Every Croatia national park is a wonder in itself which is home to the long and fabulous coastline, valleys, lakes, and mountains. The place where you want to be relaxed without any care in the world. This is a popular tourist destination among nature lovers, hikers, and photographers.
You can also see the numerous beautiful cities, dotting its shores that cater to thousands of travelers every year and the cycle doesn’t seem to stop. It is a dreamy island in the Adriatic sea. This is the place of the stunning national parks and every Croatia national park is a hidden treasure trove of flora and fauna along with fascinating landscapes.
This modern country maintains a diversity where you get to see its unique history, culture, beautiful waterfalls, excellent food, and beautiful islands with the amazing example of nature preservation.
But it was not the same from the beginning. During the Homeland war of 1990, the preservation of nature was not taken seriously but it was realized soon to be careful and respectful towards the environment. It was a difficult task to manage the demands of the growing tourism with the conservation of the landscape.
This wonderful country has something for everyone. It is no less than a visual treat to visit Croatia and its national parks. Let’s check the list of our best picks of national parks in Croatia.
1. Plitvice Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes National Park gives you a magnificent sight to see and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you want to be a fan of Croatia’s natural beauty, you must visit Croatia national park at least once in your life.
Plitvice Lakes national park is situated between the two mountains Mala Kapela and Lješevica it was founded in 1949 and attracts millions of visitors every year.
A beautiful chain of 16 terraced lakes that join the fabulous waterfalls which flow into a limestone canyon, is a center of attraction for tourists all over the world. The lakes are so calm and still that you will feel as if there is a mirror in which you can even see your reflection. Croatia’s national park, Plitvice Lakes is the largest and most popular national park.
Plitvice lakes Park is blessed with the extraordinary beauty of nature. This is an amazing natural park with spectacular views. The most interesting fact about the place is that Plitvice national park can easily be explored in a day if you are planning for a superb day trip.
2. Risnjak National Park
A search for the most mountainous and dense forest will end if you will get to know this Croatia national Park which is just a few miles away from Rijeka. Risnjak national park is an adventure playground in the Gorski Kotar area of Croatia.
This is a vast park with high mountains which makes the place more fun and gives a great opportunity to the hikers, para-gliders, mountaineers with the well-equipped mountain huts on hand.
Risnjak National Park is only 20 miles the Northeast of Rijeka, but still, it is said to be a kind of isolated and rarely visited place which covers 63 sq km area. This beautiful Croatia national park has its highest peak called Velikie. The beautiful landscape connects the Alps to the Balkan which is densely forested and blessed with the natural beauty of the pine trees and beech with the carpeted wildflowers.
Rock climbing and hiking are the most popular things to do in Risnjak National Park. The hiking trails can get busy in the summers. The stunning green forest covers the low hills before they gradually disappear into forested valleys and lush grasslands.
The place is also called the home of brown bears, wolves, deer, or wild boars, you can also see some of them climbing mountains or sneaking into the woods if you are fortunate although it is somehow rare.
3. Krka National Park
A visit to the Krka National Park is a must if you are looking for a stunning waterfall view. This beautiful national park is situated on the bank of the Krka River in southern Croatia. From the Dalmatian coast or resort, it will be great to have a day trip.
This is a wonderfully green and lush oasis that is blessed with a splash of water. This famous Croatia national park has a stunning waterfall called Skradinsky Buk. This is the biggest and most famous waterfall which is full of fun where you can stroll along the walkway, have an enjoyable boat trip, and swim under it.
This place has a picture-perfect landscape which you can’t afford to miss. Krka national park is also rich in its history and wildlife as you can find over 200 different bird species such as Golden eagles, Peregrine Falcon, Griffon vulture, and many more.
Some lucky visitors can also catch a glimpse of exotic animals like the river Otter which is also so exciting to see.
Krka national park is full of energy and a lively place that you can’t miss and if you are a nature and adventure lover, you are going to love this amazing Croatia national park.
4. Brijuni National Park
This is a stunning Croatia national park with an archipelago of 14 islands including two main Brijuni islands which are pine-covered and 12 islets on the coast of Isteria.
