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Welcome to the fourth part of Croatia for children in 2020 series! This one is dedicated to nature and national parks in Croatia and how suitable for kids are they. 

All of the national and nature parks are open and will remain open in summer 2020.  

Around Zagreb 

Plitvice Lakes National Park

The most popular national park in Croatia is called Plitvice Lakes. It is very close to the capital (140 km or 86 mi) and you can come with either car or one of the many buses that bring visitors from Zagreb every day. Now, Plitvice Lakes requires some walking around to see several beautiful waterfalls and 16 lakes following one after another. 

If you travel with young children you can take the shorter routes instead of the long ones. A short route lasts around two hours, while the longest options could take a whole day, or up to 8-10 hours. 

There are several hotels nearby as well as many private accommodation options. Be aware that swimming is not allowed at Plitvice Lakes.  

Pregnant woman smiling at Plitvice Lakes in Croatia

Me pregnant at Plitvice Lakes in early summer of 2017

 

Lonjsko Polje Nature Park

Lonjsko Polje (Lonja Field) is a nature park 120 km or 75 mi from the capital Zagreb. It is not as spectacular as Plitvice with its waterfalls and lakes, but has its own charm. Younger children would be happy to spend some time watching the many birds living here, or the horses, or the cows, or the pigs. There’s also an option to take one-hour river trip. 

The accommodation nearby includes a few hotels and mostly eco village houses, all at reasonable prices since this is not one of the top hot Croatia destinations. 

Parks in Istria 

National Park Brijuni is unique for the dinosaur footprints discovered here. It is a group of 14 small islands, located very close to Pula. The park is also a holiday resort with several hotels available and regular ferry connections. 

The children will be fascinated by the dinosaur stuff at Brijuni, but toddlers and kids may not appreciate it as much as older children and teenagers. 

Dinosaur footstep in Brijuni

Dinosaur footstep in Brijuni

 

Parks in Dalmatia 

Dalmatia is full of national parks, but not all of them are so suitable for traveling with kids. 

Krka on river Krka 

Krka National Park is the most children-friendly national park in Croatia. A beautiful nature site along the course of the Krka River with awesome waterfalls. There are restaurants, donkeys, picnic areas and the option to swim nearby the waterfalls. Swimming will be forbidden after the summer of 2020 in order to preserve the natural habitat. 

Krka waterffals in winter

Krka waterffals on 1 January 2020

You can take the free boat from Skradin, the closest village to the park, which will take you to the park in some 15/20 minutes.  

Krka National Park walk

Another beautiful pic from Krka National Park

Let’s go boating! 

Kornati National Park is an archipelago of 89 islands that can be visited on a boat, yacht, or a group boat excursion. There aren’t any hotels or accommodation options. No ferry lines can bring you here either. This makes Kornati a suitable place only if you sail and that is your type of family vacation. 

Still, going on a one-day boat excursion can be a lot of fun. Just keep in mind that you will spend most of the time on the vessel rather than exploring the island. Same goes for the trips to National Park Mljet which covers the entire north-west part of Mljet Island. To explore it, you’ll need to travel on water. 

Boat sailing in Kornati National Park

Boat sailing in Kornati National Park

Paklenica and Velebit 

Paklenica National Park in Velebit mountain is the most visited climbing and hiking site in Croatia. Therefore, come here only with older children or teenagers that are used to hiking and enjoy it : )  

 

Need more ideas?

Check out our Croatia for children in 2020 series about DalmatiaIstria, and Zagreb