Kornati Islands Kayak Adventure

About the Experience

With over 300 sunny days per year and 360° panoramas, the Kornati Islands archipelago is so gratifying to explore by sea kayak. Of the cluster of 140 islands and islets, 89 of the islands are part of Kornati National Park which was established in 1980. “Call Me” by Blondie and “Lady” by Kenny Rogers were the two longest-running singles on the chart that year. Are the Kornati Islands calling you, lady? YES!

The Kornati Islands Kayaking Adventure will allow you to glide through the magic realm of one of the most inaccessible places in Croatia. Kornati is wild in the fullest sense—it’s the largest and densest archipelago in the Adriatic. The coast is jagged and indented with curious geomorphology and a biodiverse submarine ecosystem that’s best observed from the cockpit of a kayak.

The Wild Women adventure splits off from Old Town Split, a gentrified Dalmatian city of astonishing Roman and Venetian ruins. We will take a ferry from Zadar out to the blue yonder where the immediate embrace of the Kornati Archipelago is experienced. Think indigo waters, playful bottlenose dolphins and slow-moving traffic: loggerhead sea turtles!

We will island-hop, slipping into the labyrinth of small islands, reefs and islets that make up 12% of all the islands in the Croatian Adriatic. We will hug the rugged coastline and crane our necks to take in the magnitude of the steep cliffs that cut into the skyline. This experience is intimate in every way–we will also dine with local families who have relied on fishing yields for generations.

There will be time to swim in the sheltered cobalt coves and peacock-blue bays too. The rhythm of each day will match the tide. Let’s rock and roll! We’ll fall into a smooth and predictable routine of packing up, paddling, exploring and relaxing at day’s end. 

Our journey closes with a guided hike through the craggy landscape of Paklenica National Park. We’ll stretch our sea legs on the trails to a valley known for its vistas. Our journey will end in Zadar–but really, let’s get real. This journey is just the beginning once your adventure itch has been scratched!

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Kornati Islands Kayak Adventure

About the Experience

With over 300 sunny days per year and 360° panoramas, the Kornati Islands archipelago is so gratifying to explore by sea kayak. Of the cluster of 140 islands and islets, 89 of the islands are part of Kornati National Park which was established in 1980. “Call Me” by Blondie and “Lady” by Kenny Rogers were the two longest-running singles on the chart that year. Are the Kornati Islands calling you, lady? YES!

The Kornati Islands Kayaking Adventure will allow you to glide through the magic realm of one of the most inaccessible places in Croatia. Kornati is wild in the fullest sense—it’s the largest and densest archipelago in the Adriatic. The coast is jagged and indented with curious geomorphology and a biodiverse submarine ecosystem that’s best observed from the cockpit of a kayak.

The Wild Women adventure splits off from Old Town Split, a gentrified Dalmatian city of astonishing Roman and Venetian ruins. We will take a ferry from Zadar out to the blue yonder where the immediate embrace of the Kornati Archipelago is experienced. Think indigo waters, playful bottlenose dolphins and slow-moving traffic: loggerhead sea turtles!

We will island-hop, slipping into the labyrinth of small islands, reefs and islets that make up 12% of all the islands in the Croatian Adriatic. We will hug the rugged coastline and crane our necks to take in the magnitude of the steep cliffs that cut into the skyline. This experience is intimate in every way–we will also dine with local families who have relied on fishing yields for generations.

There will be time to swim in the sheltered cobalt coves and peacock-blue bays too. The rhythm of each day will match the tide. Let’s rock and roll! We’ll fall into a smooth and predictable routine of packing up, paddling, exploring and relaxing at day’s end. 

Our journey closes with a guided hike through the craggy landscape of Paklenica National Park. We’ll stretch our sea legs on the trails to a valley known for its vistas. Our journey will end in Zadar–but really, let’s get real. This journey is just the beginning once your adventure itch has been scratched!

 

 

 

 

 

DAY ONE: WELCOME TO CROATIA

Meet your effervescent Wild Women guide and smiley Kornati trip mates in Old Town Split at our hotel at 4 pm. 

We’ll begin with a casual chat and get to know each other before a more formal trip orientation. This will include full juicy details about the trip logistics like “how the heck do I pack for the kayak trip?”

We’ll then absorb the instant vibe of the Old Town together and share stories and a few laughs over our first dinner as a group.

 

DAY TWO: KRKA NATIONAL PARK 

After breakfast and checking out of the hotel, we’ll make a beeline to a local beach in Split for a safety orientation and a  morning spent sea kayaking! The swimming season here is extended–from June to November the seawater doesn’t dip below 20°C!

We’ll compare tasting notes over lunch together and then spend the afternoon immersed in one of Croatia’s most-visited parks: Krka National Park. Several endemic endangered species are found here in addition to countless plants that will have avid gardeners bent over for a closer look. Birders will be looking skyward, of course, as more than 225 bird species have been counted here!

The cascading travertine waterfalls (or “slaps” in Croatian) are totally mesmerizing. Skradinski Buk (the longest waterfall in the park), the multi-tiered Roški slap and Visovac island and monastery are the stuff screensavers are made of. For those who love all things bats and stalactites, Krka National Park has forty caves and pits deep in her belly. 

The mighty Krka River is 73km long. It springs with force from the foothills of the Dinara mountain range, just northeast of Knin. With its seven dramatic waterfalls and a total altitude drop of 242 m, the Krka is a natural and karst phenomenon. Geology cheat sheet: Karst is a soluble rock (think limestone, dolomite or gypsum) that erodes and is synonymous with caves, sinkholes and underground streambeds.

