The earth has music for those who listen. – George Santayana

It must be that South of Istria is an excellent listener, in respect to this spectacular gift it has received. Wondering what I'm talking about? Neither more nor less than the paradise on the Earth, the southernmost point of Istria, a place where you can still feel the spirit of bygone ages when dinosaurs ruled the world - the Cape Kamenjak!

Main article photo by: Foto Basso

 

This significant landscape is divided into Upper and Lower Kamenjak with Medulin archipelago, but under the authority of the Public Institution Kamenjak are also two beautiful areas, Kašteja Forest Park and Soline Forest Park. If you find yourself in this area, do not forget to visit it, I can guarantee you the unique experience of nature. Soline are often my choice for disconnection from reality. But I will keep my interest on the Cape Kamenjak, I'll have to somehow shortened to match the proportions of the average article, otherwise it might turn into a book, and I'm not sure if I have an audience for it.

Photo by: Tajan Karimanović

Kamenjak is a part of village Premantura, 10 kilometers from Pula, and you can reach it by car, bicycle or by boat, everyone has a choice with regard to the level of commodity that wants to have. Upper Kamenjak is less visited, but don’t let that fool you, every shell hides its pearl from prying eyes. This is an area of great floristic importance, with 487 different species of plants recorded. Keep in mind that this is very small area, only 6 km square! A colony of bats with seven different species has found its home here, pretty impressive, isn't it? Here you can organize any type of outdoor activities, walking or cycling, in any case it will be a great fun. I speak from my own experience, I adore to walk there, feeling is unique and unrepeatable, each and every time. Meditation on a wooden bench with B E A U T I F U L view of the sea and the scents of nature that words can not describe – it causes the tranquility of outer body experience, the absolute unity with nature. What will delight you is the sensing didactic promenade Gradina adapted to visually impaired people!

 

Photo by: Martina Hervat

Lower Kamenjak is a special story. Characteristics of this area have been created for centuries by game between man and nature, habitats that you can see here have the extreme biological importance, and be sure that the authorities make strenuous efforts to maintain this state. It also means that they provide support for livestock grazing which shapes this unique habitat. Very interesting for everyone is indigenous Istrian cattle (boškarin) - here you can meet its majesty. Don't avoid it if you find yourself on Kamenjak, experience it to the fullest!

Photo by: Ditka Bart

In addition to animals, Kamenjak abounds in plants, and I believe that for you the most interesting would be charismatic orchids. No, it's not luxurious tropical orchids, but this doesn't diminish their importance. In fact, orchids are an excellent indicator of possible environmental pollution because of extreme sensitivity to any change in conditions. Good thing to have such a natural alarm, right? On this area grow 30 species of orchids, two of them are endemic, oh what an abundance on the reach of my hand!

 

Photo by: Martina Hervat

Did you know that this area has its own unique microclimate, which is very different from the climate of neighboring Pula and the surrounding area? There are plenty of sunny days and total amount of annual precipitation is up to four times less than the surroundings. This makes Kamenjak an ideal place for entertainment in nature throughout the year.

Photo by: Siniša Bratović

No matter how magical all this sounds, you have to be careful, you might be eaten alive by dinosaur! I'm just kidding. But I don't lie when I say that you might meet a dinosaur, there are fossilized imprints of their feet on the peninsula Grakalovac, and you will be guided through especially nice path with models of dinosaurs in life-size. If you attend a workshop held there, you can make the outpour of dinosaurs feet and so have a special, just yours souvenir from this area. There is entire dinosaur trail on the island Fenoliga, don't miss to visit it!

Photo by: Monika Relković & Leana Šibić

In addition to already mentioned workshop, here will be held a few others where you can learn all about the protected area of Kamenjak, its plants, 50 species of butterflies and other insects, 192 species of birds, specific habitat in the intertidal zone... You'll have to discover all the secrets of this area by yourself, this is the best way!

 

Photo by: Martina Hervat

Wondering what else you can do to have fun on Cape Kamenjak? Wait for the next blog in which I will describe in detail all the interesting activities that take place here, it's definitely a story in itself!

Photo by: Martina Hervat

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