If you've opted to holiday on Croatia's sunny shores, but are a fan of greenery and the great outdoors, put a visit to one of Croatia's spectacular national parks on your list of things to do. There are eight to choose from and a trip to a Croatia national park is an easy and relaxing way to spend a day. The big question is: which one will you visit?
Witches, Mountains, and LynxThe most popular Croatia national park is Plitvice Lakes National Park. According to legend, the Black Queen came down from her mountain after a period of drought. Using her magic, she conjured a mighty storm to bring the dry conditions to an end. After it had passed, they found that 16 lakes had been formed: the Plitvice Lakes. However they were formed, these stunning lakes, fed by glittering waterfalls and surrounded by fragrant pine forests, are Croatia's most-visited natural wonder. Paklenica National Park is the best Croatia national park for those who like to really get to grips with the scenery. Deep canyons and towering mountains are peppered with caves, providing excellent conditions for climbers and cavers. However, if you prefer your feet on the ground and your wildlife a little more manageable, this Croatia national park is also home to an astonishing array of plants and critters. For a Croatia national park that offers less-challenging walks, but with an equally beautiful backdrop, the Risnjak National Park is the place to go. Home to lynx, bears and wolves, this is an ideal place for photographers to snap some award-winning shots.
Nymphs, Romans, and Snorkels!The Mljet National Park features in Homer's Odyssey, as the home of the nymph, Calypso. Set among the sprawling forests, you'll find two salt lakes where the nymph's legendary island, Ogygia, sits. Considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in the whole country, it can be visited by boat. Kornati is the Croatia national park hailed by George Bernard Shaw as being created out of “tears, stars, and breath”. The park is made up of 89 islands, littered with the remains of Roman settlements; ideal for those with even a passing interest in Croatia's rich history. Not every Croatia national park hides its treasure above ground! While the archipelago of islands that make up Brijuni National Park is a dreamy mix of laurel trees and holm oak, there's also the opportunity to see what the sea has claimed as its own. Take part in the Undersea Trail and you can snorkel through the ruins of a Roman villa, which dates back as far as the First Century.
Hobbits and Wildlife!Visit Krka National Park and you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd stumbled across the set of Hobbiton, from Lord of the Rings! Filled with free-flowing lakes, gently-swooping canyons and lush, green forests, this Croatia national park is ideal for those who want nothing more than to soak up Nature's glory at its best. Hikers, walkers and climbers will enjoy the craggy splendour of Sjeverni Velebit National Park. Home to over 1,500 different species of plants, fungus and wildlife, this also makes an ideal destination for those who like to stretch their legs and see what they can spot. To gain an understanding of just how diverse the plant life is, head for the Velebit Botanical Gardens, on the outskirts of the park.