This Croatian National Parks cycling tour will take you to Croatia’s inland mountain region and five national parks: Risnjak, North Velebit, Plitvice Lakes, Paklenica and Krka River. Daily routes on this cycling tour are between two and five hours on easy to moderate terrain and leave enough time for relaxing in the evening. It’s all about exploring the lovely pastoral Croatian countryside by bicycle. We cycle on roads that are nearly traffic free, through forests, between hills and across green fields. Cycling tour takes you through traditional villages and most beautiful and stunning national parks of Croatia. You will have a chance to taste some forest strawberries or blackberries, raspberries or cherries, or roasted corn and chestnuts – depending on the season of your trip.
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. "The Green Corner“ (Zeleni kut) is a well known restaurant and a small family owned hotel overlooking the green Mreznica River and its waterfall. Each room has its own bathroom, most of them a sunny balcony as well. 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, home made cheese, ham and sausages as well as local farm grown vegetables and fruit. The group usually gets together around mid-day, which will give us enough time to choose and test the bicycles on a short tour of the villages, forests and rivers of the area.
Accommodation: Hotel in the Mreznica River area; Van ride: 1h from Zagreb airport, 1.5 h from Rijeka airport; Meals: D
Day 2 - Cycling Risnjak National Park
On our first day of biking, we'll start exploring Risnjak National Park. The pristine park covers an area of 63,5 km2 including the Risnjak and Snjeznik ranges. The Kupa River forms a natural border between Croatia and Slovenia. The Kupa flows through a picturesque valley, also known as the mysterious valley of butterflies - more than 500 species of butterflies inhabit the area! We'll start the tour from the entrance to the National Park and bike towards Razloge. The route leads through little villages and forest paths, where the fresh clean air will renew your senses. The bridge crossing the Cabranka River by Zamost is also a border crossing to Slovenia. After a short passport procedure, we will bike along the Slovenian bank of the green Kupa river to Brod, where we will cross back to Croatia. Here we will have time to relax and freshen up with a swim or a cold drink before returning back to our hotel for dinner.
Accommodation: Hotel in Mreznica River area; Van ride: 1-1.5h each way; Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own); Cycling: easy/moderate, 3-4 hours
Day 3 - Cycling in North Velebit National Park
After breakfast, we’ll load our bikes and luggage and drive to Croatia's youngest national park - Northern Velebit National Park, 800 meters above sea level. After a short walk in Krasno village and the park area, we will descend by bikes to the Valley of Gacka River, world famous for excellent trout fishing. A stop for lunch will be made by its source, surrounded by numerous old wooden mills. From here, we drive towards the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Plitvice Lakes National Park. Accommodation in the 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 h each way; Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own); Cycling: easy/moderate, 2-3 hours
Day 4 - Countryside cycling and Baraceve Caves
Today is all about exploring the lovely pastoral Croatian countryside by bicycle. We cycle on roads that are nearly traffic free through forests, between hills and across green fields. Cycling through traditional villages, we reach Barac Caves, where we stop for a guided underground tour of the cave's fascinating limestone formations. According to local legend, a man named Barac fought heroically and defeated a raging Turkish giant near these caves, which were thereafter named in his honor. After visiting the caves there will be time for an optional visit and walk in the national park (small lakes and waterfalls) before going back to Korana Village in time to enjoy traditional Croatian dinner.
Accommodation: Private guesthouses in Plitvice Lakes National Parks; Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own); Cycling: easy/moderate: 2 - 3 hours
Day 5 - NP Plitvice - The 16 Lakes Route
For those who chose a 5-day trip, this is the end of your holiday. You are welcome to schedule your homeward transport for any time. The rest of the group continues the trip. Visiting the most beautiful and stunning national park of Croatia - Plitvice Lakes National Park - used to be possible only walking or hiking around its 16 lakes, numerous waterfalls fed by both the Black and White Rivers, and seemingly endless forests. The park - an area of breathtaking views, stunning sceneries and a UNESCO World Heritage Site - finally opened its doors to bicycle lovers in 2009. Our route today takes us out of Korana Village for the day, towards the village Poljanak and the stream Plitvice. Not far from the small wooden bridge the streams form the highest waterfall – the 70 m Veliki Slap. The following area has numerous view points connected by walking paths. They provide stunning views and great landscapes for photographers, including the biggest lake Kozjak and the highest peak Medvjedjak in the distance. Next, the most beautiful part of the ride starts - the descent to Proscansko Lake and following the River Matica to Plitvicki Ljeskovac, further along the remote road to Black River source and around Prosce Lake to Labudovac. After the rest and picnic here we bike into the forest to Suputovo Vrelo ending in Jezerce Village. From this point we take a slightly busier road, about 7km long, that leads us back to our village just in time to enjoy a quick swim before dinner.
Accommodation: Private guesthouses in Plitvice Lakes National Parks; Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own), Cycling: easy/moderate, 3-4 hours
Day 6 - Paklenica National Park hiking
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. Lying on the southeast slopes of the Velebit Mountains near the coast and cut by two awe-inspiring gorges, Mala Paklenica and Velika, Paklenica's scenery is one of the most pristine in the whole Mediterranean. The lofty peaks making up this range offer huge views of both coastal and mountain scenery. 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; Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own); Hiking: easy/moderate, 4 hours
Day 7 - Krka River National Park cycling
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. We will bike to the shores of Lake Visovac where we will have a view over the island and its monastery. After cycling, 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; Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own), Cycling: easy/moderate, 3 hours
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 ride: Zadar 45 min, Split 1 h, Zagreb 3.5 h
Prices & Terms
Seasons & prices 2019
High Season: June 29 – August 23 Intermediate: June 8-June 28, August 24-Sept 13 Low Season: May 18-June 7, Sept 14-Sept 27
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 bicycles
6 days organized activities
national parks entrance fees
local taxes and river permits
Saturday transfer from Zagreb or Rijeka airport (arrival)
Saturday transfer to Zagreb, Split or Zadar airport (departure)
skilled English speaking guide and assistance
international airfare to/from Croatia
items of a personal nature and gratuities to your guide(s)
beverages and lunches or picnics as noted in itinerary
If the Client should cancel or abort the travel, all Client’s cancellations must be in writing – by e-mail or fax. The written cancellation date shall be the basis for the compensation of cancellation costs which shall be collected by the Agency as per conditions set forth below (percentage of total arrangement price):
30 or more days prior to arrival: 10%
29-22 days prior to arrival: 25%
21-15 days prior to arrival: 40%
14-8 days prior to arrival: 80%
7-0 days prior to arrival or no show: 90% Failing to make appearance and travel without prior cancellation shall entitle the Agency to withhold 100% of the payment made regardless of the reason or reasons for the cancellation.
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.
We kindly ask you to fill out the reservation form with requested details to get an offer with a booking option.