Croatia has eight national parks and numerous nature parks that offer some of the most breathtaking landscapes to explore and discover. If you are a nature lover and are seeking peace amongst the wilderness, you will find plenty of well preserved outdoor spaces to add to your travel bucket list.
Whether you are looking for the best hiking, walking or cycling routes to enjoy, unique rock climbing opportunities or the most idyllic seascapes to discover by larges or smaller boats, you will find plenty of choices. If you are visiting as a family with kids you will also find numerous places to safely enjoy the great outdoors.
A-Z List of The 8 National Parks
- Brijuni National Park – well-preserved park situated on the small group of islands just off the coast of Pula, Istria featuring ancient ruins and 19th-century hotel
- Kornati National Park – popular among the boaters and flotilla holidaymakers, this group of islands is ideal to visit if you are staying in the northern part of the Adriatic
- Krka National Park – easy to access from Split, Sibenik or Zadar this is a natural wander area that features waterfalls, lovely river and island with a medieval monastery
- Mljet National Park – southernmost park, easy to access as a day trip from Dubrovnik
- Paklenica National Park – an ideal park for rock climbers, easy to access from Zadar
- Plitvice Lakes National Park – among the most popular parks in Croatia, featuring sixteen lakes connected by numerous waterfalls. Plitvice is also popular as a winter destination however some parts of the park are usually closed.
- Risnjak National Park – an ideal destination for experienced hikers located in Gorski Kotar, close to Rijeka and Zagreb. Great to visit in the wintertime too, although the snowfall can make trails hard to pass, so make sure to plan wisely if you intend to visit this national park in winter.
- Sjeverni Velebit National Park – a large mountain range close to Adriatic sea and Rab and Pag Islands. A great choice for serious hikers. Walking, mountain biking and horse riding are also popular here on the lower altitudes. Some great camping sites to stay in..
Overview of Croatia’s National Parks
The complete listings, descriptions and info about each of the Parks is listed below:
Plitvice LakesPlitvice Lakes (Plitvička jezera) is Croatian National Park that preserves the amazing natural beauty of this lake region. Conveniently connected by ... Read more » Plitvice Lakes
Mljet IslandMljet island is one of the Croatian islands that is also a National Park. Historically considered as one of Dubrovnik’s islands ... Read more » Mljet Island
Map of all National and Nature parks
Beside 8 National parks that are marked with a red marker, on the above map, there are also eleven Nature parks in Croatia to consider to visit. They are marked with a green marker. Here is a list and a brief description of what to expect:
- Biokovo – the popular hiking mountain area easy to access from Split and Dalmatian islands
- Kopački rit – a large marsh, wetlands field and a woodland area featuring numerous birds and fish species. Great for bird watching enthusiasts.
- Lastovsko otočje – the area around Lastovo island, great for snorkelling and walking
- Lonjsko polje – another bird sanctuary, a well preserved, large floodplain that is a home of hundreds of bird species. Numerous accommodation opportunities for staying in traditional rural cottages.
- Medvednica – a forested mountain in the near vicinity of Zagreb capital, an ideal place to do a hiking trip in nature if you are visiting the town and have some spare time.
- Papuk – an unusual hilly area in Slavonija, featuring the dense forest, clean and clear springs and well-maintained biking and hiking trails.
- Telašćica – this nature park on Dugi Otok island is bordered by high coastal cliffs arranged around a deep bay that looks like a lake (some similarity to Mljet national park lakes)
- Učka – the mountain with altitude of 1400m situated in the heart of the Istrian peninsula. Features unspoiled natural beauty spots and amazing views over Kvarner bay.
- Velebit – a large coastal mountain range that is completely protected includes two country’s national parks Paklenica and North Velebit. Mighty and often harsh mountain in summers heath and winters deep snow and winds.
- Vransko jezero – the lake and acres of meadows and marshlands with numerous bird and fish species. Suitable for easy low-level walks, biking and kayaking. Very close to the coast and Zadar.
- Žumberak (Žumberačka Gora)- a small range of high hills (max 1200m) in the vicinity of Zagreb with well maintained footpaths and numerous cafe/restaurants to stop by. Good for hiking or biking day trip from Zagreb.
More info about all parks as well as some lovely photographs you can find @ parkovihrvatske.hr