A Guide to Croatia’s Best National Parks
If you’re planning a trip to Croatia, you might be looking forward to crystal clear oceans, picturesque coastlines, Game of Thrones scenery or ancient historical sites. To encompass all this on your holiday to the Mediterranean destination, Croatia national parks are a must-see.
A national park is a protected site of natural countryside, fresh water or ocean, usually used for the purpose of conservation and public enjoyment. A national park is often described as an area of natural beauty.
From lush Mljet to breathtaking Paklenica, a visit to Croatia would not be complete without a trip to at least one of these marvels. To add a touch of splendour to your holiday, take a look at our top national parks in Croatia.
Mljet National Park
Travel from the mainland by ferry to the island of Mljet. Take in the historical ruins as you glide across the clear sea to the green island. Wade through the thick greenery and explore both of the saltwater lakes within this national beauty spot.
Kopacki Rit National Park
This is one for wildlife lovers – specifically birds. With over two-hundred species living in these marshlands rife with water plant life, it’s no wonder Kopackti Rit has earned the nickname the “European Amazon.” This national park is situated between the Drava and Dunube Rivers.
Krka National Park
If you are looking for stunning waterfalls, Krka National Park is the place for you. The park has no less than seven falls in this remarkable land. Other natural beauties to explore include the vast river, the gorges and of course the islands. Visit the ancient monasteries and take in the sea view.
Paklenica National Park
Here’s another one for wildlife enthusiasts. Keep your eyes peeled among the alpine forest for lynx, golden eagles and even bears. The Velebit range is home to peaks and trails and is a hotspot for walkers and climbers.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Trek over the meandering wooden walkways around the cascading waterfalls that link sixteen blue lakes in this UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation)-listed site.
Brijuni is the place for the sporty; it houses an eighteen-hole nature golf course and visitors also have the opportunity for tennis or archery. You can dive or swim in the sparkling ocean or rent a bike to enjoy the scenery. If you appreciate culture, visit in the summer months for the Ulysses theatre and the Histeria Festival. For a taste of prehistory, hunt for the two-hundred-plus dinosaur footprints.
Kornati Islands National Park
Some one-hundred-and-forty islands make up the Kornati Islands, most of which are part of Kornati National Park. The islands can be visited by taking a boat over the sparkling waters while you view the hidden coves. For a truly authentic way to get away from it all, you can stay for a week in a house with no running water or electricity. While the islands have no permanent residents, the people of Murter island own most of the park and are responsible for caring for the vineyards, the olive groves and orchards. During the agricultural season, Murter islanders reside in designated cottages within the national park.
Risnjak National Park
Risnjak National Park can be found in Gorski Kotar, the most mountainous region of Croatia. This is one for the hikers. The most popular attractions of this park are hiking to the peaks of Veliki Risnjak and Snjeznik as well trekking to the source of the Kupa river. For the sporty, you can also enjoy skiing, mountain biking and fishing.
With so much to choose from, I’m sure you feel spoilt for choice. While you take in the stunning coastlines and the peaceful tranquillity of Croatia, why not choose a national park to top off your Croatian trip? Which of Croatia’s national parks will you visit?