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Home  > Attractions

National Parks

Seven national parks, a multitude of protected reserves and nature parks, protected plant and animal species, these are the most distinet indications of Croatian natural heritage, but also of the efforts to preserve the unspoilt scenary for the future generations.

 

There are as many as four national parks in the coastal region - Brijuni, Kornati, Krka, Mljet - whereas the others, equally interesting, belog to the mountainous area - Plitvice, Paklenica, Risnjak. Regardless of where they are situated, all of them are attractive excursionst destination.

 
Brijuni


Magnitude:

The Brijuni archipelago is composed of fourteen islands and islets, with several underwater reefs. The coastline of the Brijuni islands extends for 46.6 km, and their total area is 736 hectares. The biggest of them is Veliki (i.e. Great) Brijun, which is 5 km long by 0.5 to 3 km wide, with an area of 579 hectares. The islands are geographically divided into three groups: five of them are located close to Veliki Brijun, five close to Mali (Small) Brijun and two in the Fazana Channel. The total area of the Brijuni National Park comes to 2,700 hectares.

A description of the park:

The Brijuni archipelago is remarkable for its flora and fauna, with a mild Mediterranean climate and an average air temperature in winter of 6.3C, in spring of 12.2C, in summer of 22.2C and in autumn of 14.8C. These climatic conditions have allowed for the flourishing in the park of approximately 680 species of plants, including: holm or evergreen oak, bay, ash, bearberry, pine, cypress, cedar, palm, bamboo, eucalyptus and other kinds of plant that form a thick forest of both the Mediterranean and sub-tropical type. The coastal area of the Brijuni islands is rich in various kinds of fish, molluscs, algae and other kinds of sea fauna and flora. Deer, moufflons, squirrels, rabbits, pheasants and other birds live freely in nature in the islands. Today, the Brijuni are a one of a kind museum of the flora and fauna of recent and older history. On Veliki Brijun there are prestigious and commemorative buildings, hotels, museums, a zoo and sporting and recreational facilities linked by 74 km of paths and roads.

Information:

Brijuni National Park
Brijunska 10
HR - 52240 Brijuni
Tel: (052) 525 - 888, 521 124
Fax: (052) 525 917
web: www.np-brijuni.hr

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The Kornati National park

Region:
The Kornati islands make up the most numerous archipelago in the Adriatic (147 islands, islets and rocks), dotted with small fields, picturesque oases of shady pines and olives. They belong administratively to the city of Sibenik, while the Park's management headquarters is in Murter.

Magnitude:

Within the Kornati National Park itself there are 109 islands, islets and rocks, the group having a total length of 47.5 km and a width of 8 km. The archipelago is named after the biggest of the islands, Kornat. The area of the National Park includes only Kornat Island with the neighbouring islets on the outer side from Vela Aba on the north west to Samograd on the south east, together with the surrounding sea. On the inner side the islands of Vela and Mala Svrsata are included in the Park, but the island of Zut and its neighbouring islands and the islands of Veli and Mali Buc, Vela and Mala Sestrica and Mala Aba are not.

A description of the park:

The sea bed along the coast is composed of reefs of many curious shapes, of steep pinnacles, bare plates, fissures and caverns containing red corals, mother of pearl shells, snails and shell-fish, with hundreds of nuances of colours. There is also a great wealth of piscine species in the area. Everyone is fascinated by the romance of the sea bed, and it is possible to watch this world of silence, colours and forms for hours through the most simple of masks. Today, because of their absence of population, their wildness, the untouched nature, the strangeness of the Micronesian landscapes, the exceptional beauty of natural phenomena and the traces of the cultures of past centuries scattered over the wild rock, the Kornati are highly attractive to many tourists, and are of particular importance in the development of travel that accents excursions, sports and, in particular, yachting.

Information:

The Kornati National Park
Butina 2
22243 Murter
Tel: (022) 434 662, 435 058
Fax: (022) 434 662
web: www.tel.hr/np-kornati

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The Krka National park

Region:

The Krka National Park is in the administrative regions of Sibenik, Drnis and Knin and was proclaimed a national park on February 12, 1985.

Magnitude:

The River Krka is a phenomenon of the karst. It is only 72 km in length, but abounds in water. In its short course it makes its way through a canyon to the sea, creating numerous falls, cascades, rapids and lakes. In a section of the Krka that is only fifty kilometres long there are eight large falls: Topoljski luk (22 m), Bilusica buk (22 m), Cosica-slap or Brljan (15 m), Manglovacki slap (60 m), Rosnjak or Sondovjel (8 m), Miljacke slap (24 m), Roski slap (26 m) and Skradinski buk (46 m). However, of these the National Park takes in only Roski slap and Skradinski buk, one of the most lovely travertine falls in Europe. Its foaming waters plunge 45.7 m over 17 travertine steps. The area of the Krka National Park covers 14,200 hectares.

