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Croatian National Parks, Nature Parks & Reserves

Plitvice Lakes Virtual Tour
Kornati Virtual Tour
Krka Virtual Tour
Croatian National Parks, Nature Parks & Reserves - A Touch of the Untouched Beauty
For a country with relatively small land surface, even in terms of European proportions, Croatia is a country with great number of National Parks and Natural Reserves. Side by side in Croatia there are phenomena which are usually many miles apart. Within a hundred kilometers you will find the sea, the karst, densely wooded mountains and fertile plains. Ecologically, Croatia has one of the best preserved environments, with as many as 8 National Parks, 10 Nature Parks and 2 Strict Reserves.
Croatian National Parks:
World Heritage National Park Plitvice - The most beautiful and the best known of all Croatian National Parks, the National Park Plitvice Lakes is one of the most beautiful natural values in Europe and a part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Located near the main route that links Croatian capital city Zagreb with Dalmatia, in a valley between high forested mountains lie, one below another, sixteen beautiful lakes of crystal blue-green colour. The lakes themselves cover about 2 square kilometers and are connected by 92 waterfalls. Over the millennia, the waters of these lakes have dissolved the limestone rock and carved out the valley in which they now lie. Most of the area of the Park is covered by dense beech, fir, spruce (some of them more than 50 meters in height), and pine forests. Various animals live in the Park, brown bear and wolf among them; many of them are the species whose numbers are dwindling in the wild.
National Park Brijuni - The Brijuni islands stretch along the south-west coast of the Istrian peninsula; they are separated from the Istrian mainland by the Fazana Channel which is 3 kilometers wide. The archipelago of two large and twelve smaller islands off Pula make up the National Park Brijuni, which covers an area of 36 square kilometers, including the surrounding sea. National Park Brijuni abounds in rare animal and plant species, and contains some extraordinary examples of Roman and Byzantine heritage. There is also a zoo with animals from other climates.
National Park Kornati - The Kornati islands are the largest archipelago in the Mediterranean (101) and most of these islands form the National Park. The Kornati National Park occupies the area of about 220 km2 (54.000 acres). There are 89 islands, islets and reefs within the area of Kornati National Park (185 km of the coastline), what makes it also the most indented group of  islands in the Mediterranean. The isles are particularly attractive for sailing-boat owners, and there are two marinas.
"On the last day of the Creation God desired to crown His work, and thus created Kornati Islands out of tears, stars and breath." (George Bernard Shaw)
NP Island of Mljet - Situated between the Island Korcula and Dubrovnik, Mljet is an elongated island, with an average width of 3 km, 37 km long. It is an Island of great diversity and contrast, and "Mljet" National Park covers his northwestern part with an area of 5.375 ha of protected land and surrounding sea. This area was proclaimed as national park 11 November 1960 and represents the first institutionalized attempt to protect an original ecosystem in the Adriatic. The world-renowned Lakes of Mljet consist of the Great Lake, covering an area of 145 ha, with a maximum depth of 46 m. The Small Lake has an area of 24 ha and a maximum depth of 29 m. The natural secrets of both lakes have attracted many scientists over the years, as well as other nature lovers from a wide range of professions and personal interests.
NP Mljet
NP KRKA - The National Park of Krka covers more than 142 square kilometers and covers the course of the Krka river between Knin and Skradin. On account of its hydrological and geomorphological features, Krka is the most amazing among the rivers of the Croatian karst region. For about two-thirds of its 72 kilometers long course, the river runs through deep canyons cut into limestone plateaus. Much of the river is actually a string of elongated lakes - natural reservoirs created upstream of every one of the many waterfalls. Between the two most beautiful waterfalls, Skradinski Buk and the Roski Slap, on the small island Visovac in the middle of the lake there is a Franciscan Monastery with a valuable library.
The Paklenica National Park - NP Paklenica lies on the southern slopes of the largest mountain range in Croatia, the Velebit. With its surface area of 96 square kilometers, from the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea to the highest peaks of the Velebit Mountains, Vaganski Vrh (1757 m) and Sveto Brdo (1753 m), Paklenica abounds with numerous natural wonders and phenomena, which is why the entire area was proclaimed a national park in 1949. And rightfully so, as this region is simple and unusual in its connection between the sea and the mountains, rich in beech and black pine forests, its deep canyons cut vertically into the Velebit ridge, its karst formations and numerous caves and pits. Paklenica is noted  for its fauna: endemic insects, reptiles and a number of birds, among them the griffon vulture.
National Park Risnjak - Risnjak is a forested mountain massif 1528 m high, situated in the Gorski Kotar region, the most densely wooded part of Croatia to the north of Rijeka. It includes the area of the Kupa river headwaters. Due to its location between the Alps and the Dinara mountain and the effects of both the coastal and continental climates, this relatively small area (about 30 square kilometers) is a habitat for various species of flora and fauna, including brown bear, lynx, chamois, deer and short-toed snake eagle. The beauty and variety of forests, karst formations and monumental vistas are attracting numerous hikers.
The Northern Velebit National Park - The youngest Croatian National Park (designated June1999) is the most valuable and most attractive part of the summit part of mountain Velebit in terms of nature. The area was designated a national park due to its richness of carst phenomena, outstanding biodiversity and exquisitly beautiful nature on a relatively small area. The Park covers the surface of about 109 km2, and inside there is the Hajducki & Rozanski Ledges Strict Reserve, famous for its geomorphological phenomena - the pits. 

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