing the Kornati Islands

Rugged, barren and staggeringly beautiful, the Kornati Islands are a collection of hundreds of largely uninhabited islands scattered like pebbles along the northern Dalmatian coast of Croatia. You’ll find stunning isolated bays to enjoy quiet nights at anchor, hidden restaurants serving some of the best food in the Med and a few lively mainland stops to let your hair down!

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.

 

Within the Zadar archipelago 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, where beautiful fortress towns such as Sibenik, Vodice and Primosten await with bars, restaurants and even a night club or two.

 

The beautiful Kornati islands national park, which lends its name to the wider sailing area, lies south-east 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..

 

The islands of the Sibenik archipelago stretch out from the mainland village Sibenik, which is located up a fresh water river, and also include the coastal town of Primosten. This small and perfectly formed village 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.

GALLERY

What you'll love about sailing the Kornati Islands

SAILING ITINERARIES

Kornati Islands Suggested Sailing Itineraries

1 Week - Primosten Route

Day 1 - Smokvica Island (Kornat)

Vela Smokvica is an uninhabited Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea located southeast of Kornat. The highest peak (Veli) is 95m high. The island has a lighthouse at the North and offers a bay (Lojen) in South which protects from all winds accept southerlies. There are only two restaurants on Smokvica which is indicative of the peace and tranquility to be had in the Kornati National park, and a great way to ease you into the relaxed pace of life here.

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Day 2 - Sali Town (Dugi Otok)

Located on the east coast of Dugi Otok opposite the off-lying island of Otok Lavadara, Sali is the largest town on the island with a population of 1698. This is a great place to rent bikes or scooters to explore the edge of the Telascica National park and the Saljsko polje Olive grove where you’ll find olive trees as old as 700years! Fishing has been a main tradition for a thousand years as is attested by written documents from the 10th Century. The fishing is still going strong so be sure to try the fantastically fresh fish dishes, which are a local delight!

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Day 3 - Ist Town (Ist Island)

Located northeast of Zadar, between the Islands of Skarda and Molat, Ist Island only has a permanent population of around 180. The port town of Ist lies in between the two hilly hemispheres of the island, the highest of which is straza reaching 175m above sea level. The island is lined with lovely sandy beaches which is a rare treat in coastal Croatia. We recommend taking the hike up to the St Mary’s Church for a better view over the Zadar archipelago (around 3km round trip).

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Day 4 - Veli Iz (Island of Iz)

Iz Island, snugly nestled between the long islands of Dugi Otok and Ugljan, has been settled since prehistoric times and currently has a population of around 615. As awash with culture and tradition as it is with sunshine, the town of Veli Iz is well known for its traditional pottery pieces, named Iski Lopizi. The town also boasts claim to the only pottery workshop on the Dalmatian coast! If you’re lucky enough to visit over the end of July you may catch the two day long, Iska Festa festival where you’ll get the chance to witness the centuries old tradition of the election of the ‘King of Iz!

Day 5 - Hiljaca bay (Zut Island)

Otok Zut is the second largest island in the Kornati island group. It’s uninhabited and separated from the protected island of Kornat by a two-mile wide channel. While it may appear barren from a distance, Zut is still home to some traditional Mediterranean agriculture such as figs, olives and some vineyards. Hiljaca bay presents a slightly tougher approach than ACI Marina Zut, but it’s well worth it for the seclusion and tranquility gifted by this beautiful mooring. Each new cove around the bay seems to have its own private restaurant so there no risk of going hungry!

Day 6 - Zlarin town (Zlarin Island)

The verdant island of Zlarin is just on the doorstep of the mainland. The only settlement here takes its name from the island and is most famous for its unique culture based upon harvesting the iconic red coral and turning it into jewelry and ornaments. The current island settlers came there in the 13th century to work on the island’s olive, fig and wine groves. Zlarin town also boasts the longest pier in Croatia. Why not take in the lovely stone-built houses and the impressive clocktower built in 1829 before a visit to the Zlarinka coral workshop to see how the coral is cut and polished.

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Marina Mandalina (Sibenik)

Sibenik is a great place to ease yourself back into civilization from a trip around the Kornati Islands. In the words of The Lonely Planet “Sibenik has a magnificent medieval heart, gleaming white against the placid waters of the bay. The stone labyrinth of steep backstreets and alleys is a joy to explore.” If you have time we highly recommend to taking a day tour upstream into the Idyllic Krka national park where you can swim under waterfalls, roam the cobblestone passages of a picturesque Dalmatian town and enjoy some local delicacies.

