About Hiking in Croatia's National Parks
Hiking through 5 National Parks in Croatia; experiencing traditional Croatian cuisine and hospitality.
Activity code: CR-TR02
Difficulty: Easy hiking, mostly on National Park prepared paths.
Duration: 8 Days
Croatia - where the Mediterranean, the mountains and the Pannonian plains come together in a unique blend of natural beauty; within just a hundred kilometers you can experience a diverse range of landscapes. Although a small country, Croatia has a rich variety of beautiful landscapes and preserved natural areas from mountains to plains, from rivers to sea with a long and rich history. Croatia is alive with well-preserved old towns, castles, palaces, monuments and architecture. Together with the traditional folklore, art and music, Croatia is a unique and exotic place to discover including its eight main National Parks: NP Brijuni, NP Risnjak, NP Plitvice Lakes, NP North Velebit, NP Paklenica, NP Kornati Islands, NP Krka River and NP Mljet Island.
This trip provides an unforgettable hiking adventure in five of those National Parks for flexible, energetic people who like to be active, have an adventurous spirit and a positive attitude. The combination of hiking through national parks, scenery and cultural immersion makes this journey a unique experience of Croatia.
Activities: Hiking, walking and sightseeing are included in the program as everyday activities and are suitable for people of all ages who live an active life. Croatia has pleasant temperatures in summer and the routes do not use dangerous paths or those which are too physically demanding. Although, while exploring the National Parks please make sure to bring comfortable walking shoes.
Activity level: Trips are designed for flexible, energetic people who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. The daily schedule is a mixture of walking, swimming, sightseeing and exploring. The combination of activity, scenery and cultural immersion makes this journey a unique and unforgettable experience.
Group size: Min 4 – Max 16 persons per group.
Minimum child age: from 12 years, must be accompanied by an adult.
Accommodation: is arranged in small family-run hotels or private guest houses located outside the popular tourist areas. This will make your experience of Croatia even more complete. Accommodation is provided in the following places on this tour - in the Zeleni Kut hotel on the bank of the Mreznica River (days 1 & 2); by the families of Korana Village, a small romantic place hidden away in a valley surrounding both sides of the river in Plitvice Lakes National Park (days 3, 4 & 5) and in Skradinski Buk hotel in Skradin (days 6 & 7).
NB. This itinerary can be subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather, water levels, special events of interest, etc. Our guides and tour leaders will do their utmost to ensure the best possible experience for you without compromising safety at any time. This may mean changing the original itinerary to avoid discomfort or risk which could be caused by exceptional situations.
Zvecaj is a small village by the Mreznica River, not far from the highway connecting the Croatian capital, Zagreb, with the port of Rijeka. Zeleni kut "The Green Corner" is a well-known restaurant and a small family-owned hotel overlooking the green Mreznica River and its waterfall, it was built above an old mill which now supplies electric power. The hotel serves traditional Croatian specialties using fresh water fish from its own fishing ponds, homemade cheese, ham and sausages as well as fresh vegetables and fruit from local farms. In the evening your small group will meet on the terrace overlooking the river for a welcome drink, dinner and brief orientation, where you will have the chance to discuss the upcoming adventures and get to know your guides and fellow travellers.
The Risnjak mountain range is named after a rare animal that inhabits its woods - the lynx - it is located in Gorski Kotar, the most mountainous and heavily forested region of the country, about 15 km inland from the Adriatic Sea. This pristine park covers an area of 63.5 km2 and includes both the Risnjak and Snjeznik ranges and the source of the Kupa river. The start of your hike is Vilke which leads to your goal - Big Risnjak, the highest point of the mountain range and to Schlosser's mountain hut, situated 100m below the peak, which is probably one of the most beautiful spots in Croatia. After resting and enjoying the amazing view over the sea and the peaks of Gorski Kotar it is time to descend slowly back to Vilje and to your hotel in the late afternoon.
After breakfast there is a drive to Croatia's youngest national park - North Velebit. The area was designated due to the rich karst phenomena, outstanding biodiversity and exquisitely beautiful nature in a relatively small area. The Park is criss-crossed with numerous mountain trails of which the most famous is the Premuzić trail, named after its constructor who built it in 1933. The path runs through the most beautiful and the most interesting parts of the park and from the numerous peaks you can have a magnificent view over the Adriatic Sea, its islands and the continental side of the mountain chain.
Accommodation in Plitvice Lakes National Park is provided by the families of Korana Village, a small romantic place hidden away in a valley by the Korana River. The houses are small, traditional dwellings with simple rooms in an idyllic setting. The peaceful atmosphere makes the village an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding area – Korana Village has no pubs, restaurants, shops, schools, not even a church - it's just a village as small and wonderful as it can be, an ideal setting.
Today you will visit the most beautiful and stunning national park of Croatia - Plitvice Lakes. The day begins with a walk along the wooden paths and bridges in and around the park, which run between its exquisite series of 16 emerald green and opal blue travertine lakes, more than 90 waterfalls and numerous caves (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The lakes are surrounded by beech and pine forests and are home to extensive wildlife; your picnic lunch in the pure and untouched nature is something special, afterwards a panoramic boat and train ride will take you back to the start. Later in the afternoon you can return to your accommodation in the village just in time to enjoy a quick swim before dinner.
On the fifth day of your holiday you can be as active or as lazy as you want. You can relax by the river, swim or even take an optional cycling tour on your own in and around Plitvice Lakes National Park. Several river, walking, sightseeing or beach trips will be offered, in case you are keen on discovering more beauties that Croatia has to offer.
Please note that the optional trip will incur an additional charge of approx. 50€ per head, payable on site, and is dependent on suitable weather conditions. The price is based on a min. of 4 participants.
Optional trip possibilities:
After saying goodbye to the village hosts you'll head south to Paklenica National Park, part of a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and a favorite hiking and climbing destination. Paklenica National Park covers the area of torrent flows of rivers Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica, their distinctive canyons carved vertically into the south slopes of Mount Velebit and the broader surrounding area. This relatively small area offers exceptional diversity of geomorphologic phenomena, diverse flora and fauna, attractive landscapes and intact nature. Having adapted to the geographic and climatic environment, the locals mostly engage in nomadic stock herding, which can be seen by their mountain shepherd residences. Hiking is the only way to really get to know Paklenica National Park and there are several wonderful hikes through beech and black pine forests to choose from; the most popular is the trail leading to Borisov Dom, a mountain hut popular among mountaineers. After descending all the way to the sea you will be driven to Skradin for the evening.
The last day of this journey takes you to the Krka River National Park with its fantastic karst formations and travertine waterfalls. The day begins with an exploration of the park's extensive waterways and complex history dating back to late 10th Century and first Croatian kings. One of the options is a visit to Skradinski Buk waterfall, the place where the World's second hydroelectric plant was built, just a few years after the one at Niagara Falls. A boat will take you to Visovac island and its Franciscan monastery. After walking, return to the hotel and enjoy a late afternoon in the old town of Skradin before the final evening dinner and a celebration of an amazing adventure.
Depart from Skradin to the airport and your flight home. If you decide to spend more time in Croatia, our guides will be happy to recommend other beautiful places to visit - especially those you won't find in tourist guide books.
Date range: , Option: Small Group Hiking in Croatia
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All prices are per person