Kornati National Park
Kornati archipelago consists of 147 islands and the large part of the area was declared a national park in 1980 due to its mesmerizing landscape, interesting geomorphological characteristics, very indented coastline and rich submarine life. The largest island is Kornat whereas Otočevac summit provides the best view of the entire archipelago. However, the best way to explore the park and take in all its beauty is by chartering a sailing boat or a yacht. That way you can also participate in a service that takes place in a small Church of Our Lady of Tarac on the first Sunday in July. This nautical pilgrimage has become very popular among yachtsmen and tourists. Despite the bare surface of these islands, Kornati National Park is rich with life and abounds with flora and fauna. For all those interested in having a more active and adventurous holiday, there are nine locations where scuba diving is allowed and where you can enjoy the spectacular submarine life of Kornati. Sailing through the Kornati waters is a lovely opportunity to see dolphins and sea turtles as well as explore a highly diversified coastline and relax in this peaceful and stunning Mediterranean oasis.
Mljet National Park
Located on the north-western part of the island of Mljet, Mljet National Park is ideal for nature enthusiasts and all those looking for a peaceful vacation and serene landscapes. The main attractions of Mljet National Park are two former fresh-water lakes that represent a geological karst phenomenon. Both lakes are perfect for renting a kayak or canoe or simply riding a bike around the lakes and enjoying the peaceful surroundings. Visitors can also engage in other leisure activities such as swimming and sunbathing in the park or hiking up the hills to enjoy the view. The islet of St Mary on the Great Lake has a Benedictine monastery and a church from the 12th century, both bearing a great historical significance. The forests gently descend all the way down to the shimmering lakes, providing refreshing shade during summer months and enhancing the sense of tranquility emanating from every part of this exceptional place. Visiting Mljet National Park is imminent for all those seeking a superb holiday destination on the Adriatic coast.
Brijuni National Park
The Brijuni archipelago consists of two main islands and 12 islets off the coast of Istria. The islands were pronounced a national park in 1983, rendering Brijuni an epitome of a prestigious holiday destination due to its spectacular beauty, historical significance, archeological remains and sheer tranquility that it provides to all its visitors. Nestled among lush vegetation is The White Villa that belonged to Yugoslavia’s former president, Joseph B. Tito, who turned Brijuni into his private and extravagant summer retreat. In the northern part of Veli Brijun there is even a safari park whereas tourists can also visit the ruins of a Roman country house (dating from the 1st century BC), an archeological museum inside a 16th – century citadel and St Germain’s Church displaying copies of medieval frescos. Brijuni National Park is home to more than 600 indigenous plant species, creating a truly spectacular ambiance for all its visitors. The Park is also an ideal choice for golf lovers since it provides lovely golf terrains tucked among Park’s exceptional landscapes. The Brijuni islands remain a favorite yachting destination and a chic holiday spot for all those who are attracted by its bygone aura of glamour and who wish to capture an entirely different essence of Croatia.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Founded in 1949, Plitvice Lakes National Park is the largest national park in Croatia. It is situated between Zagreb and Zadar and is famous for its mesmerizing lakes, caves and gushing waterfalls. Due to its astonishing beauty, it was accepted as UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. There are 16 interlinked lakes, divided in two sections: the Upper and the Lower Lakes. The Upper Lakes, including the largest and deepest Kozjak Lake (47 meters), lie in a dolomite valley and are surrounded by dense forests whereas the Lower Lakes have more karstic features and are somewhat smaller and shallower. The wooden footbridges and charming pathways surround the turquoise lakes, creating an ambiance of sheer tranquility and serenity. The lakes' colors also constantly change, reflecting the luxuriant vegetation of the park. Plitvice Lakes National Park is home to many animal species such as European brown bear, wolf, eagle owl and 126 different species of birds as well as many endemic plants. Wherever you decide to visit this delightful park, you will be rewarded with an extraordinary natural beauty, spectacular panoramas and scents and sounds that will stir your imagination. Even though it is not allowed to swim in the park, tourists can enjoy cycling and visit numerous rustic villages in the vicinity as well as savor one of the most beautiful scenic spots in Croatia.
