NATIONAL PARK THE KORNATI ISLANDS
Stretching along the central part of the Croatian Adriatic, are the Kornati islands. With their immense natural beauty, diverse coastlines, and preserved marine ecosystem, most of the Kornati islands were declared a National park in 1980. National park Kornati sizes about 220 km2 which consists of 89 islands, islets and reefs. National park Kornati was named after the biggest island in the group - Kornat. Vegetation on the islands is minimal, giving the islands a bald look, however, nature still thrives with plant life on the rocks. Crystal clear water, and uncover the all kinds of reefs, shellfish and many species of fish below the surface.
The Kornati islands were populated in prehistoric times; findings of stone hatchets at the bottom of the hill Pasinka on the islands of Kornati confirm the stated. The Kornati islands were a frequent target for invaders and thieves, from the Romans and the Venetians to the aristocracy from Zadar. Although today the Kornati islands are only populated during the summer months, old field and fishing houses spread out in secluded inlets on the Kornati islands, give away the presence of their owners. There is no electricity or fresh water springs on the islands.
The Kornati islands are a real heaven for yachtsmen, divers and all those who enjoy the solitude of untouched and the magnificence of nature. There are 20 restaurants on the Kornati islands which serve fish specialities. You can get to the Kornati islands by boat (if you own or you rent), or by organised boat excursions offered by tourist agencies. For more information you can visit the public bureau „Nacionalni Park Kornati “in Murter. The park is located about seven nautical miles from the island of Murter.
NATIONAL PARK PAKLENICA
On the south side of the Velebit Mountain range, in an area of 3617 ha along the coast of the Adriatic Sea, is where you can find National Park Paklenica. The area had been declared a National Park since 1949, because of the diverse natural environmental and other variety of life in park. In this area mountain and sea fuse together, with awesome horizontal and vertical canyons and other extraordinary phenomena, capture the curiosity of all its visitors.
The two most impressive canyons in the National Park Paklenica are Velika (big) Paklenica and Mala (small) Paklenica, which have many rock and cliff formations, a number of caves, and a variety of flora and fauna. There is a monumental vertical gorge, known as Anića Kuk, is one of the most popular terrains for alpinists. The National Park Paklenica is the most significant alpine climbing centre on the Adriatic coast. Today there are about 400 different trails, giving each climber an option to choose his/her own personal trail. There is about 150km of hiking trails in the park, of which the most popular is from the Velika (big) Paklenica canyon to the mountain hut Paklenica, (about a two hour hike).
Manita cavern has a large subterranean cave (a hall 65 m long and 40 m wide and 32 m high). The estimated age of the cavern is about 80,000 years.
Paklenica also has diverse wildlife in the park. Birds make up the largest group; about 212 species have been spotted. The griffon vulture has a wingspan up to 2,60m, also habituates in this area, and mountain butterflies are an attraction to all of our guests. Large mammals in the park also include the Brown bear (Ursus arctos), wolves (Canis lupus), and the lynx (lynx lynx).
Entrance into the park is in the town of Starigrad - Paklenica towards Velika (big) Paklenica gorge from the town of Seline towards the gorge of Mala (small) Paklenica. The distance between the gorges is approx. 3km.
NATIONAL PARK KRKA FALLS
River Krka is a phenomenon, while making its way to the Adriatic sea; it forms many lakes, falls and water currents. Originating from the base of the Dinara Mountains, by the town of Knin; because of the natural beauty and geological characteristics around the Krka River was declared a National park in 1985. The park encompass' and area of 109 km2 and follows along the river Krka about 2 km down river from Knin to Skradin.
The most impressive, and visited waterfalls are Skradinski buk and Roški falls. Roški falls are very accessible and can be visited year round. 650m of river create 12 water falls, with a total height of 27m. On the left side of the river Krka there are mills (used for processing wheat and corn) some of which are still in use today.
From Roški falls the river once again turns into an elongated lake named Visovac. There is a little islet in the middle of the lake and it is the name of this islet - Visovac; where the lake got its name from. On the islet there is a church and Franciscan monastery which add secrecy to the lake and islet. The first settlers on the island were Augustinians (nomads) in the 14th century and it was them who built the church and monastery. In the year 1440 Franciscans arrive from Bosnia, who were chased away by the Turkish invasion. They were able to stay there until today, bringing with them their valuable collection of books, art, and even 630 Turkish documents.
Skradinski buk is considered one of the most beautiful cliff water falls in Europe. You can see them with a walk through a Forrest on a wooden path and bridges. The river Krka is rich with various species of fish, 10 of which are endemic. The great number of birds in National park Krka is also considered a haven and one of the most valuable areas in Europe.
Swimming is allowed only in authorised zones, the park can be visited by boat or from Skradin by foot. Entry to National Park Krka is in the town Skradin (Šibenikk: 23km)
CITY OF SIBENIK
Welcome to Sibenik - a city that successfully combines its glorious past with its gift of natural beauty. While sightseeing in this city you will surely be impressed by the well-known cathedral Sv. Jakov, the most important renaissance structure in Croatia. A city, whose name was spoken by kings, Mother Nature has provided with a wealth of islands and islets encompassed by blue sea, as well as the fascinating landscape of Krka National Park. Here you will find that every hour will be filled with a variety of activities!
Zadar is a city with an extraordinary 3000 year history and extremely valuable cultural heritage. It is located in the very heart of the Adriatic, in the juncture of history and all the things a modern traveler requires. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia which the London Times named the “center of entertainment on the Adriatic”, while Guardian named it “the new Croatian capital of cool”. The turbulent history of this city has left many scars as well as valuable cultural heritage. The landmarks of this city are its historical monuments and cultural heritage. Many churches and cultural monuments remain from various time periods which reflect the artistry of construction of all periods. Of the most popular monuments we emphasize the church of St. Donat (symbol of the city and the most famous monumental building in Croatia from the early Medieval period – 9th century), cathedral of St. Srošije (three-nave Romanic building, also the largest church in Croatia, built in two stages in the 12th and 13th centuries), church of St. Šime (early Christian church which houses the powers of St. Šime – Zadar’s most popular saint), church and monastery of St. Mary (female Benedictine monastery), church and monastery of St. Francis (oldest Dalmatian Gothic church, built during the lifetime of St. Francis Asiški), city walls fortresses and gates (many gates are made in the walls of the city; of the original 30, only eight remain today), church of St. Krševan ( three-nave Roman basilica with three richly decorated semicircular apses), Grisogono Vovo, Rector’s palace and the Regent’s palace.
The city is full of modern architectural accomplishments such as the world’s first sea organ and the urban installation “Salute to the Sun”. The sea organs are an instrument on the coast whose music is created by the movements of the sea. It is a place where human ideas and skills with the energy of the sea and waves bond, a place for conversation and pondering with the constant sound of the “orchestra of nature”. “Salute to the Sun” is an installation composed of multi layered glass panes, underneath which solar modules create a symbolic communication with natural light. This installation is connected with the sea organs whose sound is converted into a game of light, performing on the Zadar promenade after sunset. Other than these two modern attractions, Zadar offers many others, such as the National Square, Five Wells Square, silver and gold of the city, Forum, Foša, Museum of Antique Glass, Kalelarga, promenade, Arsenal and many others.