ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Geography, Nature & Weather

Croatian National Parks and GEOPARK "Papuk" in the Republic of Hrvatska (Croatia)

Updated on April 2, 2016

National Park Directory

The purpose of this Hub is to give readers a frame of reference of which National parks exist in Croatia, their locations and attributes, with links for more details on each picture.

In hopes that it is helpful and informative, I would appreciate hearing your comments at the end if you enjoyed the Hub or have any suggestions on how to improve upon it.

OK, let's put on our walking shoes, and start exploring....

Nature and Beauty

For those asking themselves "why?" let me only state, it's not a bad idea to think about visiting a national park. People of all ages - from nursery school to the elderly - visit them. There are sedentary and more active types of activities for all its visitors to enjoy, so don't limit yourself.

National parks are protected on the national and international level due to unique findings. National Parks contain protected species - plants, animals or a geological process in place that needs to be safeguarded.

I was personally surprised to learn that 8% of the Republic of Hrvatska (Croatia) is protected either in the form of National Park, Wildlife Reserve or GEOPARK - a lot.

Definitions in Brief

  • A National Park, according to the Online Dictionary, is an area of countryside for public use designated by a national government as being of notable scenic, environmental, or historical importance.
  • A Protected Area, by IUCN definition (International Union for Conservation of Nature) calls it "A clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values." In other words, let it live and thrive in peace - because it needs to be left alone and not disturbed.
  • A Nature Reserve or Wildlife Reserve

    A nature reserve (natural reserve, nature preserve, natural preserve) is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, ...reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research. Nature reserves may be designated by government institutions in some countries, or by private landowners*, such as charities and research institutions, regardless of nationality, falling into different IUCN categories depending on the level of protection afforded by local laws.

    *(Until I researched this, I never knew that private individuals could set up a nature reserve!) Many of the nature reserves, like at Plitvica, Krk and Paklenica are actually "on site universities" designed to help scientists, researchers and students to better understand the functions of nature in geology. Obviously, we still have a lot to learn.

Nature and Beauty

Beautiful Biokovo "by the sea" which is home to important herbs and other plant specimens.  It is also a great place to relax, walk and absorb natural beauty.
Beautiful Biokovo "by the sea" which is home to important herbs and other plant specimens. It is also a great place to relax, walk and absorb natural beauty. | Source

What is a GEOPARK?

So, you ask (and rightly so): What is the difference between a National Park, Protected Area, Wildlife Reserve and a Park?

A Geopark, like a national park, consists of something ecologically or biologically rare which needs to be protected. Sale or destruction of anything in the GEOPARK is strictly prohibited and punishable by law. UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization backs this up together with the European Union. Archeological and cultural artifacts are also protected at a GEOPARK. The definition is similar to a National Park, but as far as I can see, it goes a little deeper.

List of National Parks in Croatia (Hrvatska)

So the purpose of this hub is to create a mini-directory of the 9 parks available in the Republic of Hrvatska. I was frankly amazed that so little information was available on the internet. I hope this Hub helps visitors identify the merits of each park and enjoy the beauty and nature of each location.

I have dedicated a Hub to each of the National Parks, with photos, links and specific information for each one. Each has its own section below, so click on the links for detailed information.

Here is a list of Natural Parks in Croatia, their pronunciations, and when they were granted park status:

  1. Plitvica (PLITT-vit-za) National Park and Wildlife Reserve - 1949 and again in 1979 by the UN when it joined the list of UNESCO world heritage sites
  2. Paklenica (pack-lennitza) - 1949
  3. Risnjak (Reese-nyak) - 1953
  4. Mljet (MLEE-yet - one syllable) - 1960
  5. Kornati - 1980
  6. Brijuni (BREE-you-knee) - 1983
  7. Krka (Kirk-a) - 1986
  8. Sjeverni Velebit (see-YEV-erni - vella-BITT) - 1999

and, last but not least, GEOPARK PAPUK (Pah-pook) - 1999

Edelweiss at Rišnjak - one of the few places you can still find it.
Edelweiss at Rišnjak - one of the few places you can still find it.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 22 months ago from USA

      I may never get there but your hub provides exsellent reasons to try.