Krka National Park
Located in Šibenik - Knin County, Krka National Park was named after the river Krka surrounding it. It is an area of distinct natural beauty and interesting geological characteristics which is why it was declared a national park in 1985. Encompassing an area of 109 square kilometers, Krka National Park is home to many different animal species, such as amphibians, reptiles, bats and birds. One of the most beautiful parts of Krka National Park is definitely Skradinski Buk, a collection of 17 mesmerizing waterfalls which are one of Croatia's most famous land marks. Another well-known area of the park is Roški slap waterfall that contains 12 waterfalls overall with a total drop of 27 meters. There are many water mills along the waterfalls, some of which are still in use today. Roški slap can be easily reached from all sides and by boat from Skradin. Another stunning part of Krka National Park is Visovac Lake, formed by the barrier created by Skradinski Buk waterfall. There is a small island of Visovac in the middle of the lake that contains a variety of flora and fauna. This charming little island is also famous for its Franciscan monastery built in 1445 that contains a number of artifacts and a library. Krka National Park is certainly a sight to behold and since it is easy to reach, it is ideal for daily excursions that include boat trips, guided tours and even swimming. Visiting Krka National Park is a lovely addition to your holiday and it will give you the opportunity to appreciate its unparalleled beauty from up-close and enjoy the harmonious blend of its natural and historical heritage.
Risnjak National Park
Located in the highlands near Gorski Kotar, Risnjak became a national park in 1953 with an overall surface area of 63 square kilometers. The park is easily accessible for all its visitors who come here to walk, climb and engage in numerous hiking excursions. The landscape is covered by thick beech and pine trees, dotted with meadows and wildflowers and interspersed with various karst formations. The park is home to more than 4,000 plant species accompanied by an amazing wildlife that includes bears, lynx, wolves, wild cats and 500 different species of butterfly. There are several natural attractions just outside the Park such as Lokvarska Cave with stunningly beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, Zeleni Vir waterfall and Cicarija mountains. Risnjak National Park provides four major long-distance hiking trails, Leska Path being the best way to discover the park. It is a delightful 4.5 kilometers long trail that begins at the park's entrance and is perfect for exploring Croatia's natural wilderness and witnessing its splendor up-close. Risnjak National Park is an ideal hideaway for all those who cannot bear the summer crowds or an overpowering coastal heat, providing a refreshening experience of Croatia's unspoiled nature.
National Park North Velebit
Founded in 1999, National Park North Velebit is the most recent national park in Croatia. It is characterized by a distinct variety of karstic formations, rich flora and fauna and extraordinary natural beauty. The Park comprises an overall area of 109 square kilometers, with 1 854 plant species growing there, many of them very rare or even endemic. As a largest mountain range in Croatia, North Velebit is considered to be a very challenging mountain which is why it attracts mountaineers from all over the world. North Velebit is also known for its amazing and rather bizarre rocky landscape and Luka's cave, which is the eighth deepest pothole in the world. The Park also offers one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Croatia, the Premuzic Trail, which is 57 kilometers long and enables tourists to enjoy the spectacular view of the sea and the Kvarner islands. National Park North Velebit is a unique natural phenomenon that rewards its visitors with spectacular vistas, fascinating landscape and an adrenaline-filled vacation, granting you an opportunity to taste Croatia's diversified holiday possibilities.
Paklenica National Park
National park Paklenica lies on the seaward side of the southern part of Velebit, largest mountain chain in Croatia that forms a dramatic barrier between continental Croatia and the Adriatic.
Due to its exquisite relief, vegetation and landscape, the whole mountain range is natural protected area. Paklenica is an area of unusual contact between the sea and the mountain, rich in natural forests of mountain pine, black pine and beech. In 1949, the area was declared a national park. The national park covers an area of 95 km2. It has fascinating flora and fauna and spectacular karst landforms which make the area a true geological museum.
The most attractive are cliffs in the canyons of Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica. Velika Paklenica (Great Paklenica) canyon is 14 km long and 500-800 m wide. It can be reached from the southern end of Starigrad-Paklenica and behind the village of Marasovići.
Mala Paklenica (Small Paklenica) Canyon is of lesser dimension. It is 12 km long and 400-500 wide. It is reached from the village of Seline. The national park is very popular with hikers and free climbers. One of the most challenging locations is the 712 m high Anica kuk.
Hiking - the Park area contains 150–200 km of trails and paths, from those intended for recreationists to those intended for mountaineers, leading to the highest peaks of Velebit.The trails are marked with boards and mountaineering signs.
Paklenica is the most visited climbing centre in Croatia, and the largest in Southeast Europe. The close proximity of sea gives a special charm, making Paklenica an ideal place to combine climbing and water sports. The main climbing season begins in spring and goes on until late autumn. There is some rustic accommodation managed by the park authorities for climbers and hikers. Starigrad offers hotel accommodation or accommodation in apartments or and private rooms.
Paklenica attracts nature lovers, adventurers, mountaineers and offers everyone a wealth of opportunities to explore.
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