Velebit mountain is the most spacious, beautiful and, according to its striking relief and vegetation, the most significant mountain in Croatia; because of the exceptional richness of the vegetation and animal world, and its numerous endemic species, it has been proclaimed a World Biosphere Reserve.
The variety and wealth of the plant and animal worlds is linked to forests, marshy meadows and pasture land. Due to its rich ornithofauna Lonjsko polje has been registered among the protected European areas, in accordance with the Ramsar Convention.
Barren limestone rocks of broken relief and with watershed features, mountain grasslands and rocky pastures, and the blending of the Mediterranean and mountain climate has ensured that Biokovo is second only to Velebit in its number of endemic species.
From the top of Učka there are wonderful panoramic views of Kvarner and the islands, all the way to the north Dalmatian islands and Velebit, towards Istria, Gorski kotar and Slovenia.
In Zumberak Nature Park there are villages with meadows, pastures and small cultivated areas. Žumberak’s highest peak is Sveta Gera (1178 metres). The beauty of the landscape attracts many mountaineers, tourists who come to enjoy rural life, and pilgrims who visit sacred sites.
Protected areas on Papuk are the Rupnica geomorphological monument, the fir forest reserve of Sekulinačka planina, and the Jnakovac park forest. There are also numerous excursion destinations: Zvečevo, Đedovica and Voćin, the bathing facility at Velika, etc
The total area of the Nature Park is 5700 ha. In its north-western part the lake shores are covered with bull-rushes and reeds; this is an ornithological reserve which, in addition to harbouring numerous colonies of heron, also attracts the ibis.
There are eight national parks in Croatia and ten nature reserves. These are: Plitvice Lakes National Park (NP), Risnjak NP, Brijuni NP, Mljet NP, Sjeverni Velebit NP, Krka NP, Kornati NP and Paklenica NP. The nature reserves are: Kopački rit Nature Reserve (NR), Papuk NR, Učka NR, Vransko jezero NR, Telaščica NR, Lonjsko polje NR, Velebit NR, Medvednica NR, the Žumberak – Samobor Highlands NR, Biokovo NR and the Lastovo Islands NR.
Medvednica Nature Park is favourite excursion destination of Zagreb locals. Medvednica Nature Park offers 11 mountaineers’ lodge huts, two hotels and 8 hospitality facilities, 15 bicycle trails with a total of 110 km in length and four educational paths. Here is also the cave Veternica which was proclaimed a protected geo-morphological monument of nature in 1979.