Betina is a small town on 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 which means - mouth and it describes the look of the naturally formed harbor of 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 , due to fertile fields 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 on the Adriatic. The town 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 town center, the town is protected as a cultural monument. Precisely for these characteristics and beautiful vistas, many people call it "the beauty of folk Mediterranean architecture".
If you have an interest in cultural sightseeing, we recommend, apart from the church of St. Francis, a visit to Plitka Vala where remnants of antique Villa Rustica and an old Roman cemetery were found, while in between Betina and Murter, in the Gradina area, remnants of the antique town Colentum are located with its old villas and cisterns. Nearby stands the 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 a 12th century Franciscan monastery.
Next to Korčula, Betina is the most famous and oldest center of skillful 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 honor of this tradition, Brganje day has been celebrated for the last 40 years (first Sunday in August), a big all day festival with entertainment.
The beaches of Betina are scattered all over the area and 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. If you are interested in other activities apart from swimming with which to enrich your holiday, why not try sailing, diving, bicylcing or hiking in the nearby picturesque hills and neighboring islands.
Bilave beach is located near the center of Betina. It is a gravel and pebble beach with a restaurant and children's playground closeby.
Zdrače Beach is the city beach and is close to the center of Betina. It is a sand and gravel with concrete areas for sunbathing. There are showers, a children's playground and cafe bar on site.
The beach at Plitka Vala is located in the Camp Plitka Vala and is a sand and pebble beach. This beach is great for children because it is fairly shallow. In the vicinity is a restaurant and cafe bar.
The beach at Kosirina is located inside the bay of Autocamp Kosirina. It is a sand, gravel and pebble beach (one of the most attractive beaches on the Adriatic). Nearby is a beach bar.
Slanica Beach is the main beach in Murter and is located next to the Hotel Colentum. Slanica beach is one of the most beautiful and most frequented sand beaches with many activities and amentities. Because of its shallowness it is very amenable for children and non-swimmers and for all who like lots of activities at the beach.