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Paklenica National Park Paklenica National Park is a part of the most spectacular mountain chain in Croatia - Velebit. It's located southern of its highest peak, near the coastal city Starigrad. It extends on 95 km², from the Adriatic coast up to the highest peaks of Velebit.
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Paklenica consists of two canyons: Velika and Mala Paklenica ("Big and Small Paklenica"). Canyons of Velika and Mala Paklenica are vertically cut into the massive of the Velebit Mountain in the lengths of 14 and 12 km. Creeks bearing the same names run in these canyons. Black pine forests cover the area around the sources of the creeks. Beautiful gravel beaches exist where Velika and Mala Paklenica flow into the Adriatic Sea. A 500 m high and 7 km long plateau separates Velika Paklenica from Mala Paklenica. The steep sides of the canyons are up to 400 m high. Paklenica has an extremely rich flora with 700 species, 35 of them endemic. The fauna is also very diverse: 80 species of butterflies, 30 species of amphibians and reptiles, more than 200 bird species (peregrine falcon nests in canyons of Velika and Mala Paklenica) and 50 mammal species (like bears, deer and foxes).
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Paklenica pictures - click on a picture for full view
Paklenica Croatia Paklenica Croatia Paklenica Croatia Paklenica Croatia
Paklenica Croatia Paklenica Croatia Paklenica Croatia Paklenica Croatia
A paved road leads from Starigrad-Paklenica to the entrance to the national park. After the entrance a narrow road continues for another 2 km through the Velika Paklenica canyon and ends at a parking area. From here an easy 9 km trail leads to the mountaineer house (550 m). The trail leads through the canyon bordered with steep cliffs - a paradise for numerous rock-climbers. There are around 400 different climbing sites in Paklenica. Specific regulations exist for hill climbers to protect the area. At the time of tense relations between USSR and Yugoslavia (1950s) tunnels have been built in the canyon wall (the entrance doors to them can be seen on several spots on the left side of the canyon). Velika Paklenica ends with a serpentine ascend after which the trail continues through the green forest. To the right side of the trail there is Velika Paklenica creek.
Paklenica Croatia Paklenica Croatia Paklenica Croatia Paklenica Croatia
Paklenica Croatia Paklenica Croatia Paklenica Croatia Paklenica Croatia
A path leads right, below an up to the Anica-kuk, the peak above a vertical cliff (some photos that can be seen below are made on Anica-kuk, 713 m). After a while another trail separates and mounts to the left, climbing to the Manita Cave (at 670 m) - the most interesting of all caves in Paklenica National Park. It's rich with stalactites and 175 m long. The main ("tourist") trail continues through the countryside to the mountaineer house (well equipped for 40-50 persons). Numerous fresh water sources exist along the trail. For those having alpinist experience there are numerous trails, mostly quite difficult. Vaganski Vrh (1757 m), the highest peak in Paklenica National Park, can be reached from the mountaineer house in about 5 hours (shelters exist in localities Struge and Vodice). Total length of mountain trails is about 100 km.
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