The Una River – one and only
According to the legend, Una was named by Roman legionaries who, upon seeing it for the first time, exclaimed: Una! – One and only!
The river of Una springs in Croatia, in the part of Lika located in the Zadar County, and for the most part it flows through the north-west part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its 212,5 km long course finishes in the vicinity of Jasenovac, where it flows into the river of Sava.
This river, considered by many as the most beautiful one, has been precious to all people inhabiting its banks since ancient times. In order to preserve its natural beauty, wealth of biodiversity, cultural and historical heritage, in 2008 the upper course of the river of Una was named a national park of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
For the best part of its course, the river of Una represents a border between the two countries, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. As Aristotle said, "A river is not protected by borders, but by people“, which is why it is up to us to preserve this unique mutual treasure.
The Una National Park
The most attractive part of the entire course of Una is the stretch between its spring, where the 12 km long Krka flows into Una (the point where Una enters BH) and the village of Lohovo by Bihać. This has, among other things, contributed to making the area a national park, established on 29 May 2008 and named after this unique river.
The Štrbački buk
Along the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Una plummets down Štrbački buk, which is also one of the most magnificent natural attractions of the Una River. Štrbački buk is made of several waterfalls, among which the biggest one is 24 meters high. Thanks to its extraordinary beauty and height, Štrbački buk is an unmissable destination of all rafting enthusiasts and the starting point of one of the most attractive rafting sections on Una.
The river of Dabašnica and the Sklop canyon
The Dabašnica River flows through one of Croatia's deepest and most impassable canyons before plummeting into three picturesque waterfalls by the village of Srb, where it becomes Srebrenica. Two hiking trails are available in the Sklop canyon.
The river of Unac
The river of Unac springs as the Mlinski potok (the Mill Stream) at 876 m above sea level, under the Šator mountain. Unac is the first major tributary of Una, which enriches Una and makes it even cooler thanks to its extraordinary purity and coolness. Its course through the Una National Park, until Martin Brod, runs through a gorge as much as 350 m deep.
The river of Krka
The river of Krka springs in the vicinity of the village of Mali Cvjetnić, and after 5 km it flows into the river of Una as one of its tributaries. A part of its course runs along the border between Croatia and BH, while its entire course runs through the Una National Park. Seeing as the access to the spring is challenging, a visit to the spring represents a day trip including a walk in the woods and through mountainous area where descent into the bed of this small river provides the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the untouched nature.
The Plitvice Lakes National Park
On 8 April 1949 this mountain area rich in forests, with 16 lakes of different sizes boasting a crystal turquoise colour, was made the first national park in the Republic of Croatia. The spacious forests complexes, extraordinary beauty of the lakes and the waterfalls, richness of the flora and fauna, mountain air, contrast of the colours of the autumn, forest footpaths, wooden bridges and much more make for a unique whole named one of the world's first natural heritages by UNESCO in 1979.
The Velebit Nature Park
The Velebit Nature Park is the largest protected area in the Republic of Croatia. It owes its protected status to its extraordinary natural values and importance for the preservation of biodiversity. The Park is also the home of two national parks, the Paklenica and Northern Velebit national parks. Velebit's position and its geological features allow the development of a uniquely rich and diverse wildlife, which is why in 1978 UNESCO included the Velebit mountain in the international biosphere reserves network within The Man and The Biosphere Programme.
The Cerovac caves
The Cerovac caves represent the largest cave complex in the Republic of Croatia. They are located 4 km south-west of Gračac, on the north-eastern slope of the Velebit Crnopac hill, in the south part of the Velebit Nature Park. These caves, rich in cave decorations and karst features (chasms and chimneys), represent one of the most important palaeontological discoveries of the cave bear and prehistoric pottery (the Illyric-Celtic culture), which has lead to their status as geomorphologic monument of the nature, awarded in 1961.
The Paklenica National Park
The Paklenica National Park is located on the sprawling coastal slope of the southern Velebit, above the village of Marasovići, until the area of the highest mountain tops (Vaganski vrh, Babin vrh, Sveto brdo). It comprises the torrential courses of Velika and Mala Paklenica and their recognizable canyons carved in the southern slopes of Velebit, as well as the surrounding area. The comparatively small area houses an extraordinary wealth of geomorphologic features and forms, rich flora and fauna, beautiful landscapes and untouched nature.
The river of Zrmanja
The river of Zrmanja springs in the village of Zrmanja vrelo in Lika, under the Poštak Mountain. Its 69 km long course runs through the harsh and unwelcoming karst landscape and creates one of Croatia's most beautiful canyons. In the upper part of its course, Zrmanja forms a 7 km wide valley, while under Zvonigrad (the remnants of the medieval town above Zrmanja) it runs through a canyon until Novigrad, where it flows into the sea. Zrmanja boasts warm water, beautiful canyons and tufa waterfalls, which make it one of the Zadar County's biggest natural values.