Three Reasons Why You Should Visit Zavratnica – The Blue Gem of Velebit

Total Croatia News

February 3, 2020 – Plitvice National Park, Dubrovnik, or islands Brač and Hvar have become sights synonymous with Croatia. Alas, they have also become overused, turned into cliches, and have, sadly, lost their initial appeal and dare I say, even some beauty, because of tourism and greed. But, there is a lot more to Croatia than a few locations tourists mostly visit. Despite its small size, the country of thousand islands has a few more tricks up its sleeves. This one is snuggled way up in the interior, in the shadow of the largest Croatian mountain – Velebit

Welcome to Zavratnica, an unusual cove, part of Velebit Nature Park and a protected landscape.

Although it is (obviously) not a fjord, it sure resembles one, and part of Zavratnica’s popularity rests on its similarity to these natural phenomena native to Norway.

Just one photo of Zavratnica should be a reason enough to visit. But, there are even more breathtaking things about this place that make it worth visiting. So, without further ado, here are three reasons why you should visit enchanting Zavratnica.

But first…

How to get to Zavratnica?

Walk the promenade

Drive up to Jablanac, a picturesque seaside village, a 2-hour drive away from Zadar. From there, it takes a 20 to 30-minute walk along the Jablanac promenade to get to Zavratnica.

Walk down the hiking trail

The more adventurous ones can drive up to the village Zavratnica in the mountain and walk the marked hiking trail that’ll take you to a viewpoint with an amazing view of Zavratnica.  

1. Origin story

There’s a legend about the origin of Zavratnica that tells of an earthquake in the Middle Ages, destroying three cities. However, the real origin story of Zavratnica is less catastrophic but amazing nonetheless (at least for geology buffs). According to the Velebit Nature Park website, it dates from the Cretaceous period and is a result of tectonic movements that submerged the surrounding cliffs, thus creating the fjord-like look.

2. Interesting history

The Austro-Hungarian aristocracy discovered this natural beauty at the beginning of the 20th century and have used it as a location for their summer holidays. 

Right at the beginning of the cove, If you take a good look into the crystal clear water, you’ll see the rusty remains of a sunken battleship from the Second World War.

Don’t forget to bring your snorkeling gear – who knows, maybe there’s some treasure hidden inside that ship. 

3. Untouched nature

Although every year there are more tourists,  Zavratnica is still not endangered by tourism. The sea is clean, clear and splendidly blue – ideal for a refreshing swim. Also, the area is home to 129 plant species, most of which are native to the area. 

Bonus tips:

Bring some cash. To get in, you have to pay an entrance fee of 30 kunas (as of last tourist season).

If you’re planning to visit island Rab (it’s just across Zavratnica), include Zavratnica into your itinerary. 

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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