The Kornati National Park covers the bigger part of the Kornati waters. Because of their exceptional landscape beauty, interesting geomorphology, highly jagged and indented coast as well as because of rich communities of the submarine eco-system, the islands were made a national park in 1980.
The Kornati archipelago, as a separate and special island group located between Šibenik and Zadar islands, covers the area of about 320 km2 and includes about 150 land units, located either permanently or frequently above the sea. The archipelago makes 12% of all the islands in the Croatian Adriatic – 1264 islands, 67 of them inhabited. It has been long attracting the attention of yachtsmen, divers, mountaineers and other nature lovers. From Balabra to Samograd, distance of 35 km or 19 nautical miles (between Long Island and Žirje islets), and from Mana to Gangarol, distance of 13 km or 7 nautical miles (between the open sea and Pašman, Vrgada and Murter) there are four island chains in two groups. One of them is the Upper Kornati – Sit and Žut island chains with 51 land unit, and the other one is the Lower Kornati with 98 land units.
The northernmost island of the archipelago is the Mala Balabra islet (43° 56' 50'' N, 15° 17' 00'' E), the southernmost one is Južnji Opuh (43° 40' 29'' N, 15° 30' 08'' E), Vela Alba is westernmost (43° 52' 14'' N, 15° 12' 42'' E), while the easternmost island is Samograd (43° 41' 15'' N, 15° 33' 42'' E).
The average area of a Kornati island is only 0.55 km2, but you have to take into account that Kornat (32.5 km2) and Žut (14.8 km2) cover about 70% of the land area. If we add Piškera, Levrnaka, Lavsa and Sita, we get 88% of the total land area of the Kornati archipelago (69,452,963 m2). Only nine islands is larger than one square kilometre and 76 of them is smaller than one hectare. According to some measurements, the coast of the island of Kornat is 66 km long, while the Lower Kornati (that is, the Kornati National Park) have the coast 238 kilometres long.