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Nature Parks

Posted in Discover Croatia

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 (wild geese and ducks, great white egret, white stork, black stork, white-tailed eagle, crows, coots, gulls, terns, kingfishers, European green woodpecker, etc.), and there are many other species using this area as a temporary shelter on migration from the northern, cooler regions to the southern, warmer areas and vice versa.
There are about 40 fish species in the water, and many types of mammals on land (deers, does, wild boars, wild cats, pine martens, beech martens, otters etc.) Tourist visits and sightseeing are organized with guides on panoramic ships, boats, on horse pulled carriages and on foot.

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. This area is covered in beautiful forests. There are numerous places worth visiting; geological pheonomena, botanically interesting areas, historical buildings, archeological sites. Geopark Papuk was awarded licence second time from UNESCO in 2011.

Lonjsko Polje, is the largest protected wetland in both Croatia and the entire Danube basin. It covers an area of 506 square kilometres, 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.
The area of Lonjsko Polje is designated a nature park, a kind of protected area in Croatia.
According to the criteria of the Birds Directive of the European Union, the park is an important habitat for birds (Important Birds Area - IBA).
There are also other animals typical for this area (indigenous pigs, wild boar, horse Croatian posavac, deer, otters, beavers, wild cats).
Rich flora and fauna as well as architecture of traditional wooden houses in Posavina, which are a true cultural monument due to their beauty, perseverance and number, characterize this area.

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. Most of the area of Medvednica is a nature park, a type of preservation lesser than a national park. The area of the park is about 63% covered with forest. You can reach Medvednica from various parts of Zagreb by car, tram or bus, and you can reach Sljeme on foot.
Well-preserved forests of Medvednica are main recreational areas of Zagreb. Beside its woods, Medvednica offers its visitors several beautiful caves, most interesting of which is Veternica, one of the largest in Croatia.
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.

Žumberak, (Croatian) or Gorjanci (Slovene) is a range of mountains or hills between Croatia and Slovenia. The highest peak is Sveta Gera (Trdinov vrh) on the border between Croatia and Slovenia, being 1,181 m tall.
The Park is situated 30 km southwest of Zagreb and it got its name after the old town of Žumberak which burned down in 1793, and whose ruins can still be seen today. This area is characterized by karst (caves, chasms, and pits) with beech and chestnut forests.
The Nature Park area is characterized by a large number of water springs. The oldest preserved building originates from the 13th century.
The park area is rich in flora and fauna with large predators like bears and wolfs.

Učka, is a mountain range that rises behind Opatija riviera, on the Istrian peninsula, in northwestern Croatia. It forms a single morphological unit together with the Čičarija range which stretches from the Bay of Trieste to Rijeka. Učka is a limestone massif with numerous areas of karst.
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 island Dugi Otok. Učka has rich flora and fauna with endemic species such as Učarski bluebell and rare griffin vulture.

Velebit, is the largest though not the highest mountain range in Croatia. Its highest peak is the Vaganski vrh at 1757 m. The range forms a part of the Dinaric Alps and is located along the Adriatic coast, separating it from Lika in the interior. Velebit begins in the northwest near Senj with the Vratnik mountain pass and ends 145 km to the southeast near the source of the Zrmanja river northwest of Knin.
The important characteristic of Velebit are 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. There are various habitats of numerous endemic species of flora and fauna on Velebit. Velebit has many caves, the most famous of which are Cerovačke Caves near Gračac and caves around Paklenica near Starigrad.

Vransko jezero, (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 between two historic towns of Zadar and Šibenik, several kilometers away from the town of Biograd. The lake and surrounding area have been proclaimed a Nature Park in 1999. 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 (Important Bird Area – IBA), 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.

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, 160–1800 m wide, deep inlet dotted with cliffs, islets and bays. 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. There are many animals in this area. Over 250 plant species and 300 animal species live in the sea including the Mediterranean sponge and rare red corals.

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. Its highest peak is Sveti Jure (Saint George), at 1762 m.a.s.l. The 196 km² of its area is protected as a nature park. This karst coastal area of unique natural characteristics is full of deep chasms, caves, abysses and beech forests. Some of the abysses are so deep under ground that even during summer heat one can find snow and ice on their bottoms, which has been used, in the past times for storing food. Those who prefer an active holiday can enjoy bicycling, mountaineering, riding and many other activities.

Lastovo, the island group Lastovo has become Nature Park in 2006.  is an island municipality in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County in Croatia.
The municipality consists of 46 islands. Sušac is the largest and most  separated island of the Lastovo archipelago. It is interesting to know that there are no further residents on this island beside the lighthouse crew and one shepard. Lastovo possesses all the basic characteristics of the Mediterranean climate, dominated by mild, moist winters and warm, long, and dry summers. The most important event on the island is an authentic carnival that the locals call the Poklad. All the island residents participate by wearing folk costumes. The origins of the Lastovo carnival go back to a historical event.
Lastovo is a perfect place for nature, sailing, and fishing lovers and those who enjoy traditional Croatian cuisine (Lastovo is famous for lobster and wine).

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AdmirorGallery 4.5.0, author/s Vasiljevski & Kekeljevic.