First Blog in "The Life" Series
THE NATURAL BEAUTY LIFE
1. NATURE PARK OF THE LASTOVO ISLANDS
The archipelago of Lastovo is an ideal cruising ground offering many safe berths and anchorages. Placed away from the shore, in the open sea and having numerous beautiful bays, Lastovo is very attractive to yachtsmen. The most experienced sailors coming into the waters of Lastovo should not miss out chance of visiting the island’s lighthouses, like lighthouse Glavat, located on a tiny isle, east of the main island of Lastovo, or lighthouse Sušac, situated on another small island bearing the same name. These lighthouses are transformed into tourist facilities with peaceful and romantic charm. You can also visit numerous small islands surrounding Lastovo. One can find some fine examples of sandy beaches in numerous sheltered coves; Kopište and Saplun being the most attractive. Many of the islands are not populated and are considered an oasis of unspoiled nature and tranquility.
The Lastovo Archipelago was declared a nature park by the Croatian Parliament on 29 September 2006. It is the eleventh nature park in Croatia. The Park consists of 44 islands, islets, rocks and reefs (the largest of them are Lastovo and Sušac) covering a total area of 53 square kilometres of land and 143 square kilometres of sea.
The Lastovo Archipelago was declared a nature park due to its mystic beauty, immense landscape value, thick forests and fertile fields rich with ponds, high coastal cliffs, land and sea caves, numerous rare sea and land species and habitats. The Archipelago has a rich cultural and historical heritage – numerous stone churches and chapels, picturesque chimneys and the traditional Lastovo Carnival.
2. MLJET NATIONAL PARK
Visit Mljet Island, where nature has been inspiring mythology for centuries, and you will discover a green oasis of nature that is known to have fascinated Ulysses himself. With most of the island covered by forests and the rest dotted by fields, vineyards and small villages, Mljet casts a spell that can be difficult to break. Mljet National Park was created in 1960 and occupies the western third of the island and surrounds two saltwater lakes, Malo Jezero and Veliko Jezero.
Anchorage is only allowed in the bays of Polče and Pomena. The main attraction of the Park are two connected saltwater lakes - The Great and the Small Lake. From Polače you can either walk (45 minutes), cycle, or use park vehicles to travel the forest path to Veliko Jezero. From there a boat will take you to visit St. Mary’s Monastery. To visit the smaller lake it is another 20 minute walk from Veliko Jezero.
The island has something for everyone inside, as well as outside of the Park: Cycle or stroll along pleasantly shaded, well-marked paths that encircle the Lakes / Kayaking is also allowed so you can paddle around the Lakes / Scuba diving / Swimming and sunbathing in the Park is allowed and fun as water here is much warmer than on seashores of the island / Hike up the hills (200 m) to enjoy stunning scenery above the Mljet coastline and Park.
Saplunara is a beautiful sandy lagoon located on the south-eastern part of the Island of Mljet, which is well known as an oasis of greenery. The bay, which spreads 1 kilometer along the coast, is divided into Velika (big) and Mala (small) Saplunara. Above the beach is a thick forest which provides plentiful shade.
The beach Saplunara is an ideal place if you want to escape from the crowds.
3. KORNATI NATIONAL PARK
Kornati is the thickest archipelago on the entire Mediterranean Sea, situated in the middle part of the Croatian Adriatic. The Archipelago is divided into two groups of islands: Lower Kornati and Upper Kornati. Out of 152 islands, 89 have been, because of their exceptional beauty and rich sea flora and fauna, pronounced a National park in the year 1890. The name Kornati most probably originates from the cliffs of the islands that look on an open sea, which are also called crowns (corona-kornati).
Today the Kornati islands are not permanently inhabited, but fishermen houses are scattered on the well sheltered bays of Žut, Sit, Kornat and other islands. Today, these ports, turned into restaurants and accommodation objects for Robinson tourism, have become favorite destinations of sailors and tourists.
Kornati islands represent a true paradise for sailors, divers, and all those people who want to enjoy the pure magnificent nature.
One of the most remarkable natural appearances on Kornati are the cliffs on a row of islands of Lower Kornati, which look on an open sea. The highest cliffs are on islands Klobučar, Mana, and Rašip Veli. Underwater extensions of cliffs at some points reach a depth of 100 meters.
Kornati has been divided by hundreds of meters of stone walls, which were built to keep the properties safe and to prevent sheep from crossing from one property to another. The length of these walls on Kornat island is 70 kilometers. When it’s time to eat, try Restoran Fešta on island Žut and the Konoba Piccolo on island Smokvica Vela.
Three of the many stunning examples of the Natural Beauty of Croatia!