On 19 October 1949 Paklenica National Park was declared a National Park, and this Sunday it will celebrate its 65th birthday by opening its doors to the public for free. Located in Starigrad, northern Dalmatia, at the southern slopes of Velebit mountain, not far from Zadar, Paklenica National Park has two canyons: Mala (Small) and Velika (Big) Paklenica.
Velika Paklenica canyon is 14 km long and 500–800 m wide. Vertical cliffs rise above both sides of the canyon up to a height of over 700 m. The most attractive part is the area around the steep drop of the stream downstream from Anića luka, where steep cliffs rise directly above the stream, forming the narrowest part of the canyon between Anića luka and the parking lot. Mala Paklenica Canyon is of lesser dimension, and the torrent running through it is much less powerful. It is 12 km long and 400-500 wide.
The gorgeous National Park is renowned for its wealth of flora and fauna, which is reflected in the list of 1,000 plant species and subspecies recorded to date, 79 of them endemic. Paklenica National Park attracts a large number of tourist every year and is the most visited climbing site in Croatia, and the largest in Southeast Europe. The close proximity of seawater gives this climbing site a special charm, making Paklenica Riviera an ideal place to combine climbing and water sports. Today, there are over 360 equipped and improved routes of various difficulty levels and lengths within Paklenica’s climbing sites, so each climber can find to their liking. The main climbing season begins in spring and goes on until late autumn.