True nature around Zadar; Paklenica, Dugi Otok and Telašćica

26 October 2018
regio Zadar

Paklenica national park, Dugi Otok and the region around Obrovac are 3 places around the region of Zadar. Croatia has an incredibly beautiful nature and a wide variety of landscapes: from steep cliffs, beautiful canyons to turquoise waters and romantic bays. We spent 5 days in and around the region of Zadar and went looking for the prettiest places of nature.

Paklenica national park, the mythe of Velebit

The Velebit is a mythical mountain in Croatia that offers a multitude of geomorphological phenomena, a diversity of fauna and flora and some unspoilt nature. The area of Paklenica national park consists mainly out of limestone and dolomites which form several limestone valleys and caves.  This results in beautiful and adventurous routes where you can enjoy yourself as a hiker.

Exploring the area

In Paklenica national park are about 150 km of hiking trails that will take you from the limestone valleys to the peaks of the Velebit. The busiest area is the Velika Paklenica Canyon, as this is the first region you will encounter when entering the park. Every hiker will find a trail that matches his expectations and fitness level. We only did a short walk of 1 hour, which is certainly feasible for everyone. It will give you a first impression of the park and its beauty. The deeper you go into the park, the more beautiful the landscapes become. Let this be an extra stimulus to put some more kilometers on our counter .

Paklenica national park is best known for its alpinism and sports climbing. In Paklenica national park are 4000 climbing routes of different levels where you can practice your climbing skills. Around May 1st there are a lot of climbers to be found because it is then the International climbers meeting and a competition Big wall speed climbing. Maybe an idea to go and watch? Because we already saw some climbers at work and we can tell,  it is pretty impressive to see!

Don’t be fooled

The Paklenica national park has 2 different entrances, of which Google maps indicates the 2nd as main entrance. This one is accessible via a small road and is open from the beginning of May until the end of October. The main entrance is open all year round for visitors and contains enough parking space at the entrance of the park.

 Information can be found here.

Practical tips before starting your hiking trail:

  • Don’t enter the mountains alone
  • Wear hiking boots, water-repellent clothing and sunscreen
  • Provide enough drinking water
  • Check the weather forecast
  •  Do not make a fire and take all your waste with you

Did you know? The name Paklenica derives from black pine sap called “paklina”, which the locals used in traditional medicine.

 Conclusion: A beautiful nature reserve perfect for hikers, nature lovers and alpinists.

50 Shades of blue, Dugi Otok

Dugi Otok is the largest island of the Zadar archipelago and is 43 km long of which about 30% of the area is protected. The Telašćica natural park even belongs to the highest category of protected area in Croatia. The island is known for its beautiful beaches and azure blue hidden coves, where you can enjoy all the privacy you need.

The little harbor of Sal, Dugi Otok

How to get to the island Dugi Otok

A high-speed passenger shipping line connects Zadar with 3 places on Dugi Otok; Sali, Brbinj and Bozava. We took the connection from Zadar to Brbinj which leaves every day at 9 am. You better be on time (about 15-30 min before departing) because these guys will not wait for you. On these large passenger shipping lines you drive in with your own car. In this way you have your own transport on the island Dugi Otok. The transfer to Dugi Otok takes about 1 hour 45 minutes and is very well organized. On the island itself, the car is the best and fastest way to get around. The roads are well constructed and while driving you can enjoy the views over the island. Another option is by bike for those who like it more sporty.

Telašćica nature park

The region around the Telašćica nature park is defined by its steep and fascinating cliffs, which is in contrasts with the other side of the island where you will find long sandy beaches. The cliffs are about 161 meters high and 80 meters deep below sea level. The nature reserve is also in contact with 2 other protected areas, namely the Kornati National Park and the Sit-Zuz archipelago. Who can count well will see 13 islands and 6 islands within the bay itself. Personally I found the view over the different small islands very beautiful, it reminded me a bit of Indonesia in one way or another.

The salt lake Mir has a surface of 230 000 m2 and a depth of 10 meters. Due to geomorphology, temperatures in summer can reach 33°C  and drop below freezing point during winter. Perfect for swimming in the summer, because of the high salt concentration floating is extremely easy.

It is recommended to wear water shoes, because the stones at the bottom can be quite painful.

 When the weather is good, the coast of Italy can be visible sometimes!  

Nature park Telašćica and its many islands

The high cliffs in the nature park Telašćica

The lovely islands around Dugi Otok

The most beautiful beaches of Dugi Otok

Sakarun is one of those beautiful white beaches on Dugi Otok where the Croatian people are very proud of. It is a sandy beach in the northwest of the island. With a length of 800 meters and its crystal-clear water, it will fascinate many of you. In the immediate vicinity are some villages like Veli Rat, Verunic, Soline and Božava. We were here in the month of October and it was very quiet! There were only 4 people on the beach so you got immediately that relaxing feeling. The beach is surrounded by pine trees that provide natural shade, perfect for a quick nap during the hottest part of the day.

Our top 3 beaches on Dugi Otok:

  1. Sakarun
  2. Veli zal
  3. Brbiscica

Beach Sakarun, Dugi Otok

Our highlights on Dugi Otok

  1. Lighthouse Veli Rat
  2. The romantic city of Sali (tip: the restaurantt “Kornat” serves good and fresh dishes combined with a nice view on the harbor)
  3. Cave Strasna pec
  4. Clifs of nature park Telašćica
  5. Lighthouse Tajer
  6. Salt lake Mir

regio zadar

Time for adventure, rafting on the Zrmanja river!

Time to get some adrenaline through our veins. We went rafting for the first time in our lives! The region around Obrovac offers beautiful nature and rivers of which the Zrmanja river is only one example. We went rafting with ‘Riva rafting centar’, an organization that organizes rafting-, kayaking tours, stand up paddling, jeep safaris and horseback riding. They provide all the material you need to go rafting like water shoes, safety vest, helmet, neoprene suit,….

As soon as you have your whole outfit, there will be an explanation about the trail and the rafting itself. We had boats for 2 persons and the whole group will be accompanied by 2 professional rafters who will help you if necessary. Those who have no experience with kayaking or rafting should certainly not be afraid. The 14.5 km long trail will take on average 3 – 4 hours depending on the fitness level of the group. The route offers enough variety between rest and adventure with as personal highlight the beautiful waterfall Veliki Buk! 

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WHEN CROATIA WELCOMES YOU WITH THIS INCREDIBLE WATERFALL 💦, NEVER EXPECTED TO FIND THIS SO CLOSE BY 🇭🇷🙌🏼 ➳ Croatia is known for its beautiful islands and clear blue water 💧 But when you drive a bit more inland you will be surprised by the beautiful nature 🍃, mountains ⛰, waterfalls and lakes 👀💡Everyone knows the famous Krka waterfalls but did you already know this beauty?😉 :::::::::::::::::: P.S.: safety first ☝🏼 I’m still wearing my life jacket because we were rafting with @riva_rafting_centar 🚣🏼‍♂️💥 #obrovac #rivaraftingcentar #zadar_region #belgianblogger #croatia #wonderlustcroatia #crostagram #croatia_photography #reisblogger #hetisdemerckxincroatia #waterfallscroatia

Een bericht gedeeld door Lesley van Loon (@lesleystraveldiary) op


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