Map of Kornati National Park and Telašćica Nature ParkLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
The Kornati archipelago lies off the coast of Croatia. I visited it on a full-day boat tour from Zadar (I actually believe that visiting the archipelago is the only reason for staying overnight in Zadar. This city is not worth more than a short stop to tick the Venetian work of defense and listen to the very cool maritime organ.).
In the nomination file, Croatia put emphasis on the unique geology and high biodiversity of the archipelago to justify inscription. It contains many impressive karst features such as caves and cliffs. These result from the high tectonic activity of the area. The highest and most impressive cliffs are located in the Telašćica Nature Park. Most of the Kornati islands are small round and bare islands. According to the nomination file, the parks contain high numbers of floral and marine species. Dolphins, birds and bats are also mentioned. One of the most interesting features is the Mir Lake, a salted lake (saltier than the sea!) located atop of Telašćica's cliffs, resulting from a sunken karst depression. The sea bottom landscape is also emphasized as being unique in the nomination.
It's easy to book tours in the islands on the docks of Zadar. Everyone seem to offer slightly the same thing. I think it's also possible to visit from Šibenik, but I don't think Telašćica is included in these as it is much farther away. I booked a full-day tour for 350 Kunas. My tour started by a shot of grappa and a sandwich in the Zadar strait. Through the rest of the day, we could enjoy unlimited wine and juice. The crew members were giving explanations in various languages often randomly (always Croatian and English but some Italian and German as well). When they weren't talking, we could "enjoy" super loud kitsch Croatian love ballads (or at least I believe they were love songs similar to any popular FM radio station).
They showed us the Ždrelac Bridge and the Crkva Gospe Snježne (a small church by the bridge), before heading to the islands. The highlight of the boat tour was definitely the very beautiful landscape of almost bare islands followed by the high cliffs. We landed inside the bay at the south tip of Dugi Otok island (look for Kąpielisko - Sali on Google Maps) for lunch and some free time. I used mine to do the short hike to the top of the cliffs, where the view is splendid. Next I made my way to the shore of Mir Lake. You can see some shrimps and other crustaceans living in this highly salted lake. I also did some snorkeling in the sea, spotting fishes and invertebrates. On our way back, we made one last and useless stop in the small village of Kukljica. The boat offers nice views of Zadar when returning to the city.
In sum, I really enjoyed my day, and I believe these parks are unique enough to deserve inscription. However, many features mentioned in the nomination file cannot be seen on such a visit. Europe definitely needs more natural sites, especially parks like these where integrity seems good.
Includes former TWHS Iles de Kornati (1994)
2007 Added to Tentative List
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