The Paklenica Riviera delights in its unbelievable mixture of varied landscapes, which in an instant can change before the eyes of the observer. Rocky shoes adorned with romantic bays suddenly turn into a luxurious pebble beach. The shining blue sea in a moment is exchanged for green forests and mountain peaks. Only a few minutes walk from the center, old villages are still defying time, their stone walls preserving traces of the past… It is located in the far northwestern part of Dalmatia, as a part of the Zadar oriented region. Gently laid out along twenty kilometers of seacoast at the foot of the magnificent Velebit Mountain, the Paklenica Riviera joins mountain and sea, the Mediterranean with an upland climate, tradition with modernity.
The thousand years of the rapidly flowing streams of the Velika and Mala Paklenica canyons, with their sources high up in the Velebit Mountain, formed at their base the fertile plain and peaceful shore that is the site of the present towns of Starigrad, Seline, and Tribanj.
Starigrad, the center of the Paklenica Riviera, arose on the foundations of the ancient Roman city of Argyruntum. Today it is a lively tourist center with somewhat more than one thousands inhabitants, who exchanged their traditional manner of life in the foothills of the Velebit for life alongside the sea some half a century ago. The nearness and the easy access to the mountains, particularly through the attractive Velika Paklenica canyon, means that Starigrad is not merely a pleasant seaside resort, but also a traditional gathering place for hikers and climbers, adventurers and scientists, and all nature lovers who come to enjoy the beauties of Paklenica and the Velebit.
While you are enjoying the crystal clear sea, your glance may come to rest on the magnificent canyons of Velika and Mala Paklenica, deeply cut into the Velebit Mountain above you, and you may not realize that they are responsible for the surprising richness of the natural pebble beaches on the Paklenica Riviera. But even those romantic souls who want hidden, rocky coves will come into their own, as they are abundant in the northwestern part of the Riviera.
Source: TB Municipality of Starigrad
Photo: Boris Kačan