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2 week - Primosten Route

Day 1 – Biograd

Biograd is one of our most popular yacht charter departure ports in northern Croatia due to its central location and ease of access, but also as it is regarded a holiday resort in its own right. It has a population of just over 6,000 people and is noted for being the former seat of the medieval Croatian Kingdom.

Day 2 – Sutomiscica (Ugljan Island)

Sutomiscica, lies on the eastern coast of the island of Ugljan, 3 miles across the water from Zadar. Sitting in a beautiful bay of the same name, Sutomiscica is a quiet and relaxed town with a well provisioned, modern marina, making this a great stop for your first night. There’s a supermarket to stock up on any last-minute essentials as well as a few bars to help get you into the holiday spirit!

Day 3 - Ist (Ist Island)

Located northeast of Zadar, between the Islands of Škarda and Molat, Ist Island only has a permanent population of around 180. The port town of Ist lies in between the two hilly hemispheres of the island, the highest of which is straza reaching 175m above sea level. The island is lined with lovely sandy beaches which is a rare treat in coastal Croatia. We recommend taking the hike up to the St Mary’s Church for a better view over the Zadar archipelago (around 3km round trip).

Day 4 - Pantera bay (Dugi Island)

Just under 2 miles northwest of the town of Veli Rat, this gorgeous crescent bay on the tip of Dugi Island is surrounded by pine woodlands, beautiful bays and rich sea life. This is the perfect area to relax, wind down and enjoy the stunning scenery. If you’re feeling more energetic an early morning snorkel will unveil a myriad of colour and life. A short walk over to the western beach will introduce you to the iconic Lighthouse, which was built in 1849 and at 42m tall is the highest lighthouse in the Adriatic.

Day 5 - Brbinj (Dugi Island)

Brbinj is a charming little village surrounded by wooded slopes and at the head of a deep bay. You’ll find a variety of mooring options including a town quay and laid moorings. In the village you’ll find a couple of restaurants and a small grocery shop.

Day 6 - Veli Iz (Iz Island)

Iz Island lies off the mainland coast of Croatia six miles SW of the port of Zadar and sandwiched between the larger islands of Ugljan and Dugi Otok. Although one of the smaller islands, at just under seven miles long and 1.5 miles wide, it caters well for the visiting yacht, with a small marina at its main harbour of Veli Iz and six other small harbours and anchorages around its shores.

Day 7 - Telascica Bay (Dugi Island)

Once part of the Kornati national park, Telascica Bay has now been declared its own park authority, and it’s not hard to see why. With 6 islets and 25 small coves to explore all surrounded by forests of Aleppo pine and Holm Oak and not to mention some 400 species of plant, you really can’t help feeling that you’re in the heart of an island paradise! A short walk over to the Mir Salt Lake (home to the endemic Kajman eel) and back along the cliffs is a lovely way to spend the afternoon before sampling the fare of a local Konobo (restaurant).

Day 8 - Anica bay (Levrnaka Island)

Anica bay in the heart of the Kornati National Park its beautifully secluded and well protected from most winds. Levrnaka with its peaks Veli vrh (117m) and Svirac (94m) offers its visitors stunning views over almost the entire Kornati archipelago. Why not take a short walk over to Lojena beach, one of the few sandy beaches in Croatia. This is a great place just to relax, unwind and get away from it all, and when you’re ready for a bite to eat head back to the family run Konoba Levrnaka.

Day 9 - Gustac Island

Part of the Kornati national park, this island houses a fantastic restaurant called Darko Striznja which is a personal favourite of ours in the office. You won’t find any shops in the national park so you will need to make sure you have picked provisions up in Primosten. Don’t forget you need a permit to visit the national park.

Day 10 - Smokvica Island

Vela Smokvica is an uninhabited Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea located southeast of Kornat. The highest peak (Veli) is 95m high. The island has a lighthouse in the North and offers a bay (Lojen) in the South which protects from all winds accept southerlies. There are only two restaurants on Smokvica which is indicative of the peace and tranquility to be had in the Kornati National park, and a great way to ease you into the relaxed pace of life here.

Day 11 - Primosten (Mainland)

Primosten is a gorgeous town that lies at the very south of the Kornati Islands sailing area. This small settlement is built on an island that has been reclaimed by the mainland by way of a man-made spit. It’s known for its indigenous stone houses, churches, narrow Mediterranean style streets and its production of olive oil and wine.

