Secrets of Croatia’s National Parks
Most would associate a vacation to Croatia with the golden sands of the Adriatic coast, the gently lapping waters of the sea or the quaint paved streets of its coastal towns. However, one of Croatia’s greatest beauties lies in the varied splendor of its national parks. Encompassing everything from rugged mountain vistas to forest-shrouded waterfalls to the deep blue hues of the ocean, hidden within each of Croatia’s eight national parks is an atmosphere that entices your inner explorer and excites the soul.
The national parks are located throughout the country, spread from the northern tip at Risnjak to some of the most southern islands in the form of Mljet National Park. Although they have National Park status, many of these areas remain unexplored by most, giving an air of secrecy to their endearing traits. These secrets are a reflection of the enticing wonder that these parks, and indeed Croatia in general, possess in abundance.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Perhaps Croatia’s most well-renowned park, the lakes of Plitvice have become a popular visage for the promotion of tourism in Croatia. The multilayered lakes toppling into one another via an intricate system of waterfalls is a truly amazing sight. The countless intertwining trails that meander through Plitvice mean that this National Park can accommodate for hours of exploration. With a wide array of flora and fauna, Plitvice is sure to reveal something different to you during each trip to its tumbling waterscape.
Brijuni Islands National Park
In Croatia’s far west lie the Brijuni Islands, a group of fourteen islets that combine physical Yugoslav nostalgia with the utterly surreal. Formerly claimed by Yugoslav leader Josep Tito as a personal playground of sorts, the island is a mixture of rolling green hills, golden coastline and typical Yugoslav architecture. This National Park is also home to a safari park made up of exotic animals collected by Tito during his personal occupation of the Brijuni Islands. It is a unique slice of Africa located in the Balkans’ western reaches. The islands are an ideal alternative stop off during a private cruise.
Risnjak & Velebit National Parks
Found on Croatia’s northern border with Slovenia, Risnjak National Park is home to a veritable myriad of adventure activities. These mountainous regions combine emerald forest thickets with dramatic rock formations stretching beyond the horizon in every direction. Found further south, Velebit National Park is another region of natural beauty that is popular among the adventurous. With similar terrain to Risnjak, what sets Velebit apart is the views overlooking the Adriatic from some of its higher peaks.
Hiking, abseiling and paragliding are just some of the popular activities in both of these National Parks. They are also home to an array of different animals, including bears and the endangered lynx, which attracts the attention of nature enthusiasts in peak seasons. Given their intimately rural settings, they are best accessed by private chauffeur.
Paklenica National Park
The ultimate hiking destination in Croatia, Paklenica National Park is home to a miraculous clash of steep mountainous terrain and the luscious blues of the Adriatic Sea. Some of Croatia’s highest peaks seem to rise from the ocean to create a dramatic landscape like no other. Over 150km of walking paths allow hiking enthusiasts to explore the area at will. Two canyons named Velika and Mala Paklenica are a particular highlight for those in search of Croatia’s most brutally stunning scenery.
Kornati National Park
Croatia’s most inaccessible National Park, Kornati is a region in Croatia that remains relatively untouched by man. The islands have very few transport links to them, making them difficult to visit without a private charter. Even then there is no guarantee that you can set foot on many of the islands that make up Kornati. And therein lies its beauty. Stepping off your boat onto the shores of this National Park, you realize that it possesses a desolate beauty that shows no sign of human life ever having existed there.
Krka National Park
Not unlike Plitvice, Krka National Park is made up of a system of lakes and waterfalls that has travelers staring, mouth agape in wonder. Not only do the lakes provide a fantastic natural scene, they also provide the opportunity to cool off from the warm rays of the Mediterranean sun by going for a swim. Those in search of a cultural experience are also catered to, with boat trips to the island of Visovac offering the chance to explore an 18th century monastery.
Mljet National Park
Located in the far southern reaches of Dalmatia’s islands, Mljet National Park is a luscious island escape that incorporates crystal clear saltwater lakes and verdant hillsides. You can spend your time here exploring the island by bike, swimming in one of its idyllic coves or visiting the Island of St Mary, an exquisitely picturesque islet home to a church and Benedictine Monastery. With something for everyone, Mljet is a must for any family yacht holiday to Croatia.
If you wish to plan a vacation to Croatia that incorporates a visit to these national parks, let us know and we will begin planning your perfect trip. Our team of friendly on the ground staff are local to Croatia and have an abundance of experience with making journeys just right for all involved. Contact us now and start planning your dream Croatia vacation.
Croatia Travel Update
As travel restrictions continue to ease, Croatia was handed another boost on Wednesday 14th July as it was added to the United Kingdom’s ‘Green’ list of destinations. With the country fully open for travel, we are receiving increasing numbers of requests from clients seeking last minute bespoke tours, while others are keen to plan for 2022 and get ahead of the crowd.
Another positive concerning travel between the United States and Croatia is the recent introduction of a DIRECT United Airlines flight to Croatia. The new service departs three times per week from Newark and touches down in Dubrovnik on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. With demand for travel continuing to rise, we are encouraging travelers who are considering itineraries for 2021 to get in touch as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Our team are available in both the US and Croatia to help shape your dream vacation.