National Park Paklenica
The area of National Park Paklenica stretches on the littoral slope of South Velebit directly above the settlement of Marasovići, up to the zone of the highest mountain peaks (Vaganski vrh, Babin vrh, Sveto brdo).
It covers the area of torrent flows of Velika and Mala Paklenica, and their distinctive canyons carved vertically into the south slopes of Velebit and the broader surrounding area. The relatively small area has an abundance of geomorphological phenomena and forms, diverse flora and fauna, attractive landscapes and intact nature.The area of National Park Paklenica has an exceptional diversity of geomorphological forms.The most attractive and most valuable parts of South Velebit are surely the impressive canyons of Velika and Mala Paklenica.
Velika Paklenica canyon is 14 km long and 500-800 m wide. In its narrowest part around the Bunkers, the canyon is only 50 m wide. Vertical cliffs rise above both sides of the canyon up to a height of over 700 m. The most attractive part is the area around the steep drop of the stream downstream from Anića luka, where steep cliffs rise directly above the stream, forming the narrowest part of the canyon between Anića luka and the parking lot.
Mala Paklenica Canyon is of lesser dimension, and the torrent running through it is much less powerful. It is 12 km long and 400-500 wide. In its narrowest part, it is only 10 m wide, while the surrounding cliffs rise up to a height of 650 m. The pass between the Velika and Mala Paklenica Canyons is formed by a very inaccessible karstic area comprising rocks and cliffs.
The area of National Park Paklenica is one of the most completely explored areas in Croatia in terms of speleology. 76 speleological objects are known and have been explored in the Park, namely 39 pits and 37 caves. We will mention some of the most interesting speleological objects in the National Park.
* Precipice on Bunovac (534 m) is the deepest object in Central and South Velebit
* Cavern in Crljeni kuk (152 m) is very significant geomorphologically because of the dimensions of the underground halls over 100 m in diameter, making it one of the largest underground cavities in our karstic
* Pit in Zub Buljme (139 m) – in addition to its depth, it is interesting as a finding site for a cave bear’s skull
* Pit under Počiteljski vrh (123 m)
* Pit of Beautiful Fossils (103 m)
The longest caves in the Park
* Vodarica Pit (300 m)
* Cave in Zub Buljme (250 m)
* Medviđa špilja (215 m)
* Manita peć (175 m) – one of the most beautiful caves in the park with an abundance of cave ornaments.
* Lucinka Cave (132 m) – it has the highest cave entrance in Croatia (51 m). The interior dimensions of this cave are also exceptional.
The wealth of flora is reflected in the list of 1,000 plant species and subspecies recorded to date, 79 of them endemic. The great diversity, the presence of relict, endemic, rare, statutorily protected species many of which are included in the Red Book of Plant Species of the Republic of Croatia and the IUNC’s Red List of Endangered Plant Species, make the Park a very valuable floristic area, not just in Croatia, but in Europe and the world as well. The following genera prevail in the Park’s flora: daisies (Asteraceae) and (Cichoriaceae), grasses (Poaceae), legumes (Fabaceae), mints (Lamiaceae), roses (Rosaceae) and carnations (Caryophyllaceae).
The diverse habitats in Paklenica and the vertical stratification provide home to a diverse fauna.There is relatively little data on invertebrates in the park. Most of the known invertebrate species belong to groups that are attractive to visitors, such as butterflies. Although the diurnal butterfly fauna has been explored, nocturnal butterflies are virtually unknown. The easiest species to observe is the largest variety of butterfly in the Croatian fauna .
Hiking is the only way to really get to know it. The Park area contains 150-200 km of trails and paths, from those intended for tourists, leading from Velika Paklenica Canyon to Manita peć cave, Lugarnica forest cottage and the mountain hut, to those intended for mountaineers, leading to the highest peaks of Velebit. The trails in the Park are marked with boards and mountaineering signs.
This National Park is the most visited climbing center in Croatia, also popular outside Croatia. The close proximity of seawater gives this climbing site a special charm, making Paklenica Riviera an ideal place to combine climbing and water sports.
You can reach National Park Paklenica by car, you can arrive from several directions by car. Bus Terminal in Zadar is well connected with all Croatian, and major European cities. It takes a further 45 minutes to get from Zadar to Paklenica.
For more info visit official web site of Paklenica National Park .
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