National Park Paklenica
National Park Paklenica
Paklenica National Park is one of the oldest Croatian national parks, best known for climbing and climbing spots and mostly visited from the Adriatic side, although (little known fact) two of its highest peaks – Sveto Brdo (Holly Hill) and Vaganski vrh (Vaganski peak) – are actually on the Lika side. However, for practical reasons it’s visited from the sea side and not recommendable for inexperienced visitors and hikers to explore without professional guidance.
Paklenica was proclaimed a national park in 1949. (second oldest, after Plitvice Lakes) for the extreme diversity of geomorphological shapes and phenomena and forest riches. Paklenica is the common name for two canyon valleys – Mala and Velika Paklenica. The canyons are up to 400m tall at the point of contact between the sea and the mountain – the contact of the two, or the clash of the sea and mountain air resulted in ideal climate conditions. This relatively small area is abundant in attractive landscapes, wild nature, diverse flora and fauna and underground forms such as caves and pits. Many trails and road’s, sacral monuments and forts witness the long-running cohabitation of men and Velebit. Paklenica National Park is an appraised alpine centre known worldwide, and a place in which every nature enthusiast will fall in love. The name „Paklenica“ comes from the word „paklina“ meaning „black pine resin“. It was that resin that the locals used for folk medicine and for coating wooden boats.
Reasons to visit
Paklenica National Park, being at the touching point of the mountain and the sea, is at the very top of attractive touristic parts of the north-eastern Mediterranean. It is an impressive place visited by more than 100.000 people a year. Paklenica National Park particularities include: it being the habitat of many rare herbal species as well as attractive animal species, such as the Croatia’s largest butterflies; having an interesting cultural and historic heritage and; having diverse tourist offers. Paklenica has the largest Croatian rock „Anića kuk“(712m).
Recreational possibilities here are numerous: alpinism, hiking, cycling or walking. Walking is probably the best way to experience this Park – there are approx. 200km of tourist and hiking trails. Previously mentioned diverse tourist offers include a presentation centre where you can get educated about the natural beauties and see exhibition panels and an educational centre focused on birds of prey. „Paklenički mlinovi“ are a sight worth seeing – seven of these water mills will paint you a picture of the past times and the influence they had on the people living there. When you get tired of exploring, you can find refreshment in the ethno-ambience of Marasović home or the forest house „Lugarnica“.