Drystone Walls of Kornati

Since the arrival of new colons (people of Murter, Betina and Zaglav in the 17th century) until the end of the 19th century, the circumstances in Kornati archipelago almost did not change. Documents about life on the Kornati islands are very scarce. At that time the first shepherd houses (flats) were built – small rural complexes located at the edge of the olive fields in Kornati. In cadastral maps from 1824 to 30 187 columns with the domicile settlement Murter were enrolled. These inscriptions relate mainly to the inland islands (not to the sea). However, it is important to note that in 1682 the documents mentioned for the first time that Murter, the inhabitants of the island of Pašman and the neighboring mainland, are a “disruption” to the fishermen from Sali. Since then, the conflicts around the  fishing rights in the Kornati islands have become ever more intense.

At the end of the 19th century, Zadar’s landowners, as the former owners of the Kornati land – because of the new agricultural policy in Dalmatia – were no longer able to pay taxes and fees, so all of the Kornati islands were sold. In 1885, Murter people bought island Žut and in 1896 together with people from Betina and Zaglav also bought  Kornati islands. The inhabitants of the island of Murter thus became owners of more than 90% of Kornati. People from Sali continued to exploit the sea due to the traditional and written fishing rights they had throughout the history of the islands.

At the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the economy and life in Kornati gained new significance. This is the time of the strongest agrarian activities. Until then, almost exclusively the grasslands landscape experienced the greatest transformation in terms of increasing the surface area (the number of crevices and fences at that time dropped by half). At the same time there was a complex mosaic of drywall fences, today one of the most interesting cultural attractions in the park area. Life slowly moved from the interior of the Kornati land to the shores. Ports, settlements in maritime more favorable bays, have been given full significance only in the 20th century.

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Weather in Murter

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Jezera have won the Blue Flower Award five times. It is awarded by the Croatian Tourist Board in the category of the most beautifully kept tourist destinations!

Jezera abound with distinctive, authentic customs. One of them is the Jezera Marine Ball - today part of the programme of the Cultural and Artistic Association Koledišće - dating back to the late 19th century. In 1911, the Association of Jezera Sailors was founded (locals called it "šocija naviganti") who would organise the ball at the sendoff of a young sailor on his first voyage. Other interesting customs are Preperuše - a Dodola custom of the calling for rain during dry months in which children participate.

On the island of Kukuljar Vodeni, next to Jezera, there is a  drystone wall named “Pirates” by the inhabitants of Jezera. According to legend, bodies of dead sea pirates killed by the inhabitants of Murter Island in a naval battle were buried there.

Legend of the name “boduli” (islanders) comes from the 15th century during the Turkish conquest of Croatian islands. As the Turks did not know how to swim, they used empty water skins in their attempt to conquer them. The islanders were formed into groups led by a commander. At his command "buodi duoli", they would dive into the sea and pierce the skins with spears and the Turks would drown. The surviving Turks escaped to their camps and talked to the agas (officials) that they were defeated by those who shout "buo doli".

Writer Vjekoslav Kaleb was born in Tisno. His birthplace is in the very centre of town.

There is a moveable bridge in Tisno. From 9 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. and from 5 p.m. ​​to 5.30 p.m. each day in the summer months, the bridge is lifted so the larger boats could pass below. The drivers and passengers are not bothered by the half-hour wait, as everyone usually joins the crowd of tourists on the bride railing and enjoys the procession of traditional boats as well as luxury boats. A photo of the raised bridge with white boat sails is the perfect memento of Tisno.

The bell tower or campanile of the parish church of the Holy Spirit is unfinished. Namely, the Tisno campanile had to have two additional floors according to its original draft, but due to the lack of financial resources it was built shorter, and has remained so to date.

At the main altar of the today`s church of St. Spirit, there is an early Gothic statue of the Virgin Mary with the child. The mentioned statue (11/12th century) is unique in Europe because it is uniquely coated with silver and gold and has not previously been painted. This statue represented Tisno across Europe.

The story says that Murter Island was a pirate nest in its history, from which the famous name Isola del Morte - the Island of Death originates.

Inhabitants of Murter are the largest owners of the Kornati-Žuta-Sit group of islands that they bought in the late 19th century from Zadar's gentry.

The Kornati drystone walls or add-on walls are as high as is necessary so the sheep cannot jump over them and cross to another property, and they are as wide as is necessary to keep the wind from knocking them over

There are five small family shipyards in Betina, where high-quality shipbuilders use hand tools to build solid and durable traditional wooden boats.

The legend says that the name of the settlement Betina comes from the old Celtic word "bet" meaning mouth, which corresponds to the shape of the Betina harbour.

Did you know that in all four villages of Murter Island a different dialect is used? For some terms, every village on the island has a different word. About all the differences and curiosities of the speech of Murter island wrote Edo Juraga in the “Rječnik govora otoka Murtera” (Murter's Dialect Dictionary).

Frequently asked questions


Are there organised excursions to NP Kornati?

Excursion boats run in the summer months from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and in the period of the pre-season and the post-season by appointment. In case of bad weather, boats do not sail. The Boats depart from Murter harbour.  

Is it possible to participate in regattas?

For all questions about participating in regattas, please contact the offices of tourist boards of Betina, Jezera or Murter.

Is Murter Island one municipality?

Murter Island has four villages and two municipalities. The Tisno Municipality includes Betina, Jezera, Tisno, and the mainland villages of Dubrava, Dazlina and Ivinj, while the Murter-Kornati Municipality includes Murter village and Kornati Islands.  

When does the bridge in Tisno rise?

The bridge in Tisno is raised twice a day, every day, in the summer months (15 May - 15 September), 9 a.m. - 9.30 a.m. and 5 p.m. - 5.30 p.m. and in the winter on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9 a.m. - 9.30 a.m.

Bridge opens for larger boats to be able to pass through narrow channel between island Murter and mainland in Tisno. Road traffic than stops for half an hour, twice a day. You might be caught waiting in a long cue - please be patient.

The rest of the time Murter Island is connected to the mainland.

Where can I buy a parking ticket?

On parking lots there are machines for purchasing parking tickets or use the SMS service to pay for parking. For weekly and monthly tickets and other information about parking, residents and visitors of Tisno Municipality can obtain information and services from the Ježinac utility company, and residents and visitors of Murter-Kornati Municipality from the Murtela utility company.

Where can I get a fishing license?

The Fishing license can be issued by Fishing Society Punta Rata in Jezera,  in Agency Levant, Dolac 93, Betina +385 98 981 4356 or in Agency ET, Ribarska 26, Jezera +385 22 439394.   

Where can I seek medical help on Murter Island?

 If you need a doctor, you can go to the General Practice office in Murter or Tisno for assistance. The nearest hospital is in Šibenik. Emergency health care is in Tisno.

Where to buy a ticket to NP Kornati?

You can buy a ticket for National Park Kornati at the park's office in the centre of Murter, or at the entrance to the park where the park's staff will welcome you in boats.