A beach on the Karin Sea in Croatia, Source: Tomas Hora on Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED)

This summer, visit the world's smallest sea - in Croatia

This summer, visit the world's smallest sea - in Croatia

And you can debate with the locals on whether it should be called that way or not

We know that the beach season is still some way off despite the already balmy temperatures in parts of Europe, but we thought we could already get you in that headspace with a trivia question – Where do you find the smallest sea in the world?

It’s one of those questions that could spark a debate and have different opinions and no single truth-for-all answer. Many might say that this distinction should go to the Marmara Sea (in Turkey), located between the Black and Aegean Seas and bounded by two famous straits on both sides – the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles.

Some residents from the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, near the city of Zadar, may disagree with that answer though and claim that it is their countryside that holds the tiniest sea in the world – the Karin Sea (Karinsko more).

You’ll find it 30 kilometers east of Zadar and it only has a surface of 5.5 square kilometers, plus it is actually

Connected to the second-smallest sea

in the world – the Novigrad Sea (28.65 km2) – through a narrow strait.

This is where you may wonder if those two water bodies aren’t just glorified regular lakes, whose nearby inhabitants are trying to create a marketing gimmick for tourist attention. But it’s not that simple!

The two “seas” are actually deeply indented bays connected through narrow straits to each other and to the Adriatic Sea. Thus, they do have a direct link to the global seas and oceans, and they do feature saline water, although less so than it is in the Adriatic.

Their waters are classified as brackish – a mixture of saline and freshwater - because they are also fed by rivers. The seas are home to marine fish and shells and even dolphins and turtles have been reported as paying a visit occasionally.

And their names aren’t just a matter of folklore. The two bays have been called “seas” since as early as 1781, when cartographer and public surveyor Giuseppe Antonio Grandis wrote them down as Mare di Carin and Mare di Novegradi on the map of Dalmatia.

The two “seas” have proper beaches and even hold one island each.



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