Explore Kornati National Park: Tour Options, Attractions & More!

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Post author Bram

Written by our local expert Bram

Bram was born and raised in Belgium and has traveled the Balkans & beyond. He is a professional freelance travel writer and photographer specializing in outdoor travel with an emphasis on national parks, nature, and wildlife.

Take a trip of a lifetime – a Kornati Island day trip will not disappoint. Here are the best ones to try!

Croatia Travel Blog_Exploring Kornati National Park
Have you ever dreamed of sailing the Adriatic’s beautiful turquoise waters? Meandering through a network of islands, waving at other yachts passing you by, and stopping in secluded bays for a dip to cool off, snorkel, or relax? Couple that with fantastic Croatian cuisine, and you have the perfect day.

The Kornati Islands are a true gem in the Adriatic.

Kornati Islands

Kornati Islands National Park | Croatia Travel Blog Chasing the Donkey

The Kornati Islands National Park consists of 89 islands, islets, and reefs spread over 217 square km. The Kornati Islands are a dense cluster of islands, meaning there are numerous small coves, beaches, and bays where you can stop and swim and take in the pristine environment, all close to each other.

Kornati National Park is perfect for those looking to experience unique natural landscapes, soaring cliffs, and barren rocky, mostly uninhabited islands; it has to be seen to be believed.  The Adriatic is at its glorious best in the National Park, and with the backdrop of the Kornati Islands, you will be stunned at the area’s natural beauty. If you’re in Croatia, this experience is not to be missed.

Introduction To Kornati National Park

The Kornati Islands are known for their unique geology and landscapes, as well as their rich history and culture. The park covers an area of 217 square kilometers and is the largest marine protected area in Croatia.

The Kornati National Park is managed by the Croatian Ministry of Culture. The park is open to the public, and you can explore the islands by boat or kayak. Several tour operators offer day trips and multi-day tours of the Kornati Islands.

Some of the must-see attractions in Kornati National Park area include the Telašćica Nature Park, the Telascica Bay, the Žut Archipelago, and the Sali Maritime Museum.

Humans first settled on the Kornati Islands in the Neolithic period, and they have been inhabited off and on ever since. The islands were used as a hunting ground by Illyrian tribes and later became a Roman naval base. The Venetians built several fortifications on the islands, which are still visible today. In the Middle Ages, the islands were controlled by various Croatian nobles before being annexed by Venice in 1420.

After centuries of changing hands between different countries, the Kornati Islands were finally declared a national park in 1980. Today, visitors come from all over the world to enjoy the unspoiled natural beauty of this special place.

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How To Get To The Kornati Islands

Kornati National Park is located in Croatia and can be reached by boat from the city of Zadar. Many tour companies offer day trips or longer excursions to the park, which comprises over 140 islands. You can explore the islands in the archipelago by foot, bike, or boat, and there are plenty of opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the views.

Kornati Islands Tour Options

Kornati National Park is one of Croatia’s most popular tourist destinations, and several tour companies offer boat tours of the park, and there is also a Visitors’ Center where you can learn more about the history and ecology of the region.


Several tour operators like this one offer boat tours of Kornati National Park. These tours typically last about four hours and include stops at some of the most popular attractions in the park. You can also take a more extended tour that lasts two days or more. These tours usually include overnight stays on one or more of the islands in addition to visits to popular sights such as Devil’s Island and the Blue Lagoon. Your tour itinerary will depend on which operator you choose, so it is best to do some research before selecting one.

Most boat tours include a guide who can provide you with information about the park and its history as you explore. There are also several restaurants and bars in the park that offer refreshments and snacks during your trip.


What To See In The Kornati Islands National Park

Dugi Otok | Kornati National Park | Croatia Travel Blog
Kornati National Park | Croatia Travel Blog

Kornati National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia. The park has many must-see attractions, including the Kornati Islands, Telašćica Nature Park, and the Krka National Park. Visitors can explore the park by foot, boat, or car.

Some of the must-see attractions in Kornati National Park and the surroundings include:

  • Telašćica Nature Park: This nature park is located on the island of Dugi Otok and offers stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. Visitors can hike to the top of Mt. Sv. Vid for panoramic views of the surrounding islands
  • Telascica Bay: This is the largest bay in Kornati National Park and is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing
  • Kornati Islands are the largest and most popular islands in Kornati National Park. Visitors can explore the many caves and cliffs that dot the landscape
  • Krka Waterfalls: Krka National Park is located just outside of Kornati National Park and is home to many waterfalls
  • Telascica Lagoon: This lagoon is perfect for swimming, fishing, and exploring the surrounding reefs

Kornati National Park is a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With its stunning landscapes, wildlife, and activities, it’s an ideal spot for a vacation in Croatia.

