WalkingHikingSmall Group

Walking Croatia's Coast & Canyons 2022

Zagreb - Plitvice Lakes NP - Northern Velebit - Otočac - Starigrad - Paklenica National Park - Starigrad - Krupa River Canyon - Zadar - Krka NP - Split

Northern Croatia with its Adriatic Coast, offers one of the most undiscovered and scenically dramatic walking landscapes in Europe. The country’s Northern coastline, with its relaxed Mediterranean ambience, offers an area rich in stunningly beautiful medieval towns, and villages, fantastic food, lush national parks, cascading waterfalls and sunshine. This spectacular walking holiday explores the very best of the Northern Adriatic Coast and its areas of outstanding natural beauty, including the national parks of Plitvice and Krka with their superb lakes, spectacular waterfalls and rich fauna. We start in the colourful capital Zagreb, with its busy market square, old quarter and stunning cathedral before exploring UNESCO Plitvice National Park with its cascading waterfalls and wooden walkways. As we head to the coast, we’ll walk in the spectacular and undiscovered Velebit Mountains before heading to Paklenica National Park, a wild landscape of deep canyons and rugged mountains overlooking the islands of Pag, Rab and Kornati National Park, the second largest archipelago in the Mediterranean. After the splendour of the mountains we arrive on the stunning Adriatic Coast, with time to soak up the beauty of Krupa Canyon, before enjoying the laid-back atmosphere and beautiful architecture in Zadar and UNESCO Split, two of the Mediterranean’s most welcoming towns with their busy harbours, laid-back pavement cafes, elegant promenades and excellent local restaurants. This Croatian walking holiday offers a chance to experience a totally different side to one of Europe’s most spectacular destinations. A good level of fitness required with average daily walking distances 14-21km (2-6 hours).

Code: F1

Day by day Itinerary

Day 1

Independent arrival in Zagreb. Meeting with the guide at 1800HRS for orientation walk and welcome dinner in a local restaurant. Zagreb is small and welcoming with a colourful mixture of Austro-Hungarian grand buildings, pavement cafes, museums, galleries, a cathedral and funicular railway connecting the Lower and Upper towns. The cathedral has twin spires soaring over the city and frescoes dating from the second half of the 13th century. The colourful church of St Mark has a unique tiled roof constructed in 1880. The tiles on the left side depict the medieval coat of arms of Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia, while the emblem of Zagreb is on the right side. The 13th century tower of Lotrscak offers a sweeping bird's eye view of the city whilst for the past hundred years a cannon is fired at noon to synchronise church clocks. For people watching, Trg Bana Jelacica is a hive of activity so why not grab a table at one of the many pavement cafes. Here you'll see flower sellers mingle with local people jumping on and off the city's trams. (D)

Day 2
Zagreb - Plitvice Lakes

After an early breakfast, transfer through the rolling hills of Croatia to one of the most outstanding natural aquatic landscapes in Europe, Plitvice Lakes. Granted UNESCO status in 1979, Plitvice is famed for its sixteen lakes, interlinked by cascading waterfalls, all set in a rich wooded area populated by bears, wolves, deer, wild boar and rare bird-life. Lying at the base of the Mala Kapela Mountain range, and only 60kms from the sea, this incredibly diverse national park is home to beech, spruce and pine trees plus over 1,200 plant species, including the rare Lady's Slipper orchid. Plitvice is one of the most important natural habitats in Europe and we'll explore the park via the fantastic wooden walkways that cover the park. These bridges enable us to get a close-up of the lakes, whilst keeping our eyes open for the local brown trout. We'll also head deep into the richly wooded area hoping to spot deer or one of the 157 bird species that live in the park. Tonight, we overnight in a hotel in the Plitvice area. (B, L)

