Despite not being a big country, Croatia has a great variety of landscapes, it is at the same time Central Europe and Mediterranean, mountainous and flat, continental and maritime. The richness and variety of landscapes and climates in Croatia are comparable to those of much larger countries in Europe and worldwide. This means that Croatia, despite the narrowness of its territory, is among the top five countries of Europe’s biodiversity and, in some respects, among the richest in the world.
In Croatia, we can see rugged coastline and lush, rich islets, as in the South Seas; well-preserved ancient cities in the Mediterranean, the narrow streets and stone houses as in Italy, wide green pastures along the coastal hinterland, dotted by stone walls, which remind us of Ireland; areas soften the protected forested mountainous regions and evoke Scandinavia, romantic lakes, fast streams and picturesque mountain villages in the Alps and suggest where we find rugged cliffs and bare open in spectacular gorges and canyons, it seems to be in the American West. In the vast plains of Croatia has extensive wetlands that are protected elsewhere only in the eastern Europe, Russia or Ukraine, vineyards, medieval castles and fortresses punctuate and embellish the hilly regions surrounding just like in Germany or Austria.
The areas most valuable natural assets Croatian part of 450 different protected areas, whose total area is 5,846 sq km, or 10% of the Croatian dry land area, without forgetting the marine protected area of 6,129 sq. km. Among the protected areas are the most important: the eight national parks (Plitvice Lakes, the Krka, the Kornati, the Brijuni, the island of Mljet North Velebit, Paklenica and Risnjak), the nine parks natural (Kopacki rit, Papuk, Lonjsko polje Medvednica Èumberak – the mountains of Samobor, Uèka, Velebit, Telas, Vransko and Biokovo) and two reserves to strong protection (the rocks, and Bijelo Samarske Rocks in the mountains of Bjelolasica, and towering rock formations, Hajducki kukovi in the Rozanski Velebit).
In addition to national parks, to natural and nature reserves to protect full, Croatia also protects 430 territories and assets worthy of protection. These include a total of 79 special reserve (botanical, forest, geomorphological, hydrological, ichthyological, birds, marine and zoological), 38 forest parks, 70 landscape and 108 protected monuments of nature (geological, geomorphological, hydrological, paleontological and rare species tree). In particular, are subject to protection even 135 monuments of park architecture – arboretum, botanical gardens, parks, individual trees and groups of trees. They are under protection, in total, 777 species animal, 44 plant species of trees and 159 species of fungus. They are also subject to other species protection European animals residing in the territory of Croatia.
The three habitats in Croatia, the plain, the mountains and the coast, they differ profoundly on their basic features. The majority of Croatian territory is occupied by a fertile plain densely populated, the southwest border of the vast Pannonian Plain. The main features are the natural floodplains oak trees, the many rivers from pristine sources and the rich and composite heritage of animals and plants and the earth, and for Water and ‘air. But the Pannonian plain is not extending everywhere picturesque green hills of vineyards and mountains stand out regularly to ‘horizon like islands arise from the “sea of wheat” of Pannonia.
Croatia is mountainous, unlike the flat, sparsely populated and very extended: its ecosystems are therefore kept the same state. In its dense forests of beech, fir and juniper trees live undisturbed bears, lynx and wolves and transparent in its rivers are still the otters and trout. The Croatian mountains are certainly not those Alpine, but the white limestone rocks often take forms that inspire the most imaginative of chisels. This to the many karst features that are created through the limestone composition of the rocks, their typical Croatia. The complexity of the karst surface is also developed in the underground and takes the form of caves, cliffs, ravines, sinkholes, cavities and other forms of relief are unique in Europe. The importance Croatia’s karst is also reflected in the fact that in order to define most of these phenomena, especially in literature, using their own terms Croats.
However, the region in Croatia that attracts the most visitors is definitely the coast. The Croatian coast, along to the Greek, and Mediterranean one with the largest number of islands and the jagged edges. Long 1778 km on land, along the coast of 1,185 islands, islets and rocks reach a total of 5,835 km. There are countless hidden coves, headlands, beaches and unexpected details, from the slopes bare and rocky areas surrounded by lush Mediterranean vegetation, all the while surrounded by crystal clear sea. Every visitor, especially those on boats or sailing yacht, you can find here your intimate retreat. And do not think that those who love cultural tourism be penalized: the coast of Croatia are populated by thousands of years and the time you have left traces of monumental great historical and cultural importance.