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Kornati – The Islands That Have Popped Straight Out Of the Fantasy

Kornati Islands are popular tourist spot that attracts many people hungry for natural beauties and adventures in wilderness.

As the morning mist slowly glided in the laziest manner over the surface of the sea, and while it seemed the splashes of still water bubbling under the forecastle of our boat were the only sounds for miles and miles around us – the islands revealed their contours shyly, suggesting we’re at some twisted place inside the heads of J.R.Tolkien or G.R.R. Martin a likes.

But, this is not a fantasy novel. This is the fantasy for real.

After the mist was gone, and the sun has risen high already, there was nothing that could tell where the sea ends in the horizon and the sky begins. Does the sea reflect the sky or the sky mirrors the sea in an endless kaleidoscope of blue surrounding us? Only the limestone-white islands, scattered around, popping out from the ocean, were actual proof that a border between seawater and air really exists.
National Park Koranti
National Park Koranti

And the islands were all around us…

The name of the Kornati islands refers to the archipelago in mid-Dalmatia, south of Zadar and west from Šibenik, consisting of approximately 150 islands, islets, and reefs; 89 of which makes the National Park. Name itself comes after the largest of the islands – Kornati island – dominating the landscape. Kornati islands are accessible only by watercraft. There are many agencies in Zadar and Sibenik providing boat excursions to the park. And that’s ok. However, if there is a possibility to visit the park on your own, or with the help of skilled skipper, please do so.

Nautical Paradise

Well, we did so. We hired a skipper. After the majestic entrance in the early dawn, described above, our skipper showed off his skills dexterously slalom-sailing among the deserted pieces of land. He knew well each of the islands, no matter how tiny they were. He knew every ridge, and every underwater cliff dropping down for 100 meters where he took us snorkeling and scuba diving. He sailed us to a hidden bay with the perfectly clear water of turquoise color… and… a very special restaurant. Guided with his expertise we discovered the Kornati in the way places of silence and solitude are supposed to be discovered. The places of contemplation and meditation. Sailing around the Kornati islands is the real deal.
Kornati Islands
Kornati Islands

The Landing

Landing on these islands felt like we were on an expedition to some undiscovered continent. Islands are mostly inhabited, but strangely, the entire land area, except for the coastal zone that represents the maritime domain, is held in private ownership. The land mostly belongs to the people of the nearby Murter island. Hence, visitors of the park are permitted to walk only along the paths and trails specially marked for this purpose. We walked the moon-like surface of the islands, we toured the ruins of past times, and we admired animal and plant life that somehow manages to thrive its own way through harsh karst. We did it all.
Swimming with Dolphins
Swimming with Dolphins

… and by the close of the day, we got rather hungry.

There are several restaurants in the Kornati. Each one of them is a story of a kind.

Our skipper took us to the restaurant Festa on the island Zut where there is no water, electricity, ferry, inhabitants, or anything else except figs, olives, stones and an atmosphere that prevails you whole with relaxation.

But somehow, five-stars-celebrities like Bradd Pitt, Luka Modric, and Novak Djokovic, or five-stars Michelin chefs, have no problem finding the place year after year.

The restaurant is completely self-sustainable which makes it a simple, authentic pleasure. Everything they serve is absolutely fresh and homemade.

Flavors and aromas took us on an all-around Mediterranean journey.

In fact, if the Mediterranean had only one, unique taste, you’d find it here.

By the end of the evening, we were taken to our accommodation – the glamping tents located further away on the island. Well, this was a movie for us. Some old-school romantic comedy where a boy and a girl meet in the most unbelievable place on Earth.
Sunset at Kornati
Sunset at Kornati

We were now sleeping in this place.

Under the bright night sky, in a billion-star hotel.

After a full day discovering the national park.

Kornati islands.

What a day…

Your CTC Team, S.J.

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