Nature Park Telašćica is located in the central part of the eastern Adriatic coast, in the south-eastern part of Dugi otok (long island). The total area of the Nature Park is 70.50 km2.
It was given the status of the protected area in 1980 thanks to its exceptionally valuable plant and animal life, geological and geomorphologic phenomena, valuable communities of the seabed and its rich archaeological heritage.
The Mediterranean vegetation of Telašćica has over 400 plant species, many of them rare and endemic. Around 250 plant and 300 animal species live in the sea. Among endemic species particularly is important carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma hypogeum, discovered in a sunken cavern at Garmenjak Veli at only 24 m depth. This resident of great depths was found in such shallow water only in France.
For the most part bottom of the bay Telašćica is covered with sea grass communities, habitats of exceptionally rich animal life and important for reproduction of thousands of fish species.
The area of cliffs is rich in interesting flora and fauna. On the rocks beneath the sea live different corals, including the already endangered red coral. Rocks are interesting above the sea as well, because on steep cliffs grows for example Centaurea ragusina, and here is the northernmost habitat of woody spurge. On the rocks peregrine falcon Falco peregrines is nesting, and with it you also Eleanor’s Falcon Falco Eleonore can be seen. Thanks to the presence of a large number of individuals of the two protected species, Telašćica area is listed in Ornithological Important Areas (Important Bird Area-IBA areas).
Three natural phenomena represent the main characteristics of the area. Unique bay Telašćica as the safest, the most beautiful and the largest natural port in the Adriatic Sea, within which there is 25 coves, five islands and rocks... Strmac or so-called "rocks", which rise to 161 meters above the sea level and fall down in de depth of up to 90 m. Salt Lake Mir, karst depression which after the last ice age had been filled with the sea, which penetrates in it through numerous micro cracks. Its length is 900 meters and is of 300 meters wide. The lake is very shallow, the greatest depth of 8 meters, so the temperature ranges in it are significantly emphasized. It is salty above the average due to evaporation. The extreme conditions in it cause the biological poverty of the lake, which has a population of only several species of shellfish, snails and crabs, and one type of eel, called the Cayman. The Most picturesque of the islands in Telašćica is the island Katina, and the strangest on is definitely Taljurić.
The Park area has been inhabited since ancient times, as evidenced by numerous archaeological remains such as mounds and the remains of a Roman building from the first century.
The park offers nature walks, cruising, biking, photo-hunting. It is possible to dive on a few attractive locations next to the cliffs. Visitors sometimes have the unusual opportunity to enjoy the company of family of dolphins in the waters of the Park. Dolphins are frequent guests of the external, but also internal waters of the park and are the last sea mammals in the Adriatic. In recent years, the Nature Park Telašćica has become a sort of refuge for abandoned donkeys on Dugi otok (Long Island). They all move freely in the area from the cove Mir to the south end of the island. Dalmatian or coastal - Dinaric donkey is one of the original and protected breeds in Croatia and is part of the national cultural and natural heritage.
Since the Nature Park Telašćica in 64 % consists of the sea, it is the easiest to arrive by boat. The area of the Park can be reached by private or rented boat, or in the organization of one of the many shipping companies or travel agencies on the Adriatic coast. If you come from the mainland, the simplest way is to come from the place Sali, which is the nearest settlement to the Park. Sali can be reached by direct ferry lines from Zadar or by line for a place Brbinj on the northern end of Dugi otok and then by car to Telašćica. Zadar is connected to other major Croatian cities, but also the European cities, by a large number of plane, bus and boat lines.