Enrich your vacation in Dalmatia and visit Vrana Lake. The Nature Park Vrana Lake is located in Dalmatia near Biograd na Moru, in Pakoštane. With an area of 30 square kilometers, it is the largest natural freshwater lake in Croatia.
Get to know Vrana Lake and find out everything you need to know about the natural oasis, which is an ideal place to visit. The preserved nature will be equally enjoyed by families, cyclists and fishermen, because in the magical world of both fresh and sea water there are attractions for all nature and bird lovers.
About Vrana Lake
Vrana Lake is the largest natural lake and one of the last Mediterranean swamps in Croatia. It is 13.6 km long and 1.4-3.4 km wide and stretches parallel to the coast from Pakoštane to Pirovac. It flows through the Prosika canal into the Pirovac Bay, while water is also lost underground (abysses). The water level varies from 0.95 m to 2.0 m per year.
Vrana Lake Natural Park’s Natural Habitat
Swamps and bird habitats are of international importance as they are wintering grounds for over 100,000 waterfowl. It is also extremely important for many endangered bird species in Europe. During at least one part of their life cycle, 60% of the total bird fauna of Croatia finds its home on Vrana Lake, of which as many as 136 species are endangered on a global, European or national level. For some bird species, such as the Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) and the Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus), this area is the only remaining nesting place in Croatia.
Birds of the Vrana Lake
In 1983, the Park area was declared a Special Ornithological Reserve precisely because of the reeds and floodplain meadows that are full of different species of birds. More than 260 species of birds occasionally or permanently stay there, of which 102 species nest in the Park, and 87 species come to the lake to spend the winter. During the autumn and spring migrations, more than a million migratory birds stop in the Park for food and rest.
Vrana Lake is therefore an ideal location for bird watching. For a complete experience of the richness of the bird world, bring binoculars or a telescope.
Most of the Ornithological Reserve is covered by a wide belt of dense reeds. As the seasons change, so does the reed, but it always remains a safe living home for birds. Reed provides shelter and plenty of food for smaller birds, which is why it is one of the most important habitats on Lake Vrana. Did you know that a reed has a hollow stem that grows up to 6 feet tall?
What can you do in the park?
Vrana Lake Nature Park is one of the favorite destinations for active tourism, bird lovers and sport fishermen. In the Park you can enjoy various activities such as:
- hiking in the Park and bird watching – educational and hiking trails provide an immediate experience of the combination of swamp and karst
- fishing – since the lake is located near the sea it is inhabited by freshwater and marine species, which is why the lake is very interesting for recreational and sport anglers
- cycling – cycling is a great way to explore the magical world of the lake’s flora and fauna
Code of Conduct of the Park
Within the Park, the visitors are allowed to move only in areas and trails that are marked and intended for sightseeing and visiting. Dogs must be kept tethered and led on a leash. It is forbidden to make noise, light fires, camp, throw rubbish, or to pick and collect plants and mushrooms.
The ticket is valid for the entire Nature Park. Children under 7 have free entrance. The ticket price for adults is 20.00 kn, for children older than 7 years the price is 10.00 kn, while students and retirees pay 15.00 kn.
By purchasing a ticket, you are directly helping to protect endangered bird species, protect nature and maintain and arrange hiking and biking trails in the Park.
If you want to visit Vrana Lake Nature Park, but also want to include an adrenaline activity, a Quad safari in Vrana Lake Nature Park might be the right choice for you.
Whichever way you decide to visit this natural phenomenon, you will not regret it, and you will enjoy the benefits of the beautiful nature and tranquility of the Vrana Lake.