GENERAL AND GEOGRAFICAL DATA
Surface area: 56,542 km2
Nationality breakdown: 90% of the population
are Croats, and the most numerous minority groups are Serbs, Bosnians, Albanians,
Slovenes, Hungarians, Italians and Czechs.
KORNATI – the most intricately indented group of islands in the Mediterranean comprising 140 uninhabited islands, islets and reefs, a true labyrinth of sea and stone, widely known because of its high cliff faces and unusual relief formations and one of the favorite destinations for recreational sailors. (www.kornati.hr)
KRKA – Croatia’s most beautiful karstic river designated a National Park from Knin to Skradin; deep canyons cut into calciferous plateaux; lakes; among the multitude striking waterfalls, Skradinski Buk and Roški Slap are the most outstanding. Between them lies the islet of Visovac on which there is a Franciscan monastery situated where the river widens into a lake. (www.npkrka.hr)
MLJET – an island lying south-west of Dubrovnik. The western part of the island is a National Park. With two deep bays which are referred to as lakes because of their very narrow outlets to the sea; lush and diverse Mediterranean vegetation, valuable antique monuments and a 13th century Benedictine monastery set upon an islet in the centre of the lake-bay. (www.np-mljet.hr)
PAKLENICA – a National Park situated on the southern side of the Velebit mountain massif, running from the highest peaks to the sea; two impressive canyons – Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica; a multitude of unusual karstic relief forms, a number of caves, rich and diverse flora and fauna; the monumental vertical rock known as Anića kuk is one of the most popular training areas for Croatian mountain climbers. (www.paklenica.hr)
PLITVICE LAKES – the most beautiful and best-known Croatian National Park, and an integral part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Comprises 16 smaller and larger lakes connected by waterfalls created through sedimentation of travertine, a particular type of limestone. The area is covered with thick forests of beech and fir, with section of it being primeval forest. Animal life is rich, brown bear being one of them. Special panoramic tours are organized for visitors both on land and on the largest lakes in panoramic busses and electro-powered boats. (www.np-plitvicka-jezera.hr ; www.np-plitvice.com )
RISNJAK – a forested mountain massif to the north of Rijeka, encompassing the source area of the river Kupa. Its position at the junction of the Alps and the Dinara Mountain chains made this small area a heaven for an amazing wealth of biological diversity, including brown bear, lynx, chamois, deer, and snake eagle. The beauty of its forests, the karstic phenomena and magnificent views attract great numbers of mountaineers. (www.risnjak.hr)
NORTH VELEBIT – due to its natural beauty, the most attractive and valuable part of this region is the area comprising the area of Velebit’s peak, which includes the Rožanski and Hajdučki kuk nature reserves with their attractive karst forms, and Lukina jama ( Luka Cave) – one of the deepest in the world – and the famous Velebit Botanical Garden (www.np-sjeverni-velebit.hr)
BIOKOVO – an arresting karst mountain rising above Makarska Riviera. Various specimens of flora and fauna; fantastic views
KOPACKI RIT – large wetlands covering the area north-west of the confluence of the River Drava with the River Danube. Exceedingly rich in plant life and animals (particularly wading birds), deer and wild boar.
LONJSKO POLJE – one of the Europe’s largest wetland areas, adjacent to the River Sava, east of the town of Sisak. Huge oak forests, rich in bird life – particularly storks.
MEDVEDNICA – mountain massif above and to the north of the City of Zagreb and the city’s main recreational area. Preserved forests and beech and fir; also, interesting caves and deep stream valleys.
TELAŠNICA – a spacious, narrow bay on Dugi Otok (Long Island) not far from the Kornati National Park; a popular destination for sailors; also, a small, coastal lake; the highest cliff faces in Croatia (rising up to 180 m)
VELEBIT – the biggest and most beautiful
mountain in Croatia; due to its unique relief and its plant and animal life
it has been declared a World Biosphere Reserve and is the largest protected
area in the country. The reserve incorporates both the Paklenica and North
Velebit National Parks.
ŽUMBERAK – SAMOBORSKO GORJE – north of Zagreb, comprising spacious meadowlands with picturesque villages, an intricate relief and deep canyons.
PAPUK – the highest mountain in Slavonia, in the east of Croatia, significant for its forest cover and partly volcanic relief.
UCKA – a mountain rising on the east of the Istrian peninsula above the Kvarner Riviera. Interesting relief and fauna; magnificent views.
VRANA LAKE (Vransko jezero) – Croatia’s largest lake, near Zadar. Due to it being in near vicinity of the sea it contains both fresh- and sea-water fish. The lake is also renowned for the variety of birds it attracts.
OTHER PROTECTED AREAS
- 2 strictly protected reserves – Hajdučki
and Rožanski kuk, and Bijele and Samarske stijene
RIVER DRAVA – one of the few large European rivers of which a significant part remains in a natural and untouched condition; the area alongside has been proposed to become a World Biosphere Reserve
RIVER DOBRA – at Karlovac; widely known for its cleanliness, wealth of fish life, for its attractive canyons, and for its rapids that are ideal for rafting, kayaking and canoeing.
RIVER MREŽNICA – at Karlovac, with series of travertine barriers; striking canyons and popular bathing spots.
BIJELE STIJENE and SAMARSKE STIJENE – at mount Bjelolasica, in Gorski kotar; a multitude of bizarre karstic forms in the wild and forested landscape – an strictly protected nature reserve
VRAŽJI PROLAZ (Devil’s Pass) – at Skrad, in Gorski kotar; picturesque, narrow canyon with a hearth-stopping, perilous footpath cut into the rock face; the eye-catching Zeleni Vir waterfall lies at the entrance to the canyon.
LIMSKI ZALJEV (Lim Channel) – a picturesque deep-sea bay on the west coast of the Istrian Peninsula. With its narrowness and steep, flanking cliffs, it resembles a Norwegian fjord.
RIJEKA GACKA – in Lika, at Otočac; with its series of picturesque springs and old water mills, it is known as one of Europe’s most significant sites for trout fishing.
ZLATNI RAT – at Bol, on Island of Brač – there is little argument that this is the most beautiful beach on the Adriatic. Edged by pine forest, it forms a cape of fine sand which imperceptibly shifts from side to side in response to the movement of the waves.
LINKS ON CROATIA:
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