A nature park is a vast wild or partly cultivated area of countryside and/or sea, ecologically valuable on international or national level with important countryside, educational, cultural, historical, tourist and recreational resources. Nature Parks in Croatia are:
Plitvice Lakes – national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site – Croatia’s oldest and largest national park is famous for its outstanding natural beauty: stunning waterfalls and brightly colored lakes. 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 Plitvice Lakes National Park is Croatia’s most popular tourist attraction. The beauty of the National Park lies in its sixteen lakes, inter-connected by a series of waterfalls, and set in deep woodland populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and rare bird species. The National Park covers a total area of 300 square kilometers, whilst the lakes join together over a distance of eight kilometers. To walk around the park, you can easily walk and are available electric boat, as well as a panoramic train. Best of all, Plitvice Lakes isn’t just for summer. It’s a stunning place to visit any time of year as the different seasons see the Park take on different hues. Even in winter – Plitvice is also amazing to see in the snow.
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 m.Biokovo is one in a line of Dinaric Alps stretching along the Dalmatian coast – northwest of it is Mosor and southeast of it are Sutvid and Rilić. Mountainstands outdistinctkarst .In this area , there is a large number of caves and sinkholes, cracks and oysters.
Kopački Rit is a nature park in eastern Croatia. It is located northwest of the confluence of the Drava and the Danube, situated at the border with Serbia. It comprises many backwaters and ponds along the Danube. It is one of the most important, largest and most attractive preserved intact wetlands in Europe.A part of Kopački Rit has been designated as a special zoological reserve. Around 260 various bird species nest here.
Park has great tourism potential. Besides the preserved nature and rich flora and fauna highlights the cultural and historical heritage. In a court settlement Tikveš hunting residential complex from the 19th century (they used him King Alexander and President Tito) and hunting country house.
Lonjsko Polje is the largest protected wetland in both Croatia and the entire Danube basin.It covers an area of 505.6 square kilometers (195.2 sq mi), extending along the river Sava from the areas east of Sisak, the lower course of the river Lonja for which it is named, to the areas west of Nova Gradiška, along the course of the river Veliki Strug. According to the criteria of the Birds Directive of the European Union, the park is an important habitat for birds (Important Birds Area – IBA).In this park is the village Čigoč where almost every house has its “own” stork’s nest, which is 1994. declared the “European Stork Village”.
Medvednica is a mountain in central Croatia, just north of Zagreb and marking the southern border of the historic region of Zagorje. The highest peak, at 1,035 m, is Sljeme. The area of the park is 228.26 square kilometers and about 63% is covered with forest. There is a winter sports center on the northern slopes towards Sljeme. The center has hosted several FIS World Cup slalom skiing races, known as the Snow Queen Trophy. There are three ways to reach the mountain: by road (with a car or a bus) or on foot (there are numerous mountain paths).
Papuk is the largest mountain in the Slavonia region in eastern Croatia, near the city of Požega. It extends between Bilogora to the northwest, Krndija to the east, and Ravna gora and Psunj to the southwest.The highest peak is the eponymous peak at 953 m.The area of Papuk is designated a nature park , a kind of protected area in Croatia.At the seventh European Geopark Network Open Conference, hosted by North West Highlands Geopark in September 2007, the Papuk Geopark became the first Croatian Geopark and 30th member of the European and UNESCO Global Geoparks Network.
Telašćica is a bay that is situated in the southeastern portion of the island of Dugi Otok, Croatia in the Adriatic Sea. It is a designated nature park, full of wildlife and sea creatures.Telašćica is a 10 km long. It actually consists of three smaller bays. It has the reputation of being a good, safe harbour for all kinds of vessels. The northeastern side of the bay is completely bare, but the southwestern shore is covered in thick forest of pine, olive and fig trees.
Velebit is the largest though not the highest mountain range in Croatia. Its highest peak is the Vaganski vrh at 1757 m.The important characteristic of Velebit its simple, solid form, stiff cliffs, and the nakedness of seaward side and the wood-covered slopes of the Lika side. The basic geological characteristic of the mountains is karst; flora and fauna are abundant. The most popular spots on Velebit are: the peak of Vučjak, above Zavižan, the botanical gardens on Zavižan, Rožanski kukovi, Štirovača and the Paklenica National Park.Velebit as a whole is a nature park.More careful nature preservation exists within Sjeverni Velebit, the special reservation Hajdučki i Rožanski Kukovi, under the highest nature protection available in Croatia. Officially no human activity is allowed there (except research). These are the mostly still unexplored and wild places and probably will stay that way in the future.
Lake Vrana in Dalmatia is the largest lake in Croatia. It is a designated nature park , a kind of protected area in Croatia. It is located in Zadar county and Šibenik-Knin county, between the towns and municipalities of Benkovac, Pirovac, Pakoštane, Stankovci and Tisno.The lake is in a karst valley filled with water and is a rare example cryptodepression. The dominant feature of the park is a special ornithological reserve, an almost untouched natural habitat of birds, a rare wetland systems, full of high biodiversity and an outstanding scientific and ecological value. The lake provides an ample amount of fish for fishing enthusiasts. Lake offers many forms of tourism, recreation and education. One of the most popular activities is fishing.
Učka is a mountain range that rises behind Opatija riviera, on the Istrian peninsula, in northwestern Croatia.It differs from all the other coastal mountains in Croatia because of its abundant vegetation on the seaward side. Best known are the forests of sweet chestnuts in the area around Lovran.Učka’s highest peaks are considered nature reserves and memorial areas. The highest peak, Vojak, is located at 1396 meters above sea level. From it there is a magnificent view over the whole of Istria, the Bay of Trieste, the Julian Alps and the Adriatic islands, right down to Dugi Otok.
Žumberak – The area of Žumberak and the Samoborsko gorje was designated a nature park as a protected natural resource by the Act of the Croatian parliament on 28th May, 1999. Žumberak – Samoborsko gorje Nature Park covers around 333 km². Its basic aim is to protect and promote environmental and cultural beauties and resources of the area.The Nature Park is situated in the north-west of Croatia where the characteristics of the Dinarides, the Alps and the Pannonian plain meet. The Dinaric type is featured in karst landscape, the Alpine landscape is obvious in steep and harsh mountain ridges and mild hilly country is a typically Pannonic feature. The Samoborsko gorje situated in the eastern part of the Park has a different landscape as there are steep and deeply cut valleys with creeks rich in water and mountain ridges covered with woods where you can see small villages. Plešivica area in the south-east is densely populated on its southern side where the locals grow numerous vineyards on mild terraces which stretch up to Jastrebarsko. The top ridge and northern side are steeper and covered with forests.
The Lastovo Archipelago was declared a nature park by the Croatian Parliament on 29 September 2006. It is the eleventh nature park in Croatia.The Park consists of 44 islands, islets, rocks and reefs (the largest of them are Lastovo and Sušac) covering a total area of 53 square kilometres of land and 143 square kilometres of sea. Its borders are lit by the stone lighthouses of Sušac, Tajan, Glavat and Struga.The Lastovo Archipelago was declared a nature park due to its mystic beauty, immense landscape value, thick forests and fertile fields rich with ponds, high coastal cliffs, land and sea caves, numerous rare sea and land species and habitats.The Lastovo Archipelago has a rich cultural and historical heritage – numerous stone churches and chapels, picturesque chimneys and the traditional Lastovo Carnival, but one must not forget local inhabitants, who prove that the coexistence of man and nature is possible with developed environmental awareness.