Day 12 - Zlarin town (Zlarin)

The verdant island of Zlarin is just on the doorstep of the mainland. The only settlement here takes its name from the island and is most famous for its unique culture based upon harvesting the iconic red coral and turning it into jewelry and ornaments. The current island settlers came here in the 13th century to work on the island’s olive, fig and wine groves. Zlarin town also boasts the longest pier in Croatia. Why not take in the lovely stone-built houses and the impressive clocktower built in 1829 before a visit to the Zlarinka coral workshop to see how the coral is cut and polished.

Day 13 – Kaprije Island

Situated in the middle of the Sibenik archipelago Kaprije island is the dream destination for those wishing to get away from it all. Kaprije is a rare oasis full of clean air, due to being car free, which seems to have remained trapped in the past far from the modern world. The island which is said to be named for the capers which bloom here, is known for its unspoiled coasts and gorgeous swimming spots. If you’re lucky enough to befriend some locals, spending an evening playing balote (a traditional Croatian Bowling game) before finding a local restaurant and watching the sunset.

Day 14 – Biograd

Biograd town is famous in Croatia and is well worth exploring on your final night. There are an abundance of historical sites which are well worth exploring. If, however you fancy something a little more relaxing then you’ll find various beaches dotted along the edge of the city. You may also want to do some research into whether any festivals are on as Biograd is well known for these too!

Day 1 : Milna

Pool Party

A beautiful protected bay on the West side of Brac. This town has stunning restaurants and a picturesque marina. We will arrive around midday when you can explore the town and have lunch before heading to Olife Club for a poolside party.

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Day 1 : Milna

Pool Party

A beautiful protected bay on the West side of Brac. This town has stunning restaurants and a picturesque marina. We will arrive around midday when you can explore the town and have lunch before heading to Olife Club for a poolside party.

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Day 1 : Milna

Pool Party

A beautiful protected bay on the West side of Brac. This town has stunning restaurants and a picturesque marina. We will arrive around midday when you can explore the town and have lunch before heading to Olife Club for a poolside party.

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More Advice

Helpful hints

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Wind Conditions

Like the rest of Croatia, the winds in the Kornati Islands offer an excellent all-round sailing experience. Winds very rarely stronger than Force 4 (fresh winds) in peak 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. 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 early 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.

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How to Get Here

Zadar Airport is the most convenient airport for our Kornati Island bases, with transfer times of between 15 – 30 minutes. There are flights to Zadar Airport from London Luton, London Stansted, London South End and Manchester. Alternatively, you can fly to Split and transfer north to our bases. While the transfer is longer, between 60 and 90 minutes, Split has many more flight options from around Europe and the UK.

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Our Bases

We have a variety of bases located up and down the Kornati coast. From south to north, we have bases for the Kornati Islands in Primosten, Sibenik, Vodice, Biograd, Sukosan and Zadar. The entire area is readily accessed from each of these bases, therefore your focus should always be on selecting the best boat for your holiday rather than concerning yourself with the base. That said, all of them have their charms except Sukosan, which is a large commercial complex.

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Mooring Fees

Expect to encounter mooring fees throughout the Kornati Islands. Within the national park are restuarant quays and mooring buoys, both of which you will need to pay for. The Croatian government has sold concenssions to private individuals, which is basically the selling of rights to lay buoys that they can then charge for. You are not allowed to anchor due to the damage it causes the seabed. Expect to pay €40 – 80 per night for these moorings. There are also assorted marinas around the Kornati Islands, which tend to be more expensive. Expect to pay upwards of €80 per night on average,

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Sailing Qualifications

To charter bareboat in Croatia you are required to have a valid sailing qualification issued by a recognised authority (e.g RYA, IYT, USSA). Alongside this you will also need a separate VHF radio licence. In some cases ‘shorebased’ certificates are also accepted, but please check these before booking. To charter large catamarans (over 30 GT) you will need a minimum of an RYA Yacht Master, or equivalent, plus the VHF licence.

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Money and Currency

The currency in Croatia is the Kuna. There are plenty of cash machines and bureau de change on the islands so withdrawing money and changing alternative currencies is possible. We recommend you arrive with some local currency to cover the first couple of days of your holiday. Cards are accepted in supermarkets but most tavernas and tourist shops only accept cash.

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Language

The national language of Croatia is Croatian! However, English is widely spoken and understood throughout, especially within the service industry, including taverna staff and taxi drivers. All Seamaster partners and crew speak English proficiently.

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Typical Kornati Islands weather

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