This week The Octopus puts the spotlight on the breathtaking Kornati Islands and its best anchorages, nestled in the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea. The archipelago offer a paradise of stunning natural beauty for those seeking a sailing getaway in Croatia.
Whether you’re planning a cruise or simply seeking inspiration for your next adventure, join us as we unveil the best anchorages of the Kornati Islands for an unforgettable experience.
But before exploring, let’s take a look at three great reasons to visit the islands and their best anchorages of the Kornati islands according to the Navily community!
3 good reasons to navigate in the Kornati islands
1- Unspoiled natural beauty
The Kornati Islands are renowned for their pristine landscapes and untouched natural beauty. With over 140 islands, islets, and reefs, the archipelago offers a diverse array of breathtaking sights. From limestone hills, steep cliffs and hidden caves to secluded beaches and lucid turquoise waters, every corner around the Kornati Islands reveals a new picturesque panorama. You will be captivated by the rich marine life, vibrant underwater ecosystems, and the enchanting harmony between land and sea.
2- Island-hopping adventure
The Kornati Islands provide an opportunity for captivating island-hopping adventures. With their close proximity and diverse landscapes, sailing through the Kornati archipelago allows you to effortlessly explore multiple islands and discover their unique charms. For example, you can easily hop from the mainland of Kornat Island to Zut, Levrnaka, Zirje, Lavsa and many more. Additionally, while navigating through the Kornati National Park‘s labyrinth of channels and passages, you’ll encounter both challenging and leisurely sailing conditions, providing an exciting and rewarding experience.
3- Cultural and historical heritage
Beyond its natural splendour, the Kornati Islands also hold a rich cultural and historical heritage. As part of the Kornati National Park, the islands are home to ancient ruins, traditional stone structures, and remnants of past civilizations. For example, the Byzantine fortress on Zirje since the 6th century offers panoramic views of the surrounding islands. Finally, you can immerse yourself in the local traditions and sample authentic Croatian cuisine in the charming coastal villages, holding promises of an enriching sailing experience.
Be careful : Kornati National Park regulations
When sailing in the Kornati National Park area, there are specific regulations to be aware of.
- Firstly, to access the Kornati National Park, you will need to buy a ticket online. It will allow you to use the mooring buoys and have a secure stay at the anchorages within the park. These entrance fees contribute to the preservation and maintenance of the park’s natural and cultural heritage.
- Secondly, anchoring is generally allowed only in designated areas within the park and mooring buoys are highly recommended.
- Finally, there are speed limits in place within the park to ensure the safety of visitors and minimise disturbances to the environment.
As usual, be sure to familiarise yourself with the specific rules for anchoring, waste disposal, and other local regulations to ensure responsible and sustainable boating practices.
Best anchorages of the Kornati islands
Uvala Stupica Vela Zirje
The first stopover of our tour is a bit far away from the main islands of the Kornati archipelago but is absolutely worth visiting (The Octopus would never mislead you!). Indeed, west of Kornat Island, Otok Zirje is an exceptional anchorage appreciated for its unique setting. A true natural haven offering unparalleled comfort in a wild and peaceful atmosphere. In this land paradise, the verdant coast bathed in deep blue waters, forms an enchanting painting.
Regarding the anchorage conditions, the arm of the sea offers very good protection from all winds except by the south. Furthermore, it’s a great place to anchor at, featuring sandbanks of good holding, resting 8 metres deep. You’ll also have the option to moor to one of the buoys available on site. In the high season, we advise you to go there as early as possible. This one of the best anchorages of the Kornati islands so it tends to get a bit crowded during the day.
Once well secured, on land you will find a restaurant serving fresh fish. Then if you decide to go on an adventure, the Navily community highly recommends going on a short walk to the ruins of an old Byzantine fortress. A peaceful bucolic walk that will lead you through the island’s lush vegetation to the top of the ruins where you’ll enjoy a breathtaking view over the bay. Finally, you can relax and enjoy the amazing sunsets that illuminate the sky over the island in rose gold colours.
Uvala Donji Statival
The tentacles of The Octopus now lead us to the mainland of Kornat Island. There Uvala Donji Statival awaits in the northern part, boasting a bay with a breathtaking view. As you make your approach, small limestone hills rise from the crystal-clear Adriatic waters, displaying intricate textures and earthy colours. The small bay is embraced by sparse lime green vegetation that envelop the surrounding coastline.
In the beautiful setting of Uvala Donji Statival provides natural protection against winds blowing from the northeast to the south by the west, featuring 7 mooring buoys for your convenience. You can also drop anchor but you should be careful and avoid the seagrass meadows covering most of the seabed.
Uvala Donji Statival is a perfect stopover to explore the Kornati National Park, a protected area with 89 islands, islets, and reefs. The park showcases rich biodiversity, vibrant marine life, nesting bird species, and Mediterranean flora. It is great for nature enthusiasts and a paradise for diving and snorkelling.
Regulations are in place to ensure sustainable tourism, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking exceptional beauty and ecological significance.
