Croatia has 1,244 islands, islets and reefs, but what makes them special is not their number, but the fact that they form countless bays and coves, beaches, caves and cliffs, while places of unspoilt natural beauty intertwine with charming coastal towns. This unique archipelago, which stretches over 250 nautical miles, enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, which makes sailing fun and enjoyable. In the middle of the Adriatic, Croatia offers real pearls for boating holidays, among them the magnificent Kornati: the perfect base is the port of Sali (43°56′ 30N – 15°10′ 00E), located in the southern part of the island of Dugi Otok. Once you have paid the entrance fee to the National Park which has been protecting them since 1980 (updated information on the official website) you can start enjoying the natural spectacle of the archipelago which unites almost one hundred islands and white rock cliffs that cluster in a narrow stretch of sea, about 35 km long and 13 km wide at most. Sailing peacefully through the waters surrounding the Kornati, you will quickly discover that the vegetation is almost completely absent: only grass and sage plants dot the wild rocks. Following the coast of the island of Kornati towards the south you will take the Kornatski Canal, which is wonderful to sail along when the mistral wind blows. The first small island to be found, marked by the ruins of a Venetian fort, is Levrnaka, which is home to the sandy Lojena Bay: thanks to the turquoise sea it is considered the most beautiful in the Park. Continuing the route southwards, we reach the small island of Lavsa, roundish and characterized by a shallow central lagoon reminiscent of those of the Pacific atolls. At the extreme south of the great Kornati opens the wide bay of Opat, while going up along the eastern coast you will discover the small and deep Cala Stiniva. Going down instead along the west coast of Kornati, near the strait between it and the island of Silo Veli you can drop anchor in the delightful Cala Sipnate. Another 5 miles further south, around the islet of Koritnjac, you enter the beautiful cove of Lopatica.