Ascent +250m
Descent -250m
Walking route 11km, approx 4-5 hours

Day 3
Plitvice Lakes - Northern Velebit - Otočac

Today we leave the greenery of the Plitvice area and head towards the dramatic Northern Velebit National Park. Our transfer takes us to the Zavizan mountain refuge next to a small botanical garden. We'll have time to wander through a variety of indigenous and endemic plant species before walking along part of the spectacular Premuziceva staza or the Premužic Trail. The Northern Velebit National Park is a protected reserve and visitors can only pass through the park on designated trails. The spectacular Premuzic Trail is a 57km long footpath mapped out in the 1930s, by lifelong Velebit enthusiast Ante Premuzic. Snaking its way from one side of the Velebit’s central ridge to the other, the path provides a superb taste of the mountain’s varied geography, with lush deciduous woodland alternating with pine forests and arid rocky slopes. The trail was engineered to provide easy walking with gentle gradients and today we get to enjoy part of it, whilst experiencing the wild landscape of this dramatic mountainous area. After end of our walk, we drive to Otočac or nearby town, where we stay for overnight. (B, L)

Ascent +430m 
Descent -580m 
Walking route 15km, approx 6 hours

Day 4
Otočac - Starigrad - Ramići

After breakfast one & half hour drive to Stoarigrad-Paklenica. Our luggage we will store in the hotel and take a 1hour transfer to the high grassy plateau of Veliki Rujno. At a height of 900m, lies the small church of Our Lady of Rujno built in the past for local inhabitants who lived from cattle breeding, and spent most of the year in mountain hamlets taking their cattle out to graze. Over time, the church became too small and in 1930, due to the dedication of a local priest and enthusiastic mountaineer Don Ante Adžija, a new church was built using masonry from the old church. An annual procession held in August, sees hundreds of pilgrims make their way up the mountain to the chapel for mass. From here we start a hike to the Ramići where e overnight in a simple rural house in the hamlet of Ramici. Despite the lack of facilities and dormitory rooms, we are guaranteed a warm welcome and delicious home cooked dinner. (B, L, D)

Note: We will store luggage at the hotel or in the vehicle and will carry just a backpack with toiletries and some spare clothes. Bed linen will be provided at the mountain hut.

ACCOMMODATION: Homestay (mountain hut) Ramića dvori – accommodation in dormitory style room with common shower/WC. 1 room with 8 beds, 1 room with 7 beds, 1 shower with hot water, 2 WC’s, 1 room with 5 beds with shower/WC.

Ascent +258m
Descent -585m
Walking route 5.7km, approx 3-4 hours

Day 5
Ramići - Paklenica

Inhabited since prehistoric times, the dramatic landscape of the Paklenica National Park gained national park status in 1949, due to its unique natural features and magnificent forests. A dramatic mountain range that appears to fall directly into the sea, we'll spend the next two days on high trails, which offer spectacular views across to the lunar landscape of the islands of Rab, Pag and the Kornati National Park. We start our walk through the canyon of Velika Paklenica, surrounded by huge walls and the remains of old water mills. These ancient buildings, built in the 19th century and still in use up until the 1960s, are well preserved cultural monuments and maintained by the national park authorities. We follow a spectacular serpentine trial that ascends the western wall of the canyon as we finish our walk at the Manita Cave. This enchanting cave has been attracting visitors since 1937 with its stunning formations - the Helmet, the Organ and the Witch to name a few. After exploring the cave, we return to the coastal town of Starigrad-Paklenica. The rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy a walk beside the sea or just relax with a drink in one of the many pavement cafes or local bars. (B, L)

