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The Crowns Of Kornati - National Park


By their origin, the manner of formation, the geological structure and th kinds of soil, the relief of the Kornat islands is not essentially different from the other Adriatic islands, particulary the neighbouring ones. However, it is only here that we come upon a type of littoral which does not exist in any other part of the Adriatic. It is the steeply cut coast facing the open sea. This exceptional configuration is referred to as kruna (crown) in the local idiom of the islanders, and as klif (cliff) or strmac (steep, sheer) among scholars and in the media. The crowns were created by a tectonic fault when parts that were exposed to the open sea broke off and disappeared under the sea. Subsequent erosion caused by the wind and the sea currents formed a series of cliffs that protect the archipelago from the open sea.

Part of the archipelago, roughly two thirds of the land and the sea, is a national park today. The islands of Žut and Sita and their islets are omitted from the Act introducing the highest level of protection, although they belong to the Kornat group - geomorphologically, geographically and culturally. After the creation of the national park in 1980, many scholarly investigatons have taken place there, particularly those as refer to the natural heritage. The studies have brought to light much information about the geological, meteorological, geographic, biologic and other distinctive characteristics of the Islands. Up to the present, they have identified 537 species of invertebrates, 160 species of fishes, one tortoise and three species of mammals, one of which - the monk seal - is probably extinct.

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