Where To Buy Tickets & The Cost Of Tickets

If you want to visit the Kornati National Park on your own, then tickets can be purchased online at https://shop.np-kornati.hr/

The cost of a ticket varies depending on your vessel; the cheapest ticket is just €19 for one day up to €2700 for 5 days.

Accommodation and Dining Options

Kornati National Park has many accommodation and dining options available. Hotels, apartments, and campsites can be found in the park. 

Tips For Exploring Kornati National Park

Here are some tips for exploring Kornati National Park:

  • Take a boat tour: A boat tour is the best way to see the islands and get an up-close look at the wildlife. There are many tour operators in the area, so be sure to shop around for the best price
  • Hike or bike: If you’re looking for a more active way to explore the park, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails. Be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks, as there are no food or drink options available on many of the islands
  • Visit during off-peak season: Kornati National Park is busiest during the summer months. If you want to avoid the crowds, plan your visit for spring or fall. You’ll still be able to enjoy all the park has to offer without dealing with the large crowds

Wrap Up On The Kornati Islands

Kornati National Park is a mesmerizing destination that can be enjoyed in many different ways. From swimming and snorkeling to camping and hiking, there are plenty of activities to experience here.

Tour options are available for those who wish to explore the park without worrying about the logistics. At the same time, must-see attractions such as Veli Rat Lighthouse, Telašćica Nature Park, and more make it easy to spend an entire day marveling at its beautiful landscape. No matter how you choose to explore Kornati National Park, we’re sure you won’t regret your decision!

Comments (27)

  1. Are you still doing this tour or for hire for private tours? This sounds like the best tour anyone could book!

    1. Sorry James – maybe next year :D Check out some of the other operators we listed they have good offers also.

  2. My husband & I sailed to Kornati with “Chasing the Donkey” on their July 7th trip. It was absolutely the highlight of this year’s trip to Croatia. We were on a beautiful 42’ speed boat with 6 other lucky vacationers.

    Mate Begonja, Alan, the owner of the gorgeous speed boat, & Luciano, our skipper, made our trip comfortable and enjoyable as they catered to our every whim. We had hardly left the dock in Zadar when Mate broke out the Champagne. Oh well, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!
    Then came the amazing hor d’oeuvres, a variety of local salamis, smoked pork neck and cheeses from the Island of Pag, and even some dried figs (the home made variety, which have nothing to do with the kind you buy in packages in the supermarket). Our snack was accompanied by a bottle of Debit, a nice white wine from Bibich Winery in Skradin, perfect for a day on the Adriatic.

    We stopped at a cove off the Kornati Islands for a swim in the pristine waters. The water was deep and a bit colder than at the beach in Zadar, but it was crystal clear and it’s hard to explain, but it felt like silk.

    Then, on to lunch at a Fish Restaurant on one of the Kornati Islands.
    There are maybe about 10 houses right there in the vicinity of the restaurant and Luciano explained that there is one family from the Island of Murter that runs the restaurant but only in season. It’s a large family and they rotate shifts not staying on the Kornati Isle more than a few days per shift. While gorgeous & wild, the island has a shortage of water, no internet and if you want to make a phone call, you have to go to the top of the hill….not easy on a hot Summer day.

    Before settling down for lunch we hiked partially up the hill to get a feel for the island. There were wild herbs, like sage and St. John’s Wart along the path and groves of olive trees. One has to marvel at all of the ancient stone walls that used to separate the flocks of sheep.
    It was hot, so we retreated back down the hill to the outdoor restaurant.

    The first course was a delicious octopus salad. The main course was copious amounts of grilled fish of every variety, fresh caught and wild. There was a tray of grilled vegetables and salad and our group opted to go with the homemade white wine, though bottled wine was also available.
    Coffee and desert was a nice touch to get us ready for the next private pristine cove to take another dip in the Adriatic. I should mention that snorkeling equipment was available for those who chose to explore the marine life in Kornati.

    On the way back to Zadar, Mate coaxed us all into trying White Truffle Infused honey on Croatian bread. Interesting & delicious!

    A word about our group of vacationers: It was a very diverse group. There was a family from Calgary, Canada that are currently living in the UAE. They had 2 of the best behaved children ever. Then there was a young engaged couple from Hoboken that were also fun to be around.
    Although we spanned every age group, we got along famously right from the start! Thanks, Mate, for breaking the ice with the bottle of bubbly!

    All in all, we have to give this Chasing the Donkey excursion 5 Stars. We definitely hope to do it again on next year’s trip to Croatia and would recommend it to anyone traveling to Zadar.

    Faith & Veljko Maricic
    Cranford, NJ

  3. Kornati is an incredible experience. We were lucky enough to hire a park ranger and a small boat for the day.

    1. Sure thing Megan, kids can go. There is an under cabin where you can sit with very small children should you need.

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