Summers on the Croatian coast are sublime. Imagine sunny days, the cool Adriatic sea, ocean breezes, boat rides, excursions and plenty of gelatos!
Do you ever fall in love with a place that you can’t get enough of? After many summers in Croatia, I never tire of going back. My curious soul does struggle with the desire to explore other places though.
Not to worry. With over 3000 miles of coastline, 1000 islands, 8 National Parks, 11 Nature Parks, 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and many charming cities - there is plenty to explore for many return visits.
Here are five of my favorite Parks worth exploring:
Plitvice National Park
The first Croatian National Park and one of Croatia’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Take time to explore this breathtaking area home to sixteen lakes inter-connected by a series of stunning waterfalls. Choose from various trails from 2 to 8hrs in length.
Tip: Spend the night in the area and head out early to avoid the crowds.
Krka National Park
A beautiful park and one of the most visited due to its convenient location on the Dalmation coast. The Park offers easy to navigate walking paths through waterfalls, over creeks, and beautiful vistas. Skradinski Buk, pictured here, is the longest waterfall in the Park. Getting here? Board a boat in the quaint village of Skradin and enjoy the ride up before exploring the Park on foot.
Tip: You can swim in the waters at Skradinski Buk. Be prepared for very cold waters.
Paklenica National Park
Located in the south slopes of Velebit mountain along the Adriatic coast, it is a perfect spot for outdoor lovers. Experience the outdoors with a short walk or long hikes. Practice your nature photography skills, take in beautiful vistas and explore underground caves. Or give rock climbing a try at one of Croatia's best rock climbing sites.
Tip: Pack comfortable shoes. You will need them to enjoy and explore the Park full of various trails suitable for all comfort levels.
Kopacki Rit Nature Park
A wetland area in the Baranja region between the Drava and Danube rivers. Kopacki Rit has remained unchanged due to its inaccessibility. Birders can enjoy 300 different bird species, including the rare and protected white-tailed eagle and black stork. Take time to tour the park by boat and enjoy a sail down the Danube, the eastern border of the park.
Tip: Stop for a traditional local meal and wine tasting at a local winery after your tour of the Park.
Kornati National Park
An archipelago that consists of 140 uninhabited islands, islets and reefs. It is a sailor’s paradise. The best way to visit? A multi-day sail down the coast offers the chance to explore and meander through the Parks islands and many hidden bays. A private day excursion is also a great choice to soak in the natural beauty, explore the main islands, and swim in crystal clear blue waters.
Tip: Pack a snorkel or join a dive excursion to enjoy the underwater marine life.
Over 1,000 islands, 3,000 miles of spectacular coastline, many parks, and charming cities.
Magnificent clear waters, delicious cuisine, and a warm culture.
Croatia, an absolutely ideal destination.