BRIJUNI, are a group of two larger and twelve smaller islets along the West coast of Istria, near Pula, with the total area of only 7 km2. Both archipelago and the surrounding sea are under protection. The Brijuni Archipelago is known for its preserved Mediterranean vegetation, which is partly landscape and partly a safari park. The archipelago is noted for its valuable cultural heritage from the Roman and Byzantine times. Due to its extraordinary beauty, the Brioni Islands have been, for over a hundred years now, a favourite tourist destination of world statesmen and aristocracy.

 

RISNJAK, is a forested mountain massive not far from the city of Rijeka, named after lynx (ris in Croatian), its best known inhabitant. The National Park of the same name stretches from 300 to 1,500 m above the sea level. Due to its position at the junction between the Alps and the Dinarides, and from the Mediterranean to Pannonia, almost all types of forests, as well as many plant and animal species are gathered here, in a relatively small area. The beauty of the forest, carst phenomena, beautiful springs and magnificent views attract many hikers and other nature lovers to Risnjak.

 

NORTH VELEBIT is the youngest of the Croatian national parks, established in 1999. It comprises the most attractive and, in terms of nature, the most valuable areas of the northern part of Velebit. A large number of attractive sights are concentrated in this predominantly mountainous park - magnificent carst forms of Hajdueki and Rožanski kukovi, unique botanical garden and Lukina cave, one of the longest in the world. Croatian mountaineers consider this area the greatest jewel among the Croatian mountains. Due to its remoteness from the main roads, this area is somewhat less visited, but this only increases its mystic and primeval natural ambience.

 

PLITVICKA JEZERA (Plitvice lakes), are the most known Croatian national park and are entered in the UNESCO Register of World Natural Heritage. Sixteen little lakes interconnected with waterfalls created by deposition of travertine, a special kind of limestone, constitute the main attraction of this unique park. The park includes the spring of the Korana River in the area surrounded by dense forests of beech, fir and spruce, partly in the form of primeval virgin forest. Apart from the lakes and forests, the Park is ornamented with several caves, springs, flower meadows, and is inhabited by brown bear, among other animal species. The popularity of this park is also in the use of special vehicle for transporting visitors (panoramic trains and electric boats), and is conveniently situated at the main road from Zagreb to Dalmatia.

 

KORNATSKI OTOCI (Kornati Islands), archipelago is the most indented island group in the Mediterranean, situated in North Dalmatia, not far from Šibenik. It includes 140 uninhabited islands, islets and reefs with the area of only 70 km2. In the immediate vicinity of the Kornati National Park, there is another jewel of protected nature in Croatia - the Telašaica Natural Park, which includes a spacious and deep bay of the same name on the neighbouring Dugi otok. The Kornati islands are noted for their varied unusual forms and extraordinary relief structure, and especially the high cliffs.

 

KRKA, a river in Dalmatia; springs out at the western foot of Dinara Mountain and flows into the sea near Sibenik; length 72.5 km. In the parts of the course where the Krka flows through marly soils, certain extensions are created (Arandelovac, etc.). In limestone it forms a narrow and deep canyon (up to 200 m), flowing over travertine barriers and creating waterfalls. In the upper course are two 10-m high waterfalls. At the entrance of the Krka into the Knin field is a waterfall called Veliki Buk (20 m). In the lower part of the course are the waterfalls: Bilusic (19.6 m), Prijen (15 m), Manojlovac (three waterfalls; 84.5 m), Roski Slap (25.5 m) and Skradinski Buk (37.5 m), the most beautiful of all. Between Roski Slap and Skradinski Buk is Visovac Lake (13 km long) with an islet (see Visovac). Downstream of Skradinski Buk is the Krka river estuary (about 20 km long), in which freshwater mixes with saltwater. Part of the estuary is also Prukljansko Lake. The waterfalls were used for the production of electric power. The first hydro-electric power plant was constructed in 1898 near Skradinski Buk and the second one in 1906 near the Manojlovac waterfall (hydro-electric power plant Manojlovac I). The course downstream from Knin to the Sibenik bridge, comprising an area of 110 sq km, was set aside as a national park in 1985. The park area received numerous visitors (about 400,000 visitors in 1990). In the period 1991-1995, Krka National Park was severely damaged when the sparse vegetation was partly burned.

 

PAKLENICA, includes the most attractive parts of southern Velebit, including its highest peaks. Two impressive canyons of Velika and Mala Paklenica, vertically cut into the mountain from the sea to the peaks are the main attraction of the park. In a relatively small area of the national park, there are several unusual carst forms, several caves, and extremely rich and varied flora and fauna. Among steep rocks, Aniaa kuk is the most popular destination of Croatian alpinists. In the upper parts of the canyon, a larger forest area has been preserved on the littoral side of Velebit. This, in addition to the existence of several vegetation and climate zones from warm Mediterranean to harsh mountain zones on the top of Velebit, largely contributed to it that this area was among the first in Croatia to be proclaimed a national park, first provisionally in 1928, and then definitely in 1949.

 

The Island of MLJET is situated in the far South of Croatia, west from Dubrovnik, Croatia's best known summer resort. A national park of the same name includes a western part of, according to some, the most beautiful island in the Adriatic. The Park is characterised by two deep bays which are called lakes due to their very narrow passages to the open sea (Veliko and Malo jezero/ the Great Lake and the Small Lake), and lush and diversified Mediterranean vegetation.