How many islands are there in Croatia? Croatia has 1,244 islands, islets and reefs, but what makes them special is not just their number. They form countless bays and inlets, beaches, caves and cliffs, while places of unspoiled natural beauty are intertwined with charming coastal towns. This unique 250-nautical-mile archipelago enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, which makes sailing fun and enjoyable.
Croatia’s islands: a paradise for boating vacations
In the middle of the Adriatic, Croatia offers real pearls for boating vacations. The Croatian islands that stand out are the magnificent Kornati: to reach them the perfect base is the port of Sali (43°56′ 30N – 15°10′ 00E), located on the southern part of the island of Dugi Otok. After paying the entrance fee to the National Park, which has been protecting them since 1980 (see the park’s official website for updated info), you can start enjoying the archipelago’s natural spectacle. This unites nearly one hundred islands and white rock cliffs that cluster in a narrow stretch of sea, about 35 km long and at most 13 km wide. Sailing placidly through the waters surrounding the Kornati, one is quick to discover that vegetation is almost entirely absent: only grass and sage plants dot the wild rocks. Following the coast of the island of Kornati to the south is the Kornatski Canal, wonderful to sail along when the mistral blows.
Croatia’s islands: perfect to tour by boat
The first small island to be found, marked by the ruins of a Venetian fort, is Levrnaka, home to the sandy Lojena Bay: thanks to its turquoise sea, it is considered the most beautiful in the Park. Continuing south, we reach the small, rounded island of Lavsa, characterized by a shallow central lagoon reminiscent of those on Pacific atolls. At the southern end of the great Kornati then opens the wide bay of Opat. Going up the east coast, one discovers the small and deep Cala Stiniva. Going down the west coast of Kornati instead, near the strait between it and the island of Silo Veli, one can drop anchor in the delightful Sipnate Cove. Another 5 miles further south, bypassing the islet of Koritnjac, we enter the beautiful Lopatica inlet.