Walking Croatian National Parks

This walking tour will take you to Croatia’s inland mountain region and five national parks: Risnjak, North Velebit, Plitvice Lakes, Paklenica and Krka. Daily walking routes are between two and five hours on easy to moderate terrain and leave enough time for relaxing 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. Countryside and Baraceve Caves walking
Day 5. Plitvice Lakes National Park walking
Day 6. Paklenica National Park walking
Day 7. Krka National Park walking
Day 8. Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Zagreb 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. 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 fresh vegetables and fruit from local farms.
The group usually gets together around mid-day, which will give us enough time to take a short tour of the villages, forests and rivers of the area.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.
 Accomodation: Hotel in the Mreznica River area; Van ride: 1hour from Zagreb airport
Walking:  2 hours
Terrain: easy, well marked paths;
Meals: D

Day 2: Risnjak National Park and Kupa River Valley
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. Return back to our hotel for dinner in the late afternoon.
Accomodation: Hotel in Mreznica River area;
Walking / Hiking:  5 hours
Terrain: moderate, well marked paths;
Meals: D and D (picnic lunch on your own);

Day 3: North Velebit National Park
After breakfast, we’ll  drive to Croatia’s youngest national park – North Velebit National Park, 800 meters above sea level. After a short walk through Krasno village and the park area, we continue to the Valley of the Gacka River, world famous for excellent trout fishing. A stop for lunch will be made by its source, surrounded by numerous old wooden mills.
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. You will have a private room/apartment with a bathroom. 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
Walking / Hiking: 4 – 5 hours
Terrain: moderate, well marked paths;
Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own)

Day 4: Countryside and Baraceve Caves
Today is all about exploring the lovely pastoral Croatian countryside. We walk on the nearly traffic free roads through forests, between hills and across green fields. Walking 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 we go back to Korana Village in time to enjoy traditional Croatian barbecue.
Accommodation: Private guesthouses in Plitvice Lakes National Parks
Walking: easy: 3 – 4 hours, 18 km
Terrain: easy, well marked paths;
Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own)

Day 5: 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. Today we visit the most beautiful and stunning national park of Croatia – Plitvice Lakes National Park .
We start our day hiking / 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 accomodation in the village just in time to enjoy a quick swim before dinner.
Accommodation: Private guesthouses in Plitvice Lakes National Parks
Walking: 4 hours
Terrain: easy, well marked paths;
Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own)

Day 6: Paklenica National Park Walking
After saying goodbye to our village hosts we continue south to the narrow Wild West-like canyons of the Zrmanja and Krupa Rivers. We visit the medieval Krupa Monastery on route. Built in 1317 by monks from Bosnia, it is the oldest orthodox monastery in Croatia.
We continue to Paklenica National Park, part of a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and a favorite hiking / walking and climbing destination. It 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. Walking / 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: Skradinski Buk Hotel 3* in Skradin
Walking / Hiking:  4-5 hours,
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. We will walk to the shores of Lake Visovac where the boat will take us to Visovac island and its Franciscan monastery. After exploring the monastery and museum, the boat will take us to the southern banks of the lake to continue our walking tour. Optionally, we can visit the monastery of St. Archangel the Orthodox, situated in the upper Krka Canyon. 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: Skradinski Buk Hotel 3* in Skradin
Walking:  3 hours;
Terrain: easy/moderate, well marked paths;
Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own)

Day 8: Departure or optional extension
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

Note on the itinerary:
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. Huck Finn 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. Huck Finn reserves the right to alter the itinerary without prior notice.

2012 Prices and Departure dates

Walking Croatian National Parks – Departure dates 2012
MAY 5 12 19 26 -
JUN 2 9 16 23 30
JUL - 7 14 21 28
AUG 4 11 18 25 -
SEP 1 8 15 22 29
OCT 6 13 20 - -

Other dates on request

Walking Croatian National Parks – Prices 2012
Apartments – Double rooms 8-day 5-day
High season 740,00 560,00
Intermediate season 670,00 520,00
Low season 560,00 460,00
Children 12-14 years, 10% reduction
High season 665,00 504,00
Intermediate season 603,00 468,00
Low season 504,00 414,00
Single rooms, 20% supplement
High season 888,00 672,00
Intermediate season 804,00 624,00
Low season 672,00 552,00

High season – July 14 – August 24, 2012
Intermediate season – June 9 – July 13, August 25 – September 14, 2012
Low season – April 21 – June 8, September 15 – October 5, 2012

All prices are per person, in EUR.

Prices include:

  • 7 nights in double/twin rooms
  • 2 meals per day (dinner day 1-breakfast day 8 )
  • use of walking poles
  • 6 days organized activities
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park, NP Paklenica i NP Risnjak entrance fees
  • local taxes and river permits
  • Saturday transfers from/to Zagreb or Rijeka 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)
  • optional trip on day 5
  • beverages and lunches or picnics as noted in itinerary

Optional trips on Day 5 are NOT included in price and can be booked and paid on spot – the additional charge of approx 50€ per person is payable on site, and is dependent on suitable weather conditions. The price is based on a min. of 4 participants.

  • Maximum number of participants: 16 guests per group. Larger groups on request.
  • Minimum age: 8 years if accompanied by parent(s).
  • Children discount: valid for children 8-14 years of age if accompanied by an adult. One child enjoying discount shares parents’ room; two or more children can have their own room.
  • Rooms: Zeleni kut hotel offers rooms from 1 to 4 beds.

Single use rooms are available upon request, with 20% surcharge. Sharing a room with another person is possible.

Gear List

This gear list has been created to help you in choosing your equipment for the trip. Try to bring only what is necessary, this will help you and the field staff. In addition to your usual clothing you should consider bringing along some other items which will make your activities more enjoyable.Required gear for paddling and cycling is provided. 

  • Few lightweight, casual, easily washable items for travel and daily wear
  • Hiking shorts, synthetic
  • T-shirts (at least 1 synthetic)
  • Swimmwear
  • Brimmed sun hat


  • Lightweight rain jacket, waterproof and breathable


  • Lightweight hiking shoes
  • Water shoes for kayaking/ rafting (stiff sole sandals)

Travel Accessories:

  • Water bottle or hydration pack
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock and lip balm
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Small backpack

Optional Accessories:

  • Camera (waterproof), film/memory cards and spare batteries

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