Kornati National Park occupies the area of about 220 km2 (54.000 acres). There are 89 islands, islets and reefs within the area of Kornati National Park (185 km of the coastline), what makes it the most indented group of islands in the Mediterranean.The land part of Kornati National Park covers less than 1/4 of its total area, but the values of its landscapes, the “crowns” (cliffs) on the islands facing the open sea, and interesting relief structures, make this part of Kornati National Park unique.
The story of the formation of “crowns” is globally known. Due to various processes happening in the center of the earth and great forces resulting from it, the African tectonic plate has been moving towards east, northeast and north for millions of years and slides (subducts) under the Eurasian tectonic plate. The entire Mediterranean area, including the Adriatic and the Kornati area, lies in this seismically active zone where, consequently, there have always occurred folding, faulting and pulling of the Earth’s crust.
One of the great faults formed in the process of subduction stretches from the Istrian peninsula and it reaches quite near the southwest edges of northern islands of Croatia and it ends somewhere among the islands of Middle Dalmatia. This fault is at its most beautiful in the “crowns” of Kornati. Vertical cliffs of Kornati actually represent the paraclase of the fault on which there occurred the movements of adjoining blocks of the Earth’s crust on this area. The processes of corrosion, erosion and abrasion made this huge plate even more beautiful.
Beauty and singularity of the archipelago moved authorities in 1980 to proclaim a bigger part of that area national park.