Croatia prides itself on 8 national parks, as many as 11 nature parks and 2 arboretums. The most popular national parks are certainly the Plitvice Lakes and Krka, followed by Brijuni, Paklenica, Kornati, Mljet, Risnjak and Northern Velebit. Each of them is worth a visit, and each offers a variety of experience and interesting points.
The Brijuni are an archipelago of two large and twelve smaller islands near Pula. The Park’s boundaries comprise the land and the surrounding sea over a total area of 34 kmo. The climate is mild Mediterranean, favouring lush vegetation. The Park is also the ideal site for a safari park.
The Kornati National Park is known for the scenic cliffs dropping almost vertically into the sea. The area of the Park – which comprises 89 uninhabited islands, islets and reefs – is 217 km2. Boat visits to the islands are the most atractive in summer. Day trips offer a lot of free time for enjoying the sea.
The Krka Natgional Park abounds in cultural and historical monuments. Among them stands out the Franciscan monastery on the islet of Visovac. However, the highlight of the Park is the river Krka, to which it owes its name, with its 7 waterfalls on tuff sediments, a beautiful and outstanding karst phenomenon.
Salt lakes, preserved woods, the monastery, archaeological and hydro-archaeological sites are only some of the highlights of this, the first national park in Croatia, protected since 1960. The Park covers one third of the western part of the island. It is the habit of many rare and endangered species, and 90% of the island is wooded.
A national park with the two impressive canyons of Velike Paklenica and Mala Paklenica. Vertical cliffs, some of them 700 m high, rise on both sides of Velika Paklenica. The canyon is about 14 km long. The Park abounds in endemic plants, as many as 79, and it is also the habitat of many animal species.
The Plitvice Lakes are the best known and most popular Croatian national park, inserted in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The highlight of the Park are the 16 lakes connected by magnificent waterfalls and cascades. The Park is absolutely a must. Walk on the paths and small bridges by the water, take an electric boat ride on the lake, and simply enjoy the play of nature.
The Park owes its name after its most popular inhabitant, the lynx (ris in Croatian). Only lucky people succeed in finding the tracks of the animal or even see it. The Park is also home to the wolf, bear, chamois, deer, roe and other animals. Mountaineering fans can enjoy the many hiking trails, and those not used to climbing can spend the day by visiting the source of the river Krka, or walk along the educational path.
An ideal destination is you want to spend an active day outdoors, whether by following one of the 30 hiking trails or biking along paved or macadamized roads. There are didactic panels along the hiking trails, and the trails are also marked and signposted.