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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Croatia Nature Trails



diversity climate and geography
Croatia has two climates; one along the coastline, a typically Mediterranean climate with hot, dry, sunny weather during summer and relatively mild weather in winter, and one for the interior of the country, a continental climate, which means that winters can be pretty cold, with temperatures often falling below 0°C/32°F and lots of snow. Average temperatures during summer should lie in the mid-to-high 20s °C/77-86°F, although it is more likely that you’ll have temperatures well into the 30s °C/high 80s or low 90s °F. Winters are obviously cooler, although temperatures never really get below about 5°C/41°F.
Geography due to its specific location, characteristic ecological, climatic and geomorphological conditions, Croatia is the center of endemics of south-eastern Europe. Out of the total number of known plants, 5.65% is endemic. The number of known species and subspecies in Croatia is around 38,000 but it is assumed that the number is much higher, from 50,000 to more than 100,000 because every year new unknown species are discovered. With their beauty, abundance and diversity, protected areas represent a fundamental value and one of the most significant natural resources of the country. The Nature Protection Act in Croatia protects 433 areas, of which the most beautiful and valuable areas are placed under protection in 8 national parks (95,472 ha) and 11 nature parks (419,621 ha), which in total cover 515,093 hectares.
 
Makarska is a city of more than 15 thousand inhabitants, located below the mountain of Biokovo, which protects it from the harsh continental climate and is responsible for its rich Mediterranean vegetation, mild winters, long, warm summers cooled by a refreshing breeze called maestral.
Biokovo is the second-highest mountain range in Croatia, located along the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic Sea. Its highest peak is Sveti Jure (Saint George), at 1762 m. The material in the lower parts towards the sea and on the opposite side is mainly made up of Eocene Flysch sediments while the higher parts are shaped into carbonate sedimentary rocks. The vegetation of the mountain Biokovo is very interesting and rich, it is an apparent mixture of oldest Mediterranean, Boreal and Central European floral elements. The fauna of Biokovo is distinctive and varied although, unfortunately, still insufficiently explored. In the area of Biokovo there was a large number of endemic and tertiary relicts due to the fact that it is situated in a part of Europe which during the Tertiary was not largely affected by glaciation. Because of his importance for Croatia, Bokovo is protected as a Nature Park. Visiting and sightseeing includes entrance to the park for visiting, and learning about the natural and cultural values ​​of the park, as well as carrying out recreational activities which are permitted.

The Botanical Garden Kotišina on Biokovo is located on the coastal slopes of the mountain slope above the village Kotišina, at an altitude of 350-500 meters and is an integral part of Biokovo Nature Park.
The garden was founded by Dr. Fra Jure Radic (1920-1990), a Franciscan priest and scholar, with the purpose of scientific research and monitoring, protection, conservation, and popularization of the flora of Biokovo. This is not a botanical garden in the classic sense, where each plant is brought by certain rules, but is designed as a "walled part of nature", which will retain the natural vegetation forms with its native flora. For a relatively small area of 16.5 hectares there are highly diverse habitats such as rock gardens, screes, precipitous rocks, arable land, and the Proslap canyon with the same name waterfall, which is most of the year is dry, and comes alive only during heavy rains.
SPLIT the Mediterranean Flower and Croatia’s second-largest city, is located on a beautiful peninsula off the Dalmatian Coast. The Marjan hill (178 m), rises in the western part of the peninsula, The ridges Kozjak (779 m) and Mosor (1339 m) protect the city from the north and northeast.
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Mosor is a mountain range which belongs to Dinaric Alps, and it stretches from the pass of Klis in the northwest to the Cetina River in the southeast. The highest peak is the eponymous Mosor peak at 1339 m. There are no inhabited areas on the mountain above 600 metres. Mosor is mainly composed of karst, limestone rocks. There are two alpine huts and many mountaineering paths for hiking and mountain centre.
Kozjak is located above the town of Kaštela. It also belongs to Dinaric Alps, and it stretches from the pass of Klis in the southeast, to the above Split Airport in the northwest. The highest peak is Veli vrj (779 m) above Kaštel Gomilica. Its southern slope is very steep, and northern rock slopes gradually turns to the corrugate plateau of Dalmatian Zagora. Kozjak is also mainly composed of karst, limestone rocks. On the west side of the ridge is well-known mountain centre of Malačka on 477 m. Its highest peak overlooks the city of Split, towns Solin, Kaštela, Trogir, and most of central Dalmatia island.
ŠIBENIK is a historic city in Croatia, located in central Dalmatia where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic Sea. It has a Mediterranean climate, with mild, humid winters and hot, dry summers.
The beautiful Krka National Park, home to more than 800 species of flora and a huge range of birds, is one of the most beautiful Croatian natural spots. You’ll trek through lush vegetation to the magnificent waterfalls of Skradinski Buk, and Roški Slap, enjoying views of beautiful small cascades and numerous backwaters and islets. Krka Waterfalls is the only National Park in Croatia where swimming is allowed.
Visit a Falconry Center, where you will have an opportunity to observe the beauty of falcons flying and to have them close enough to look them in the eye. This will be an unforgettable experience for everyone who wants to feel a breeze of wilderness and adventure.
OPG Kalpić in a wide, forestry area, there are six picturesque stone built houses.  There is a traditional Dalmatian tavern, offering traditional Dalmatian meals, made form ecologically grown food, and of course good wines, that completes the flavors and scents of the menu. In a pleasant ambience, far away from city jams, with your kind hosts, you will feel just like home.

ZADAR  is a prehistoric city situated on the Adratic Sea. The harbor, to the north-east of the town, is safe and spacious. Zadar has a borderline humid subtropical and Mediterranean climate, since only one summer month has less than 40 millimetres of rainfall.
Vransko Lake is situated between cities of Zadar and Šibenik, a natural phenomenon and the largest natural lake in Croatia. It has been declared a Nature Park because of its rare natural habitats, fresh water springs and biodiversity. It is a karst valley filled with brackish water as well as cryptodepression, which means that a portion of the lake lies below sea level, still hiding many secrets and is a constant source of scientific discoveries. There are few areas in the world where you can simultaneously explore three very different environments and landscapes. Vransko Nature Park has a special Ornithological Reserve, it's the biggest nesting population of the Pygmy Cormorant in Croatia. It is a habitat for diversity of ornithofauna and number of waterbirds spending the winter on the lake.

PAKLENICA because of it unique natural features, magnificent forests and extraordinary geomorphologic structures, Paklenica became a National Park. The name probably derives from black pine sap called “paklina”, which the locals used in traditional medicine, for wound treatment. It's the largest and best preserved forest complex in the territory of Dalmatia. It stretches on the area of 95 km2 , on the littoral slope of South Velebit under the zone of highest mountain peaks Vaganski vrh (1752 m) and Sveto brdo (1753 m). The relatively small area has an abundance of geomorphological phenomena and forms, diverse flora and fauna, attractive landscapes and intacted nature.
The Velebit Nature Park stretches over an area of 2200 square kilometres from the Vratnik Pass in the north west to the Zrmanja River Canyon in the south east in a total length of 145 kilometres. It borders the Adriatic Sea to the west, and is surrounded by the Gacka, Lika and Gračac fields with the rivers Gacka, Lika and Otuča on the inland side. The largest single protected reach of land in Croatia, the Velebit Nature Park received its protected status in 1978 for its extraordinary natural values and importance for the preservation of biodiversity. The Nature Park has been included in UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The Park includes two national parks: the Paklenica National Park and the Northern Velebit National Park.
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