NATURE PARK VRANA LAKE
Lake Vrana is the largest natural lake and wetland on the Croatian coast, and is home to as many as 100,000 waterbirds, earning it the status of an ornithological reserve. It covers an area of 57 km2 between Pakoštane and Pirovac. The easiest way to visit the lake is by car or motorcycle, and for moving around the nature park itself, it is recommended to use a bicycle or walk so that you don’t miss out on enjoying its beautiful untouched nature and the singing of its resident birds. The lake is rich in fish, so in addition to nature lovers and active vacations, it also attracts (sports) fishermen. On the northern side of the lake, at 283 m above sea level is located the Kamenjak viewpoint, which offers a magnificent view of the entire lake and the islands of the Zadar and Šibenik archipelagos. In addition to natural beauty, the area around Lake Vrana also hides Maškovića Han – a building from the 17th century where one can enjoy a medieval ambience with a rich catering offer, and the old town of Vrana, whose construction dates back to the 9th century.
Discover all the possibilities of visiting this beautiful area on the following website: http://www.pp-vransko-jezero.hr/en/.
NATURE PARK TELAŠĆICA
Telašćica Bay with the nature park of the same name is hidden in the southeastern part of Dugi otok. The towns of Sali, Brbinj and Božava are connected by daily boat lines to Zadar, so public transport or your own boat are the easiest ways to get to this truly wonderful island. Once you step on it you will be welcomed with views filled with green forests, gray stone and blue sea which literally take your breath away and slow down time.
The nature park itself consists of 4 parts, each of which is adorned with a special beauty:
- Telašćica Bay, 8 km inland, consisting of 25 bays, capes and 5 islets;
- karst depression salt lake Mir;
- the most prominent cliff of the Adriatic or the well-known “cliffs” of Dugi Otok, which in some places are up to 85 m deep, and from which a magnificent view stretches far out to sea;
- and a small stone slab with a diameter of about 60 m and a height of 3 m, i.e. a limestone islet named Taljurić.
Hiking, cycling, boating or diving are just some of the activities you can explore this park through. One day will not be nearly enough for you to get to know and enjoy all the beauties of Dugi otok, but it will be enough to make you want to return again and again.
Start planning your day trip here: https://www.dugiotok.hr/en.
NATIONAL PARK KORNATI
Kornati National Park consists of 89 islands, islets and rocks, as well as their rich water area. Due to the contrast of the karst landscape with the deep blue of the sea, Kornati is also called the pearls of the Adriatic. And indeed they appear so whether viewed from land, sea or air. The simplest way to visit Kornati from Zadar is by excursion boats, whose tours are justifiably offered at almost every corner of the city. There are no permanent settlements in Kornati, only a few houses in quiet coves that their owners use during the warmer part of the year. The kilometers of dry stone walls that dot the islands of Kornati bear witness to the arduous human labor and difficult life on them. Although seemingly bare and poor, the Kornati Islands are home to over 650 plant species, and their clear and transparent waters are home to hundreds of underwater species. The offshore part of the island stands out for its imposing cliffs.
Find out more about this wonderful archipelago and how to visit it on the Kornati National Park website: https://www.np-kornati.hr.
In addition to supplying the entire Zadar county with drinking water, the karst beauty of the Zrmanja river with its impressive canyon and panoramas takes its visitors’ breath away without exception. This 69 km long river rises from under the mountain Poštak in Lika and winds through the karst landscape all the way to the Novigrad Sea where it flows in. Its beauty is known outside of Croatia, so in 1963 it served as the perfect backdrop for the film Winnetou by the Austrian director Harald Reinl. The most beautiful view of the Zrmanja canyon is from the Pariževačka glavica lookout point, which can be reached by car via Jasenice. The most famous picnic spot on Zrmanja is certainly its waterfalls in Muškovci, where you can spend a pleasant day in nature, and in the summer you can even swim in the refreshing river water. If you are more attracted to an active vacation, join one of the kayak tours or rafting tours to experience first-hand the beauty of the landscape of this Dalmatian river or simply relax on an organized boat ride. The easiest way to get to Zrmanja from Zadar is by car, which takes only about 40 minutes, and in addition to the river Zrmanja, you will also be amazed by the landscape through which its most famous tributary, the Krupa, flows.
Plan your visit to Zrmanja using the website of the Obrovac tourist board:https://tz-obrovac.hr/.
NATIONAL PARK PAKLENICA
And so we reach the mountainous part of the Zadar region where the Paklenica National Park is located – a paradise for climbers, mountaineers and all nature lovers. Paklenica National Park covers 95 km2 of the southern part of the Velebit mountain, and is recognizable by the attractive canyons of Velika and Mala Paklenica. It is about a 40-minute drive from Zadar, and the easiest way to get to it is by car or by the daily Zadar-Starigrad bus line. This area earned the status of a national park more than half a century ago due to its forest and geomorphological features. The highest peak of the park, and also of the Velebit mountain, is Vaganski vrh at 1,757 m above sea level, only 4 m higher than the nearby peak Sveto Brdo. Numerous educational trails run through the entire area of the park, so hiking is definitely the best and most accessible way to explore this area. In addition to the educational trails, the park has attractions such as the Paklenica visitor center, the Manita peć cave or the Paklenica mill, as well as numerous speleological sites.
The beauty and diversity of this park can hardly be summed up in words, so it is best to start your adventure in Paklenica as soon as possible: https://www.np-paklenica.hr/en/.