Croatia: one of the tourist slogans was „A small country for a great vacation“, and that one was pretty accurate in summing up the experience of spending holidays there. With a surface area of 57 thousand square kilometers, it consist of a long Adriatic Sea coast with Mediterranean climate, a mountain region of Lika and Gorski Kotar, then a continental region with hills and rivers where the capital Zagreb is located, and on the east, flat plains of Slavonija and Baranja spread. With such diversity, it is no wonder that preserved natural beauty of Croatia is one if its main advantages and attraction for tourists. Its eight National Parks and eleven Nature Parks guarantee that nature lovers will have the opportunity to enjoy fresh air and breathtaking scenery whichever location they choose for holiday.
Starting with Istria region, alongside great tourist offer of beaches, towns, apartments, hotels and luxury villas, one National Park is located there as well, Brijuni Islands, which was inhabited back in Roman times and there are many archaeological remains that can be seen. In the 20th century Brijuni Islands were known as a summer residence of Yugoslav president Tito who used to hunt there and entertain celebrities of the time such as Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren. By 1983 the islands were declared a National Park and today are a popular destination for both history and nature lovers.
Moving south to Kvarner gulf, which is overlooked by mountain parts of Croatia, Gorski Kotar and Lika, one will find two more National Parks, Risnjak and North Velebit. Both Parks are hiking paradise as there are many hiking trails and mountain huts and houses. There are many easy ones, ideal for a stroll along the slopes, but there are more challenging ones for those who wish to make the visit more adventurous. Mountain scenery is beautiful and many animal species can be seen, such as deer or bears.
Further south, mountain Velebit hosts another National Park, Paklenica, which consists of Mala and Velika Paklenica canyons. It is also a favourite destination for free climbers as there are many climbing routes, the most popular ones being at Anića kuk. The Park is located on the coastal side of Velebit and is easily reached from towns and villages of south Kvarner and North Dalmatia which are popular tourist destinations. But Velebit mainly belongs to Lika region, which also boasts with the oldest National Park in Croatia, Plitvice Lakes, with spectacular view of 16 emerald green and blue lakes arranged in a cascade among the forest slopes. The Park is also known for its many orchid species that grow there, more than 50.
Dalmatia is definitely a great starting point if a traveller wishes to explore Croatia and its beauties. Besides the vicinity of above mentioned Plitvice Lakes and Paklenica, there are other National Parks located in the region: Krka, Kornati and furthermore south, Mljet. Krka includes the entire flow of the river with the same name situated in Šibenik hinterland and it is famous for its numerous waterfalls such as Skradinski buk. Kornati archipelago is located in the central Dalmatia, west of Šibenik. It comprises more than hundred islands, islets and rocks that look like a string of stone pearls scattered over beautiful blue sea. This is ideal destination for all boat trip lovers and it is also extremely popular among yachtsmen.
Mljet National Park is located in the southern part of Dalmatia and it is best connected with Dubrovnik. One third of the island belongs to the Park, but the rest of Mljet is equally beautiful and breathtaking, with lush Mediterranean vegetation which earned Mljet its nickname of „green island“.
When planning on visiting destinations in Croatia, one can be sure that the holiday place will be in near vicinity of at least one National Park or Nature Park. So if you would like to spend your holiday exploring Croatia nature, history and culture, all you need is to come there as every destination is a win. Great accommodation offer where you can rent comfortable apartments or holiday villas with private pools, excellent restaurants and wineries around every corner, rich history and heritage at every place, beautiful nature and nearby National and Nature Parks, they are all ingredients of a recipe for perfect holiday.