Croatian Nature park Velebit situated itself on 2200 km2 of land. It stretches all the way from the valley of Vratnik to the Zrmanja canyon. It borders the Adriatic sea to the west, and on land it is surrounded by fields with rivers Gacka, Lika and Otuča. It is also the largest protected plot of land in Croatia. Included into the Croatian Nature park Velebit are two national parks: Paklenica and Northern Velebit.
Croatian Nature park Velebit is mainly built out of sedimentary rocks like limestone, dolomites and Velebit breccia. Karst forms dot the landscape; limestone pavements, sinkholes, caves, valleys etc. Different habitats of both flora and fauna are situated there and one of the most popular ones is velebitska degenija flower which is also an endemic specie.
About the way of life in the mountains we can learn from many remains of cultural landmarks, sacral buildings, mountain huts etc.
Inside the Croatian Nature park Velebit there are these protected areas:
– Zavratnica cove; one of Croatias most beautiful coves in the Adriatic (15 minute walk from Jablanac and 60 km south of the city of Rijeka)
– Velenečka glavica; geological-paleontological landmark in which 32 kinds of fossil remains of flora and fauna were found (near Brušan)
– Hajdučki kukovi; between the valley of Vratnik in the north and Alan in the south (rich in different morphological forms with unique flora, a strict nature reserve)
– Rožanski kukovi; for mountain climbers definitely the most interesting part of northern Velebit, empire of karst forms with over 50 mountaintops that reach over 1600 m in height
– Cerovačka caves; Largest cave system in Croatia, 4 km southwest of the town of Gračac. These caves are one of the largest finding spots of cave bears in Croatia, along with human bones, copper axes and ancient pottery objects. The length of the whole system is approximately 4 km and it is rich with cave decorations and karst forms. The temperature in the caves reaches about 11 degrees Celsius
– Forest reserve of Štirovača; situated in northern Velebit, composed mostly of beech and spruce trees. Stretches mostly at the altitude of 1100 m
– Botanical reserve of Zavižan-Balonovac-Velika kosa
In Croatian Nature park Velebit there are many educational tracks. One of them is the Terezijana track which is situated near the part of the road that was built in 1786. That road connected towns of Karlobag and Gospić. On the Kudin bridge track large waterfalls and tufa cascades of the river Krupa can be seen. That bridge is the oldest remaining bridge that was used to cross the Krupa river.
Educational track Starigrad-Donja Klada leads the visitors through a series of beautiful Adriatic coves. It was made in the year 1847.
Inside the park there are lots of mountain climbing and biking tracks, trekk and trail paths (thanks to a network of macadam and paved roads), mountain huts, shepherd homes, educational centre on Alan, and many educational boards along mountain paths.
You might also find the following links useful: