5 Can't Miss National Parks and Outdoor Adventures in Croatia

By Samantha Scott
June 29, 2018

Travelers to Croatia are probably looking forward to the beautiful Mediterranean views, old seafaring villages and cities full of history, and touring now famous Game of Thrones locations.

What many travelers may not be prepared for is Croatia’s wide range of outdoor activities and beautiful national parks waiting to be explored.

These parks are full of amazing wildlife, including signs of life from centuries ago, as well as man made marvels and archaeological sites. Since Croatia has such an impressive coastline, prepare to be out on the water to visit many of these beautiful parks. Most Croatian national parks are conceivable day trips depending on where you’re staying on the mainland.

Here are 5 can’t miss natural sights in Croatia for outdoor travel enthusiasts!

1. Plitvice National Park

Plitvice National Park

Gorgeous Plitvice National Park looks like something straight out of a fairytale. Hundreds of waterfalls and beautiful blue pools. The park features 16 interconnected lakes, some of which are traversable by low wooden pathways.

Two main hikes are available through the park. This is probably Croatia’s best known national park, and while it is busy year round, the best time to go would be in the off season to avoid the peak travel season crowds.

2. Brijuni National Park

Roman ruins at Brijuni National Park Croatia

Calling all history lovers! This is the national park for you. Situated on an island archipelago off Croatia’s northern coast, this park contains amazing wildlife and nature, but also Roman ruins and...dinosaurs!

It might be hard to imagine dinosaurs wandering the idyllic Adriatic beaches, but paleontologists discovered evidence of just that in Brijuni National Park. The opportunity to see ancient dinosaur footprints is one of the biggest draws in this park. There is also snorkeling among incredible archaeological sites!

3. Paklenica National Park 

Paklenica national park

Home to the Velebit mountain range, this national park is great for hiking, rock climbing, and even caving! Adventure travelers will love the wide range of activities, for all levels. Non adventurers can enjoy several easy going hikes to take in the impressive views and wildlife.

4. Risnjak National Park 

Risnjak National Park Croatia

Those who love solitude and wildlife viewing will love visiting this remote wilderness near the Slovenian border. In the summertime you can stay at an observatory, or if you’re more of a winter traveler, consider a log cabin stay. The forests are known for bear, lynx, and wolves - wildlife photographers take note!

5. Kornati Islands

Kornati Islands

A short boat ride from Zadar almost exactly in the middle of Croatia’s coastline, these delightful islands form a dense archipelago and are the perfect destination for sailing enthusiasts.

The islands are all different sizes, and there are over 100 you can explore, meandering through clear, bright blue, mediterranean water. Most of the islands are uninhabited and some have private residences, many of which have connections with tour companies - so you can explore old film sets, go cliff diving, and swimming.

Ready to explore Croatia? Check out over 400 Croatia tours and adventure packages »

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