5 reasons for visiting the Northern Velebit National park
If you’re a nature lover and in search for a one-day excursion during your vacation on the island of Krk, the Northern Velebit National park is definitely an excellent choice.
It is situated in the northern part on the biggest Croatian mountain range and nature park Velebit, spreading along the Croatian coast further south of Krk. It is about 90km or less than 2 hrs away. You can expect stunning landscapes, luscious forests, endless grasslands, sedimentary rocks, caves and plenty of animal and plant species.
Northern Velebit National park is covered in plenty of maintained hiking trails, including the mega track Via Dinarica, spreading through several countries.
Why should you visit the Northern Velebit National park?
1. Hajdučki and rožanski kuk
This natural reserve, a magnet for hikers, mountaineers and naturalist, is situated within the park. Thanks to its broken rocky peaks and karst sinkholes, it was proclaimed one of the most interesting speleological phenomena in the world. You can also see the deepest cave in Croatia and 14th deepest cave in the world. Lukina jama cave is 1.431m deep.
2. The House of Velebit
The House of Velebit is situated in the village of Krasno, one of the biggest mountain villages in Croatia. On four floors of this educational house, you can see many birds and bugs, large beasts and endemic plant species adapted to extreme living conditions of this park.
3. The botanical garden
There are over 300 plant species growing in the botanical garden. From the endemic species, which are about 40, the most popular is the Croatian Sibireja, an extremely rare species growing only on Velebit. This Siberian plant can tolerate temperatures to up to -30C.
4. An incredible sea view
If you’re wondering what the view of the Adriatic is from 800m above sea level, go to Zavižan weather station, not far from the main entrance. Take a light path to the observation deck for an unforgettable view of the Croatian coast and the nearby islands.
5. Štirovača valley
This beautiful, spacious and luscious valley is situated on 1.100m above sea level. It is known for endless, impressive coniferous forests. Here we also have the only fresh water source in the whole park.
When is the best time to visit Northern Velebit?
Spring is the best time to visit the Northern Velebit National park, when the nature awakens and everything is luscious and in bloom.
Being that the access to the park largely depends on the snow levels on the top of Velebit, it’s mandatory to check the road conditions before departure, as snow can be a big problem.
The park’s working hours change depending on the season, but also the weather. You can always check the hours on their official web site.
How to reach Northern Velebit National park?
Northern park entrance
The main park entrance is Babić Siča in the northern part of Velebit. It is situated 1.300m above sea level and is the entrance to the botanic garden, as well as Zavižan. If you’re coming from Oltar, there is about 10km of paved road up to Babić Siča, and if you’re coming from the direction of Krasno, there is 5km of unpaved road through the Vukelići village.
Southern park entrance
In the south part of the park there is a nature reserve Štirovača forest and the Alan lodge. You can reach Štirovača from Krasno, via 29km long road, or via forest road through Pazarište from the direction of Gospić.
Alan can be reached by 9km of unpaved road, turning west towards the sea 3km before Štirovača, or by Adriatic highway just above Jablanac.
More ideas on one-day excursions during your stay on the island of Krk can be found HERE. If you need help organizing the trip or choosing and booking your accommodation on the island of Krk, feel free to contact us.