Best Croatia Hiking and Trekking Activities (Complete Guide)
If Croatia hiking and tracking are your preferred outdoors activities, diversity of Croatia’s landscapes offer plenty opportunities for rock climbing, hiking, trekking, or mountaineering.
The mountains of the Republic of Croatia mainly belong to the Dinaric range that extends along the coast from Istria to Makarska. Although the mountains are not very high, there is no peak above 2000 meters, they are all located in beautiful natural environments.
Croatia is one of the Europe’s premium hiking & trekking destinations. The most popular hiking & trekking destinations in Croatia cover the Mount Ucka in Istria, Risnjak, Plitvice, Northern Velebit and Paklenica National Parks, Mosor (Split), Kozjak (Split) and Biokovo Mountains, Brac, Hvar and Vis Islands.
Croatia Hiking – Via Dinarica
Via Dinarica is an naturally connecting trail of so called Dinaric Alps of which Croatian mountains make a part. This ragged mountain range stretches all the way from Slovenia, across Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, to Kosovo and Albania.
The Dinaric Alps or Dinarides called ‘Via Dinarica’ is a trail intended for hikers, cyclists and other excursionists visiting Dinarides as tourists.
There are also differences among the Dinaric mountains. Those in the north are lower, milder and more forested (for example those in Gorski kotar), while those in the south are higher and more deserted (the Dalmatian mountains).
Croatia hiking – The Risnjak National Park
This NP is located in Gorski Kotar, the most wooded part of western Croatia, in the immediate vicinity of the Adriatic Sea, only 15 km north-east from Rijeka.
The Park covers an area of 63,5 km2 including the central part of the Risnjak and Snjeznik massif, as well as the upper flow of the river Kupa (one of top rafting rivers) with its source area. The area of the Risnjak massif was proclaimed a national park in 1953, at the suggestion of an eminent Croatian natural scientist and researcher of Risnjak, prof. Dr. Ivo Horvat.
Climatic influences from the Adriatic Sea penetrating from the nearby Kvarner bay and the continental influences penetrating through the Kupa valley play a significant role in determining the specific climate of the NP “Risnjak” with pleasantly warm summers and an average temperature up to 20°C, rainy springs and falls and long, cold snowy winters. At the Risnjak mountain lodge, snow retains for full five months.
The main entrance to Risnjak National Park is 1 Km west of the village of Crni Lug (click to see the map on Google) and it provides a wide range of Croatia hiking opportunities with many paths and trails.
Risnjak National Park
The main interest for hikers is the peak of Veliki Risnjak which is 1.528 meters high. From the park’s entrance it takes about 3 hours each way to walk to the top of Veliki Risnjak. There is also an educational path called Leski that is a 4.4 Km long circular path.
How to reach Risnjak Park? The main entrance to the park is at Crni Lug, not far from the main E 65 motorway between Zagreb and Rijeka.
NATIONAL PARK – RISNJAK
Address: Bijela Vodica 48
Town: Crni Lug
Postal code: 20271
County: Primorje-Gorski Kotar
Croatia hiking – Ucka Nature Park
Ucka Nature Park is located in the western part of the Republic of Croatia, on the eastern side of the Istria peninsula.It has been proclaimed a park of nature in April 1999, which makes it one of the most recent Croatian parks and protected areas.
If you are looking to experience Croatia hiking, this park has one of the most beautiful panoramas in this part of Europe. You have to visit Ucka mountain and climb up to its highest peak, Vojak (1401 m) and its stone tower-viewing point.
On a clear day, you can see Istria, Kvarner and the central Dalmatian islands, Gorski Kotar, the peaks of the Italian Alps and Venice.
Visitors looking for an active outing in the nature, this park offers numerous possibilities for recreation, from climbing and hiking. If you add to that many mountain biking trails and the hang gliding and parasailing sites, then visiting Ucka Nature Park will give you another aspect of outdoor activities.
UCKA NATURE PARK
Address: Liganj 42, 51415 Lovran,Croatia
Tel.: 00385 (0)51/293-753
Fax: 00385 (0)51/293-751
Ucka Nature Park website
Ucka Outdoor Project! A project that provides opportunities for visitors to engage in various sporting and recreational activities in an unique natural surrounding of the Ucka Nature Park. All activities included in the Ucka Outdoor project are completely in line with the nature protection principles and professional code of conduct.
Croatia hiking – The Northern Velebit National Park
Established as a national park ‘Sjeverni (northern) Velebit’ in 1999 due to its richness of karst phenomena, outstanding biodiversity and gracefully beautiful nature on a relatively small area, today is considered of of the most attractive mountain.
