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Out of tears, stars and breath, the Kornats were made

Nalynn Dolan Caine |
When finished with creating the world, God threw a bunch of white rocks he still had, took a look and saw what He did - it looked beautiful. So goes the legend that George Bernard Shaw described a bit prettier: 'On the last day of Creation, God wanted to crown His own work, and it was then that, out of tears, stars and breath, he made the Kornats.'

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Kornats National Park are just that: A pile of rocks scattered in the Adriatic sea, but in a such way that Shaw's words sounds so true. Probably the most beautiful Croatian National Park, Kornati are the group of 89 islands and numerous smaller cliffs, a part of Zadar Archipelago in Dalmatia, and it was made NP in 1980. But it's not the sea or the rocks or the sun that makes Kornati a breathless place: It is a combination of all that.

Kornats is like the dream place for geologist, tourist, diver, and yachtsman... The rock is in strong contrast with sea, and almost desert surface is totally opposite to diverse and vivid life under the sea surface. The subsurface world, so diverse and rich with different species, is favored diving destination.

The outer islands, facing the sea, form shape of the "Kornat crowns", and the most beautiful and famous are the crowns of the islands of Piskera and Rasip, the 80 meters high surfaces that dives to the sea.

While seemingly deserted, the Kornati ecosystem is a home for 800 plant species, and its marital ecosystem has been studied for over 200 years and still there is lot to learn about it. There are 350 species below the surface with the algae, red, brown and green, dominating, while 13 species are the Adriatic endemic. The small island Mana is situated west of the Kornati Island, with surface of 0,37 square kilometers and the highest point at 77 meters above sea level.

The Mana attracts visitors with old movie set on northwest side of the island where the pirate movie was shot at late '50. The Mana is also known by its cliffs on the west side of the island, the 65 meters of untouched stone diving into the sea. And this is on the most attractive diving locations on Kornati. That is a great compliment because every spot you pick in National Park, you can be sure it is live, rich and diverse.

Maybe the less known gem of the Mana is the beach situated between the land bridge named Njiva and the northwest, "movie side". The pebble beach is a ideal for families with children. And while you're swimming you can enjoy the steep cliff, 65 meters high, glaring white and rugged, behind it. And at the same time be aware that the sea floor is 100 meters below you. All that on a single beach.

The beach on Mana is not a "come, swim, gone", beach. It is a place to visit, to swim a little in beautiful, clear, transparent blue sea, and after that to sit down and enjoy the combination of white and blue, rough and gentle, stone and marine.

One can feel very small faced with such wonder of nature, but also a happy because of chance to be a part of it.

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