Trails of Croatia - National Parks Hiking Tour

organized by Go Explore Croatia

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Highlights

  • Hiking in 5 of the best Croatian national parks and 1 nature park
  • Local specialties and gastronomy
  • History and culture in famous Zadar and Šibenik towns

Description

Overview

This week-long holiday was designed for all those who love to walk through beautiful nature while exploring local culture, history and gastronomy. We have put together an amazing itinerary that includes 5 of the best Croatian national parks and 1 nature park.

Description

This week-long holiday organised by Go Explore Croatia was designed for all those who love to walk through beautiful nature while exploring local culture, history and gastronomy. We have put together an amazing itinerary that includes 5 of the best Croatian national parks and 1 nature park with an accent on a rich variety of landscapes you will get a chance to admire along the way - mountains, hills, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, Adriatic Sea and coast.

Apart from famous hiking trails and hidden gems like the Gorski Kotar area, you will also visit Zadar and Šibenik, real masterpieces of urban art and architecture. Time in between the hikes will be spent enjoying the local atmosphere and experiencing how the people in these regions live, while savoring some tasty berry strudel and forest soup or Mediterranean fish, wine and olive oil.

Come and discover Croatia's incredibly preserved nature, medieval towns, rustic villages, old monuments, folklore, music, history and tradition more than 2000 years old. Join us on this trip of a lifetime and discover why Croatia is called a small country for a big adventure...

Day-by-day

Day 1 — Day 1: Arrival

Our first encounter will be in Zagreb or Rijeka. You will be picked up from the airport, bus/train station or your hotel and head to Gorski Kotar. Gorski Kotar is the mountain region popularly known as the „Green Lungs of Croatia“ because of its magical dense forests and fresh air. The charm of this area also lies in the fact that it's not very touristy. It's a real jewel still waiting to be discovered, ideal for a peaceful and rejuvenating vacation. We will all get together for a welcome dinner, meet our fellow travelers and learn more about the adventures that are waiting for us this week. Night: guesthouse in Gorski Kotar Drive: 1h-1h45, depending on the airport

Day 2 — Day 2: Risnjak National Park

This first morning we wake up near the entrance to Risnjak, the National Park that was named after its most popular inhabitant – the lynx or “ris” in Croatian. It encompasses Risnjak and Snjeznik mountain ranges and the source area of the River Kupa. The Park is equally attractive in all seasons: in winter, when covered with snow; in spring, when its meadows transform into carpets of flowers; in summer, when it offers relief from the heat, and in autumn, when the trees bathe in a myriad of colors. Our goal will be Big Risnjak (1528 m), its highest peak, and we will have time for a deserved break in the hut just below it. Weather permitting, we will be able to admire the views of the Adriatic Sea, neighboring Slovenia and even the Alps. An alternative is a gentler hike in the Kupa River Valley, often described as the magnificent valley of butterflies. Night: guesthouse in Gorski Kotar Drive: up to 25 min each way; Activity: 5-6 hours for the Big Risnjak hike

Day 3 — Day 3: Northern Velebit National Park

While we like to say that we will conquer a mountain, Velebit is a kind of a mountain that conquers its visitors. Northern Velebit, the youngest Croatian National Park, is just one small part of this magnificent mountain and recognized for its preserved biodiversity, richness of the natural phenomena and pristine wilderness. We will hike along one part of the famous Premužić Trail which was built at the beginning of the 20th century and named after its constructor. It runs along the mountain ridge through the most beautiful and inaccessible parts of the mountain with the Adriatic Sea and islands stretching on one side and the continental Croatia on the other. Since the trail was engineered to provide gentle hiking without any steep ascents or descents, we will have an easy and pleasant day enjoying beautiful nature. After the trip we will head to Plitvice Lakes National Park surroundings where we will settle in one of the villages and feel the peaceful life in the Croatian countryside. Night: guesthouse in Plitvice National Park area Drive: 2h+2h30; Activity: 3-4 hours

Day 4 — Day 4: Plitvice Lakes National Park

This morning we don't have to go too far, we are just a short drive away from the oldest Croatian National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sequence of 16 turquoise lakes linked together with beautiful waterfalls and travertine pools are really as beautiful as in the photos, even more. The lakes are surrounded by beech and pine forests and are home to extensive wildlife. We will walk by the lakes, past the waterfalls and the trails will occasionally lead us up to amazing viewpoints where you will be able to admire the complete picture of this amazing natural attraction. Night: guesthouse in Plitvice National Park area Drive: 10 min; Activity: 5-6 hours

Day 5 — Day 5: Velebit Nature Park – Krupa River, Zadar.

