1. National park Plitvice (Plitvice lakes)
Plitvice Lakes National Park
is one of the oldest
national parks in Southeast Europe and the largest and most known national park in Croatia. In 1979, Plitvice Lakes National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage
The national park was founded in 1949 and is situated in the mountainous karst area of central Croatia, at the border to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The important north-south road connection, which passes through the national park area, connects the Croatian inland with the Adriatic coastal region.
The area of Plitvice Lakes is a valley situated between high forested mountains. Here lies sixteen beautiful little lakes interconnected with waterfalls created by deposition of travertine, a special kind of limestone who constitute the main attraction of this unique park. The park includes the spring of the Korana River in the area surrounded by dense forests of beech, fir and spruce, mainly in the form of primeval virgin forest. The Park is ornamented with several caves, springs, flower meadows, and is inhabited by brown bear, among other animal species. The popularity of this park is also in the use of special vehicle for transporting visitors. The Park is conveniently situated at the main road from Zagreb to Dalmatia.
2. National park Krka
Krka National Park
lies within Šibenik-Knin County, and covers a total area of 109 km² of the loveliest sections of the Krka River, and the lower course of the Čikola River.
It is the seventh national park in Croatia and was proclaimed a national park in 1985.
The national park is a vast and primarily unaltered area of exceptional natural value, including one or more preserved or insignificantly altered ecosystems. The purpose of the park is primarily to serve science, culture, education and recreation, while tourism activities have also been introduced for its visitors.
Including the submerged part of the river at the mouth, the Krka River is 72.5 km long, making it the 22nd longest river in Croatia. It springs in the foothills of the Dinara mountain range, 2.5 km northeast of Knin. With its seven waterfalls and a total drop in altitude of 242 m, the Krka is a natural and karst phenomenon. The travertine waterfalls of the Krka River are the fundamental phenomenon of this river.
The southern border of the park was shifted to upstream from the Skradin Bridge, and the northern part virtually all the way to Knin. The park boundaries stretch for 50 km along the upper and middle course of the Krka River (two kilometres downstream from Knin all the way to Skradin), and the lower course of the Čikola River (including the confluence and 3.5 km of the river canyon), in the territory of the towns of Knin, Drniš and Skradin, the City of Šibenik, and the municipalities of Ervenik, Kistanje and Promina.
The Skradinski buk waterfall
, the longest waterfall on the Krka River, is one of the best known natural beauties of Croatia.
is among Croatia's most valuable natural and cultural values. The Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy and the Church of Our Lady of Visovac have stood here since 1445. The complex, together with the beautiful landscape of Visovac.
3. National park Mljet
is the most southerly and easterly of the larger Adriatic islands of the Dalmatia region of Croatia.
The northwestern part of the island was proclaimed a National park in 1960 because of its unique nature as well as its historical and cultural monuments. Including the marine area, the Park occupies 5375 ha. Park's land is covered with Aleppo pine and holm oak forest.
The central parts of the park are the salt lakes, Veliko jezero (Big Lake) with the Isle of St. Mary and Malo jezero (Small Lake).
The lakes system present a unique geological and oceanografic karst phenomenon.
The small island of St. Mary, located on the Big Lake is home to an ancient benedictine monastery and church from the 12th century.
Mljet is rich with historical and cultural heritage that can be traced from the Illyrian tribes, the Roman Empire, the Dubrovnik Republic to the recent history.
4. National park Kornati
Te area of about 200km2 contains 89 islands, islets and reefs whose unusual formations regenerate constantly in the eyes of beholder the respect for beauty and the power of nature.
The wilderness of this archipelago is improved only by the rare human interventions that witness the efforts of the people of Murter, mostly land owners on Kornati islands, to create living conditions for themselves far from the mainland. Honouring the past there still stand on the islands numerous rows of dry walls, stone borderlines between the neighbouring estates, lots of little churches, olive groves, piers and strongholds.
The best way to experience such an unusual fusion of natural and human activities is to take a cruise on the boat that in her life has sailed through bora and scirocco across the Adriatic for more than half a century.
5. Nature park Biokovo
is the second-highest mountain range in Croatia, located along the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic Sea, between the rivers of Cetina and Neretva. It is sometimes referred to as Bijakova, especially among inhabitants of the eastern side of the mountain. Its highest peak is Sveti Jure (Saint George), at 1762. It shows a typical karst landscape.
The 196 km2 of its area is protected as a nature park with over 1,500 plant and animal species, some of which are endemic.
Biokovo is a part of the Dinaric Mountains and as such has a direction of NW-SE. The material in the lower parts towards the sea and on the opposite Zagorje side is mainly made up of Eocene Flysch sediments while the higher parts are shaped into carbonate sedimentary rocks.
The vegetation of the mountain Biokovo is very interesting and rich. It is an apparent mixture of different floral elements. There are mixed oldest Mediterranean, Boreal and Central European floral elements.