Velebit Nature Park is the largest protected area in the Republic of Croatia. But apart from that, this nature park is special in many ways. Inside the park you can enjoy the same day conquering mountain peaks, getting to know the Velebit underground in Cerovac caves and soaking up the sun's rays in one of the most beautiful Croatian bays - Collars.
The position of Velebit, its geological structure, and even three different climates (Mediterranean, continental and mountainous) that intertwine in this area, have influenced the development of very rich flora and fauna. Velebit belongs to the Dinarides system. The total length of Velebit is 145 kilometers, and its width ranges from 10 to 30 kilometers.
With its specific position, Velebit offers a variety of vacation opportunities. Fans of active holidays can try hiking, walking on educational trails, visiting caves, cycling, rafting and canoeing, sport fishing, mountaineering activities, horseback riding…
Fans of sport climbing can visit the alpine zone in Beaver hips (middle Velebit). Agin kuk, Rujičin kuk and Čelina kuk are open for climbing from April to November. These are long climbing routes that require knowledge, experience and good equipment. The beauty of the waterfalls, the depth of the canyon, the diversity of flora and fauna of the karst rivers Zrmanja and Krupa enrich the southern part of the Nature Park "Velebit". Preservation and diversity of flora and fauna with numerous endemics complete the picture of the canyons of these rivers.
Three caves with over seven kilometers of explored canals
Cerovac Caves, located in the southern part of the Velebit Nature Park, are among the most famous and most important speleological objects in Croatia. The complex consists of 3 caves (Lower, Middle and Upper) with over 7 km of explored canals. The first 700 meters of the Lower and Upper Caves have been arranged for a tourist visit.
These caves are extremely rich in finds from the ancient past. In addition to a large amount of archaeological remains, they are also one of the largest finds of cave bears in Croatia. So here you can still see traces of "grinding" bears on the rocks created by their movement along the walls of caves.
Remains were found and cave lion (Panthera spelaea) and many others, especially smaller rodents and birds. Bone remains of the Paleolithic man Homo sapiens fossilis have also been found. Archaeological artifacts (fragments of pottery, metal, bone and stone finds) show that the Lower Cerovčka Cave has been used since of the Middle Bronze Age (1400 - 1200 BC).
With its constant dripping, water continues the thousands of years old process of building sigma. That is why it is extremely important that we treat the cave with respect and do not touch its decorations, because only one reckless movement of the hand can interrupt the process that has been going on for decades. Due to its unique natural beauty and numerous finds from the ancient past Cerovac caves were protected by law in 1961 as a geomorphological monument of nature.
Zavrtanica Bay is part of the NATURA 2000 ecological network
In addition to the Cerovac Caves, this park also has a special value Zavratnica bay one of the most beautiful bays on our coast, located near Jablanca, opposite the island of Rab. There are 129 plant species in Zavratnica, of which 100 are autochthonous and 29 are non-indigenous. At the beginning of the 20th century, an upper path with a lookout and a promenade by the sea were built. Zavratnica Bay is part of NATURA 2000 - an ecological network composed of areas important for the conservation of endangered species and habitat types of the European Union. The writer Vjenceslav Novak found inspiration for his works here, and in the bay are the remains of a German warship from World War II. World War II sunk by Allied planes.
- Velebit Nature Park was declared a park in 1981 and a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1978. Its area is 2 km2. In the area of this park it is possible to see and Velebit degeneration the rarest plant in Croatia, expires Viktroija Rogić from the Lika Destination Cluster and adds that PP Velebit is one of as many as 8 destinations located on the joint ticket of the Lika destination, which you can buy for HRK 350,00 instead of the regular price of HRK 630,00.
Source and photo: Lika Destination