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Head off the beaten track to explore natural wonders of these European geoparks [PICS]



Looking for vacation inspiration? Head to one of these beautiful geoparks.

From Brazil to China to Finland, UNESCO recently named 18 new geoparks around the world, a designation that recognises geological heritage of global significance.

Three must-visit European geoparks

Here are three of the freshly named sites in Europe that are easily accessible for travelers looking for vacation inspiration.

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Croatia – Biokovo-Imotski Lakes UNESCO Global Geopark

When exploring Croatia, travelers often head for the Plitvice Lakes National Park, home to a chain of 16 tiered lakes that form an eight-kilometre sightseeing circuit with breathtaking panoramic views of mighty waterfalls. With the new UNESCO designation, visitors may be pleased to find another Croatian destination of stunning natural beauty, especially as the Biokovo-Imotski Lakes are more easily accessible from Split, one of Croatia’s tourist strongholds (along with Dubrovnik).

Located in the heart of central Dalmatia, the Croatian geopark is described as “an intersection of Mediterranean and Central European landscapes and cultures.” Dominated by the Biokovo Mountain and its highest peak – St George Peak – the site is home to natural treasures such as the Vrljika River, known locally as the “source of sustenance.” Don’t miss the Red Lake, Europe’s deepest karst lake, and the crystalline waters of the Blue Lake.

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