Croatia’s national parks are a set of stunners. In these secluded spots, the crowds melt away, leaving you to drink in the compelling scenery.

With thundering waterfalls, turquoise lagoons, lush forests and mist-shrouded mountains, the landscape is diverse and devastatingly beautiful. Cameras at the ready – these serene areas are an Instagram lover’s heaven.

Here are five of Croatia’s national parks that are worth adding to your bucket list.

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1. Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia is one of the country’s top treasures – visit this captivating UNESCO-listed area and you’ll soon see why. Among dense woodland, 16 cascade lakes are connected by a series of gushing waterfalls. Follow the winding wooden walkways, which snake through the park for 18km, to get an up-close view of the bright blue waters.

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2. Krka National Park

Chase waterfalls in Krka National Park – there are seven to be found among the 142 square kilometre area. Dramatic is the best word to describe this natural wonderland. While the waterfalls are the main highlight, there are islands, gorges and a 73km river to explore, too. Mother Nature’s attractions are contrasted by those made by man, with the orange roofs of historic monasteries juxtaposing the sea of green.

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3. Kopacki Rit National Park

Keen birdwatchers should make for these enormous wetlands, nicknamed the ‘European Amazon’. Its position sandwiched between the Danube and Drava Rivers has created a rich haven for flora and fauna. Watch more than 200 species dart among water lilies, irises and duckweeds.

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4. Paklenica National Park

Breathtaking mountain scenery awaits at Paklenica National Park. The peaks and gorges of the Velebit Range are a magnet for climbers, while walkers are also catered for with miles of trails to trek along. Wherever you wander, you’ll find striking alpine forest views to admire. And if you’re lucky, you may also spot some local wildlife – golden eagles, bears and lynx call Paklenica National Park home.

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5. Mljet National Park

The entire island of Mljet is blanketed in green. And the thick vegetation of the west side comprises the national park here, along with a 500m chunk of a sea belt and two saltwater lakes. Take a ferry here and roam along the shores of the glimmering waters. There are ancient ruins to spot along the way, too.

Whichever of Croatia’s national parks you choose to visit, can take you there, with flights to Split and Dubrovnik.