Every Croatia national park is a wonder in itself, 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 travellers every year, and the cycle doesn’t seem to stop. It is a dreamy island in the Adriatic Sea. This is the place of stunning national parks, and every Croatian 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 that we should 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. Croatia and its national parks are no less than a visual treat. 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 over a million visitors every year.
A beautiful chain of 16 terraced lakes that join the fabulous waterfalls that flow into a limestone canyon is a center of attraction for tourists worldwide. 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 a superb day trip.
2. Risnjak National Park
A search for the most mountainous and dense forest will end if you 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 hikers, para-gliders, and mountaineers with well-equipped mountain huts on hand.
Risnjak National Park is only 32km northeast of Rijeka, but it is still said to be an isolated and rarely visited place that covers a 63 sq km area. This beautiful Croatian national park has its highest peak, which is called Velikie.
The beautiful landscape connects the Alps to the Balkan, which is densely forested and blessed with the natural beauty of pine trees and beech with 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 summer. 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 park has a stunning waterfall called Skradinsky Buk. This is the biggest and most famous waterfall, which is full of fun. 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 history and wildlife, as you can find over 200 different bird species.
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 Croatian national park with an archipelago of 14 islands, including two main Brijuni islands, which are pine-covered, and 12 islets on the coast of Istria.
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, beginning with an amazing safari park visit.
The amazing fact about Brijuni National Park is that this is the same island where over 200 dinosaur footprints were discovered. 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.
Other interesting areas of attraction in the Brijuni islands are the archaeological sites. The first one is the famous Roman villas, and the other is St. Mary’s Church. There is also a Byzantine Palace and an archaeological museum.
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 a different place and value among all the nature parks. It was bestowed national park status in 1999 because of its dramatic landscapes.
This amazing natural wonder is located on the northern side of the Velebit mountain range, which is the home of two national parks, 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 more than 950 different plant species.
In the Velebit mountain range, the richest plant life is found in the Velebit botanical garden. That is why this national park is popular because of its different plant life and primitive wilderness.
6. Paklenica National Park
There are two dolomite limestone 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 is an ideal gateway for 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 95 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. It 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.
7. 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 sunbathe on the golden sand beaches, which is amazing.
George Bernard Shaw became a fan of this true beauty, as he mentioned in his writings. This is one of those national parks in Croatia that can be visited only through organized tours because of the strict rules about which areas are allowed to be visited.
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 coastal cities like Zadar, Sali, or Sibeik unless you have your own boat. There is also an option to have a private transfer that can be from Sali or Murter.
8. 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 lovers of nature and for 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, and 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.
An interesting fact about this Croatian national park is that Benedictine monks used to live there around 1000 years ago, so it is a fascinating historical 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 coffee at the same beautiful place.
There is a daily ferry facility 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 has become a must to visit Croatia along with these fantastic national parks.
9. 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, where you can have the best experience of delightful trekking.
The park’s dominating mountains, with craggy peaks that rise over 1500 meters, overlook the nearby Adriatic Sea. On reaching above the ridge, the visitors can witness the surrounding panoramic views. There are many serene caves that you can explore hidden among the peaks and cliffs.
In Biokovo Croatia National Park, there is a wide and rich range of fauna and flora. You can also say this national park is a hidden treasure full of nature and undiscovered wilderness.
10. Kamenjak National Park
On the southern side of Istria and the Premantura peninsula, this wonderful park has some unusual landscapes. It is about 12 km from 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 the summer, this Croatian national park becomes more popular for hiking, trekking, and diving. The place is close to many beaches and 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 had 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, making it difficult 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 as much as 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.
In The End
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 cultures, and lively and pure nature with hundreds of islands.
And the amazing beaches in Croatia are a perfect destination for beach lovers. If we talk about tourism in Croatia, its graph is getting higher day by day.
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.