National Park Brijuni is a collection of two larger and 12 smaller islands on the western coast of Istria. Kornati has the densest collection of islands in the Mediterranean with a total of about three hundred islands, islets and reefs. Out of them 152 (89) are stretched between Dugi Otok and Žirje and make up the National Park. The Krka National Park is a natural Karst phenomenon with 7 waterfalls, and is extremely rich in endemic species. The Paklenica National Park, which consists of both big and small Paklenica is on the southern part of Velebit – the largest mountain range in Croatia. The Plitvice Lakes National Park, the most famous National Park in Croatia is also the only natural good on the UNESCO list.
The Risnjak National Park near Delnice is a forested mountain area north of Rijeka which asides from being the habitat for numerous wild species also has a natural hydrological monument – the source of the river Kupa. The Northern Velebit National Park is the most valuable part of northern Velebit. Located south west of Dubrovnik, the Mljet National Park includes the western wooded part of the island of Mljet that is significant for its extremely rich Mediterranean vegetation and cultural heritage.
Učka Nature Park is located on the mountain with the same name, which is 1400 m high, and is in the east of Istria above the Kvarner riviera. Biokovo Nature Park is very similar and stretches above the Makarska riviera. Located between Zadar and Šibenik, near the town of Pakoštan, Vransko jezero is the largest natural lake in Croatia, which has an ornithological reserve in the park. Velebit Nature Park is the largest protected area in Croatia that includes most of the Velebit mountain range, and is also on the UNESCO list of international biosphere reserves. Lastovo Nature Park consists of a group of 44 islets and reefs, which are part of the outer group of south Dalmatian islands with rich flora and fauna.Croatia is one of the ecologically best preserved parts of Europe. It is a land where the hues of the sunny and warm Mediterranean happily blend with the tranquillity and freshness of mountains and the gentle sway of the golden plains of Pannonia. A land of truly divine inspiration that has delighted many of the world’s prominent men of letters. A rare European landscape which boasts as many as eight national parks in so small an area!
With Risnjak, Paklenica, the Plitvice Lakes and Northern Velebit in the mountainous area, and with the Kornati Archipelago, the island of Mljet, the Brijuni Archipelago and the Krka waterfalls in the coastal area, Croatia is indeed a jewel of the primeval beauty of nature. Adding to that two arboretums, one in Trsteno, near Dubrovnik, and Opeka, near Vinica, numerous historical parks and protected nature parks, it is indeed a green land, with as many as 4300 plant and as many animal species.