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…
It is said that next to Korčula, Betina is the most famous and oldest centre of skillful shipbuilders – at its peak there were no less than 27 shipyards and 5 smithy shops. Shipbuilding in Betina has existed for over 270 years and the first ship caulkers’ families were families Filipi and Uroda after which the names like Žurić, Šandrić, Burtina, Bilić.. and others appear as well. It is written that the “seed of shipbuilding” was brought and successfully planted by Paško Filipi when returning from Korčula in the far 1740.
There are two theories about the name Betina. The generally accepted theory is that the name Betina derived from the Celtic word “bet” which means – mouth and describes the shape of its natural harbour Betina (in the picture above), which, like the mouth, protects ships from gusts of wind. This name is symbolic also for the reason that Betina was historically called “the mouth of the Šibenik region,” due to the fertile fields or “Poj” of Betina, primarily abundant in olive and fig trees, and vegetables that fed the entire region. According to another theory, the name Betina derives from an old Croatian word “Betina” meaning water underground. Water flowing underground in Betina is a common occurrence, and throughout history many wells were built that supplied the population with drinking water and water for irrigation of fields.
Nautilus diving center is opened for diving all year round. You can be assured that you will be guided to the best diving sites, since the owner of the diving centre has been a scuba diver with four decades of experience in scuba diving and snorkelling, and a couple of thousand dives in the Murter Sea and Kornati National Park.
Sailing school includes children aged 8-12 years. Children are divided into groups by age, younger (8-10 years old) and older (10-12 years old) and by previously acquired knowledge to beginners and advanced sailors which requires two leaders – coaches. Besides children from Betina and Murter the school is also attended by children who come on holidays so that they have the opportunity to acquire basic sailing skills. Staying in a sailing club, socializing and playing with peers alongside gaining knowledge and skills in sailing school will create a sense of pleasure and happiness in the child, as well as solid and positive habits. For details, refer to web page of the Betina Sailing Club Betina Sailing Club ŽAL.
Water Polo Club Brodograditelj is a club with a long tradition (founded in 1953). Throughout July and August it organizes second league matches. Besides water polo, the club also organizes summer swimming schools for children. If your child loves to swim, you have come to the right place. Besides swimming and swimming rules, your child will learn the rules and sportsmanship, particularly useful in addition to gaining physical fitness and learning coordination, proper breathing, jumping, etc. All this is naturally accompanied by the pleasant socializing with peers and expert guidance of qualified coaches. Details can be viewed at VK Brodograditelj.