A weekend in Zadar's hinterland: Vrana Lake Nature Park hides viewpoints that offer incredible scenes

Traveling along the Adriatic highway towards northern Dalmatia, between the two big cities of Zadar and Šibenik, you will come across the largest lake in Croatia, Lake Vrana. Lake Vrana is rich in natural beauty, numerous plant and animal species live here, and a walk in this locality brings scenes that heal the soul and body. This natural phenomenon combines two different blues. On one side, the Adriatic coast, and on the other, a natural lake.

Stop number 1 - Churches

We begin our tour of this nature park at the foot of the Church. Visitors to the park have the opportunity to walk along the wooden bridge and get to know the birdlife (256 species of birds, some of which are the only nesting place in Lake Vrana) that gathers on the shore of the lake itself in the summer. Special ornithological reserve due to its preservation of the large reeds as a rare wetland system, great biodiversity, exceptional scientific and ecological value, it received this status in 1983 and was included in the list of important ornithological areas in Europe (Important Bird Areas in Europe).

We can also take a closer look at i vegetation that shapes natural beauty of the park itself, through which the aforementioned wooden bridge passes. As they state in the Nature Park, overgrown with grass, rushes, sedges and reeds, this part of the park resembles a lawn intersected by shallow ponds, covered with perennial flowers with gorgeous colors and a multitude of butterflies, dragonflies and other various insects. Here you will come across numerous viewpoints that are located at adequate intervals to capture the perfect view from each.

Stop number 2 – Kamenjak

At this stop high in the hills, visitors will have the opportunity to see the entire lake from a bird's eye view and a wonderful view of the beauty of this part of the Adriatic coast, but also to the Kornati National Park. At the stop there is also a restaurant with a great view, where we can enjoy the breathtaking scenery with our daily coffee.

There are also other interesting attractions such as two walkways which lead us to two completely different worlds, a chapel with a 59-meter-deep pit and a rich historical story. The first promenade, 250 meters long, leads us along a path with a view of the Adriatic Sea and the islands that surround it. The second promenade offers a view of Lake Vrana itself and a view of the surrounding hills of this wonderful environment. On Good Friday, residents of the surrounding villages head to the mentioned chapel towards the top of the hill along the interesting Stations of the Cross that lead to the very top.

Stop number 3. – Begging

And we come to our last stop, stop number 3. Visitors to the last stop get a chance to see hand built channel which connects this beautiful lake with the Adriatic Sea and have the opportunity to swim on the lake beach and rent kayaks to explore the lake independently or visit Babinska, which was an island in the past, but today is a peninsula inside Lake Vrana. In addition to everything already mentioned, our last stop also hides an interesting viewpoint and a promenade that is located next to the lake itself.

The Vrana Lake Nature Park does not only consist of stops, but also a route to those stops that can be completed by car, bicycle, but also on foot for lovers of a good hiking route. On the way to the mentioned locations, you definitely have something to see, starting with a tour of Vran itself, which has a rich historical heritage, the surrounding towns with numerous vineyards and olive groves are also interesting, and along the way you will come across domestic animals, mostly goats and sheep, which will delight the little ones.

The friendly staff at the info desk are there to help you find your way around the nature park, and don't hesitate to ask what to visit and which trails to take, because you will get useful information to make it easier to plan your stay and adjust the route to your preferences. This September weekend, we were convinced that a tour of the Zadar hinterland is definitely a great opportunity for family gatherings and spending time in nature while enjoying the landscapes, which are truly a special experience here. interestingly, Vrana Lake Nature Park it has a rich history, and the first findings date back to 2.000 years before Christ. A place worth visiting, an ideal weekend trip.

Photo: Adrian Dražić-Karalić


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