With a long and stunning coastline and excellent cities spread along its shores, Croatia is a popular tourist destination that caters to hundreds of thousands of hungry travelers year after year. The warm sunshine that bathes the dreamy islands, valleys, lakes and mountains in the Adriatic Sea leaves travelers wanting more. This truly modern country with modern amenities embraces a laid-back atmosphere.
Top 10 Croatia National Parks to Visit on Your Croatian Vacation
It is an incredibly diverse country full of history, culture, great food and beautiful nature. National Parks in Croatia Along with fascinating natural scenery, there is a wealth of flora and fauna. Our best picks of Croatia’s national parks are listed below.
1. Plitvice National Park
Located in the heart of central Croatia, Plitvice Lakes National Park consists of a series of 16 terraced lakes connected by stunning waterfalls that flow beautifully into a limestone canyon. There are many hiking trails and walking paths that wind around the water and offer beautiful views. An electric boat is available for tourists which connects the upper 12 lakes and 4 lower lakes. It is one of the best national parks in Croatia and is home to some rare species of flora and fauna.
Best time to visit: during the year
Plitvice Lakes National Park Entrance Fee: One day adult ticket in winter Rs 562; INR 1124 in April-June and September-October; and INR 1826 in July and August
Time: 7 am – 7 pm
Distance from Zagreb Airport: 139 km
how to reach: There are several direct buses running from Zagreb Main Bus Station to Plitvice Lakes. The journey takes about 2 hours 20 minutes.
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2. Krka National Park
Located along the beautiful Krka River in southern Croatia, Krka National Park is a must-visit during your trip to Croatia. This Croatia national park located near Split features a series of 7 cascading waterfalls and a unique ecosystem. The Skradinsky Buk waterfall, located in the south of the national park, is surrounded by traditional watermills. This national park is one of two sanctuaries in Croatia that is home to both lakes and waterfalls. An open promenade with wooden planks and paths makes for an enjoyable stroll through the park.
Best time to visit: June and September
entrance fees: INR 1657 during peak season. Rs 1215 during mid season and just Rs 331 in winter.
Time: 08:00 to 20:00 (Skradinsky Book entrance), 09:00 – 20:00 (Rossky Slap entrance).
Distance from Split Airport: 58 km
how to reach: There are daily buses to Šibenik from Split airport and Split bus station. From here, board a bus that takes you to Skradin, a small town at the entrance of the park.
3. Resnjak National Park
Risnjak National Park in Croatia is one of the most mountainous and heavily forested areas in the country, just a few miles from Rijeka. Most parts of the national park are lush green virgin forests with hardly any settlements. The huge park is a great place to visit for hikers, climbers and trekkers. Visitors can also enjoy a walk on a circular walkway that passes through areas of diverse vegetation, beech and pine trees adorned with wild flowers. The national park also organizes wildlife viewing.
Best time to visit: any time of year
entrance fees: Rs 500 for adults, free for children below 7 years
Time: twenty four hours
distance from zagreb airport: 118 km
how to reach: From Zagreb board bus number 940 which will take you to Rijeka in approximately 2 hours and 33 minutes.
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4. Paklenica National Park
This national park in Croatia is a protected area known for its two dolomite limestone valleys – Mala Paklenica and Velika. One of the oldest parks after Plitvice National Park, the park also has many karst rock formations and dense black-pine forests. If you’ve got the legs for it, the path in the park will take you to the highest Vagansky peak at 1757 metres. Enjoy guided tours and stay at one of the park’s many shelters and lodges. Tourists can also get a quick bite at Denko Café just outside the entrance to the national park.
Best time to visit: early spring and late summer
entrance fees: Rs 440 for adults, daily parking ticket is Rs 110
Time: 6.00 am to 8.00 pm
Distance from Split Airport: 137 km
how to reach: Take a bus from Split to Starigrad Paklenica and rent a car from Starigrad to the national park.
5. Kamenjak National Park
About 12 km south of Pula, you’ll find the entrance to Kamenjak National Park, one of Croatia’s best nature parks. The 30 km long, rugged coastline that surrounds the national park has about 20 bays, beaches and inhabited islands, making the sanctuary a popular destination during summer. This national park is great for hiking, trekking and diving. Located on the summit of the Premantura Peninsula, it also includes a bike path with signposts and a dinosaur path with real fossil steps.
