Chartering a yacht in the Kornati Islands: Sailing in the Croatian archipelago

Between Sibenik and Zadar on the Northern Dalmatian coast, is the outstanding archipelago of Kornati, with its multitude of small islands and reefs. The Kornati Islands derive their name from the largest island, Kornat. The archipelago is one of the most fascinating seascapes and a paradise for yachtsmen as well as fishermen. Speckled with small fields and picturesque vistas, it boasts beautiful landscapes of pine and olive trees.

As with many other islands, the Kornati islands are entwined with a mythical legend: namely that God threw some stones, left over from the creation of the world, into the sea. The result was the Kornati archipelago, which was declared a national park in 1980 due to its undisputed beauty.

The sea is home to a diverse range of fish, whose colours and shapes you could spend hours watching while snorkelling. Then there are the rocky landscapes with their unspoiled nature and extraordinary natural beauty.

There are many marinas and coves across the archipelago, making this a jewel of a destination in the Adriatic Sea. On the island you’ll find the ACI Marina Piskera with 120 berths and on the island of Zut, there’s a marina of the same name located just outside the national park.

The area :

Weather: The weather is as varied as the archipelago’s coasts. The mild Maestral from the west is mixed in spring and autumn, with Jugo from southeast, Bora from the northeast and the Garbin from the southwest, which can all reach strengths of 3 beaufort.

In some regions wind speeds can reach up to 75 knots in the summer and and up to 110 knots in the winter. A good tip is to check the weather reports in English on the FM radio. From June to mid-September is the best season, but you should approach anchor bays or marinas early during high season, especially in July and August.

Difficulty: Easy to medium.

Navigation: The tides have a negligible influence on the Croatian coast, but weather can influence low water level changes of less than a meter. Long lasting southeasterly winds can increase water levels by up to 0.5m.

Generally the water flows through the Adriatic counterclockwise so that minimum flows to the northwest are noted on the Croatian coast.

Ports and anchorages: There are 43 marinas, most of which offer moorings. 21 of them belong to the ACI Adriatic Croatia International Club. Buoys are available to rent in the bays.

Regulations : The port authorities require you to be in possession of an official helmsman certificate or sailing license as well as a valid VHF certificate.

Getting there: The international Croatian airports of Pula, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik are served by various charter operators as well as scheduled airlines from most major European cities.