In honor of #NationalParkWeek the following few posts will focus on the various nature parks and National Parks that Clinton and I visited during our European travels. First stop, Telašćica Nature Park, located on the island of Dugi Otok, Croatia.
Clinton and I were actually staying in Zadar, Croatia (blog post forthcoming), and decided that we would take a day trip out to the town of Sali to visit Telašćica Nature Park based on the suggestion of our Airbnb host. We found a ferry company to take us across from Zadar to the small town of Sali. It was a beautiful 45 minute ride! When we arrived, we had schedule someone to meet us in order to rent us bikes so we could bike the 12km to the park and back. While the bike ride was for the most part fun through the small town and out into the park, it was very hilly! But we made it! The park is gorgeous. Telašćica Bay is surrounded by 13 islands with 6 of them inside the bay itself. It was proclaimed a Nature Park in 1988, mainly because of its valuable plant and animal life, its geological and geomorphological phenomena, and its archaeological heritage. When we arrived we were met with the beautiful beaches and coastline that is in direct contrast to the steep cliffs we walked up to later. We mainly stayed in the forest area, which is covered in Aleppo pine and holm oak. The park also includes vineyard and olive groves and a few dry habitats.
We biked out to the salt lake to walk around the first lake, and then hiked out a short distance to the second. At some point we walked up the hill to the top of the cliff and looked out at the Adriatic Sea…it is breathtaking! Staring out past the sea is Italy, if we actually saw any land. I personally love to (safely of course) look over the edge of cliffs so I did get one quick view before Clinton (who does not!) told me to come back. 🙂 We spent some time walking around the forest which was filled with trees and flowers of all kinds. Because it still is early in the Spring season, everything was just beginning to bloom but it smelled beautiful. The best part is that we literally were the only people there. We rode by a Ranger patrol vehicle – they just waved – and there were a few boats docked in the lake but other than that we had the park to ourselves! What a great experience.
I highly encourage anyone to take time and come out to their National Parks this coming week to celebrate National Park Week. If a national park is not close to where you live, go visit a state, city, or county park, or just find an area out in nature to walk through.