Before or after reading this story, you can also check my previous article on Croatian continental counties (županije). When searching for "Croatia" on the Internet, most probably you will have 9/10 results about the Croatian seaside. And that is totally fine. Now, let's see what each one of the Northern and Central Adriatic counties in Croatia is hiding.
In this story, I will present you six Northern and Central Adriatic counties - logically all of them with the blue color on the flag. Let me add that all eight national parks in Croatia are located in its Adriatic region.
Northern Adriatic counties in Croatia
First of all - Istria, the only peninsular county in Croatia. Welcome to the westernmost Croatian county or how the county's anthem says - "Beautiful land". When visiting Istria, definitely one should go and see its four picturesque hilltop towns - beautiful landscapes, amazing nature, the best wine, and friendly locals will host you there. What else do you need? Rovinj and its fishing port, Pula and its famous arena, Hum, among all other beautiful towns are welcoming you with the scent of pine, sea, fish, cheese, and wine.
After getting to know Istria, its first neighbor is Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, with which Istria is sharing Učka Nature Park. Primorje-Gorski Kotar is the place with the cold and snowy winters and the home to the pearl of the Adriatic - Opatija and National Park Risnjak. Krk, Cres, Rab, Mali Lošinj, and Veliki Lošinj are the islands that are parts of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County.
Opatija, town in CroatiaOpatija, Croatia
Krk islandKrk, Croatia
Cres, IslandCres, Croatia
Rab, islandRab, Croatia
Lošinj, islandLosinj, Croatia
Central Adriatic counties in Croatia
National park Plitvice is one of the most visited Croatian and European destinations. The Internet is full of photos of water cascades in Plitvice, hand really this place is a piece of heaven on Earth. Not so many people know that the natural jewel of Croatia - National park Plitvice - is in the Lika-Senj county. Besides this natural wonder, Lika-Senj county is famous for its other national park - Northern Velebit. Speaking of nature, next Adriatic county is - Zadar. Zadar County is the place rich in nature parks: Vrana lake - а birding paradise, Nature Park Telašćica, National Park Paklenica... Cities and towns in Zadar County will surprise you with its amazing history - Nin and the world's smallest cathedral, ports of Biograd in Biograd na moru, and its specific charm and the most beautiful sunset - Zadar and its monument to the Sun. When in Zadar, remember to hop on a bicycle and make a nature tour or a town tour in it.
Plitvice lakes, CroatiaParque Nacional de los Lagos de Plitvice, Croacia
Northern Velebit National ParkNorthern Velebit National Park, Krasno 96, 53274, Krasno Polje, Croatia
Vransko LakeLake Vrana, Vrana, Croatia
Telašćica bayNature Park Telašćica, Croatie
Paklenica parkPaklenica River, 23244, Croatie
Monument to the Sun, in ZadarIstarska obala, 23000, Zadar, Croatie
Church of the Holy Cross, NinUl. Petra Zoranića 8, 23232, Nin, Croacia
Port of BiogradŠetalište kneza Branimira, 23210, Biograd na Moru, Croacia
Šibenik-Knin county is also proud of its two nature wanders - Krka National Park and the Kornati, a National Park made of 140 islands. Šibenik, the city of fortresses, is the perfect starting point when you want to visit these amazing nature parks. Split-Dalmatia County, besides Split as a capital of the county and one of the most beautiful cities in Croatia, offers the visits to many famous Croatian islands. It's up to you to jump into a Hvar Island fairy-tale or dive into the clear waters of the island Vis. For nature enthusiasts, Paklinski otoci would be the choice no.1, while hikers should definitely visit Biokovo Nature Park.
Krka National Park
Sail in Kornati National parkParc national des Kornati, Butina 2, 22243, Murter, Croatie
Hvar, islandHvar, Croatia
Vis IslandVis, Croatia
Paklinski OtociPakleni otoci, Croatia
Biokovo MountainBiokovo, 21300, Makarska, Croatia
St. Michael's FortressZagrađe 21, 22000, Šibenik, Croacia
After a few hundred kilometers and phone/camera filled with photos and videos, take a short break. Stunning nature of the Northern and Central Adriatic counties in Croatia will amaze you. So, you will wish to come over and over again. There's one more Adriatic county in the list - Dubrovnik-Neretva County, so don't miss to read about it as well.
We recommend to book your stays in Opatija in advance as it can get booked up quickly during certain periods. If you use this link, you pay the same price and we get a small commission - thanks for your support!
Want to plan this trip? Build your own hotel+flight package, or reach out for personalized advice from one of our travel experts.
Interesting towns related to this story
Are you ready to experience this story yourself?