Best time to visit: Spring and autumn
entrance fees: INR 883
Time: Working hours of toll checkpoints at the entrances to the Lower Kamenjak and Medulin Archipelago: 7 am to 9 pm: 7 am to 8 pm.
Distance from Pula airport: 39 km
how to reach: To reach Premantura, take bus number 28 from Pula. The journey will take approximately 40 minutes.
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6. Brijuni National Park
Brijuni, a group of 14 islands, is another spectacular national park in the northern Adriatic Sea. Cycling enthusiasts can take to the 13 miles of cycle trails. Cycling programs are available in the months of April, May, October and November. The park is known for its many unique dive sites and cruise tours. Brijuni is home to more than 700 types of flora and about 250 species of rare birds making it an ideal place for bird lovers.
Best time to visit: all year long
entrance fees: Free
Time: 8 am to 8 pm
Distance from Pula airport: 39 km
how to reach: Take a local bus to Fazana, Pula’s main bus station, which is about 8 km away.
7. MLJET NATIONAL PARK
Mljet, the southernmost and easternmost of the large Adriatic islands of Croatia’s Dalmatia region, is home to the largest pine forest, large saltwater lakes and an untouched national park – Mljet National Park. Covering more than 5400 hectares on both land and sea, this national park offers spectacular beaches, cycle tracks, shady walking paths, ancient ruins and stunning salt water lakes. Be sure to take a stroll along the two lake shores shaded by beautiful trees.
Best time to visit: March to June, September to November
entrance fees: INR 990-1100
Time: 8 am to 8 pm
Distance from Dubrovnik Airport: 125 km
how to reach: By regular bus shuttle service from Dubrovnik Airport to Pripyatno ferry port.
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8. North Velebit National Park
Each of Croatia’s national parks is unique and spectacular – but none as stunning as Northern Velebit. Located in the northern part of the spectacular Velebit mountain range, the park is known for its protected biodiversity and pristine wilderness. The Premuzik Trail, one of the most famous mountain paths, passes through the most beautiful and interesting parts of the national reserve. The path also offers spectacular views of the vast Adriatic Sea and its many islands.
Best time to visit: May to November
entrance fees: INR 500 per person
Time: 8 am to 7 pm
Distance from Zagreb Airport: 200 km
how to reach: The best way to reach this remote national park is by car. The most commonly used route is the one that passes through the city of Otovac.
9. Kornati Island National Park
Kornati National Park, often called the “Marine Paradise”, is a one-of-a-kind park that will leave you spellbound. Explore the park’s many reefs while sailing between the stunning islands of Kornati National Park, taking breaks to swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear sea. Sunbathe on the sandy beaches and have lunch in the casual restaurants inside the park. The park also has 8 well-groomed and marked hiking trails from which it is possible to see the Kornati Archipelago at its finest.
Best time to visit: Heat
entrance fees: Individual entry starts at Rs 1657 per boat.
Time:The park is open for visiting all day throughout the year
distance from zagreb airport: 200 km
how to reach: You visit the islands on a day boat trip from Zadar by booking a full-day excursion in advance.
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10. Biokovo Nature Park
Proclaimed as a nature park in the year 1981, Biokovo Nature Park is rocky, wild, beautiful and untamed. It has many snake paths and trails that wind through the rough terrain of the park, making it one of the best Croatia national parks in the country to enjoy some exhilarating trekking. The majestic mountains in the park offer panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea. There are many caves amidst the rocks and peaks that tourists can visit. This nature park is home to more than 1500 plant species.
Best time to visit: May-September
entrance fees: INR 550, children up to 7 years free.
Time: open 24 hours
Distance from Split airport: 120 km
how to reach: only by car
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While there are many other countries that boast picturesque landscapes and undisturbed wild natural areas, Croatia’s national parks have some of the best-preserved flora and fauna in the world. This beautiful country is the ideal place to enjoy a great wildlife holiday. Plan a holiday to Croatia to experience the beauty and grandeur of the region.
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