You can book boat trips through the National Park Office In Fazana to the main island Veliki Brijun which is also the largest island. You can plan your tour to Veliki Brijun on a miniature tourist train which begins with an amazing visit to the safari park.
This is the magnificent Croatia national Park in the northern Adriatic sea. If you are a cycling enthusiast, you can head out on bicycle trails that are stretched over 13 miles.
The amazing fact about Brijuni national park is that this is the same island where over 200 dinosaur footprints were discovered. And another reason for this national park being famous is that the place was the home of Tito who was Yugoslavia’s leader after world war II for some time and was awarded National park status in 1983.
Especially, he had a summer residence on this island. He had his zoo here which is now famed as a Safari park, a famous tourist attraction nowadays.
Other interesting areas of attraction in the Brijuni islands are the Archaeological sites, the first one is the famous Roman villas, and the other place is St. Mary Church. There are also a Byzantine Palace and an archaeological museum.
This is also home to 700 types of vegetation and almost 250 species of rare birds. If you are a bird-watcher, the Brijuni islands are the ideal gateway for you to visit if you are fond of Croatia national park.
5. Sjeverni Velebit National Park
Sjeverni Velebit National Park which is also known in English as Northern Velebit national park is a famous Croatia National Park.
Although most of Croatia’s national parks are stunning and fabulous gateways of nature, northern Velebit has its different place and value among all the nature parks. It was bestowed national park status in 1999 because of its dramatic landscapes.
This amazing wonder of nature is located on the northern side of the Velebit mountain range which is the home of two national parks such as Sjeverni Velebit and Paklenica.
The Croatia national park is renowned for its well-preserved biodiversity and primitive wilderness. Premužić trail is one of the most famous mountain trails which passes through the most interesting parts of the nature park.
You can also enjoy the magnificent view of the Adriatic sea and its islands. The natural beauty of the Northern Velebit national park takes your heart away, it is just pure and intact.
The Northern Velebit is an ideal hiking destination for adventure lovers. Most visitors love to behold the beauty of the national park because it has a diverse habitat of 300 different plant species.
In the Velebit mountain range, the richest plant life is found in the Velebit botanical garden also. That is why this Croatia national park is popular because of its different plant life and primitive wilderness.
5. Paklenica National Park
There are two dolomite limestones canyons in Paklenica national park, Mala Paklenica(small) and Velika(big). This Croatia national park is one of the oldest national parks after Plitvice national park which also has a forest loaded with black pine trees and karst-formated rocks.
The hiking trail will take you to the highest point of Vaganski which is at 1757 m. Just outside of the national park you can also have a quick bite at Denko’s café before the entrance.
This Croatia national park is an ideal gateway for the lovers of hiking. The best option to get there is to self-drive, if you want to choose the public bus to be there, this option is also available.
Paklenica national park is spread over a vast area of 100 sq km. You can also explore myriad trails. If you are looking for a stay, mountain huts are the option to be picked.
This Croatia national park has a valuable biodiversity hotspot that is also home to endangered species and birds. This Croatia national park is a great place for mountaineers who have an immense love of varying difficulty levels. The park offers a wonderful landscape at the top of the mountain ridge.
6. Kornati National Park
Kornati national park is one of those national parks in Croatia that will leave you spellbound. You can also say, this is a “nautical paradise” because of the stunning Kornati Islands where you can explore many reefs while experiencing some of the best sailings among these Kornati Islands.
You can also swim in the crystal-clear sea and taking sunbathe on the golden sand beaches is just amazing.
There are several restaurants inside the park where you can have lunch at a casual food place. There are 8 hiking trails in the park where you can be the witness the majestic view of the Kornati archipelago.
George Bernard Shaw became a fan of this true beauty as he mentioned in his writings as well. This is one of those national parks in Croatia which can be visited only through organized tours because of the strict rules about the areas which are allowed to visit or not.
Kornati national park can also be said a complex Croatia national park because of the no availability of ferries. There is over 140 big or small island that can take you back to the ancient time of the voyages of discovery.