The Park is crisscrossed with numerous mountaineering trails, perfect for climbing and hiking.The most famous and widely known is the Premuzic’s trail, named after its constructor, Ante Premuzic who built it in the late 1933.
Among Croatia hiking trails, this one 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 and its islands Pag, Rab, Krk and Zadar archipelago.
Route of the Velebit hiking trail is about 100 km long and is marked with usual red-white mountaineer signs. To pass the entire route you need at least nine days. The traveling is divided into 9 units of equable length, depending on possibilities of a night’s longings. Check some great offers for Velebit park accommodation!
The park’s cultural value is present in a form of numerous ruins of the so-called ‘summer lodges’, which witness of the ages passed and long forgotten, when Velebit was inhabited by the numerous population of shepherds.
On its coastal banks you can find many ruined houses, lodges and stonewalls which once marked the specific lifestyle of the local population who scattered all around the globe in the days to come, leaving nothing but traces of their presence on this extraordinary beautiful and unique land.
How to reach this National park? The most frequently used path is the one from the town of Otocac. You can reach Otocac by using the Zagreb-Split highway, or the old road Josipdol-Senj, over the Kapela mountain pass. When you take off the highway, take the road to Svica and Krasno, where the park’s headquarter is.
NATIONAL PARK ‘Sjeverni Velebit’
Park Headquarters Krasno
Krasno b.b. 53 274 Krasno
tel.: ++385 53 665 380
fax: ++385 53 665 390
9 days Velebit hiking trail – website
Croatia hiking and climbing – Paklenica National Park
Paklenica National Park is the most visited Croatia hiking and particularly climbing center, well known throughout the country as well as outside its borders, and both in terms of organization and quality. It is included among the top European climbing and tracking areas.
Today, there are some 400 equipped climbing and hiking routes of varying difficulty and length, providing everything to satisfy every hiker and climber. Within the National Park, there are over 150 km of hiking trails. Certainly the most frequented trail is the one leading from the reception area through the Velika Paklenica Canyon to the Paklenica Mountain Hut (about a 2 hour walk).
Trails also head towards the source of Velika Paklenica, Ivine Vodice (about 3 hours). Visitors often choose to take the trail from the Velika Paklenica Canyon, through Jurline and Njive to Mala Paklenica. The entire round trip is about 5-6 hours. There are numerous other possibilities: from the Forest Hut Lugarnica to Mala Mocila and Crni Vrh (about 2 hours), from Crni Vrh to Velika Mocila, etc.
It’s difficult to list all trails within this park and the best way to provide excursion map of the Paklenica National Park (published by the park administration) or the Hiking Trails map of the Paklenica National Park published by SMAND Varazdin (the one on the right above).
The main climbing and hiking season in Paklenica begins in spring and lasts until late fall. Each year, at the end of April and beginning of May, an international alpine gathering is held, with competitions in big wall speed climbing.
If you decide on a hiking excursion over several days, I recommend that you reserve accommodations in the Paklenica Mountain Hut. Please note that camping, tents and campfires are not permitted within park boundaries.
For visitors wishing to sleep at the hut, we recommend that you bring a sleeping bag with you.
PAKLENICA NATIONAL PARK
Address: Dr. F. Tuđmana 14a
Tel.: 00385 / 23 / 369-155, 369-202, 369 -803
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Croatia Hiking – Biokovo Nature Park
Biokovo is the largest and highest mountain in Dalmatia. It rises vertically from the Adriatic Coast to the height of 1762 meters.
There are no words that could describe this mountain. All I would like to say about Biokovo it seems insufficient and too little in relation to its beauty in reality. Mountain is a paradise for climbers and hikers.
The park can be visited for organized and individual hiking.Visitors can according to the mountain-map on the field visit many roads and trails:
- Ecologically educational trail
- Biokovo mountain path – BPS
- Access from the coastal side – northwest, central and south-eastern part of Biokovo
- Access from the hinterland side
A mountain-tourist map can be purchased at a cost of 45 kn at the park entrance reception, the info-center Ravna vlaška or the Public institution “Nature Park Biokovo” Marineta – Mala obala 16, 21 300 Makarska.
Visitors on the basis of their physical abilities and according to their wishes can choose easy, medium heavy and heavy hiking tours and a combination of walking tours with transport.
There are 19 hiking trails inside this park of nature that makes it the Croatia hiking top destination in combination with other outdoor activities like cycling, rock climbing, paragliding (free-flying) or gastronomic tours in one of many taverns and restaurants where you can enjoy a rich variety of local specialties.
Croatia Hiking & Tracking Tours
For those who prefer organized hiking & trekking trips to explore Croatia, here are 8 tours to choose from, lasting up to 8 days. The most popular month for these tours are June and September, the months with the most departures.