Brijuni

Along the western Istrian coast there are several island groups among which the most interesting, the largest and most indented is the Brijuni island group with its 14 islands and islets covering and area of 7.42 sq km. The present day boundaries of the National Park were set in 1999 and comprise the land, the surrounding sea with the seabed and cover an area of 33.9 sq km. The length of the coastline of all the islands is 46.8km. The most indented islands are Veliki Brijun (25.9km) and Mali Brijun (8.3km). The shores are mostly low and rocky but easily accessible due to the horizontal stratification of the rocks, and in some bays pebbles and sand can be found.


The National Park of Brijuni includes the following islands: Veliki Brijun, Mali Brijun, St. Mark, Gaz, Okrugljak, Supin, Supinić, Galija, Grunj, Vanga (Krasnica), Pusti (Madona), Vrsar, St. Jerome and Kozada. (Krasnica), Pusti (Madona), Vrsar, Sv.Jerolim i Kozada. Geologically and geo-morphologically Brijuni are the continuation of western Istria, the so-called "Red Istria". Since the depth of the channel of Fažana is just 12m, Brijuni were until some 10,000 years ago an integral part of Istria.


Climatically Brijuni are part of the northern Mediterranean type of climate and have all the qualities of the western Istrian coast with a relatively high value of dampness in the air (76%). The average yearly temperature is 13.9 °C, the precipitation average is 817mm, while the level of insolation is 2350 hours per year.
The natural biological diversity was enriched by men’s traditional husbandry. Veliki Brijun, as the largest island of the archipelago, which was cultivated into a harmonious landscape of meadows and parks, has along with the rich remnants of architectural heritage also the preserved vegetation types typical for the western Istrian climate. It is important to underline that the sea forms 80% of the protected area of the National Park and has almost all the elements of the marine eco-system of the Adriatic.


Because of the millennial presence of men on the archipelago of Brijuni, the animal world on the islands, especially Veliki Brijun, besides the autochthonous species, was enriched by many imported species that are not congenial to this habitat but got acclimated to it thanks to the almost ideal microclimatic conditions. In 1893 on the island lived the European hare (Lepus europaeus sp.) and between 1902 and 1908 the Aksis deer (Aksis aksis), the fallow deer (Dama dama) and the mouflons (Ovis musimon) were imported, so their descendants still adorn the forests, parks and glades of Brijuni and are part of its identity. On the northern edge of Veli Brijun, in an enclosed area stretching over 9 hectares, lies the safari park that was formed in 1978. The park is the habitat of many exotic plant eaters: Indian elephants Sony and Lanka, llamas - South American camels which according to the Indian legend were domesticated in the very beginnings of human existence, zebras, nilgais and kob antelopes, Somalian sheep, Indian holy cows and autochthonous donkeys.



Official Website of Brijuni National Park

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