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Croatia's National Parks

8 days / 7 nights
Croatia - Guided walking
With a guide - Families

price from
~564 £ [620 €]

This walking tour will take you to Croatia's inland mountain region and five national parks: Risnjak, North Velebit, Plitvice Lakes, Paklenica and Krka River. Daily walking routes are between two and five hours on easy to moderate terrain and will leave you enough time to relax in the evening.

Short Itinerary :
Day 1. Arrival in Zagreb or Rijeka and transfer to Zvecaj.
Day 2. Risnjak National park and Kupa Valley walking.
Day 3. North Velebit National Park walking.
Day 4. Plitvice Lakes National Park walking.
Day 5. Walking in Bosnia.
Day 6. Paklenica National Park walking.
Day 7. Krka River National Park walking.
Day 8. Departure.

This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, water levels, special events of interest, etc. Europe Active guides and trip leaders will do their utmost to ensure the best possible experience for their clients without compromising their safety at any time. This may mean that the guide will have to change the original itinerary to avoid discomfort or risk which could be caused by exceptional situations. Europe Active reserves the right to alter the itinerary without prior notice.

Your day by day program

1
Arriving in Zvecaj

Zvecaj is a small village by the Mreznica River, not far from the highway which connects the Croatian capital city of Zagreb to the harbour of Rijeka. A member of our team will meet you either at the airport, railway station or at the port.

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 electricity. The hotel serves traditional Croatian specialties, using fresh-water fish from its own fishing ponds, home-made cheese, ham and sausages as well as fresh vegetables and fruit from local farms. In the evening, a member of our team will meet you on the restaurant's terrace which overlooks the river. You will be served a welcome drink, dinner and will be given a brief introduction to your trip, during which you will have the chance to discuss the upcoming holiday and to get to know your guide and fellow travellers.

Dinner and night in a hotel in the Mreznica River area.
Transfer: 1h from Zagreb airport, 1h30 from Rijeka airport.

2
Walking in Risnjak National Park

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 15km inland from the Adriatic Sea. The pristine park covers an area of 63,5km². It includes both the Risnjak and Snježnik ranges and the spring of the Kupa River. You will start your hike from Crni lug. The Leska trail will lead you towards your destination point – Big Risnjak, the highest peak of this particular mountain range. Schlosser’s mountain hut, situated 100m below the peak, is probably one of the most beautiful mountain huts in Croatia. After resting and enjoying the amazing view over the sea, Gorski Kotar and even the Alps, you will descend slowly back to Crni Lug and complete the trail.
Another easier hiking option is in the Kupa River Valley, which is beyond doubt one of the most beautiful places in Gorski Kotar. The Kupa River forms a natural border between Croatia and Slovenia. It springs from a karstic well at the Park's lowest point, forming a turquoise pond some 200m long and 30m wide. This natural phenomenon is one of the deepest and strongest sources in Croatia, which remains a mystery for scientists. The Kupa flows through a picturesque valley, also known as the mysterious valley of butterflies - more than 500 species of butterflies inhabit the area! After finishing your hike, you will return back to your hotel for dinner.

Dinner and night in a hotel in the Mreznica River area.
Transfer: 1-1h30 each way.
Walking:3-5h.
Terrain: easy (Kupa valley) or moderate (Big Risnjak), well marked paths.

3
The northern part of Velebit National Park

After breakfast, you will drive to Croatia's most recent national park: North Velebit National Park. The area was designated as a national park due to its wealth of karst phenomena, outstanding biodiversity and exquisitely beautiful nature on a relatively small area. The park is crisscrossed with numerous mountaineering trails. The most famous is the Premužić 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. From the numerous peaks in the surroundings, you will have the chance to get 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 for a fairy tale.

Dinner and night in private guesthouses in Plitvice Lakes National Parks.
Transfer: 2h each way.
Walking: 4–5h.
Terrain: easy/moderate, well marked paths.

