If you are one of those people for whom a perfect day consists of a hike in the morning, diving at noon and finding secret beaches in the afternoon and are always trying to spend as much time in nature as possible, then a trip to Croatia is sure to satisfy your adventure-seeking soul.

Here are the places you just can not miss while in Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park

The first Croatian national park is now on the UNESCO Heritage List and is probably the most famous attraction in the country. And there’s a good reason why. The park covers an area of 300 km2 – most of it covered in forests. However, it is the lakes, that make only 1 % of the park, that attract most of the visitors. There are sixteen named and many more small unnamed lakes that cascade into each other and turn the park into almost other-wordldy beautiful place with the most clear water you’ve ever seen.  There are seven different routes you can take to explore the lake system and four hiking trails. Whichever you choose, just make sure that your behaviour in the park is in accordance with the official instructions for all visitors.

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Vis Island

The farthest inhabited islad off the Croation mainland, Vis is not as easy to reach as the other ones, but once you get there you see it is really worth putting the effort. It was  this island that the Yugoslavian army once used to built their bases on which explains why Vis has managed to keep its low-key vibe and not turn into an overcrowded toursits hot spot.  Some of the places to visit here are Stiniva beach – which was voted the most beautiful beach in Europe by tourism organisation European Best Destinations. The beach can be reached only by sea since it is surrounded by cliffs and has a unique charm with its small pebbles and  turquoise waters.  From the highest mountain on Vis Island – Hum you can get a bird’s eye view of the island. You can reach the peak by the hour hike or you can take a scooter. There is also a small chapel on top which makes it even more charming place to visit – especially if you get there on time to see the magnificent sunset. On a neighbouring island – Biševo you can see one of the most magical places on Earth – The Blue Cave. What makes this natural wonder so special is a unique phenomenon that happens every day. If you are in the cave between  11am and noon you can see how the reflection of the sun on the water light up the cave in a beautiful vibrant blue. A trip to the cave is really easy to organise, however try to make it to the cave in those hours so you can see this natural light show at its peak.

Brijuni National Park

One of the most beautiful national parks in the country -Brijuni is actually made up of 14 islands, located near the North coast with quite easy acces from the major cities. What makes this place worth spending at least a day in is its amazing flora and fauna. There are more than 600 indigenous species here, so while you’re wandering around the vast meadows, pine or oak forests, you might stumble upon some rare plants like wild cucumber for example. If you want to feel like you are in a more exotic place you can check the Safari Park on Veliki Brijun Island. Here you can see plants and animals typical for Central America, Africa and Asia, like elephants, llamas and camels. Something else you don’t see every day are the over 200 footprints from dinosaurs, lived here some 125-100 millions of years ago. The numerous well-developed bike and walking trails mean you can explore the island your own way and without guided tours and if you’re wondering which one you should choose, go with the Path of Good Vibrations, which includes most of the highlights so the good vibes are guaranteed. While you’re here it’s also worth diving in the island’s clear blue waters to see not only the amazing variety of vibrant sea life, but also some ancient ruins like the Roman Villas, built in the 1st century and slowly submerged by the rising sea levels.

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Paklenica National Park

Not far from Zadar – the oldest continuously-inhabited Croatian city is the Paklenica karst river canyon. It consists of Mala and Velika Paklenica and is one of the most beautiful nature parks in Croatia.  It’s easy to see why this place would be heaven for all hikersand mountaineers since it is the most visited climbing spot in Croatia, as well as the biggest one in Southern Europe.  The park area contains 150-200 km of trails and paths you can take, taking you either to the highest peak – Vaganski vrh which is more challenging or to Paklenica Mill or Manita pec cave. Actually, when it comes to spaleology, there are about 76 caves and pits so you’re sure to get thrilled here if that’s wat you’re interested in.

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North Velebit National Park

Amazing sceneries and wild and preserved nature is what this place is all about. The Velebit mountain is the nature border between Mediterranean and Continental climate and it’s the home of many interesting animal and plant species.The main activity here is naturally hiking with over 30 marked trails, which make it easier for you to take the amazing view of the Alpine peaks on one side and the Adriatic on the other. One of the favourite trails is Premužić Trails that has almost no steep sections so it’s suitable even if you are new to hiking and mountaineering. Except from the peak, you can also hike to the Zavižan weather station, located at 1594 metres above sea level or check the Botanical garden at 1480 meters about Sea level, where you can see over over 500 plant species.