Photo by Zoran Jelača

Like the Sea but Much Sweeter

When planning a vacation which involves swimming, you usually end up in a picturesque town on the seacoast. As if the sea were the only large body of water in Croatia where you can swim and enjoy yourself and relax. Of course it’s not! Dozens of beautiful lakes with their magic await their chance to show you how much you have missed and how this is the right time to make up for what you have missed.


This lake, unique in many ways, is situated on the Gradina peninsula, along a narrow stretch of land that separates the Bays of Soline and Koprišće. It is surrounded by vertical cliffs up to 24 meters high. Over the centuries, the lake has been known to boil. Because of this unusual natural phenomenon, many legends about human beings and mythological creatures have emerged, among which the most interesting is the one about the ruthless Rogoznica dragon, who lived in the lake and charged a bloody tribute, taking the most beautiful girls and the fattest sheep from the surrounding villagers. Or perhaps the one about the dragon Murin, Poseidon’s son, who actually did protect Rogoznica from marauders, but demanded compensation for his services, until the hero Aristoles appeared and challenged the dragon to fight with spears. Apparently, the lake was the result of Aristoles’ victory, and today it has supernatural powers.


If You Look at Vacations as a Challenge


The Red Lake is actually a karst sinkhole filled with water. The name came from the red cliffs surrounding the lake. The speleologists who investigated it determined that it was formed by the collapse of a cave roof. Those who are not very familiar with speleology but know about myths and legends have their own theories, or rather a legend that says that in the past a palace existed over the lake, Gavan’s palace, which collapsed into the ground, and a lake was created there. According to the latest measurements, the lake is 255 metres deep, and the first man to touch the bottom was the French cave diver Frederic Swierczynski during a four-hour dive. Now all that’s needed is to find someone who’ll toss pebbles into the lake.


Football at the Bottom of a Lake? Sure.


Where there is a Red Lake, there must be a Blue Lake. That really is the case. Once you come to Imotski, don’t pass up the opportunity to visit both lakes because they’re quite phenomenal. While the Red Lake is a true speleological phenomenon, the Blue Lake is more of a social one – during the summer, the lake becomes a favourite promenade and swimming spot for the locals from Imotski and the neighbouring towns. The water is extremely blue in colour, and the level oscillates throughout the year. In the spring it is almost 100 meters deep, while in late autumn it is completely dry, so they play football at the bottom of it. If you like to swim in unusual places and/or if you like to play soccer in unusual places, then we’ll see you in Imotski, by the Blue Lake.


A Lake with a View of Dolphins


In the central part of the Telašćica Nature Park there is the salt lake Mir, characterized by being registered as a lake, although it has salt water, but also because the water in it is several degrees warmer than sea water and therapeutic properties are therefore attributed to it – this in particular refers to the part of the lake where there is medicinal mud. The water in the lake is shallow and saltier than average and is not completely separated from the sea, since seawater fills the lake during high tide through underground cracks. Not far from the lake there are 160 meters high cliffs from which you can see dolphins. So, let go of the land, stick to the sea and take a break at a saltwater lake!


Seven Lake Wonders!


This is a group of lakes in Baćina near the town of Ploče, on the right side of the Neretva delta. It consists of six connected and one separate lake. The lake with the largest surface area is Voćuša, while Trniševo at a depth of 34 meters is the deepest. They are fresh water lakes, and the water in them is on the average three degrees warmer than the sea.

They are a frequent destination for tourists and excursionists, especially for sport fishermen. The lakes have three small islets and two tunnels. The first one connects the lakes with the sea to take the excess winter water to the sea and prevent floods. Near the lake there are remains of ancient walls.


Multipurpose Lake


The artificial reservoir lake was created in 1952 by building a dam on the Ličanka River near Fužine in Gorski Kotar to meet the needs of the Vinodol hydropower plant. Thirty kilometres away from the sea, the Bajer Lake has become a real hit among tourists because you can swim there, rent a boat, go fishing, walk along the developed promenade or visit the natural sites which you can find to your heart’s desire around the lake. One of the said beauties is the Vrelo Cave, known for being the only cave in Europe which has no stairs, so it is also easily accessible to people with special needs. Because of the frequent wind currents, Bajer is becoming increasingly of more interest to surfers.


An Artificial Lake for a Natural Holiday


The Lokvarsko Lake was formed by stopping the flow of the Lokvarka River, in order to cover the green valley with the town Srednji Jarak, three sawmills and several kilometres of the popular Gorski Kotar road “Lujzijana” with a turquoise artificial 40-meter deep lake. However, although it is artificial, the Lokvarsko Lake is perfectly integrated into the natural environment of the beautiful coniferous forests of Gorski Kotar. Nowadays, it is an exceptional tourist attraction and a favourite spot for divers, hikers, cyclists, and especially fishermen, because it abounds in various types of fish. The largest trout in the world, at a staggering 25.40 kilograms, was caught in the Lokvarsko Lake.


Welcome to the Zagreb Sea!


Before it became what it is now, Jarun was just one of the small channels of the Sava River. The construction of the Sava embankments marked the beginning of the transformation of Jarun from a swamp into one of Zagreb’s most visited green oases. In the late eighties, before the beginning of the University Games, Zagreb started to develop its sea and quickly transformed it into a beautiful sports and recreation centre with six islands, five neat and clean beaches and one rowing lane.

Apart from being the favourite bathing spot for a large number of Zagreb locals for decades, numerous musical and sporting events, festivals, concerts, as well as small private barbecues, picnics and celebrations are held on Jarun. If you come to Zagreb, you have to see its sea!


The Podravina Sea Overflowing with Flora and Fauna


This very popular lake in Podravina is situated about fifteen kilometres away from Koprivnica. Formed by excavating the Drava gravel, over time, the Šoderica Lake was turned into a turquoise green recreational lake, on whose pebble beaches during the summer months it is difficult to find a place to put your towel. Apart from being a swimming and vacation paradise, Šoderica is also a true fishing paradise.

The constant flock of swans that has chosen Šoderica for its home is a special attraction for all nature and animal lovers. Not only is the summer nice here. Whenever you come by, you will see natural beauty that will let your eyes and soul rest and charge your SD card.

Freshen up your holiday by going to the lakes, and you will see that it may be just as good in them, beside them or on them, as at the sea, if not even better. And if you miss the salt, you can always buy it at the nearest store.