4
Plitvice Lakes National Park

Today, you will visit the most beautiful and stunning national park in the whole of Croatia - Plitvice Lakes National Park. You will start today's hike by walking along the wooden paths and bridges in and around Plitvice Lakes National Park. Its exquisite series of 16 emerald green and opal blue travertine lakes, more than 90 waterfalls and numerous caves make it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lakes are surrounded by beech and pine tree forests and are home to extensive wildlife. You’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in a pristine natural setting. Panoramic boat and train rides will take you back to the starting point of the walk. Later in the afternoon, you will return to your accomodation in the village just in time to enjoy a quick swim before dinner.

Night in private guesthouses in Plitvice Lakes National Parks.
Transfer: 15 min each way.
Walking: easy, 4-5 h.
Terrain: easy, well marked paths.

5
Optional Trip day

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 another 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.

Accommodation: Private guesthouses in Plitvice Lakes National Parks
Van ride: max 2 hours one way
Meals: B and D (lunch on your own)

6
Paklenica National Park

After saying goodbye to our village hosts, you will continue walking south to Paklenica National Park, which is part of a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and a favourite hiking and climbing destination. Time permitting, you will stop by the narrow Wild West-like canyons of the Zrmanja and Krupa Rivers and visit the medieval Krupa Monastery, which is the oldest orthodox monastery in Croatia. Paklenica National Park covers the area of the torrent flows of Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica, their distinctive canyons being carved vertically into the southern slopes of Mount Velebit and the broader surrounding area. This relatively small area offers exceptional diversity of geomorphologic forms and 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. There are several wonderful hikes through beech and black pine tree 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 drive to Skradin for the evening.

Night in the 3 star Skradinski Buk Hotel in Skradin.
Transfer: 2h+1h.
Walking: 4-5 h.
Terrain: moderate, well marked paths.

7
Krka River National Park

The last day of the journey will take you to the Krka River National Park with its waterfalls and fantastic karst formations. You will explore the park's extensive waterways and complex history dating back to the late 10th century and to the first Croatian kings. One of the options is a visit to Skradinski Buk waterfall, the place where the second hydro-plant in the world was built, just a few years after the one on Niagara Falls. A boat will take you to Visovac island and its Franciscan monastery. After today's walk, you will return to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the afternoon in the old part of town before your last dinner and the celebration of this amazing adventure.

Night in the 3 star Skradinski Buk Hotel in Skradin.
Walking: easy, 3 h.
Terrain: easy, well-marked paths.

8
Departure

After breakfast, leave Skradin and get a transfer to the airport for your homebound flight. You are welcome to schedule your homeward transport at any time. 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.

Transfer: Zadar 45 min, Split 1 h, Zagreb 3h30, Rijeka 3h30.

Departure board

Departures for groups formed on request

Technical information

Fact sheet
Starting point
  • Zvecaj. For details about transfers to the airport, please see the description or contact us by email or telephone.
End
  • Skradin. For details about transfers to the airport, please see the description or contact us by email or telephone.
Accommodation
  • 3 star hotels and guesthouses.
Number of people
  • 4-16 people per group (groups of 2 and 3 people are also acceptable. Please contact us for more details).
Level of difficulty
  • Easy/moderate. Accessible to everyone.
Options
  • single supplement  : 124€
  • single supplement intermediate season : 142€
  • single supplement high season : 158€
  • Reduction for a children between 8 and 12 years old : -62€
  • Reduction for a children between 8 and 12 years old intermediate season : -71€
  • Reduction for a children between 8 and 12 years old high season : -79€
Included
  • 7 nights in double/twin rooms, 2 meals per day (dinner day 1 - breakfast day 8), use of walking poles (with advanced notice), organized activities (6 days), National Parks entrance fees, local taxes and river permits, Saturday arrival transfer from Zagreb or Rijeka airport, Saturday departure transfer from Zagreb, Rijeka, Zadar or Split airport, skilled English speaking guide and assistance, ground transportation, basic insurance.
Not included
  • International airfare to/from Croatia, items of a personal nature and optional gratuities to your guide(s), beverages and lunches or picnics as noted in itinerary.

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