Top Interior Settings to Explore
Krka National Park
Krka National Park encompasses the area along the course of the Krka River, which flows through a deep and picturesque canyon for over 75 km and creates roaring waterfalls like the grand "Roški slap" and the fantastic "Skradinski buk" (Krka falls 48 m), Europe's largest travertine cascade system. In the middle of a lake-like expansion stands Visovac Island, where green waters have created a karst plateau, giving rise to the harmonious coupling of natural and historical heritage. The island, transformed by the monks over centuries of diligent work into a charming dwelling full of trees, colourful flowers, fruits and vegetables, is an irresistible on-going attraction for numerous pilgrims and tourists alike.
Velebit Nature Park
Velebit is Croatia's largest mountain range. Over its entire length of 150 kilometres Velebit has been protected as a nature park, together with two national parks and a series of smaller specially protected areas. With more than 2,000 square kilometres, Velebit Nature Park is by far Croatia's largest protected area. This magnificent mountain range offers two faces, bare rocky slopes on the coastal side and vast forests on the continental side. The range abounds in natural values as unusual rock formations, wild canyons, deep pits and caves, and it is particularly rich in endemic species of plants and animals. Due to its special natural values, in 1978 UNESCO included the Velebit mountain range in its international network of the Man and Biosphere Reserve (MAB).
The Krka River System
The significant landscape of the Krka River from the Skradin Bridge to its mouth has been protected since 1968. The locality is a typical sub-merged river valley, with the entire area from Skradin to the Fortress of St. Nicholas forming the mouth. Upstream from the national park boundaries the river flows partly through the canyon and partly through lowlands, springing under the base of the "Topoljski buk" waterfall and collecting the waters of numerous tributaries on its way, e.g. the Krčić River that stands out with its deep and picturesque canyon. The meandering of the Krka River in the lowland section of its flow is of special note, as this is an exceptionally rare occurrence in karst landscapes, and some fantastic travertine trails run through the area that dries up during the summer months.
The Cetina River Springs
The site of "Vrela Cetine", the springs of the Cetina River, covers an area of 29.81 ha and has been protected as a significant landscape since 1971. This site contains a series of karst springs, with the three main ones lying in the foothills of the Dinara Mountain Range. The springs draw attention with their magnificent clarity, blue-green colour and depth, with one of them ("Veliko vrilo") being a submerged speleological structure more than 150 m deep. Near the springs is the oldest Early Croatian church in Croatia, the Church of Holy Salvation, erected in the 9th century.
The Čikola River Canyon
The panoramic canyon of the Čikola River, the largest tributary of the Krka River, has been protected as a significant landscape since 1965. The stunning canyon is up to 130 m deep at some places and the area stands out as an extraordinary geomorphological and hydrological phenomenon of the karst landscape. The locality is exceptionally important as the traces of human presence dating from Palaeolithic (around 18,000 years B.C.) have been found in the canyon's caves. The flora and fauna of the canyon includes 298 plant species, 4 fish species, 4 species of amphibians and 22 species of mammals, of which the most numerous are bats.
The Dinara Mountain Range
The craggy mountain range of Dinara forms a natural border between Croatia and Bosnia, offering some outstanding hiking trails and spectacular panoramic views. The eponymous peak Dinara, shaped like a human head made of stone, is with its 1831 m the highest peak in entire Croatia, and together with dozen other magnificent peaks attracts numerous adventurers in search of breath-taking scenery and rewarding solitude. The mountain is naturally a great habitat for many endemic and endangered species that find their shelter in the less approachable areas of the range.
The Stara Straža Geological Site
The "Stara straža" rock formation, protected as a significant landscape since 1961, is located several kilometres from Knin on the road to Gračac. This 1.17 ha geological site is particularly interesting due to a lovely visible wave (15 m wide and 5 m high) in the rock, representing the bending of the Earth's core layers, wrinkled under the influence of lateral pressures following the movement of the rock mass. "Stara straža" is very important for its characteristic paleontological, mineralogical, petrographic and sedimentological profiles, interesting for teaching the basic geological concepts of layering, wrinkles and faults.