Most amazing National parks you can visit while Yacht charter in Croatia in 2022 (number 5 is my favorite!)
Today I am going to share 6 most amazing National parks of Croatia which you can visit while Cruising with a Yacht.
Number 5 is my most favorite and you can't find it on any other Yacht charter itineraries.
Of the coast of Istria across the 3km-wide Fazana Channel lies the extraordinary Brijuni archipelago. Consisting of two main islands (Mali Brijun and Veli Brijun) along with a dozen islets, the landscape carpeted with ancient pines and olive trees is embraced by the glittering sea.
History buffs will be interested to learn that the islands, which also include Vanga, Sveti Marko, Gaz, Obiljak, Supin, Galija, Grunj, Pusti, Vrsar, Jerolim, and Kotez, have been inhabited by many empires since the Neolithic era. The Romans (177 AD) followed by the Byzantines (776 AD), the islands were later ruled by the Franks and the Aquilean patriarchs until the Venetian Empire took over in 1331. As each empire fell, the Brijuni islands deteriorated into malarial swamps until an industrialist purchased them in the 19th century and turned them into a well-groomed resort, leading to the construction of the fancy hotels and enabling visitors to swim, stroll and cycle around the heavenly park that is filled with native Mediterranean plants and trees. Also generously hosting rare plants such as wild cucumber and marine poppy along with imported species like stone pine, cedar, sequoia, eucalyptus, and bamboo, the intoxicating islands were rightfully announced a National Park in 1983.
There is much to do in the gorgeous Brijuni that is conveniently flat and spectacularly versatile. Swim along the entire coastline and stop by the popular Saluga Bay beach or have a lunch picnic at Sveti Jerolim. The crystal clear water, rich with marine life, also makes it a great place for snorkeling. While the adrenaline seekers will enjoy the adventurous unpaved trails and extreme downhill runs, the cyclists will appreciate the 24 km asphalt trails. For those who’d rather seek refuge in the serene beauty of nature, visiting the 1600-year-old olive trees or the former quarries is ideal. Meanwhile, the cultural types can enjoy a stroll around the Roman Ruins, 13th century St. Mary Church or the Toti Museum to connect with Croatia’s history and Yugoslav nostalgia. Animal lovers will be thrilled to know that a Safari Park with zebras, elephants, and native Istrian bulls and goats is also available. Got all the activities out of your system? Then take advantage of the tourist train and choose from the abundance of trendy facilities for a well-deserved rest.
Once karst sinkholes are caused by rising water levels, today, Malo and Veliko are the two deep saltwater lakes that beautifully highlight the Mljet National Park that covers the entire northwest part of the island.
Mljet earns its rank as one of the most popular islands in Croatia for many reasons. Foremost, its convenient proximity to Dubrovnik allows for a perfect day trip filled with awe-inspiring sights and fun activities. Anchor your yacht at Pomena and decide whether you prefer to swim, hike, cycle, or kayak (maybe even all?) throughout this evergreen oasis filled with pine forests, roman ruins, and hidden caves.
The super dense and wildly thriving flora & fauna along with steeper hills make it an adventurous hike that can lead up to the 253m high point of Montokuc, which provides a vantage point of remarkable views over the group of islands. During your hike or cycling through the pinewoods, you may hear the lovely songbirds or spot a local rabbit, lizard, or deer.
One of the most recognizable landmarks of the island is the charmingly scenic site of the 12th-century Benedictine monastery that is tucked in the midst of turquoise waters that surround the tiny island of St Mary. You can take a lovely boat ride, kayak, or canoe to explore the ancient site, and even swim under the cute little bridge that connects the lakes.
Another must-see is the legendary Odyssey’s Cave that tells mythical stories. The marine fauna is as rich as the above, it is no wonder Jacques Cousteau deemed it as one of the most beautiful underwater locations. Alive with red corals, barracudas, sponges, anemones, and the intelligent octopus, it is truly a diver’s haven. For those who are looking for less of an adventure and more of a relaxed time, you can have a leisurely swim along the beautifully curved bay of Saplunara beach.
Bernard Shaw once wrote, “On the last day of the Creation God desired to crown His work, and thus created the Karnati Islands out of tears, stars and breath.” Referring to its most recognizable feature, the barren steep cliffs “crown” the island whose dramatic coastline is known as a sailor’s paradise.
Spread over an area of 224sq kilometers between Sibenik and Zadar, Kornati is a heavenly archipelago that includes over a hundred, mostly uninhabited, islands, islets, reefs, and craggy rocks. There are no ferries available, which makes it feel like an exclusive retreat that is perfect for yacht charterers who can find shelter in numerous coves as well as the Piskera marina. You will need a permit to sail through the park, proceeds of which go to the protection and promotion of the pristine park.
