NATIONAL PARKS IN CROATIA EIGHT STUNNING BEAUTIES By Croatian HTUS – ZADAR ETWINNING TEAM
1. RISNJAK• National Park Risnjak is based in Crni Lug near Delnice has 6,400 hectares of forest areas. With over thirty specific plant communities, a 4.2-kilometers long trail, a mountain lodge, a restaurant and accommodation capacities, it represents a special attraction and value of Kvarner and Gorski Kotar - a wide, heavily forested, karst plateau rising to jagged peaks.• The park’s varied climatic influences – the sea from the south- west, the Dinaric mountains from the south-east, the continent from the north-east and the Alps from the north-west – have enabled over 4,000 plant species to prosper. Accompanying these are over a hundred brown bears, lynx (ris in Croatian and after which the park is named), wolves, wild cats, wild boar, deer and chamois, as well as 500 species of butterfly.12/02/12 2
2. BRIJUNI Brijuni archipelago are attractive group of islands near Istria Peninsula, with the main islands Veli Brijun that is Croatia National Park and open to visitors. The fact that it was visited by the elite of Austrian, Hungarian and German aristocracy when Istria was part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy speaks of its beauty and charm. In more recent history almost every major statesman visited the islands as Brijuni were residence of late President Tito of Yugoslavia. The islands are rich in natural beauties, flora and fauna brought here from various parts of the world. On Brijuni there is an attractive archaeological site the Byzantine castrum and luxurious Roman villa, Ethnographic collection, Collection of frescoes, Archaeological Museum and Natural history exhibit.12/02/12 3
3. PLITVICE LAKES Plitvicka Jezera (Plitvice Lakes) is Croatias well known national park. Plitvice Lakes are also listed in UNESCOs Register of World Natural Heritage. Plitvice Lakes is a group of sixteen small lakes - Proscansko Jezero, Labudanovac Lake , Ciganovac Lake , Galovac Lake, Kozjak Lake... - mutually conected with numerous large and smaller waterfalls. Plitvice waterfalls are created by deposition of travertine -a kind of limestone that created this unique and attractive wonder of nature. Plitvice National Park is the area surrounded by dense forests of beech, fir and spruce, watered by varous springs of the Korana River. Plitvice Nationa Park is decorated with several caves and flower meadows too. Brown bear found , among other animal species, their home in Plitvica Lakes too.12/02/12 4
4. SJEVERNI VELEBIT National Park Sjeverni Velebit includes a diversity of karstic phenomena, flora and fauna, which is just a part of this natural world. The Park covers the surface of 109 km2, and inside there is the Hajdučki & Rožanski Ledges Strict Reserve, known for its geomorphological phenomena - the pits. There are more than 150 pits discovered, out of which the most famous is Lukes pit, discovered in 1992. Velebit is an untamed mountainous ridge which looms as large in the Croatian mentality as it does on the ground. Lying adjacent to the Adriatic and occupying over 2,000 sq km in a belt 145km long and up to 30km wide, this limestone mass is a designated UNESCO biosphere reserve. Velebit is perfect for those wanting to explore a fascinating area in solitude. It is possible to hike the whole length of the ridge, following Premuzic’s path and staying in mountain huts, whilst the more compact Paklenica National Park also offers excellent walking12/02/12 5 opportunities.
• 5. PAKLENICA that cover the most attractive Paklenica is Croatian National park parts of southern Velebit, as well as its highest peaks, all located in Lika region. Paklenica is an area of unusual contact between the sea and the mountain, rich in natural forests of beech, black pine and mountain pine. This is a habitat for the endemic plant called pljeskarica in Croatian (Arenaria orbicularis) and other plant and animal rarities, filled with karstic forms. It is famous for some parts of Mala Paklenica and Velika Paklenica. National Park Paklenica covers an area of 96 km2.• The highest peaks is Sveto brdo (1753 m). The main attraction of the Paklenica Park are two impressive canyons of Velika and Mala Paklenica, vertically cut into the mountain from the sea to the Velebits highest peaks. In this small area of the national park, there are several unusual carst forms, caves, and varied flora and fauna. There are various species of large mammals in the park. too. Throughout the park, one can see game species such as roe deer , red deer , chamois and wild boar. Large predator species include the brown bear, the wolf and the lynx - though there are not a lot of 12/02/12 6 visitors who can claim seeing them.
6. KRKA• National Park Krka : The empire of Krka River, the magnificent karstic beauty traveling two thirds of its way to the sea through canyons, is a complete opposite of Kornati. On its green path, it has seven falls, the last one being Skradinski buk with an average flow of 55 cubic meters of water per second. National Park Krka is rich in flora and fauna. 222 bird species live there, making it one of the most valuable ornithological areas in Europe. You can visit it by boat, car or on foot. Make sure you visit the ethno museum on one of the old mills. National Park Krka also has the only hawk training center in Croatia where you can se presentations of hunting with hawks and hawk trainers’ skills.12/02/12 7
7. KORNATI• KORNATI ISLANDS is a group of about 130 islands, islets and reefs sprinkled in the deep blue sea of the Adriatic covering an area of about 64 sq km. The Kornati archipelago is in Dalmatia, a coastal region of Croatia just across the cities of Zadar and Sibenik.• The largest island is Kornat from which the archipelago takes its name. Other larger islands are, Piskara, Kurba Vela, Zut, Sit , Vrgada and Levrnaka. Apart from a tiny area of cultivated land with fig trees, olives and vineyards, Kornati islands are rocky, covered with thin grass, rare trees and Mediterranean scrubs.• Over the time erosion has been caused by the sea, over grazing12/02/12 8
8. MLJET• The National Park Mljet was established in early sixties of last century. It covers about 30 square kilometers of area on the western bit of Island MLJET, which is about 1/3 of the Island. It consist of two natural salt lakes ( Veliko and Malo jezero) that are interconnected by a narrow channel. Veliko jezero (Large Lake) covers the area of 1,5 square kilometers. Malo Jezero (Small Lake) is about 1/4 of square kilometers. The salinity of the water in the lakes is bit lower than in the sea, due to intake of fresh waters. The temperature of the Lakes is usually higher then open sea temperatures for about 4 degrees centigrade. Due to these details, Veliko and Malo Jezero are popular places for visitors to swim in. Both lakes are surrounded with dense old pine forest. In the middle of Veliko Jezero there is a little island called Melita where Benedictine monastery is located.12/02/12 9
THEY GOT PROCLAIMED NATIONAL PARKS IN:• Risnjak (Croatian National Park since September 15, 1953)• Brijuni (Croatian National Park since October 27, 1983)• Plitvice Lake (Croatian National Park since April 8, 1949)• Sjeverni Velebit (Croatian National Park since June 2, 1999)• Paklenica (Croatian National Park since October 19, 1949)• Krka (Croatian National Park since January 24, 1985)• Kornati (Croatian National Park since July 24, 1980)• Mljet (Croatian National Park since November 12, 1960)12/02/12 10