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Why travel in Croatia
Real success story in recent years, Croatia has quickly become a must-see destination in Mediterranean Europe. Year after year, more and more visitors want to discover its idyllic coasts, its spectacular natural parks and its historic cities. Everybody once heard of Dubrovnik, the “Pearl of the Adriatic”.
Today, some Croatian tourist sites are more than saturated. Dubrovnik is unfortunately the symbol of these tourist highlights threatened by over-tourism. Aware of the negative effects of this overexploitation, more and more tourism actors are seeking to develop an alternative offer. They are looking toward more sustainable tourism in Croatia. The authorities themselves have taken steps to limit over-tourism in Dubrovnik by reducing the number of travellers.
Croatia has created 8 national parks on its territory to protect the country’s most sensitive natural areas. Three of these parks are in mountainous areas while the other five are in coastal areas. In total, these protected areas represent more than 7% of the Croatian territory.
However, some of these parks are victims of their own success, starting with Plitvice Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To avoid the crowds that spoil the discovery of this park with its sumptuous landscapes, choose to discover it outside the summer season.
Also, you should hike on the most remote paths to get away from the most beaten tracks. You will then enjoy the park in a more natural way. By doing so, you will have a little more chance to see bears, wolves or lynxes living in the park. However, this is still very rare!
Do you like water landscapes and waterfalls? You can also visit the Krka park, which has landscapes interspersed with waterfalls and reservoirs along the Krka river. In other parts of the park, the river flows through deep gorges.
Wildlife and bird watchers will be able to observe over 200 different species of birds. Unlike Plitvitce, Krka Park is marked by a historical human presence. You will see Roman and medieval remains that bear witness to the tormented history of the region. By boat, you can moor at the Visovac monastery on the eponymous lake.
Much further off the beaten track, go hiking in the Risnjak Park in the northwest of the country near Istria. In this mountainous landscape, you can discover an extraordinary biodiversity, particularly in terms of flora. The fauna is also quite rich with wolves, wild boars and chamois.
The other national parks are located in coastal areas. The Paklenica Park, near Zadar, is home to a large number of animals. Landscapes are marked by superb canyons and rock faces. This enchanting setting is attracting more and more climbing enthusiasts. Sustainable tourists will also find more than 200 kilometres of trails to discover nature away from the most popular places. The reward for these sometimes challenging hikes is the breathtaking views that mix mid-mountain and sea views. The same type of scenery can be found in the Sjeverni Velebit park.
Some marine parks protect an entire island, such as Mljet Park, or an archipelago, such as Kornati Park. Hikers will enjoy discovering the beautiful landscapes of these parks. To fully enjoy them, the ideal way is to go there by sailboat in order to have a minimal ecological footprint.
More broadly, a sailing trip to Croatian islands allows you to take the time to sail the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea. This eco-friendly mode of transport will allow you to explore places untouched by mass tourism. Take advantage of secluded coves for swimming and enjoy the beautiful, unspoilt environment.
If you have the opportunity, don’t hesitate to sleep in locals’ homes, in order to make meaningful encounters with Croatians. You will have the opportunity to interact with them, to better understand Croatian daily life and culture.
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