The magnificent Velebit is such a spacious area full of natural beauty that there are two national parks in its area: North Velebit in the north and Paklenica in the south.
The youngest national park
North Velebit was declared a national park in 1999, making it the youngest member of this club in Croatia, and it stands out with its luxuriant flora and fauna and beautiful karst forms. Numerous visitors are the most interesting Hajdučki and Rožanski hips, the Velebit botanical garden and the well-known Lukina pond, but those who want to experience the wild beauty of the valleys favour its hiking trails.
Northern Velebit Mountain Trails
The hiking trails of this national park range from the Zavižan mountain range, the Alan mountain range or Premužić’s paths, which makes a separate journey (and the most popular).
The reason for the popularity of this track lies in the fact that it connects beautiful, and in the past, difficult to reach mountain areas. It is also a relatively mild slope so it is the most comfortable for easy hiking for people who are not used to hiking.
Whatever route you choose, you will go to some mountain top of Velebit. A view from the tops on the western side shoots on Kvarner and the islands, while the eastern peaks look at Lika and the interior. Whatever the peak, the view from these magical gazebos is an unforgettable experience.
What to see when hiking
Going through the Velebit trails, you can visit many interesting places, such as Zavižan, the oldest meteorological station in Croatia. Located at 1594 m above sea level, its importance owes to the fact that it is dark on the border of two climates: continental and maritime. Flower lovers will be delighted by the Velebit botanical garden and the variety of plants in it, and for those who want to see a little cultural heritage, there is the Lubenovac lawn. It houses the remains of old houses and drywall that testify to the difficult life, but also the continuity of human presence on the mountain. If you want to enjoy the many beauties of Northern Velebit, Camping Village Šimuni for its visitors organizes excursions to this and other national parks nearby
Points of Interest on Northern Velebit NP
In the area of the park there are numerous protected animal species, such as bears, foxes, wolves and chamois. Among the animals of the North Velebit is the Asfaltina, a bear that can be seen on forest roads so often that local residents gave it a nice nickname. Although bears are otherwise in the car’s color and worry about getting in touch with people, Asfaltina does not mind walking in nearby roads, even when photographed!
Aside from Asfaltina, the famous inhabitants of the national park are also two plants: Velebit’ degeny and Siberian. Velebit’s degeny is the rarest Croatian herb and symbol of the richness of Velebit flora, which is why this strictly endemic species is on a coin of 50 lipa. Although not endemic (as originally thought) the bushy plant Siberian is also a very rare protected species.
The Northern Velebit National Park is one of the most beautiful examples of all 4 seasons in Croatia. From winter to spring, from summer to autumn, the cover of Velebit constantly changes its face, but the beauty of nature always remains. If you want to see the magic of this national park through your own eyes, spend a holiday at Camping Village Šimuni and enjoy excursions to Northern Velebit.