Northern Velebit National Park
Velebit National Park is the place from our childhood dreams, where pure essence of life is expressing itself in various forms, sounds, aromas, colours.
Northern Velebit was declared National Park in 1999 to protect its variety of karst phenomena, and diversity of flora and fauna. Occupying the area of 109 km2, the park is known for the geomorphological phenomena of pits, numbering more than 150. Although this park is the least accessible of all Croatia's national parks, the number of its visitors is steadily growing. Most travelers reach the park from the town of Otocac. To get there use either the Zagreb-Split highway or the road Josipdol-Senj. As soon as you leave the highway, follow the road to Krasno, where you will find the administration building of the park.
One of the most fascinating places in Velebit National Park is the plateau Zavizan, which can be reached by a forest path from both the littoral and continental sides. Velebit Botanical Garden in Modric-dolac, lying on the edge of a deep karstic sinkhole, is a stone throw away from Zavizan. This unique garden gives visitors the chance to see all of the plant species of the whole Velebit range in half an hour. Another botanical garden of the park is reservation Visibaba featuring the largest site of endemic Sibiraea croatica.
One of the must-sees is also Kuterevo, the unique reservation for motherless bear cubs, where these cuties grow are taken care of. Lukina cave is a breathtaking attraction with a depth of 1392 m, which makes it the eighth deepest cave in the world. The world's deepest hole with the depth of 516 m has been found in the park in 2004. Several Cerovac caves, which contain numerous stalactites and caverns, are open to the visitors.
The cultural heritage of the Northern Velebit National Park is present in the form of remains of "summer lodges", built during the time when this area used to be inhabited by shepherds and cattlers.
The park's visitors have a great variety of mountain tracks to choose from. The best track for hikers of any fitness level is Premuzic, which starts near Mountain Lodge Zavizan, and wanders all across the mountain with the total length of over 50 km. Active travelers, who come to Velebit for a taste of alpine sports, will feel on top of the world there. Those in search of adrenaline rush can try to climb Hajducki and Rozanski kukovi, the wildest and the most inhospitable peaks, divided by seemingly infinite ravines. In addition, one can use numerous cycling and skiing trails, which reveal some "jaw-dropping" panoramic views.
On the park's territory it is forbidden to pick plants, leave garbage, unleash dogs, hunt, paraglide, camp, and light a fire. No hotels and catering establishments can be found there. The mountain lodge Zavizan is the only place where you can be served tea, coffee or beer. Those who need to stay in the park overnight are free to use any of the numerous mountain huts, which provide basic but adequate lodging for the travelers.
Whatever you do during your visit to Velebit National Park, you will love this place with all your heart, feeling honored to see nature in its untouched beauty.