National Park origins
Originally, there were only two state parks, Plitvice Lakes and Paklenica, which were established in 1949. In 1953, Risnjak joined the group and by the end of the 1960’s so had Mljet and Kornati. Throughout the 1980’s, Brijuni and Krka were established, which left the last edition, Sjeverni Velebit (North Velebit), to be added in 1999.
In 2010 some 2 million tourists have visited the 8 national parks, which is about 20% of the total 2010 visitor numbers to Croatia. These numbers are increasing each year.
Nocturno at Krka National Park - Over 3 years the photographer Mario Romulić took 220,000 time-lapse night photos of the National Park. He used 70,000 of those to create this amazing video. The music is by Ana Rucner, Croatian cellist.
North Velebit National Park
This is the youngest of Croatia’s national parks, created in 1999. It contains mountains, trees, and even a cave system that is a delight for spelunkers around the world.
Plitvice National Park
This is one of the most well known national parks in Croatia, and it is also one of the most visited. It was created in 1949 and has been churning out happy hikers ever since. It is officially recognized by UNESCO as a National Park since 1979.
There are a group of sixteen lakes, all of which are connected through a series of waterfalls and streams. There are wooden walkways snaking through the park, suspended above the water, making it a hiking dream for the visitors.
It is a truly beautiful sight covered with forests and meadows and populated by a variety of wildlife. For added pleasure and first-hand experience, hop on the silent electrical boat to further explore the lakes.
In July 2018 theculturetrip.com listed Plitivice Lakes National Park in the 2nd spot among "23 Natural Wonders in Europe That Will Take Your Breath Away", right after The Tuscan Countryside. It called the Lakes as 'a standout attraction in Croatia and well worth a day trip from the capital'.
The internet magaine Travel and Leisure in May 2017 has placed Plitivice Lakes National Park on the list of the world's most beautiful spots with the most turquoise-blue waters, calling it a natural hidden gem.
Plitvice Lakes National Park now visits nearly one million visitors annually. It is the most visited national park in Croatia. In 2010 there were 750,000 visitors by the end of August. That was an increase of 5% on 2009 visitor numbers. In 2014 that number was grown to one million visitors per year. Most of those visitors come from Germany, Italy, France, Russia, Israel, and Japan.
Risnjak National Park
Established in 1953, this park is located in Gorski kotar, which is the most mountainous and heavily forested area in Croatia. This is a hiker’s paradise.
No matter the type of park in which you want to spend your vacation, you are certain to find somewhere wonderful in Croatia.
Site updated on 15. October 2018
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