Northern delights

VELEBIT BLOGp7103104

Croatia, beautiful Croatia. It is so different….

If you want to experience the Croatian outdoors, you really need to turn inland. Some of the best preserved natural wilderness is the Northern Velebit. It is a protected area since 1999, it is one of Croatia`s national parks and serves as starting point of the Premužić Trail.

Viewed from the coast , the Velebit comes across as a forbidding and inhospitable wall of jagged grey peaks. It is a diversity of landscape with forests  and lush highland pastures sheltering. The Northern Velebit National Park is situated just inland from the Kvarner-Gulf coastal town of Senj. The best way to get to the Northern Velebit National Park from the Adriatic coast is via the steeply ascending road from Sveti Juraj near Senj. Despite a scattering of tumbledown villages and hamlets, it is desolate terrain.

The road ends at a rather plain-looking car park just below the peaks of Vošak and  Veliki Zavižan. The grassy saddle offers a beautiful panorama of the Adriatic coast below, with islands Lošinj and Krk.

Above all the Velebit is famous for the bura, the fierce wind that blows from the inland plateaus towards the sea.

There is a Premužić Trail, a stone paved path that runs through the heart of the national park.

Standing at the crossroads where Premužić Trail meets another path, Rossijeva koliba, it is a popular overnight stop for people who want more out of the Velebit. The koliba is a simple stone shelter with a stove and a sleeping platform.

Although the up and down the mountain patterns of seasonal migration are a things of the past. The smell of freshly sawn tree trunks still fills the air at Krasno, sprawling village on the approach road to Zavižan.

The Velebit  region is an important habitat for wolves and bears.

The scenery changes with every twist of the path.

The Velebit is the tranquil charm and stark beauty.

Location on map