Predominantly rocky, the sprawling Kornati islands that take their rightful place on UNESCO World Heritage List, provide a breathtaking escape to untouched lands. Hosting a karstic cornucopia of cavities, caves, gullies, and crevices, it is especially popular with avid divers, snorkelers, and underwater explorers.
While in Kornati, you can also hike through the roman ruins surrounded by lizards and butterflies and take shelter under the breezy shades of olive and fig trees. Make sure to visit the 6th century Byzantine fort Tureta, up on the hill by the same name. The protected bay of Levrnaka is a sought-after swimming spot and also the home of restaurant konobo where you can get refreshments and chat with the local fishermen, who usually give guided tours.
Towering over the Makarska Riviera and stretching 36km along the coast, Biokovo Mountain and Nature Park dominate the southern Dalmatian coast. Up to 1500m high, it offers majestic views over the piercing blue Mediterranean and the islands it hosts. Lush with pine forest, olive groves, and vineyards, it is a perfect pit stop for those who would like to get rid of their sea legs by getting on their hiking shoes on and go!
For a less taxing nature walk, follow the seaside promenade. On the way, you’ll see the 18th century Church of St. Mark and a lively food market. After enjoying some local delicacies, follow the windmills of Mlinice and keep walking towards the rustic village Kotisina. Here, make sure to visit the Botanical Gardens as well as the historic fortress behind.
Stretching for 36 km along the coast, the length and height of Bikovo protects the coast from chilly winds and allow for a mild climate.
On the tiny and remote Lastovo Island, the traditional way of life still reigns, which makes it a perfect charter get-away for those who seek hidden gems that are not overpopulated by tourists. With a population of less than a thousand, one hotel, and no sandy beaches, it is a peaceful and calm solace away from the hustle-bustle of the summer circuit.
The rocky coast blending with the weaving lush forests creates the perfect opportunity for long, solitary walks. Protected by the government, the only sounds you hear will be the native birds and the splashing waves of the clear blue sea. When you’re done with your walkabout, make sure to reward yourself in the village with Lastovo Marastina, a flavorful dry white wine that is famous throughout the whole country. While in town, you can also visit ancient stone houses and the charming little Renaissance church. For splendid views you’ll never forget, make sure to climb up to the meteorological station where you can take Insta-fabulous pictures of the islets scattered around the Med.
Swimmers on the other hand cannot find clearer water. A few pebble beaches such as Mali Zal, Jurjeva Luka, Skrivena Luka or Pinir afford a lovely time for children. Just make sure to take water shoes as the undisturbed beaches are left to their natural states. Snorkeling or scuba diving is also possible as the waters teem with fish due to the blessed remoteness of the island.
It’s not only the series of mesmerizing waterfalls that make Krka the most popular park in Dalmatia, but also the fact that you can actually swim in them! An easy day trip away from Split or Sibenik, a land excursion of lakes, waterfalls, limestone plateaus, private rock pools, cascades, and caverns is a delightful experience you’ll never forget.
This natural wonder consists of two waterfall systems: Skradinski Buk, and Roski slap. The largest travertine cascade system in Europe, Skradinski is the highlight of the park with its glorious turquoise pool where visitors can blissfully swim as the showering water powerfully falls in the background.
The fascinating Roski slap on the other hand has 12 gorgeous falls and wandering its nature trails can bring you to the top of the 517 steps that lead down to the 59m-long Ozidana Pecina Cave. Inhabited from 5000BC to 1500BC, it is the perfect adventure for archaeology-curious visitors.
From Roski Slap, you can alternatively take a boat to the Krka Monastery, which dates back to the 15th century. Built above ancient Roman catacombs as a spiritual center for the Orthodox faith, this is another great place for a leisurely swim amidst the hypnotizing and historic landscape.
Hikers and nature devotees will be excited to learn that the bio-diverse Krka hosts 850 varieties of plants and 200 species of birds which include marsh birds, rare eagles, falcons, and owls, while the lakes are rich with 17 different fish species including a type of trout that only lives here.
The Krka river is rich in fish with 17 different fish species including a species of trout that can only be found here. Marsh birds find it an appealing habitat. Depending on the season, you may find heron, duck, goose, crane, sandpiper, snipe, water rail, and warblers. In the gorges, there are rare eagles, falcons, and owls.
“What about cycling?”, you wonder? The cyclist enthusiasts can rest assured that the park provides 14 cycling routes that vary from challenging mountain routes to less demanding family-friendly routes, each with a stunning view on every corner.