This trip provides an unforgettable hiking adventure 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. Where the Mediterranean, mountains and the Pannonian plains come together in a unique blend of natural beauty. Within just over a hundred kilometers, you can experience an exciting range of different 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 native architecture. Together with the tradition, folklore, art scenes and music, Croatia is a unique and exotic place to discover. There are eight national parks: NP Brijuni, NP Risnjak, NP Plitvice Lakes, NP North Velebit, NP Paklenica, NP Kornati Islands, NP Krka River and NP Mljet Island. Let this active holiday take you there.
Day 1 - Arrival and transfer to Zvecaj
Zvecaj is a small village by the Mreznica River, not far from the highway connecting the Croatian capital, city of Zagreb with the harbour of Rijeka. We will meet you at the airport, railway station or in the harbour and take you there unless you are driving yourself. 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 we will meet on the terrace overlooking the river for a welcome drink, dinner and brief orientation, where we will have the chance to discuss the upcoming holiday and get to know our guides and fellow travelers
Accommodation: Hotel in the Mreznica River area; Van ride: 1h from Zagreb airport, 1.5 h from Rijeka airport; Meals: D
Day 2 - Hiking NP Risnjak
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. The pristine park covers an area of 63,5 km2. It includes both the Risnjak and Snježnik ranges and the source area of the Kupa river. We start our hike from Crni lug. The Leska educational trail will lead us towards our goal – Big Risnjak, the highest point of the 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, other peaks of Gorski Kotar and even the Alps, we will descend slowly back to Crni Lug and complete the educational trail.
Accommodation: Hotel in Mreznica River area; Van ride: 1-1.5h each way; Walking:4-5 h; well-marked paths; Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own)
Day 3 - Trekking NP North Velebit
After breakfast, we’ll drive to Croatia's youngest national park - North Velebit National Park. The area was designated a national park due to its richness 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 the late 1933. The path runs through the most beautiful and the most interesting parts of the park. From the numerous peaks in the surroundings you can have a magnificent view on 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.
Accommodation: Private guesthouses in Plitvice Lakes National Parks; Van ride: 2.5 h each way; Walking: 4 – 5 h; Terrain: easy/moderate, well-marked paths; Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own)
Day 4 - Walking in Plitvice Lakes National Park
Today we visit the most beautiful and stunning National park of Croatia - Plitvice Lakes National Park. We start our day 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 forests and are home to extensive wildlife. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in the pure and untouched nature. Panoramic boat and train rides will take us back to the start. Later in the afternoon we return to our accommodation in the village just in time to enjoy a quick swim before dinner.
Accommodation: Private guesthouses in Plitvice Lakes National Parks; Van ride: 15 min each way; Walking: easy, 4-5 h; Terrain: easy, well-marked paths; Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own)
Day 5 - Trekking Una River Area
Today we will visit Bosnia, a neighbouring country separated from Croatia by a natural border – the Una River. The Una will steal your heart with its beauty, green clear water and a landscape of dense forests. There are several sections to choose from, and our guides will select the one that is best adapted to group wishes. There will be time for famous Turkish coffee break in Bihac – the economic and cultural center of this part of Bosnia.
Accommodation: Private guesthouses in Plitvice Lakes National Parks; Van ride: 1 h each way; Walking: 2-3 h; Terrain: easy, well-marked paths; Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own)
Day 6 - Paklenica National Park Trekking
After saying goodbye to our village hosts we continue south to Paklenica National Park, part of a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and a favorite hiking and climbing destination. Time permitting, we 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 torrent flows of 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 and forms, 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 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 we drive to Skradin for the evening.
Accommodation: 3* Skradinski Buk Hotel in Skradin; Van ride: 2h+1h; Walking: 4-5 h; Terrain: moderate, well- marked paths; Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own)
Day 7 - Krka River National Park Walking
The last day of the journey takes us to Krka River National Park with its fantastic karst formations and travertine waterfalls. We explore 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 second hydro plant in the world was built, just a few years after the one on Niagara Falls. A boat will take us to Visovac island and and its Franciscan monastery. After walking, we return to the hotel and enjoy a late afternoon in the old town before the final evening dinner and a celebration of an amazing adventure.
Accommodation: 3* Skradinski Buk Hotel in Skradin; Walking: easy, 3 h; Terrain: easy, well marked paths; Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own)
Day 8 - Departure day
Depart from Skradin to the airport and flight home. You are welcome to schedule your homeward transport for 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.
Meals: B; Van drive: max 2h
Prices & Terms
Seasons & prices 2017
Low season: May 21 to Jun 03 / Sep 17 to Sep 30
Mid season: Jun 04 to Jul 01 / Aug 27 to Sep 16
High season: Jul 02 to Aug 26
The prices are set in euros. The exact price in other currencies is calculated on the day of booking according to the exchange rate of the Croatian National Bank. All prices are per person.
Minimum age: 8 years if accompanied by parent(s). Children discount is valid for children 8-12 years.
What is included
7 nights accommodation
2 meals per day (dinner day 1-breakfast day 8)
use of walking poles (with advanced notice)
6 days organized activities
national parks entrance fees
local taxes and river permits
Saturday arrival transfer from Zagreb or Rijeka airport
Saturday departure transfer to Zagreb, Rijeka, Zadar or Split airport
skilled English speaking guide and assistance
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
Accommodation is provided in different locations ranging from North to South Croatia. We mostly use either small family run hotels or private guest houses located outside the popular tourist areas. Accommodation is provided in the following units: 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 & 8).
The meals tend to be fairly heavy on the meats, breads and pastries, pastas and dumplings. If you have special dietary needs, please let us know as soon as possible. Vegetarian diets can be accommodated but we recommend that you bring along with you some of your favorite protein snacks.
Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.
Staff & Experts
This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather, water levels, special events of interest, etc. Raftrek Guides and Trip Leaders will do their utmost to ensure the best possible experience for their clients 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. Raftrek reserves the right to alter the itinerary without prior notice.
The calendar is only an approximation of availability. We kindly ask you to fill out the reservation form with requested details to get an offer with a booking option.