Significant landscapes in Croatia


Pakleni islands

Pakleni is a group of about 20 islands which stretch in front of the city of Hvar; the residents of Hvar call them Hvarski skoji (the islands of Hvar).

They were named after the pine resin that is used in shipbuilding, the so called paklini; by twisting this name according to the local dialect, the islands were called Pakleni. Popularly translated as Hell’s islands, but there is nothing hellish about them; in fact, their beauty reminds much more of heaven.

Pakleni otoci

Due to strong currents, numerous rocks and reefs and especially when the south wind blows, it is difficult and often very dangerous to sail.

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The island of Scedro is close to the south coast of Hvar. Its beauty is in the indented coastline and vegetation of the typical Mediterranean maquis and forest communities. There are several older houses on the island as well as some archaeological sites.


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Blaca Hermitage

The Blaca Hermitage, once a famous hermitage of Glagolitic monks and later the observatory, is located on the eastern slope of the valley on the southern side of the island of Brac.

It was built in the 16th century when the Glagolitic monks from Poljica fled from the Turks. It originated as a cave and during centuries the monastery was built in the rocks. This famous hermitage was built on a steep cliff and it is a unique monument of Croatian history.

pustinja blaca

The monks produced wine, honey and other things and they became very wealthy and rich. The only stone beehives in the world are located there; at the turn of the century more honey was produced here than in the whole Dalmatia. The wealth enabled them to deal with science so Blaca had its library, a print-press and was a world famous astronomical observatory founded by don Niko Miličević. The importance of this observatory is witnessed by the fact that two asteroids were named Milicevic and Brac by the decision of the International Astronomical Union in 2005.

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Cape Kamenjak

The peninsula of Kamenjak is a miracle of natural architecture located at the southernmost point of Istria, near Premantura. It is characterized by an indented and long coast line, many picturesque bays, hills and valleys, a great diversity of marine habitats and a rich flora and fauna.


Although many protected sea species can be seen on Kamenjak like dolphins, turtles, sea horses and others, the return of the monk seal in the hidden caves of Kamenjak is of special significance. This marine mammal, until recently considered extinct in the Adriatic Sea, has in the last few years been appearing more and more in this area and this is a big surprise because Kamenjak is not isolated so the monk seal often meets people here.

Some other extinct species are associated with Kamenjak and these are the dinosaurs which have not returned so far; foot prints in stone witness that they were once here. The island of Fenoliga is one of the most famous dinosaurs footprint sites in Europe.

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The island of Ravnik

Ravnik is located next to the south-eastern coast of the island of Vis. The island is not inhabited and is covered with Mediterranean vegetation of maquis and Aleppo pine trees. It is significant as a nesting site of the Caspian gull colonies (Larus cachinnans).


It is known for its Green Cave which is protected as a monument of nature. The cave was named after the greenish colour of the sea which is the consequence of green algae found at the bottom. The sunlight penetrates the cave through a hole and creates in the sea a beautiful mix of colours.

Rovinj islands and the coastal area

The Rovinj Archipelago is one of the richest and most beautiful in the northern Adriatic. It has 19 islands, islets and reefs. The most known islands are Crveni otok (Red island) and the island of St. Catherine which are also the biggest and the only “inhabited” islands. All the islands are forested or covered by wild vegetation. Cliffs are mainly bare but they are the favourite place of seagulls where they also breed.

Rovinjsko područje

The Rovinj Archipelago has some more interesting islands like Samer or the Island of Donkeys where, according to a legend, the people of Rovinj would bring old and sick donkeys and let them live in peace their last days. There is also the island of Banjole called the Seven Hair Island because it has a very poor vegetation but it has a beautiful natural phenomenon, an underwater cave.

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North-western part of Dugi otok

The north-western part of Dugi otok is extremely valuable and significant with a rich marine biodiversity and landscape characteristics. It includes the cape Punta Bianca with the Veli rat lighthouse – the highest lighthouse on the Adriatic, and the Sakarun bay with the most beautiful rural beach on the Adriatic.


Sjeverozapadni dio Dugog otoka izuzetno je vrijedno i jedinstveno  područje s bogatom morskom bioraznolikošću  i krajobraznim značajkama. Obuhvaća rt Punta Bianca na kojem se nalazi svjeionik Veli rat, najviši svjetionik na Jadranu i uvalu Sakarun s najljepšom jadranskom ruralnom plažom.

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Kanal – Luka Sibenik

Kanal – Luka includes the area from Sibenik bridge to the end of St. Anthony channel, more precisely to the St. Nicholas fort with the surrounding coastal area. The channel is long a bit more than 2000 m. At the beginning of the channel there are some old forts remains which were the main protection from entering the port of Sibenik, that is the last because, once, an iron chain from one side of the strait to the other prevented the enemy’s ships to enter the port.

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