Only 50 kilometres away from the town of Nin, there is this specially protected area, Paklenica National Park.
Since 1949, Paklenica National Park has been declared a national park. The special feature of this national park is the largest and at the same time the best-preserved forest complex in Dalmatia.
The area of the national park covers over 95 square kilometres on the slopes of southern Velebit and includes the area of the streams of Velika and Mala Paklenica and the wider surrounding area.
It also includes the area of the highest peaks of Velebit, Vaganski vrh at 1757 meters above sea level and Sveto Brdo at 1753 meters above sea level.
It is an ideal place for an educational family vacation where one can learn about nature and cultural heritage.
Paklenica National Park and its natural heritage
The first striking sight is certainly the canyons of Velika and Mala Paklenica. Many parts of the area are extremely inaccessible, but despite this, it is possible to reach the top where all the diversity of geomorphological forms can be seen.
In addition to these mountain roads, the Paklenica National Park also has a beautiful underground that abounds in various karst relief forms.
Exploration of the area of these caves is carried out continuously and contributes to the value of the national park. The most important sites are the Cave in Zuba Buljma and the Cave in Zuba Buljma.
The pit in Zuba Buljme is one of the special attractions because the skull of a cave bear was found to be about 30,000 years old.
Unique remains of pottery and bones dating back to the Bronze Age were found in a cave in Pazjanice.
To date, 115 caves and pits have been found. The longest is the Vodarica Cave, which stretches for 300 meters, and the deepest is the Abyss in Bunjevac at 534 meters.
This national park also contains numerous sources of drinking water of excellent quality, such as Stražbenica, Kontinovo krilo, Pećica and Crno vrilo.
This park is not scarce in terms of plant and animal species. Of the thousand recorded plant species in the national park area, 79 are endemic.
Given that this national park also extends over mountain ranges and underground, the wildlife is quite diverse.
Of the various species of butterflies, reptiles and birds there are also species such as lynx, wild cat, wolf, chamois and other mammals. The underworld is also teeming with life from microscopic shrimps and spiders to bats.
It is important to point out that the visit is only possible with special permission and announcement.
Cultural heritage of the national park
With clear evidence that this area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, visitors will have the opportunity to see numerous archaeological excavations.
In addition to excavations, there are also buildings from the early Middle Ages such as the church of St. George in Rovanjska and the church of St. Peter in Starigrad, built between the 9th and 10th centuries AD.
The mountainous area also had its own style of construction, namely a special way of branching roofs that can still be seen on houses and farm buildings along the Velika Paklenica stream.
These roofs are also recognizable on the mills of this national park which are open to visitors during the season.
Along with several other catering facilities, a visit to this national park can turn into a pleasant day trip.
Another advantage is also the proximity to the Queen Beach resort. So after a full day trip, you can very quickly return to the comfort of the apartment.