Highlights

  • Plitvice Lakes – UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Mountain range dividing Mediterranean coastal and continental climate zones
  • Karst phenomena including caves, sink holes, karren
  • Sustainable development through agro tourism
  • Zavižan Weather Station and Velebit Botanical Garden
  • Kuterevo Bear Sanctuary

 

A European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) and forming part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, the Northern Velebit National Park has long been recognised for its exceptional beauty.   It offers geographers a spectacular range of landscapes and topographical features and extraordinary biological diversity which can hardly be matched anywhere else in Europe. Owing to its protected status and relative isolation it is one of 5 Rewilding Europe pilot areas and remains, as it has done since the last ice age, a refuge for a healthy population of European brown bears, wildcat, lynx, wolf, and many other species.  Students will particularly enjoy the visit to the bear sanctuary at Kuterevo.

Students will also observe the natural boundary formed by the Velebit mountain range between continental and Mediterranean climatic regions.  They will have the opportunity to visit the highest weather station in Croatia at 1676m above sea level to see how the unusual weather patterns caused by the collision of maritime and continental climates are recorded.      

The landscape of the Velebit National Park is characterised by a distinctive karst topography.  Denuded karst peaks, ledges, towers, sinkholes, fissures, caves, pits are just some of the forms which rank it amongst some of the world's most interesting karst areas.  The cultivated karst landscapes outside the protected reserves and small highland village populations are also of particular scientific and cultural importance in terms of community sustainability and a developing eco-tourism industry.  

Our itinerary includes a trip to Plitvice Lakes and can be linked to either a coastal landscape or river programme.