Vrana Lake Nature Park

Vrana Lake Nature Park

Did you know that northern Dalmatia does not only have three national parks but also nature parks where any visitor to the region can enjoy the inspiring force  of well-preserved nature? One of them is Vrana Lake. The nature park is also an important ornithological reserve, and while vrana indeed means  ‘crow’, the lake owes its name to a historical village bearing the same name nearby. It’s a place fans of birdwatching and fishing definitely shouldn’t miss and the same goes for everyone who likes to actively explore nature.





Just a few kilometres away from the seaside and with the position parallel to the coastline, Vrana Lake is situated south of Zadar, with Biograd na Moru as the nearest town. Administratively the lake’s territory is divided between two counties - Zadar and Šibenik-Knin. However, it’s not only the lake that forms part of the nature park. In fact, it makes up just a bit more than a half of the entire protected territory , which also incorporates the surrounding area.


Interesting facts


Apart from being the largest in Croatia, Vrana Lake is not just an ordinary lake - it’s in fact a karst field filled with water and an example of crypto depression (a portion of the lake is below sea level). As such, it is an excellent habitat for numerous species of flora and fauna, and a particular favourite for many types of birds. Round 250 species of birds, some of which are endangered, have found their home there, and it’s also a place where thousands of them come to spend the winter months. It’s a bird watcher’s dream come true. Just as it is for those who like recreational fishing, since it’s  a place where they can catch both saltwater and freshwater fish. Practically untouched nature around the lake and such rich biodiversity is the reason why this territory has been protected as a nature park since 1999.


What to see and do


While keen (and fit) cyclists might venture on a cycling trip from Zaton (50 km) to and then around Vrana Lake, visitors can also get there by car and then rent a bike to get to know the area. Another option is also to rent a kayak and directly explore the lake. Just don’t miss the Kamenjak lookout, where you get to admire one of the most breathtaking sight there is, and not only of the lake itself, but also of Murter island and a few of the Kornati islands in the distance. Also, Vrana Lake is best known for nature, but traces of human presence dates back centuries. So, there are quite a few cultural-historical monuments which indicate what life was once like in this region - an example of Ottoman architecture Maškovića han inn as well as remains of the Templar town in Vrana, remains of towers and traditional stone houses.


Free as a bird


You don’t have to be a bird enthusiast to appreciate the lovely, well-preserved nature at Vrana Lake Nature Park. After all,  there is something about those wonders of nature, from Kornati islands, Paklenica mountain slopes, Krka river and Vrana Lake, that inspire you to reconnect with nature and recharge for months to come.


Image source: goo.gl/FxVdCh