A description of the park:

What is basically so valuable about the Krka National Park is its combination of very specific natural features, with the superadded human and cultural values, and, in particular, the geomorphological and geological forms and the features of the landscape and the hydrology, the historical elements woven into the natural setting and the ethnographic heritage. Along with its richness of Mediterranean and sub-Mediterranean flora and fauna, there are two endemic species of trout living in the Krka: the Visovac trout and the Adriatic salmon. A special charm is given to the Park by the numerous historical and cultural buildings which provide evidence of human settlement in the region from ancient times on (there are pre-historic remains in the caves, the remains of Roman buildings and a villa rustica, an Early Christian basilica, the ruins of a medieval fortress and numerous mills which are still in use today). Of all of these, the most precious jewels are the Franciscan monastery on the island of Visovac and the Krka Monastery, with their rich treasuries of culture and art. There are several picturesque settlements in the Park, the most interesting being the little town of Skradin, which is protected as a national cultural monument.

Information:

The Krka National Park
Andrije Kacica 9
22000 Sibenik
Tel: (022) 217 720
Fax: (022) 336 836
web: www.npkrka.hr

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The Mljet National park

Region:

This park blongs to the southern Adriatic group of islands. It is located within the administrative region of the city of Dubrovnik, and the management of the park is in the town of Govedari.

Magnitude:

The Mljet National Park takes in 3,100 hectares. Its confines include the zone of the Veliko and Malo jezero (or Large and Small Lake), which are linked by a narrow passage only 2.5 m wide and 0.3 m deep. The area of the Malo jezero is 24 hectares, and its maximum depth is 29 m. The small lake is considerably shallower than the large one and is taking on more and more of the features of a lagoon. The Large Lake is 145 hectares in area, and has a maximum depth of 46 m. It is linked today with the open sea via Solin Bay with a channel 30 m long, 10 m wide and 2.5 m deep.

A description of the park:

Because of its geographical position, its centuries of isolation and relative lack of population, Mljet has very largely managed to preserve its indigenous forests, which make it one of the greenest and most attractive islands of the Adriatic coast. The west of the island is particularly important and valuable; apart from possessing the traits common to all the Croatian islands, it has some very specific natural features of its own among which a special place is occupied by the unique Mljet lakes. Alongside the many natural features of the island, there are also a number of important historical buildings, which together impart the island the importance due to a place of particular natural rarity that is also marked by a wealth of cultural, historical, scholarly and aesthetic values. Travellers can stay in a hotel on a little island in the middle of the Veliko jezero that is actually a refurbished abandoned monastery, and also in the Odisej (Odyssey) Hotel in the village of Pomena. Many private houses will also put travellers up.

Information:

The Mljet National Park
Pristaniste 2
20226 Govedari
Tel: (020) 744-058
Fax: (020) 744-043
web: www.np-mljet.hr

 
The Paklenica National Park

Region:

In 1978, as part of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program, Mt Velebit was proclaimed a world biosphere reserve. The Paklenica National Park is located on the southern slopes of the Velebit massif, immediately below its highest peak (Vaganski vrh or peak, 1758 m). Administratively, it is within the area of the city of Zadar, while the headquarters of the park's management is in Starigrad Paklenica. Paklenica is a particularly interesting part of Velebit by reason of its richness of natural beauties, its karst phenomena, its water features and abundance of flora and fauna; in 1949 it was proclaimed a national park.

Magnitude:

The total area of the Paklenica National Park is 3,617 hectares. It takes in mostly the catchment area of the boisterous rivers the Velika and Mala Paklenica, which surround the highest peaks of the southern Velebit and drop through the Velika and Mala Paklenica gorges right down to the vicinity of the sea above Starigrad and Selin.

A description of the park:

In geomorphological terms the region of the National Park is made up of an elongated valley (about 8.5 km long), which follows the direction of the principal ridge of Mt Velebit, and the two shorter canyons (4 - 5 km long) of Velika and Mala Paklenica, which cut vertically across the Velebit massif. Here there are surface water courses the whole year round and, in addition, the valleys of winterbornes. Through tectonic upheavals and the erosive action of the torrents, the lower parts of the valleys take the shapes of majestic canyons with deeply incised steep cliffs up to 400 metres high. The most imposing rock, Anica kuk (715 m) is a famed spot for climbing. A special richness is given to the karst of Paklenica by the subterranean natural beauties of the many caverns and pot-holes (Manita pea, Jama vodarica and others). Most of the area of the National Park is covered by forest, which constitutes a green oasis in the vicinity of the sea. Part of the forest is still in its virgin form. Because of its geographical position and variations in altitude, there is a great diversity of vegetation in the park. There is the stone scrub and maquis of the coastal region, then broad, low woods that become high forests in the interior. Above them are forests of beech and juniper, and then mountain meadows abounding in wild flowers stretching way up to the highest peaks. Beech forests cover the widest areas, followed by forests of Austrian pine. The most important inhabitant of Paklenica is certainly the bear. Also living here are wolves, martens, wildcats, deer, rabbits and many small rodents, the golden eagle, the stock dove, the hobby, the raven, the long-eared owl, the griffon vulture and many other birds. Maritime and continental influences impart special features to the Park and the close vicinity. While the coastal part of the Park has a cooler type of Mediterranean climate, the interior is characterised by a continental climate, and in the upper parts a sub-Alpine climate prevails. This very attractive combination of influences also provides ideal conditions for holiday-making in the coastal region close to the Park.

Information:

The Paklenica National Park
Jadranska cesta bb
23244 Starigrad - Paklenica
Tel: (023) 369 155
Fax: (023) 369 202
web: www.tel.hr/paklenica

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The Plitvice National park

Region:

This national park is in the region of Lika, between the mountain massif of Mala Kapela and a spur of Licka Pljesivica. Administratively, a minor part of the Park falls within the areas of Slunj, Otocac and Ogulin, but most of it comes under Titova Korenica. The Park's headquarters is in Plitvieka jezera. The region was proclaimed a national park in 1949.

Magnitude:

The Park covers an area of 19,479 hectares, of which 14,000 hectares are forested. The lake system comprises 16 greater or smaller lakes.

A description of the park:

The Park's greatest value and beauty is made up of the sixteen beautiful lakes which flow into each other by a series of waterfalls and the exceptional richness of the flora and fauna. The Plitvice Lakes are a unique phenomenon of karst hydrography. Although throughout their course they are located in pronouncedly karst topography, the lakes have nevertheless remained surface features, and it is from this that the other unusual and specific characteristics of the lakes derive. The water largely comes in from the Crna rijeka, Bijela rijeka and potok Ljeskovac (Black and White Rivers, Ljeskovac brook), which issue into the Proscansko jezero (lake). This lake lies at an altitude of 636 metres above sea level, and the water runs from it through the lower lakes down to the River Korana, racing over many travertine barriers of various morphological forms and creating countless falls and rapids of great beauty. The lakes' unique colours, ranging from emerald green to turquoise, make the beauty of the scene and the attraction of this central part of the Park complete. On the basis of the World Natural and Cultural Heritage Convention, the Plitvice Lakes National Park has been enrolled in the World Heritage List of UNESCO, as being a natural asset of universal and exceptional value and importance. The Plitvice Lakes are an excellent example of how a national park can be turned to account for holiday-making purposes. The development of the tourist industry has been optimally combined with the preservation of the natural environment. Several hotels have been built in the Park, all of them fitting completely in to the natural scenery. There are also motels and camps. Residential, excursion and congress tourism are all being developed. It is possible to stay here all the year round, and the lakes provide excellent conditions for recreation and relaxation.

Information:

The Plitvice Lakes National Park
23431 Plitvicka jezera
Tel: (053) 751 015
Fax: (053) 751 013
web: www.np-plitvicka-jezera.hr

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The Risnjak National park

Region:

The Risnjak National Park is some fifteen kilometres from Delnice in the westernmost part of the Dinaric mountains. It belongs administratively to Delnice, Cabar and Rijeka, and the Park's headquarters is in Crni Lug.


Magnitude:

The Risnjak National Park spreads over 3,014 hectares, at heights ranging from 680 to 1,528 metres above sea level.

A description of the park:

This is a region with highly typical features of the Dinaric region in its geological system and flora and fauna. The higher parts of Risnjak are composed of dolomites and limestones. And although it is only 1,528 metres high, Risnjak represents a very strong climatic barrier between the coastal and inland parts of the country. Both sides of this great rampart are covered with beech, fir and spruce forests. Alongside a first-rate scientific, Risnjak also has some considerable tourist importance. The main Rijeka-Zagreb highway is only 15 kilometres away, which makes Risnjak easily accessible, and its beauty makes it attractive from afar. A marvellous view of the Bay of Kvarner can be obtained from Risnjak.

Information:

The Risnjak National Park
51317 Crni Lug -Bijela Vodica
Tel: (051) 836 133
Fax: (051) 836 116
web: www.risnjak.hr

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