Finally, after a day of exploration, enjoy a delightful dinner on the shore in “Konoba Statival”, a recommended restaurant by the Navily community. It offers delicious Croatian cuisine and a relaxing ambiance, drawing to a perfect conclusion in this enchanting anchorage.
If you did not find a spot on Uvala Donji Statival, The Octopus suggests that you go to its identical twin (in terms of landscape beauty) Uvala Lopatica Bay. It is located on the southwestern coast of Kornat Island. According to the Navily community, it holds the top spot as a favourite anchorage in the Sibenik region, encompassing the Kornati Islands. The bay’s allure lies in its stunning natural setting, with pristine waters, offering mesmerising panoramic views of neighbouring small islands like Koritnjak, Veli Rasip, and Gustac.
As Uvala Lopatica Bay is within the Kornati National Park, visitors are required to comply with the park’s regulations. These include responsible anchoring practices and respecting the protected marine life. In this regard, Uvala Lopatica is a great place to anchor at, featuring sandbanks of good holding. Aditionally, the bay’s composition offers great natural protection against wind and swell from almost all directions except the south.
At last, once well anchored, you can enjoy a variety of activities in the Kornati National Park. For instance, diving, hiking, and learning about the park’s natural and cultural heritage. With options for adventure, relaxation, and discovery, Uvala Lopatica proves itself as one of the best anchorages on the Kornati archipelago.
Heading towards the southernmost tip of the narrowest part of the island, we discover the hidden gem of Uvala Koromacna, a sanctuary of natural beauty and tranquillity. The backdrop of the anchorage is dominated by desert looking rock formations and scarce Mediterranean vegetation, adding splashes of greenery and fragrance to the landscape.
Facing the anchorage, you will find a picturesque small harbour where you can anchor your vessel. At a depth of 8 meters, the soft sand seabed is of good holding but you’ll also have the option to moor in the buoys field, welcoming up to 7 boats. Furthermore, Uvala Koromacna Bay boasts stunning turquoise blue waters and offers excellent shelter from southern to northern winds by the east.
Finally, this enchanting cove serves as an ideal starting point to venture into southern parts of the natural park, unveiling more of the Kornati archipelago’s pristine beauty. The restaurant on the coast comes highly recommended by the Navily community, promising a delightful dining experience. As the day draws to a close, bask in the burning colours of a magnificent sunset, a perfect ending to an unforgettable sailing journey.
Our next stopover is one you will not forget – Uvala Bizikovica, located on Zut Island’s west coast. The bay is vast with a view of the small island of Pinizelic. As you approach the anchorage, you’ll be entering a secluded bay adorned with cobalt waters that shimmer under the warm Mediterranean sun. The following backdrop will unfold in front of you – small eroded hills with sparse Mediterranean greenery, complemented by rugged faces displaying a captivating array of earthy tones, from soft beige to deep terracotta.
In addition, you’ll benefit from the bay’s protection against eastern winds from northeast to south. Furthermore, the shallow sandbanks composing the anchorage’s seabed, makes it a secure and safe place to drop anchor.
The absence of bustling crowds further enhances the intimate and serene ambiance of Uvala Bizikovica anchorage, allowing you to truly connect with the untouched beauty of the island.
For instance, you can embark on a short hike to the top of the small hill where you can witness a stunning view over the surroundings. After a long day of sailing, this picturesque bay offers a tranquil haven amidst captivating landscapes, promising a rejuvenating experience for sailors seeking peaceful seclusion.
To conclude this tour,The Octopus has saved for last Vodopije anchorage, one of Kornati archipelago’s most precious gems. The creek’s transparent deep teal waters and gorgeous surroundings create a serene atmosphere, surrounded by lush greenery and a rocky shoreline. you ‘ll drop anchor easily in the shallow sandbanks, providing optimal holding, while the well-protected inlet shields from northwestern to southeastern winds by the west. Furthermore, you can use lines ashore to secure your vessel in case of an unexpected gust of wind.
As the sun begins to set, casting warm hues across the landscape, Vodopije transforms into a magical setting. The hills and vegetation are bathed in golden light, creating a picturesque and romantic atmosphere. This idyllic anchorage allows you to reconnect with nature, providing a sanctuary of tranquillity and beauty amidst the captivating Kornati Islands.
As a secluded and natural spot, this creek is an excellent option for those seeking peaceful ambiance outside the protected area of the National Park. A perfect way to end your cruise in the Kornati Islands in style.
This was unfortunately the last stopover of our tour through the best anchorages of the Kornati islands. In conclusion, the archipelago offers an irresistible combination of unspoiled natural beauty, excellent sailing conditions, and a captivating cultural heritage. Whether you seek tranquillity in secluded anchorages, thrilling sailing adventures, or a journey into the past, the Kornati Islands are a must-visit destination in Croatia.
The Octopus hopes you enjoyed it and that it will inspire your future boat trip to the Kornati Islands. To dig deeper in the region, find our other articles on Croatia!