Today we head south to explore the gorgeous Krupa River canyon which is a part of Velebit Nature Park. It's a real western movie setting and a perfect destination for all trekking lovers. On its path to the river Zrmanja, the Krupa forms 19 waterfalls. The highest one is 13 meters high, enough for local people to run watermills and irrigate gardens. Our hike starts in Golubići, a small village with a mere population of thirty. We continue towards Kuda's Bridge. There is an intriguing and romantic legend about that bridge. After we tell you the story, there will be time to refresh, have a short picnic break and head back to Golubići. We stay overnight in a little coastal town enjoying the special energy that the fusion between the mountain and the sea creates. If you want, you can spend a free evening in Zadar, an old city on the coast with interesting Roman and Venetian ruins, medieval churches, cosmopolitan cafes and restaurants. Night: guesthouse in Starigrad or surroundings Drive: 2h; Activity: 3 hours

Day 6 — Day 6: Paklenica National Park

Paklenica National Park encompasses the small and the big Paklenica canyons and their surrounding area. We will hike along the big one (Velika Paklenica) and make our way to one of the nicest huts in the canyon. Apart from being a paradise for hikers, Paklenica is a worldwide known climbing destination due to its amazing rock formations. If you prefer, you can also decide to rock climb instead of hike (optional). After the hike we move south to the small charming town of Skradin situated at the doorstep of the Krka River National Park. Skradin is situated on Prokljan, a lake with brackish water formed by the Krka River before reaching the sea. You are welcome to take a swim on the local beach, hike up to the 14th century fortress and check out the town's marina, some nice local shops, bars and restaurants. Night: hotel in Skradin Drive: 1h; Activity: 4 hours

Day 7 — Day 7: Krka River National Park. Šibenik.

With its seven travertine waterfalls and total drop of 242 m, the Krka River is one of the most beautiful natural and karst phenomena in Croatia. The main attractions are the big Skradinski Buk waterfall, the small island of Visovac with a Franciscan monastery and the Roski waterfall. We will explore the area walking by the refreshing waterfalls and maybe even take a swim in the river if you feel like it. Since Šibenik is very close, we will use the opportunity to make a short afternoon visit to walk along the town’s narrow streets, admiring the old stone houses and the famous St Jacob's Cathedral. And before you know it, our journey has come to an end. To celebrate our amazing week we will have a final dinner together and exchange experiences before saying goodbye to each other. Night: hotel in Skradin Drive: 20 min one way to Sibenik; Activity: 2-3 hours walking in Krka NP

Day 8 — Day 8: Departure

Today we transfer you to the airport, bus station or your next hotel. The closest airports are Zadar and Split. If you wish to spend more time Croatia and for example visit Split region feel free to contact us for recommendations.

Details

Starting point

Zagreb

Finish point

Skradin

Duration

8 days

Suitable for

  • Everyone

Age requirements

You have to be older than 8 and younger than 75 to attend this tour

Physical requirements

Moderate

Languages

  • GbEnglish

Tour includes

  • 7 nights’ accommodation
  • 2 meals per day
  • transfer from Zagreb or Rijeka airport
  • transfer to Zadar, Split, Zagreb or Rijeka airport
  • transport throughout the trip
  • use of walking poles
  • National Parks entrances
  • English speaking guide
  • basic insurance
  • local taxes

Tour does not include

  • airfare to/from Croatia
  • beverages
  • optional rock climbing (D4)

Standard Via Tralala cancellation policy

This is Plan Ahead policy. It has high cancellation costs.

(more info)

Additional cancellation policy

Minimum number of participants: 4 persons. In case your booked departure doesn't reach the minimum number of persons, we will offer you another tour package or full refund.

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This tour is organized by

Go Explore Croatia

Zagreb, Croatia
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