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48°47,60`N / 15°37,20`E
Number of islands: 152
Nacional park: 89
Upper Kornati: Sit and Žut and surrounding islands
Lower Kornati: Kornat and surrounding islands
Land area: 69 km2
Sea area: 300 km2
Population: not permanently inhabited
Kornati are the most dense group of islands in the whole of the Mediterranean. It is located between the islands of Žirje, Dugi otok and Pašman. The arcipelago is divided into two groups: Lower Kornati consisting of Kornat and surrounding islands and Upper Kornati made of Sit, Žut and surrounding islands.
Because of the extraordinary beauty of landscape, the abundance of natural bays and the rich sea flora and fauna, out of 152 of the Kornati islands, 89 of them were declared a national park in 1980.
One of the most impressive natural phenomena on Kornati are cliffs on many islands of the Lower Kornati, facing open sea. The cliffs have always been referred to as "crowns" (corona) and that is probably where the name of Kornati originates from. The highest cliffs can be found on the island of Klobučar (80m high), Mana (65m) and Rašip veli (64m).The cliffs can reach even up to 100 m under water.
Apart from cliffs and the unusual shapes of the islands, another attraction on Kornati are straits Mala and Vela Proversa (the Small and the Great Proversa), located between the islands of Kornat, Katina and Dugi Otok. Mala Proversa is actually a shallow, dug through for sailing even in Roman times. Many archaeological findings can still be seen there, like the remains of buildings and a vivarium from the 1st century A.D.
A very unique thing to be seen is the so-called Vela ploča (the Great Plate) or Magazinova škrila, a 9,100m2 large, even, bear surface of limestone. It is located near Metlina (237m), the highest peak on Kornati.
Cruising the Kornati for the first time, you will surely notice hundreds of metres of the so- called "dry walls". Our ancestors built them with their own hands, come rain or shine, in order to keep their land and protect their pasture-ground, i.e. to prevent sheep from crossing from one pasture into the other. On some of the islands the length of these walls reaches up to 70 km, as it does on the island of Kornat.
The center of life on these islands used to be around the plain of Tarac, with its Tureta fortress, built around 6 A.D. You can also find the Church of Our Lady of Tarac, the Queen of the Sea, which was built on remains of an early Christian church from the 16th century. The first Sunday in July is the day when the congregation of Murter go on a pilgrimage to Tarac and their votive ship procession is surely one of the most beautiful religious events in Croatia.
Although the Kornati islands are not permanently inhabited, there are a few labourer's and fishermen's houses scattered around quiet, well preserved bays on islands like Žut, Sita, Kornat and the surrounding smaller islands. Nowadays, these houses have been made into restaurants and accommodation for the so-called "robinson tourism" and have become the favourite destination of navigators and other tourists.
Kornat is the largest, the highest, the longest and also the best known island in the Šibenik archipelago. It is also the largest island in Croatia with no permanent settlements. Whereas the north-east of the island is not well-indented, the south-east is extremely rich in bays, the most famous of which are Opat, Koromašnja, Ropotnica, Kravljačica, Vruje, Strižnja, Lučica and Šipnate. Kornat is also known for its peaks, the Tureta fortress, the church of Our Lady of Tarac, as well as the great flat cliff called the Magazin's slate.
Žut is the second largest island in the Kornati archipelago. It is located next to the island of Kornat and divided from it by the passage of Žut. Žut is famous for its olive-groves and top quality olive oil. Some of the well known bays include Bizikovica , Golubovac, Sabuni, Dragišina, Žešnja etc. The ACI yacht harbour is located on this island.
Sit is one of the less known large islands. Its landscape looks more gentle than the southern islands of Kornati. Srednji kanal (the Middle passage) is located between Sit and Pašman - it is the best sea way between the waters of Zadar and Šibenik. The best known bays include Dulukina, Šumica, Ćitapićeva and Đunđirina.