The highlights of this active holiday include canoeing/kayaking, rafting, hiking and cycling in the area around Plitvice Lakes National Park while experiencing breath-taking views and stunning scenery. Plitvice Lakes National Park, a World Heritage Site, plays host to 16 lakes, numerous waterfalls fed by both the Black and White Rivers, as well as seemingly endless forests which make for a unique and unforgettable experience. The itinerary will also take you on a journey down the Mreznica River by kayak, rafting down the Una River in Bosnia and hiking in Velebit Nature Park. You can expect to paddle about 20 km a day, but our schedule is very weather dependent. Previous kayaking experience is recommended, but not required. The rivers are friendly – they have pleasant temperatures in summer and they are not dangerous or physically demanding.
Day 1 - Arrival to destination – Plitvice Lakes area
Leaving Zagreb, Zadar or Rijeka airport behind, we make our way to the tiny village of Korana, located in a picture-perfect riverside setting near Plitvice Park. Here we have a unique opportunity to spend a week with local residents in their private guesthouses. After settling into your accommodation, we will meet in the river-side hacienda for a welcome drink and brief orientation, where we will have the chance to discuss the upcoming holiday and get to know our fellow travelers.
Meals: D; Van ride: 2 hours one way.
Day 2 - Walking Plitvice Lakes National Park
We start our day walking along the wooden paths and bridges in and around Plitvice Lakes, Croatia's premier 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, untouched nature. A panoramic boat and train ride will take us back to the start. Later in the afternoon we return to Korana village just in time to enjoy a swim in the clear river just in front of your house.
Meals: B and D (lunch on your own); walking / hiking: 4-6 miles; Terrain: easy, well-marked paths.
Day 3 - Cycling in Plitvice Lakes Area
Today is all about exploring the lovely pastoral Croatian countryside by bike. We cycle on nearly traffic free roads through forests, between hills and across green fields. We will have time for a picnic lunch and time to relax outdoors. In the afternoon we bike back to Korana Village in time to enjoy a traditional Croatian evening meal. (Please note that cycling the entire route may be too difficult for small children, but the support van can pick them up and take them back to the village if they are tired.)
Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own); Cycling: 4 hours; Terrain: rolling hills.
Day 4 - Zrmanja River Kayaking
This kayaking trip is an expedition down the magnificent Wild West-like canyons of the Zrmanja River in Velebit Nature Park. Perfectly clear and green waters, rapids and waterfalls, hidden swimming pools and steep sided canyons will steal your heart and make this excursion an unforgettable experience. No previous kayaking experience is needed if you can swim. We use open canoes or sit-on-top kayaks for 2 persons with optional child seat. Rafting boats are used during high water season (usually before May and after September, but the water level can vary a lot in spring and in autumn). After an amazing day on the river, we will return to our vans and drive back to Korana village.
Meals: B, D; Kayaking: class II-III, 4 h, easy/moderate; Van drive: 2h to the Zrmanja River, 2h to Korana village
Day 5 - Optional trip day
On your optional day you can be as active or as lazy as you wish. Several organized and guided tours of hiking, canyoning, climbing, sightseeing or beach trips will be proposed 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 app 50€ per head, payable on site, and is dependent on suitable weather conditions. The price is based on a min. of 4 participants.)
Meals: B and D (lunch on your own)
Day 6 - Una River Rafting
The Una River forms a natural border between Croatia and Bosnia. It will steal your heart with its beauty, green clear water and a landscape of dense forests. The Una is rich in water even in summer so rafting is possible all year round. There are several sections to choose from, and our guides will select the one that is best adapted to group abilities and current water levels.
Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own); Van ride: 1h one way; Rafting: class I-III, 2-3 hours.
Day 7 - Upper Mreznica Canyon kayaking
We return to the river this morning in the upper Mreznica canyon. Our route takes us from the hotel to a point approximately 45 minutes away where we’ll start our expedition into the canyon. We travel through a gorge so narrow and deep that the sun enters it for only a few hours each day, around noon, creating spectacular light effects. Paddling past cliffs of carved white rocks, lush vegetation and cascading waterfalls, we will arrive at a strong freshwater spring. We continue our journey to the second highest waterfall on the Mreznica (8m), a magical place ideal for swimming and a picnic. After a break, we continue and finish the adventure and finally return to the hotel in the late afternoon.
Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own); Kayaking: class II-III, moderate, 4 - 5 hours; Drive: 45 min each way. Please note that in case of very low water levels the trip can only be done downstream - in that case the duration of kayaking is 2-3 hours. In case of high water levels we use rafting boats (2h rafting).
Day 8 - Departure day
Depart for 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: 2 hours one way
Prices & Terms
Seasons & prices
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 in double/twin rooms
meals as noted in itinerary (7xB=breakfast, 1xL=Lunch and 6xD=dinner)
use of bicycles, kayaks, canoes, paddles, life jackets, helmets
5 days organized activities
neoprene shorts and booties or sandals in case of cold weather
NP entrance fees
Saturday transfers from Zagreb, Zadar or Rijeka airport, bus or train station
skilled guide and assistance
ground transportation (private transport throughout)
international airfare to/from Croatia;
beverages and lunches or picnics as noted in itinerary (3rd night dinner on your own)
items of a personal nature and optional gratuities to your guide(s).
optional trip on day 5, but it can be booked and paid on spot.
Accommodation is provided by the families and owners of the private guest houses in Korana Village, a small romantic place hidden away in a valley surrounding both sides of the Plitvice Lakes National Park. The houses are small, traditional dwellings with simple rooms in an idyllic setting. Rooms: please note that the houses in Korana Village have two or three bedrooms, with two rooms sharing one bathroom. No 1-bed rooms are available. Single use rooms are available upon request, only as double rooms/single use.
Meals tend to be fairly heavy on the meats and sausages, 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.
Arrival and departure transfers - several group transfers between the airport and destination depending on arrival/departure time. Arrivals after 6 pm may be subject to surcharge of 30 euros per transfer. 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 is 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.