Visit Betina and together with its friendly hosts found the experience of the ancient Mediterranean . . .
Betina is a settlement at the northeast coast of the island of Murter which is connected to the mainland with a drawbridge in Tisno. It is located 35km west of Šibenik. Administratively, it belongs to the municipality of Tisno. It has about 800 inhabitants.
The name Betina comes from a Celtic word «bet» which means – mouth and it describes the look of the naturally formed harbour Betina which, just like the mouth, protects the boats from gusts of wind. The name is also symbolic due to the fact that, throughout history, Betina was called «the mouth of the Šibenik area», due to fertile fields «Poje» of Betina, primarily abundant in olives and figs as well as in vegetables which fed the whole area.
Betina was built on the slopes of Cape Artić. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the Adriatic. The place is dominated by the parish church of St. Francis of Assisi dating back to the 15th century, with a beautiful baroque bell tower, from which radiates a net of old stone streets with picturesque arches and vaults.
Some of them are still paved with pebbles and pebbles taken from the sea, which was a customary way of street paving in Betina in the 17th and 18th century. Due to its picturesque scenery and level of preservation of the old centre, the town is under the protection as a cultural monument. Precisely for these characteristics and beautiful vistas, many people call it "the beauty of the folk Mediterranean architecture".
If you have an interest in cultural sightseeing, we recommend, apart from church of the St. Francis, a visit to Plitka Vala where remnants of antique Villa Rustica and old Roman cemetery were found, while in between Betina and Murter, at the area of Gradina, remnants of the antique town Colentum are located with its old villas and cisterns. Nearby stands an Old Christian Church of Madonna of Gradina dating back to the 6th century. On the island of Moster, only half a nautical mile from Betina, you will find the remains of the 12th century Franciscan monastery.
Next to Korčula, Betina is the most famous and oldest centre of skilful ship caulkers (builders of ships in wood). It is one of the last havens of wooden shipbuilding in Europe. The founder of wooden shipbuilding is Paško Filipi who moved from Korčula in the first half of the 18th century. A widely known product of Betina's shipbuilding is the gajeta of Betina from 1740. It is a solid farmer's ship with Latin sails which the residents used to sail to distant estates in Kornati, Modrave, Prosika and Lake Vrana. In honor of this "sacred vessel" a race is held every year for body and soul, a competition in wooden ships.
Besides being renowned shipbuilders, people of Betina were also famous shellfish hunters. Many generations of people from Betina were fed by shellfish. Shellfish were caught using brganje (equipment for the extraction of shellfish from the sea). Except for food, shellfish were used to obtain colour, which dyed fabric for making clothes. They were also crumbled and added to the building materials. Today, when shellfish hunting is banned, in honour of this tradition, the Brganje day has been celebrated for the last 40 years (first Sunday in August), a big all day festival with entertainment programme.
The beaches of Betina are scattered all over the area, and they are marked by their exceptional clarity of the sea and attractiveness. The infrastructure is adapted to swimmers. The most famous beaches are Plitka Vala, Kosirina, Zdrače, Bisage...
ISLAND OF MURTER
The island of Murter is the largest island of Šibenik archipelago connected to land in a place called Tisno. There are four settlements on the island: Murter, Tisno, Jezera and Betina. The island has been inhabited very early, its firs residents being the Illyrian tribes, which can be seen today through the remains of a Illyrian settlements "Colentum" near Betina. Due to its position and the vicinity of National Park Kornati, the island of Murter has been interesting for many sailors who anchor in its bays. Sandy and pebbled beaches among others Slanica and Kosirina are very attractive. The island of Murter is a starting point on the way to National Park Kornati so it is often called the "Gate of Kornati" (Vrata Kornata).