Unveiling Croatia’s Top National Parks & Nature Reserves: Explore Now

Although Croatia is a small nation, it is well known for its exceptional natural beauty and biodiversity, from the continental part of the country down to the Adriatic Sea coast.

Croatia boasts 8 National parks and 12 nature reserves. Here is an overview of some of the most-visited ones:

Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lakes is one of the oldest, most popular, and largest National parks in Croatia. The lakes have been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list due to their magnificent caves and bodies of water connected by a series of waterfalls. The Plitvice Lakes are located in central Croatia, around 2 hours from the capital, Zagreb. See the location here. 

The park features 16 visible lakes positioned at various elevations, and completing the entire tour can take as much as 6 hours. Alternatively, shorter tours of approximately 2 hours are also available.

According to the latest price list, entrance fees from June till the end of September are:

  • 40 Euros per person – before 4 pm
  • 27 Euros – after 4 pm

Brijuni Islands

The Brijuni Islands are allocated in the northern part of the Adriatic Sea, west of the Istria peninsula. Location here. Brijuni consists of fourteen smaller islands, of which the largest is the Great Brijun. Before it became a National Park, Brijuni had a long and rich history, dating from Ancient Rome. At some points, the islands were under the Venetian Republic and later the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After World War II, the Brijuni Islands became integrated into Yugoslavia. President Marshal Josip Broz Tito designated the Brijuni Islands as his personal State Summer Residence during that time and hosted more than 100 foreign heads of state and numerous internationally famous figures, including Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sophia Loren, Carlo Ponti, and Gina Lollobrigida.

Krka Waterfalls

Krka National Park is famous for its stunning waterfalls, exceptional landscapes and rich flora and fauna. It is named after the river Krka and is located in central Dalmatia. Visitors are offered various activities such as sightseeing, guided tours, visiting Visovac Island on boat tours or doing educational trails to learn more about the wildlife in the area. Explore the breath taking Krka Waterfalls National Park with a tour guide on an air-conditioned coach departing from Split straight after the 8-day Split Return and 5-day Dubrovnik to Split cruises finish.

Mljet National Park

Mljet National Park is located on Mljet Island  – also known as Green Island – about 70 kilometres from Dubrovnik. According to legend, the nymph Calypso, the beloved of the Greek hero Odysseus, chose this island because of its unparalleled beauty, which surpassed even her own. She convinced Odysseus, the perpetual wanderer, to stay on the island for several years. The veracity of this legend remains uncertain. Some historians assert that Homer was referring to Mljet when depicting Ogygia, while others remain sceptical. You can visit Mljet island on our 4-day Split to Dubrovnik or 8-day Split-return cruises. The National Park entrance is around 20 Euros and you can rent a bike for around 6 Euros per hour to explore this emerald gem of the Adriatic Sea.

Kornati Islands

The Kornati Islands are a stunning archipelago in the Adriatic Sea, situated off the coast of Croatia – see the location here. This group of islands is known for its exceptional natural beauty, comprising around 140 uninhabited islands, islets, and reefs. The majority of Kornati Islands are part of the Kornati National Park, which was established to protect the unique marine ecosystem and preserve the cultural heritage of the area. Besides sailing and boating, the Kornati Islands are also suitable for activities like hiking and bird watching. The diverse flora and fauna, including various bird species, make it an appealing destination for nature enthusiasts.

Paklenica

Paklenica is a National Park located on the mountain Velebit in northern Dalmatia. It was proclaimed a National Park in 1949 as the area was threatened by overexploitation. In 2017, Paklenica was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. The park is characterized by two impressive canyons: Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica, which are surrounded by vertical cliffs, and have the highest peaks. The canyons are exceptional for rock climbing. The park area also contains 150-200 km of marked hiking and trekking trails. Paklenica National Park is the perfect haven for both adventure and nature lovers.

Biokovo Nature Park

Biokovo is one of Croatia’s 12 nature parks, which are one tier below the National Park level. It is situated on the same-named mountain – see the location here. The park covers a massive area of ​​195 square kilometres with a diverse range of landscapes, including limestone peaks, cliffs, and Mediterranean vegetation. The closest city is Makarska which you can visit on our 4-day Split to Dubrovnik or 8-day Split-return cruises. Biokovo can be explored by hiking, safari excursions and the new Biokovo Skywalk is an amazing experience.

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