Croatia is blessed with an abundance of national parks, each magical in their own right and showcasing different aspects of the country's natural beauty. So without much ado, check out these amazing slices of paradise that Croatia has been rewarded with.
Krka National Park
Located 10km from Sibenik in central Dalmatia, Krka is known for its numerous attractions. Apart from a wide variety of flora and fauna the park is home to seventeen waterfalls, called Skradinski Buk, where visitors can go swimming or enjoy boat trips to the island of Visovac and explore its 18th century monastery.
Kornati National Park
Kornati National Park comprises over 100 islands, most of them privately owned by the citizens of Murter. This island paradise is full of coves and reefs and is accessible only by boat. The park is not only the venue of the annual Kornati Cup sailing regatta but is a mecca for swimming and snorkeling.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
This is the country's oldest National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage site.The park has excellent infrastructure for visitors who can explore the large number of waterfalls or just amble leisurely on the paved hiking paths and boardwalks which guide them to all the hot spots. Visitors can avail of regular shuttle services between points and dine on the many restaurants located over placid lakes or trickling streams.
Mljet National Park
Located on the little island of Mljet, the park is one of the major attractions in the whole of Croatia. The park is home to two interconnected beautiful saltwater lakes and a 12th century Benedictine Monastery in the middle of the bigger lake.There are a series of hiking and cycling paths crisscrossing the park. Mountain bikes are available on hire at Mali Most as well as Hotel Odisej in the town of Pomena.
Brijuni National Park
A group of 14 islands, just off the Istrian coast of Pula make up the beautiful Brijuni National Park. Only one of these islands, Veli, is open to visitors and can be accessed by ferry ride from the town of Fazana.There are ruins from Roman times as well as over 200 dinosaur footprints to be found here. The residence of former president Tito is located here, which also houses a safari park full of exotic animals gifted by well-known celebrities.
Risnjak National Park
Risnjak may be one of the least visited National Parks in Croatia but it is certainly the prettiest. Wild as it is, the park can be reached easily from the road from Zagreb in Gorski Kotar. There are many lofty peaks overlooking the Kvarner Gulf which offer wonderful opportunities for hiking and mountaineering. The park has abundant flora and fauna including wolves, lynx and bears.
Croatia is usually associated with sailing trips and it's holiday destinations in the picturesque coastal cities and islands. That said, beyond this lies another part of this beautiful country where birds of prey circle the sky and predators lurk in the forests below.This is where these top national parks play an important role in conserving the natural treasures of Croatia.