Ascent +235m
Descent -703m
Walking route 8.5km, approx 4-5 hours

Day 6
Paklenica - Krupa River Canyon - Zadar

After breakfast we take a short transfer (45mins) to the pretty area of the Krupa River and canyon. Situated under the steep slopes of Velebit Mountain, this picturesque river stretches from a small spring through the deep Krupa Canyon until it reaches the river Zrmanja. A rich karst area, this whole landscape hides underground caverns and caves, and is dotted with tiny hamlets. We start in the village of Golubic, where we visit a local sheep and goat farmer producing local cheese. After sampling some of his produce we walk to the bridge of Kudin built at the turn of the 18th century. Legend has it that a local boy wanted to be closer to his young love and built the bridge from 12 arches. Despite high waters and many years, almost all the bridge is still standing. From Krupa we drive (1hr) to the picturesque town of Zadar. After arriving at the group hotel and freshening up, the rest of the afternoon will be at leisure to wander the streets of Zadar. Feeling more like a large village than Croatia's 5th biggest town, Zadar is a vibrant, warm place enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. The city walls, mostly built under Venetian rule, are home to four old city gates - the Gate of St Rok, the Chain Gate, the recently renovated Land Gate and the Port Gate, the latter two both sporting winged lions, the symbol of the Venetian Empire. Zadar has two wonderful and quirky attractions designed by local artist Nikola Basic. Firstly, the Sun Salutation, a 22m wide circle filled with 300 multi layered glass plates that collect solar energy all day, transforming it into a light show from sunset to sunrise. Attracting locals and tourists, each evening people take a stroll to see this unusual spectacle. This ingenious piece of art generates enough energy to power the front lighting system of the entire harbour! Nikola Basic's second masterpiece is the Sea Organ, a unique system of pipes set into steps which creates whistles and sighs from the movement of the water. It's a great place to sit and enjoy the "music" which changes with the passing of ferries and boats. St Donatus' Church and the Franciscan Monastery are both beautiful pieces of architecture. Dating from the 9th century, St Donatus' is an unusual circular Byzantine church and only one of a handful of buildings that survived the Mongol invasion of the 13th century. The Franciscan Monastery houses a Gothic church from 1280 and a small treasury. If you prefer to sit and watch the world, go by, then People's Square is the place to go. This pretty little square is traditionally the center of town and there is a constant buzz to the place from the many popular pavement cafes. Overnight at hotel in Zadar. (B, L)

Ascent +200m 
Descent -200m
Walking route 4km, approx 2-3 hours

Day 7
Zadar - Krka - Split

After breakfast, we leave Zadar for a short transfer (1hr) to the beautiful Krka National Park. Created by the Krka River, and described as the most picturesque river in Croatia, this stunningly beautiful national park can only be described as a limestone phenomenon. We start off by exploring the park on foot before taking a memorable boat ride through the Krka canyon passing cascading falls to the spectacular Roski Slap. In the afternoon we drive to Split, Croatia's second largest city and known as Spalato in Italian. This atmospheric city, located on the Dalmatian Coast, is an exciting mixture of modern buildings, UNESCO palaces, old city walls, a beautiful promenade (the Riva) and a spectacular mountainous backdrop. More of a living museum, the UNESCO heart of Split or the Diocletian’s Palace, is one of the most imposing Roman ruins in Europe and is more of a place to wander rather than plan a rigid visit! A melting pot of cafes and restaurants, alongside a military fortress, winding back streets, an imperial residence and fortified town, the Diocletian’s Palace is hardly a palace but a living museum! Along with the Cathedral, town museum and cosmopolitan promenade, Split is a beautiful town with a breath-taking backdrop and sweeping sea views. After regrouping in the evening, you’ll head out for a farewell dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel in Split.     (B, L, D)

Ascent +316m
Descent -258m
Walking route 12km, approx 4-5 hours

Day 8

After breakfast, transfer to Split Airport. (B)


  • Airport transfers Day 1 & 8
  • 7 Nights in 3* hotels & guesthouse
  • 7 Breakfasts (B)
  • 6 Packed Lunches (L)
  • 1 Guesthouse Dinner (D)
  • 2 Restaurant Dinners (D)
  • Tour Guide


  • Plitvice Lakes - National Park
  • Northern Velebit - National Park
  • ​Paklenica - National Park
  • Krka Waterfalls - National Park

Pricing and Accommodation

Pricing and Accommodation information is not available.

Included Accommodation (or similar)

Zagreb - Hotel Jadran

Plitvice Lakes NP - Hotel Macola (Korenica)

Paklenica National Park - Ramici Rural House

Starigrad - Hotel Vicko

Zadar - Hotel Mediteran

Split - Hotel Art Annex

Would you like to extend your stay?

Zagreb - Hotel Jadran

From $POA

Split - Hotel Art Annex

From $POA

Important Notes

Small Group Walking Tour
Minimum: 6 Passengers
Maximum: 16 Passengers

Extras and Add Ons

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