1. BRIJUNI ISLANDS
Brijuni is a group of islands that lies close to Istria’s western coast. Its most beautiful part was proclaimed a national park in 1983. The islands are 6 km from Pula and are separated from the mainland by the Fazana channel through which boats from the Fazana harbor to Brijuni operate on a daily basis.
The Brijuni archipelago consists of 2 larger islands – Veliki and Mali Brijun, as well as 13 smaller, well-indented islands that have been inhabited since prehistorical times. The islands are known for their mild climate and rich vegetation, while the National Park abounds with tree-lined walks, parks and gardens of tropical vegetation. The Brijuni Zoo is of the open type, meaning that animals can freely roam the island, and there is also a safari park. Brijuni offers many sporting activities: horseback riding, golf, tennis, sailing, windsurfing, bike and boat rental, diving, while guests have access to numerous sports terrains, fields and other facilities.
A holiday on Brijuni is ideal for guests looking for first class accommodation and an excellent variety of additional services. How to get there: from the Buje-Pula main road turn to Fazana, a tourist boat operates from Fazana to Brijuni.
2. PLITVICE LAKES
The Plitvice lakes are Croatia’s most famous national park and are among the most beautiful sights in Europe. Due to their natural diversity, they are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Plitvice lakes consist of 16 connected lakes and numerous waterfalls, surrounded by dense forests. Many trails and small, wooden bridges, built just above the calm water, await you in Plitvice. Besides on foot, you can explore the National Park by tourist train or boat throughout the whole year. How to get there: on the Zagreb – Karlovac – Slunj – Gracac – Zadar main road, 80 km from Karlovac.
3. KORNATI ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
“On the last day of the Creation, God desired to crown His work, and thus created the Kornati Islands out of tears, stars and breath!” – GEORGE BERNRAD SHAW
Beautiful nature, a network of countless islands and islets (a folk saying goes: “one island or islet for each day of the year”), the magnificent sea – all this makes the Kornati Islands an attractive destination of numerous excursionists and boaters.
The Kornati are a true promised land for boaters and yachting enthusiasts. Numerous coves provide safe shelter to boaters and fishermen. However, the submarine zone is also protected in the National Park and visitors are advised to ask what, how much and in what way may be caught.
The islands abound with karst phenomena, cavities, caves, gullies, crevices, and represent the natural habitat of a number of bird species. The islands are a unique pleasure and experience to all those who are keen on bathing in the crystal-clear sea, who appreciate peace and quietness but also feel enthusiastic about eco-tourism without any modern facilities.
Boaters spend the nights on their own or rented boats, the other may rent a modest house or just a stone cottage. Those visitors who are not familiar with yachting may learn this at the right place, on the Kornati Islands, in one of the yachting schools that take place in this attractive environment.
4. KRKA RIVER NATIONAL PARK
Krka National Park established in 1985, the 142 sq km Krka National Park follows the line of the Krka river, from its source in the foothills of the Dinaric mountains on its short journey through the dramatic karst landscape to its finish in the Adriatic. The river flows through a limestone gorge, dropping over 220m in 50km, with eight sets of rapids. Only two falls – Skradinski buk and Roski slap – are in the park itself, although the former is the most impressive of all with a 46m drop over seventeen limestone steps.
After the noise and rush of the falls, visitors are surprised to find the tranquillity of Visovac.This small island is the site of an old Franciscan monastery, established in the 16th century. Now home to a library of books and manuscripts, the monastery is the best place for contemplating the serenity of the park in perfect peace and quiet.
5. MLJET ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
Mljet island, with an average width of 3 km is 37 km long. It is an Island of great diversity and contrast, and “Mljet” National Park covers his northwestern part with an area of 5.375 ha of protected land and surrounding sea.
This area was proclaimed as national park 11 November 1960 and represents the first institutionalized attempt to protect an original ecosystem in the Adriatic.
The world famous lakes of Mljet consist of the Great Lake, covering an area of 145 ha, with a maximum depth of 46 m. The Small Lake has an area of 24 ha and a maximum depth of 29 m. The natural secrets of both lakes have attracted many scientists over the years, as well as other nature lovers from a wide range of professions and personal interests. The rich vegetation of the island, especially in the area of the national Park, explains why Mljet is also known as a Green Island.
[article from: croatia-nudistsbeaches-scubadiving.com]