Brioni are fourteen insular green jewels immersed in the blue sea. They stretch along the south-western coast of the Istria peninsula, from which they are divided by approximately 3 km wide Fažana Channel.
Brioni were declared a national park in 1983. The current boundaries of the National Park were set in 1999. They include mainland and the surrounding sea with the underwater and cover an area of 33.9 km2. Length of the coastline of all the island of Brioni is 46.8 km. The most indented islands are Veliki Brion (25.9 km) and Mali Brion (8.3 km). The shores are mostly low and rocky but easily accessible due to the horizontal stratification of the rocks, and in some coves there is somewhat pebbles and sand. The protected area of the marine part is 26.5 km2.
It is exactly the vegetation component what makes Brioni naturally specific and valuable. On Veliki Brion an extremely valuable harmony of natural and anthropogenic elements has been achieved in the overall landscape picture. Taking the former farmland and shrinking part of forest areas, and transforming them into landscape parks with vast open grasslands, created a remarkable landscape unique in the Croatian Adriatic. Most of the floral elements in the Brioni Islands have true Mediterranean characteristics. The most important plant categories are: macchia 261 ha, grassland 124 ha, parks 118 ha, holm oak forests 68 ha, holm oak and laurel forests 48 ha, 18 hectares of conifer culture.
Due to the thousand-year presence of man in Brioni, animal life on the islands, especially on Veliki Brion (Great Brion), besides the indigenous animals it was enriched by many imported species that are not typical for this habitat, but they are well acclimatized thanks to almost ideal microclimate conditions. Besides the indigenous species, the Istrian ox, Istrian sheep, donkey, goats, on Brioni can be seen: rabbit, axis deer, fallow deer, bighorn sheep, llamas, Steppe and mountain zebra, elephant, finches or Indian holy cow (a tribute of the President of India Nehru , 1959).
Brioni represent a remarkable combination of natural and cultural-historical heritage. The mild climate and the favourable climatic conditions, deep retracted bays and easily defendable elevated fortifications, ensured the continuity of human action on the island from prehistory to the present day. On a relatively small island, covering an area slightly larger than 7 km2, approximately hundred of sites and buildings of archaeological, cultural-historical values were recorded, which include the period from the first Neolithic settlements in the bay Soline, to the creation of fashionable summer resort and spa at the beginning of the last century, and the presidential residence which was visited by statesmen of as much as one third of world’s countries during the period of 25 years (1954-1979).
Brioni islands or Brioni archipelago today is certainly one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Croatia, where in the framework of the so-called scientific tourism significant place belongs also to the paleontological findings of the traces of dinosaur movement. In addition to rich flora and fauna, or the natural resources, NP Brioni offer their visitors a number of educational programs as well, such as walking along the "traces of dinosaurs", a tour of churches of Brioni, tour of the most important archaeological sites of Brioni, feeding animals and photo safari, small schools of underwater and exploring the Brioni plants. To experience Brioni means to walk through the history, to meet different cultures and civilizations that have left their indelible trace and thereby enriched the island with a magical mystery.
Brioni can be reached exclusively by a vessel. They are located close to Fažana with which they are connected by frequent boat lines (15 minutes by boat). National Park’s distance from the city Pula, from the road, rail, air and sea hub is 7 km. Distance of Pula from major European cities: Rijeka 90 km, Trieste 110 km, Ljubljana 130, Zagreb 240 km, Vienna 450 km, Milan 465 km.
Vesna Danko Klunić
Senior Adviser for promotion and public relations
Tel: +385(0)52 525 806
Fax: +385(0)52 521 367
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