Holidays of Discovery

Kornati Islands

Kornati Islands

A group of 125 islands, islets, crags and reefs scattered in the intense blue sea of the Adriatic covering an area of 63 square kilometres. The Kornati archipelago is in Dalmatia, a coastal region of Croatia opposite the mainland cities of Biograd and Sibenik.

Kornati sunset

Apart from a minuscule area of cultivated land, fig trees, olive groves and vineyards the islands are rocky, covered with sparse grass with occasional trees and Mediterranean scrub. Over the centuries erosion has been caused by the sea, over-grazing by sheep and fire. This erosion has deprived the islands of their primeval luxurious vegetation, and the people have moved to more hospitable islands.

Some of the bigger islands were inhabited during the Neolithic age by Illyrians. A number of wealthy families from Zadar and later Venice have claimed possession of the larger islands. The Kornati have no permanent inhabitants, although the present owners from nearby larger Dalmatian islands periodically visit Kornati to tend their vineyards and olive groves, bringing their sheep for grazing.

The islands have no spring or surface water, only rainwater collected in waterholes. The unique feature of the islands lies in their rugged shores with many caves, funnel like holes and coves.

Kornati island

The karst landscape of chalk limestone prevails with clusters of rosemary, juniper, lavender thyme, myrtle and sage. Pathways, leading to steep precipitous gigantic cliffs facing the open sea and others gently slope towards the sea, usually ending in a small bay with a jetty and several cottages surrounded by pine and other trees.

The sea around the islands is rich with fish and a great variety of marine life. There must be very few places in Europe where such a pristine environment remains!


From your hotel in Split you will be picked up after breakfast at approximately 08.30 am. The journey time from Split to Murter is 90 minutes. At Murter you will have up to 3 hours free time for shopping before your transfer by boat to your Kornati island. Depending on the distance from Murter to your island the journey time will be 1-2 hours.

Local assistance and food

All reservations for Kornati are made through Atlas Travel Organisation who will oversee your travel arrangements ensuring that everything runs as smoothly as possible.

An Atlas branch office on the island of Murter acts as an operational centre for the Kornati Islands, looking after visitors including transfers to and from islands and emergency speedboat service. There is also a routine Atlas patrol boat visiting each island at regular intervals - up to twice a week.

Once you are on your island groceries including meat, mineral water, beer and wine are delivered usually at least twice a week from the boat. Islands of Kornat, Zut and Smokvica have a simply equipped restaurant and a telephone line which can be used in emergency.


Robinson Cottages

These very simply furnished cottages provide basic amenities and accommodation to sleep 2-6 persons. They have a living room/equipped kitchenette, shower with toilet. Some have balconies and some terraces. Kitchens have basic equipment for cooking including utensils, crockery and cutlery, a refrigerator with small freeze- box and gas cooker. Bed linen and bathroom towels are provided but not beach towels.

All cottages have a cistern where rain water is collected and used for drinking and washing, if this water runs out the cistern will be filled in by water brought from mainland in a tanker.

Visitor Feedback

"The cottage and location were idyllic. The cottage has its own jetty where our kayak and rowing boat with an outboard engine where moored. There were two rooms, clean, rustic and functional. The bedroom came with all linen, while kitchen-cum living room had hand water - pump over a bowl, a large table, in addition to a fridge and cooker. Outside but adjacent was a loo. The cottage's simplicity was its charm."

Our comments

Feedback we have received from holiday-makers who have visited the Kornati so far, indicates that they have appreciated the tranquillity and unique setting of their holiday destination and felt that the islands lived up to expectations. However, during July and August many yachtsmen visit and their occasional bouts of unruly behaviour and engine noise has disturbed the peace. This particularly affects the islands with restaurants which attract visitors from yachts.

There is one other aspect to these holidays that should be noted. Guests arriving at their simple fisherman's cottages must be prepared occasionally to put up with 'things not going to plan', and use their resourcefulness to solve problems without having an on-hand local representative to assist immediately.


If you are interested in holiday package which  includes  cruise and stay in Kornati  Archipelago please see our programme under the title The Natures Jewels of Mediterranean

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