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Croatia is nature at its best, and wherever you go, in its surrounding you will always be able to find some breathtaking national parks, natural parks or other diverse landscapes. It enjoys Mediterranean and Continental climates. Its Adriatic Sea Coast has a thousand and more islands. In the Republic of Croatia area there are11 natural parks and 8 protected national parks.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Croatia’s most popular tourist attraction was given UNESCO World Heritage status in 1979. The lakes are a definite must-see in Croatia and are located roughly halfway between its capital Zagreb and Zadar on the coast. Its sixteen lakes, inter-connected by several waterfalls, and set in deep woodland populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and rare bird species is the beauty of the National Park. It covers a total area of 300 square kilometres, whilst the lakes join each other over a distance of eight kilometres. The lakes are at different heights and the largest waterfall, Veliki Slap, is 70 metres tall. 

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Krka National Park

This park lies about 10 km inland from Sibenik. Named after the Krka River, the Park covers a large area and two thirds of the river flowing through it. Its magnificent waterfalls, which include the famous Skradinski Buk falls is one of the most famous sights in Croatia. There’s a wide variety of both flora and fauna in the Park. Much of the animal life lives in and around the waters of the Krka River, home to different amphibian and reptile creatures. Also seen are many different bird species, and possibly 18 different species of bat who call the Park their home.

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Lonjsko Polje Nature Park

This unique bird reserve is located along the River Sava in the Sisak-Moslavina County. Spread over an area larger than 50000 hectares, it constitutes the largest marshland of the entire Danube River basin. Due to its specific hydrological and geomorphologic characteristics, it is rich in a variety of fauna and flora.

The white stork, numerous heron species, the spoonbill, the white-tailed eagle, the lesser spotted eagle and many marsh and migratory bird species spawn the area. There are two ornithological reserves within the park: Krapjedol and Rakita.

In the Posavina regions, you will find villages that are more than 200 years old, with preserved traditional characteristics and wooden houses typical to that region. The villages Krapje and Cigoc attract the maximum number of visitors from around the world, especially from Japan, who come to see the white storks nesting on the rooftops. Many village households engaged in rural tourism offer a series of interesting recreational activities such as horse riding or riding horse carriages, boat trips, bicycling, fishing, and others, making it possible to have an active vacation.

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Paklenica National Park

It is located about 47 km north (northeast) from Zadar and the nearest coastal town is Starigrad Paklenica. The Park lies to the south of the Velebit range of mountains, and has a mixture of high peaks with spectacular views, deep gorges and beech & pine forests. For the adventure loving people, it is an ideal place – offering climbing as well as several challenging hiking trails. For the laid-back, there are more gentle walks also available, with just as much to explore. Paklenica is famous for its two canyons, Velika (meaning Big) Paklenica and Mala (meaning Small) Paklenica.

The Park’s highest peak is Vaganskivrh, which is 1757 metres high. Caves of different sizes also exist in the National Park, one of which can be visited. The Park is famous for its many geological highlights, and contains a large range of plant and animal species. In the park various types of bird, deer, bears, foxes, wild cats and lynx can also be seen.

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Kornati Island

This archipelago consists of 140 islands, most of it declared a National Park – and with its natural beauty, numerous coves and pristine blue waters. Nobody resides here permanently and most of the area belongs to the people of Murter Island who come to tend the olive groves, vineyards and orchards. They have cottages there, in which they stay during the agricultural season. It is best to visit the islands on a day trip from Zadar, Sibenik or Split. For a Robinson Crusoe type holiday, you can stay in a cottage with no electricity or running water. A boat from Murter brings you there and brings you back a week later.

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