Following the hike, we’ll take a boat to Skradin, a tiny village of less than 4,000 people that’s surrounded by tidy vineyards. The hilltop is dominated by a fortress and in the summer, the tinkle of yachts in the marina is a familiar and welcomed sound. We will spend the night here, on the Krka River!

 

DAY THREE: KRKA RIVER KAYAKING

Be sure to double-down on coffee and protein this morning! We have a big day of kayaking ahead! Stretch out those hamstrings and forearms because we’ll be in the kayak cockpit for 15km today.

We’ll depart from Skradin, paddling towards Šibenik, about eight nautical miles along the legendary Krka river. Locals and visitors alike love this blue-green river and all the ways it can be navigated–by paddle, pedal, stand-up paddle board, bike, raft or boat.

The town of Šibenik lies along the estuary of the Krka River, a short distance from the river’s mouth on the Adriatic Sea. It’s the gateway to the bonny bays and verdant clusters of Kornati islands. It’s also home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Cathedral of St. James. The remarkable frieze of 71 sculpted faces of men, women and children is a celebrated fusion of Gothic and Renaissance art.

We’ll indulge in a leisurely lunch and wine tasting at Testament Winery, in Jadrtovac, among the sloping hills and equally intoxicating view of the Adriatic Sea and the Šibenik archipelago. 

We will then transfer by vehicle to Zadar, known for its Roman-era Forum and Venetian gates and 11th-century convent. There will be time to chill out in this heritage-rich coastal town before we catch an evening ferry to the village of Sali, located on the island of Dugi Otok. We will check into our accommodations here!

 

DAY FOUR: KORNATI NATIONAL PARK

This morning we’ll gear up, PFD-up, SPF-up and leave Sali. We’ll check out Telascica Nature Park on the southeastern part of Dugi Otok and take the time to review any paddling skills the group needs a refresher on. Then off we go! It will be another 15km day of paddling by the time we reach Sipnate. But first…

Telašćica was proclaimed a Nature Park in 1988 because of its delicate and abundant biota, geological phenomena, versatile sea-bottom life, and impressive archaeological heritage. Telašćica is unique in that the park is 64% sea!

We’ll take a paddling break to hike to Lago Mir (Lake Mir) for an intentional wet exit–a swim! We’ll have a snack, swap stories and maybe a shoulder rub before we launch again.

We’ll continue to Kornati National Park and onward to Sipnate where we will pull up seats to an impressive dinner prepared by our host before settling in for a quiet, restorative night at our elegant guest house. We’ll spend two nights here so you’ll have time to give your punky socks a sudsy wash!

 

DAY FIVE: KORNATI ARCHIPELAGO

After a decadent breakfast prepared by our host, we’ll continue our exploration of the Kornati islands and all the surprises that lie around each jagged corner. We’ll swim in a secluded bay and picnic on a pebble beach.

In the late afternoon, we’ll kayak back to our base, logging approximately 18km by day’s end. Our host will prepare another authentic Croatian dinner before we retreat to our beds content from a full sensory day at sea.

 

DAY SIX: RETURN PADDLE TO SALI

Depending on the weather and the group’s pace, our guides will decide whether we paddle back through Telascica (retracing Day Three’s route) or along the north coast of Dugi Otok Island directly to Sali. The distance will depend on the route, but will be around 16.5km at the longest.

We’ll then take a passenger ferry from Sali to Zadar (45 minutes) where we will spend the night.

 

DAY SEVEN: HIKING PAKLENICA NATIONAL PARK

Today, we’ll drive one hour into the mountains to explore Paklenica National Park. Alpine hikers and climbers love the sheer rock faces. The hiking trails are for every skill level, from easy footpaths to more challenging quad-quivering mountain trails that snake up the highest peaks of the Velebit mountains. 

Our goal will be to hike to Velika Paklenica, a vast valley with stunning views of Velebit and make our way up to a mountain hut. We’ll travel along the educational path on the east bank of Velika Paklenica creek, passing the ruins of old abandoned watermills.  

Leaving the Pjeskarica path, we will reach the most impressive part of Velika Paklenica gorge, a climbing zone that attracts die-hard climbers year-round. After a half-hour ascent, we will high five at the Anića Luka plateau. Looking to the east, we’ll see Anića Kuk. The 400m cliff is a coveted one to bag. Its spaghetti lines of long climbing routes include the legendary Brahms route, the first route established here in the 1940s.

Our hike continues along a shadowed path and brings us to the Ramića Dvori Household at 555m above sea level. This spot was designed for forest bathing! After a big inhale, “om”, refreshments and lunch, we’ll descend the linear trail (following the same route back) to the trailhead and parking lot at Velika Paklenica, where our hike ends.

We’ll return to Zadar after 4pm and gather to clink glasses over a final farewell dinner and solid night’s sleep.

Note: An optional guided tour of Zadar will be offered to any Wild Women wishing to opt-out of the Paklenica National Park hike. Zadar has 13 museums, fun art installations like the Sea Organ and “Monument to the Sun” and cozy konobas (restaurants serving Zadar truffles and gnocchi).

 

DAY EIGHT: ONWARDS 

Enjoy breakfast and an extra cup of velvety Croatian coffee at your hotel. You can book a flight out of Zadar today or extend your stay (not included).

Alternatively, a transfer will be provided back to Split (approximately two hours) for return flights home, or you may continue your adventures in Croatia from Split. For those who choose to fly out of Split, we recommend selecting flights that depart after 2pm.

Hug your Wild Women crew goodbye, until next time and flex those biceps that feel a little stronger after all those nautical miles on the Adriatic!

 

 

 

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!