Telašćica National Park
Telašćica is a bay on the southeastern part of Dugi otok, in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea. It has been a protected natural area since 1980, and since 1988 it has been declared a nature park. The location of the park is extremely popular and nautically frequent because there are three more Croatian national parks nearby, namely Kornati National Park, Paklenica National Park and Krka National Park. In addition, Vrana Lake Nature Park and Velebit Nature Park are also nearby.
With more than two and a half thousand sunny hours per year, the average annual temperature is around 16 °C. The area is full of wild and marine animals. Telašćica is about 10 kilometers long and 160 to 1,800 meters wide. It is a deep bay dotted with rocks, islets and coves. The cliffs of Dugi Otok, locally called “stene”, rise up to 161 meters above sea level and descend to a depth of 90 meters below the sea.
The area of the park has always been inhabited, as evidenced by the remains of Roman buildings in the town of Mala Proversa, as well as numerous pre-Romanesque churches (the church of St. John in Stivanije polje stands out). This area is one of the first beginnings of fishing in Croatia, and the records of fishermen from the 10th century testify to this.
Telašćica bay actually consists of three smaller bays, and at the same time it is a good and safe harbor for all types of vessels. The north-eastern side of the bay is completely devoid of vegetation, but the south-western coast is covered with a dense forest of pines, olives and figs. There are six islets and rocks in the bay: Korotan, Galijola, Gozdenjak, Farfarikulac, Gornji Skolj and Donji Skolj. Lake Mir is a salt lake on a narrow strip of land between Telašćica Bay and the open sea. The park area is full of beaches on one side and wild cliffs on the other.
The flora and fauna of the park is diverse and protected. There are up to 300 species of plants on land and in the sea, and there are nesting sites for birds in the western part of the park near the rocks. The park has several donkey farms, so the donkey has become a characteristic symbol of the park.
Most visitors to the park come by boat on organized one-day trips from Zadar or another local tourist destination, and they can also come on their own arrangements by private or rented boat. Getting to Dugi otok is possible by car (ferry from Zadar), but the park itself cannot be accessed by car, but must be done at a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometers from Lake Mir. Within the park, there are electric cars intended for the needs of park employees.
Among the sights, the cliffs and the view of Lake Mir in the center of the park are recommended. The water in the lake is separated from the sea and the bay of Telašćica by a high ridge, and the water in the lake itself is slightly saltier than the sea. Tourists can enjoy its warm and healing water here. Cliffs or rocks offer a beautiful panoramic view and a stunning sunset. In the vicinity of Dugi otok is the island of Taljurić, a small and completely flat islet. In addition to all of the above, in the nature park it is possible to dive in numerous attractive locations near the cliffs, but also to walk around numerous interesting places with a special view from the viewpoint Grpašćak. In addition, the park offers visitors the possibility of an active holiday in the form of cruises, water sports, fishing, cycling and photo-hunting. There are also numerous seafood specialties on offer that can be tasted in several restaurants in the Telašćica Nature Park.
Park entry prices vary for individuals, group tours and boats. Thus, the individual price per person ranges from 20 to 105 kuna, an organized visit by boat is about 50 kuna per person. The price for the vessel depends on the length of the ship itself and the length of stay, so it can range from HRK 150 to several tens of thousands of HRK for the largest ships.