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You are on: Find destination > Surroundings > Nature Park Lake Vrana

Nature Park Lake Vrana

Travelling along the Adriatic main road towards the Northern Dalmatia, in between the two historical cities of Zadar and Šibenik, you will come across a natural phenomenon - the two equally beautiful, and yet, completely different azure blue waters. On one side, you will encounter the indented Adriatic Coast, famous for its alluring beauty and clean sea, and on the other side, the largest natural lake in Croatia.

Vrana Lake and its surrounding areas were proclaimed a Nature Park on the 21st of July, 1999 due to its status as one of the rare intact natural habitats of water birds, as well as for its fresh water springs and immense biodiversity. The park boundaries, with a total of 57 sq km2, stretch between the city of Pirovac and Pakoštane, whereas the largest part of 30.02 km2 belongs to the lake area itself. The lake is positioned from north-west to south-east in direction parallel with the sea coast, and, at certain points, with the distance of less than a kilometre from the coast. Unique for its location and characteristics, both in Croatia and in other parts of Europe, it is actually a karst valley filled with brackish water and below-sea-level.

The dominant feature of the park is a unique Ornithological Reserve; a huge well-preserved reed patch in the north-west part of the lake is of immense biodiversity, extraordinary scientific and ecological value, receiving the status of an Important Bird Area in Europe back in 1983.

Unusual coexistence and outstanding symbiosis of land and water offers a refuge to various plants and animals, providing them with the necessities of life. Overgrown with grass, sedge, rush and reed, it resembles a field with shallow ponds scattered all over it, covered in all-weather flowers of vibrant colours and surrounded by a multitude of butterflies, dragonflies, and other species of insects. These factors create an all-year round habitat for the birds that reside on the lake and in the park, as well. Hidden in the reed, the birdwatchers can have an unforgettable experience watching the birds live, nest and take care of their offspring. Vrana Lake is a hot-spot with tremendous diversity of ornitho-fauna. To present time, there are 251 recorded bird species, out of which 102 nest in the park area. Of these nesting birds, four are considered as endangered species on European scale and seven on national levels. For some of these birds, Vrana Lake is the only nesting area in the entire Mediterranean part of Croatia. The park area is also an important resting and feeding place for a wide range of endangered European species. Over 100 000 water birds come to spend the winter here.

The birds are not the only valuables of the park. The lake is full of biologically important fish species, and the area also possesses many other special features which a guest can discover on further expeditions.

Climate in the area of Vrana Lake is typically Mediterranean. Water springs, pine woods and camp Crkvine offer shelter and refreshment at any time. The Park offers peace and leisure to bird watchers or anglers who can fish in the Lake and along its banks throughout the year. Bikers and hikers can have an amazing experience along a 40 km-long bike trail. The route goes along lookout points and areas that take in the magnificent colours and aromas of aromatic wild plants, namely of healing sage. Certain points of the route offer you shelter in the freshness of a pine wood right on the lake.
Vrana Lake used to be known as “Vedro blato” ("Clear mud"). It has a wonderfully rich cultural and historical heritage, whereas and some of the monuments date back to 2000 B.C. Vrana Lake Nature Park still hides many secrets and it is a constant source of scientific discoveries, which the park authorities, with the help of various experts, are trying to explore and present to the world. It is an exceptional example of simultaneous exploration of three very different landscapes: the sea shore and rich archipelago in front, the Mediterranean swamp with its unique landscape and ecosystem, and just behind the hill, the rural idyll of villages in the hinterland. When you visit us you will be far from civilization and yet so near it. Come and enjoy the natural world in our park, exploring it with genuine curiosity and joy. Here you will find the peace and satisfaction which comes from merging with nature.

Park’s Unique Characteristics:

-The largest lake in Croatia
-The only large swamp in the Mediterranean part of Croatia alongside Lower Neretva
-Special Ornithological Reserve
-Habitat of four endangered bird species on European level
-Habitat of seven endangered bird species on national level
-The biggest nesting population of the Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) in Croatia
-One of the last nesting areas of the Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea), the Great White Egret (Egretta alba), the Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), the Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacorcorax pygmeus)
-Habitat for endangered species included in the Bonn Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals
-Hot-spot – diversity of ornithofauna (249 species,102 nesting species)
-Number of water birds spending the winter on the lake exceeds 100,000 specimens
-Rich history –dates from 2000 BC.


Nature Park Vrana Lake
Kralja Petra Svačića 2
Croatia – 23 510 Biograd n/m
Tel. +385 (0)23 383 181
Fax. +385 (0)23 386 453

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Weather Forecast
weather icon 14°C
Humidity 82.1 %
Air pressure 1015 hPa
Visibility 10 km
Wind speed 9.4 kph
Contact info

Tourist Board of the City of Biograd na Moru

Put Solina 4
23210 Biograd na Moru
Tel. +385 (0)23 383 123, 385 382
Fax. +385 (0)23 383 123

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