There is a Kornati national park office which is located in Murter which is a well-informed place. You have to book an excursion from the coastal cities like Zadar, Sali, or Sibeik unless you have your boat where there is also an option to have a private transfer that can be from Sali or Murter.
So, you can explore this Croatia national park, the way you love to do.
7. Mljet National Park
Mljet national park is a perfect combination of adventure and gorgeous scenery. This Croatia National park is no less than a lovely and thrilling destination for both lovers of nature and adventurous activity as well. The national park is located on the Mljet island in the South Dalmatia region of Croatia.
This a great place that offers hiking, kayaking, swimming along with relaxing sunbathing in the beautiful locations of the parks which are bordered by two saltwater lakes. The national park spans over 5400 hectares including land and sea.
The interesting fact about this Croatia national park is that Benedictine monks used to live there around 1000 years ago so it is a fascinating historic site. The island has a lake at its center.
On its island, there is a cafe which is formerly known as the Benedictine monastery of the 12th century so you can enjoy kayaking at the saltwater lakes as well as the coffee at the same beautiful place.
There is the daily facility of ferries is available in Dubrovnik or another peninsula to Mljet national park. You can also arrange a day trip during the summer days. With a casual stroll, you can also have the fun of being in Mljet national park on a bicycle or there is another option to indulge in lotus-eating.
This is a beautiful place full of liveliness and nature. It becomes a must to visit Croatia along with these fantastic national parks.
8. Biokovo Nature Park in Croatia
This amazing national park was proclaimed as a nature park in 1981. The main qualities of the park that make it worth visiting are that the nature park is rocky, untamed, and wild so you can consider this place a great destination for tracking.
Biokovo national park is popular among hikers in Croatia and another reason is the different plethora of snaking paths and trails. The trails make their way through the rough terrain. This makes it the amazing Croatia national park where you can have the best experience of delightful trekking.
The park’s dominating mountains with the craggy peaks which are rising over 1500 meters, overlook the nearby Adriatic sea. On reaching above the ridge, the visitors can witness the surrounded panoramic views. There are many serene caves that you can explore which are hidden among the peaks and cliffs.
In Biokovo Croatia national park, there is a wide and rich range of fauna and flora which are over 1500 types of many different plant species. You can also say, this Croatia national park is a hidden treasure full of nature and undiscovered wilderness.
The best time to visit this Croatia national park is from May to September. The place has a 120 km distance from Split Airport.
9. Kamenjak National Park
On the southern side of Istria and the Premantura peninsula, this wonderful park is located with some unusual landscapes. It is about 12 km to the resort town, Pula, with a 30 km long and rugged coastline. This national park is highly recommended to spend a day in an amazing and relaxing way.
In summers, this Croatia national park becomes more popular for hiking, trekking, and diving. The place is close to many beaches, 20 bays. There are some inhabited islands also. The place is wonderful because of the biking trails.
To get to this beautiful place, there would be no problem if you have your vehicle to continue your journey. If you are choosing a public transport option to head there, you can get a local bus to Premantura from here you have to walk.
This would not be the easiest way of getting to the park because the park remains a few km away to have a walk. If you like to add a bit of adventure to your national park visit, you can join the bike tours of Cape Kamenjak.
The best thing to do in Cape Kamenjak is to explore the more you can. Firstly, you have to head to the sea and it would be great to be there along with your swimsuits, sea gear, and towels to enjoy the best day on the beach.
Croatia is gaining popularity day by day and of course for great reasons! The country has something for everyone with a wonderful climate, beautiful cities with amazing culture, lively and pure nature with hundreds of islands.
And the amazing beaches in Croatia, are just a perfect destination for beach lovers. If we talk about tourism in Croatia, its graph is getting higher day by day.
I know, for many travelers, the country would not be included in their bucket list. I think it must be! The Gorgeous national parks are one of those reasons that you can’t ignore to have a vacation in this wonderful country. Every Croatia national park is a wonder in itself.
Yeah! Croatia has it all.