If you love sailing then chances are that you are looking for more exotic locations to add to your growing itinerary. What can be more exotic and exciting than the beautiful Croatian national parks known the world over for their beauty? Along with their incredible beauty these are also places that offer ample opportunities to commune with nature, whether one prefers simple water cruises or trekking through the deep woods. In fact, it is their proximity to water that adds to their attraction, for there is a steady increase in interest for nautical tourism in Croatia over the years, both from local and global visitors.
For those who love to combine their love and passion for sailing with nature tours, these leading Croatian national parks make for great location choices. Lets take a closer look at each to see what they offer and why they are so popular with tourists today.
The Mljet National Park covers the entire north-west part of Mljet Island bordering the two salt water lakes Veliko and Malo Jezero. It is large area that offers dual access from north and west via the Pomena and Polace villages. One can pay for entrance to the park and pick up brochures, leaflets and maps here as well. The larger lake, Veliko, has a small island Melita right in the middle of it, easily connected by boats. A 12th century Benedictine monastery still stands there, now operable as a café, pulling in a steady tourist crowd round the year. Surrounding the lakes are well marked paths that offer excellent routes for trekking, walking, cycling and hiking. Kayaking is popular as are swimming and sunbathing.
The Kornati National Park is one of the top places for nautical tourism in the world. Often called a ‘nautical paradise’, it is located in the northern part of Dalmatia west from Sibenik – hence also referred as a part of the Sibenik archipelago. 22 miles in length and consisting of 140 islands of myriad sizes, it has one of the densest archipelagos in the Mediterranean Sea. It offers an incredible opportunity to sail through these unforgettable islets, islands and reefs. It is easy to hire a boat or take ones own if one has a valid ticket. The park offers hundreds of activities for visitors including sailing, swimming, diving, snorkeling, diving with professional groups, hiking, wild bird and animal watching and of course recreational fishing for ones who have permits.
The Krka National Park is named after the river Krka and located along the middle-lower course of same river in central Dalmatia. Including almost two thirds of the river within its premises, the park is about 142 square km in size. It includes some of Croatias most famous sights like its 7 magnificent travertine waterfalls. The most famous among them are the Skradinski Buk falls. The park is most frequently accessed by people travelling up or down the Croatian coast. It is said to have over 800 species of flora and an incredible number of fauna, much of which reside in and around the waters of the Krka River. Then there is the tiny island of Visovac on the river which boasts of a 15th century monastery. Sailing through these waters and experiencing amazing wonders like the 12 small cascade series of Roski Slap (waterfall) makes it an unforgettable tour.
Brijuni (Brionian islands)
National park Brijuni islands is an archipelago, a group of 14 small islands in the Croatian part of the northern Adriatic Sea, and north from Pula. Though they are all known for their scenic beauty only Veli Brijun, the biggest island, is open to the public. The other islands are state and private buildings, with select holiday resorts on them. The Veli Brijun is a preserved area and also a Safari park which offers visitors an up close and personal look at the protected species that thrive here. Within, there is also an Ethno park that gives a glimpse of what a typical Istrian homestead would look like, including its autochthonous animal species. Sailing right up to the island is easy and gives one a once in lifetime experience of true Croatian natural beauty.