Croatia's Natural Wonders

Wednesday–Thursday, September 20–28, 2017
Leader: Darko Sojak
Ext Trp

Eight of us visited five Croatian National parks.

The Risnjak National Park in Risnjak mountain range is named after a rare animal that inhabits its woods – the lynx (Ris in Croatian). Park is located in Gorski Kotar, the most mountainous and heavily forested region of the country, about 10 miles inland from the Adriatic Sea. Everybody enjoyed great weather and 360° view from the top.

North Velebit National Park is Croatia’s youngest national park. The area is rich in karst phenomena, outstanding biodiversity and exquisite nature on a relatively small area. The Park is crisscrossed with numerous hiking trails. We hiked the famous Premuzic trail, marvelously built in difficult terrain.

Light drizzle did not spoil our long day in Plitvice Lakes National Park. We hiked boardwalks, bridges and paths around 16 emerald green and opal blue travertine lakes, separated by over 90 waterfalls. After a picnic lunch, we took a short boat ride across the largest lake to continue less visited trails in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lakes surrounded by beech and pine forests are full of native trout and pike.

In the middle of our Croatia trip, we visited the coastal city of Zadar, population 75,000. Light rain somewhat limited our group to admire historical monuments and cultural heritage of this central Adriatic city with a rich, ancient and medieval history.

We had excellent weather for our Paklenica National Park visit. This UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve offers great hiking and climbing opportunities. Hiking trails carved in the canyon of the south slopes of Mount Velebit provide nice shade in hot weather and limitless photographic opportunities. This relatively small area offers exceptional diversity of geomorphologic phenomena and is wide popular in the European climbing community.

The last day of our journey, we took a pleasant riverboat ride from the charming town of Skradin so we could hike in Krka River National Park. We visited crystal clear Skradinski Buk waterfall, enjoyed fantastic karst formations and huge travertine water cascades. We also saw the place where the second hydro plant in the world was built and an interesting ethno village. After returning to the town of Skradin and a lunch, we drove to another part of Krka River where a small boat took us to Visovac Island and its Franciscan monastery. Before the final evening dinner and a celebration of an amazing adventure, we explored the old town of Skradin and swan harbor.

We stayed in nice small hotels and in simple private accommodations. Everybody enjoyed good local food.

Members: Darko Sojak, May Fogg, Keiko Bryan, Kathy Randall, Evelyn Nagy, Barbara Kay Cosby, Barbara Aten, June Sutterfield.

Boardwalk, Plitvice NP.—photo by Darko Sojak
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