Rural Croatia walking holiday

“Walk Croatia's well-posted national park trails as you encounter karst canyons, ancient monasteries, emerald lakes and breath-taking views over Gorski Kotar and the Adriatic. ”


Risnjak National Park | Crni lug to Big Risnjak | Schlossers mountain hut | North Velebit National Park | Plitvice Lakes National Park | Paklenica National Park | Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica canyons | Borisov Dom mountain hut | Krka River National Park | Visovac Island | Skradin old town | Skradinski Buk waterfall |

Description of Rural Croatia walking holiday

There’s nothing like a weeklong rural Croatian holiday to lift your spirits and allow your mind and body to soar, as the twinkling diamonds of the Adriatic meet sandy beaches, red tiled fortresses and dense green pine forests, further inland, to captivating effect.

Croatia spoons Bosnia-Herzegovina against the River Una and incorporates a great many wildlife rich preserved natural areas, with national parks, such as: Kornati Islands, Risnjak and Paklenica, providing untold excuses to slip on your walking shoes, get out and explore.

A Croatia and Bosnia walking holiday invites you into the landscapes of the northwest Balkans where you’ll stay in smaller, family-run, hotels and independent guesthouses, which offer travellers a much more authentic experience than overcrowded tourist areas.

Although both Croatia and Bosnia have their fair share of relatively tall mountain peaks, especially in the Dinaric Alps, the hiking level on this tour is pretty gentle and ideal for anyone who loves being outdoors and active as opposed to thrill seeking adrenaline junkies.

This sort of rural Croatian holiday combines walking with swimming, sightseeing and rambling in national parks, like: Plitvice Lakes, North Velebit, Krka River and Mljet Island, with a positive and flexible attitude just as important as a worn and comfy pair of boots.

Group sizes range from a minimum of four people to a maximum of 16 with a chance to convert to a tailor made holiday certainly worth taking into consideration for activity loving families.

The following is included on this Croatia & Bosnia-Herzegovina walking holiday:
- Seven nights’ accommodation
- Two daily meals (dinner only on first day and breakfast only on last day)
- Six days of organised activities
- Entrance to eight national parks
- Experience and knowledgeable English-speaking tour guide throughout
- Airport transfers to and from Zagreb, Rijeka, Zadar or Split
- Overland transportation throughout the tour
- Walking poles available on prior request
- River permits and local taxes

Please note: itineraries can change at any time due to group abilities, preferences, weather and unplanned special events. Group safety will always be the guides’ and tour leaders’ number one priority with itineraries remaining flexible to avoid risk or discomfort to travellers, especially under extreme circumstances.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Welcome to Croatia. Upon arrival at Zagreb, Rijeka, Zadar or Split international airports you’ll be transferred to the village of Zvecaj which is situated along the River Mreznica not too far from the motorway connecting Zagreb with Rijeka on the coast. Spend time settling into the traditional family-run hotel and restaurant that will be your home for the first two nights. In the evening you’ll be invited for a welcome drink and dinner on the terrace followed by a chance to meet your guides and the rest of your small group, and ask any questions about the forthcoming week walking in Croatia.
Day 2:Your first day of walking takes place within Risnjak National Park which is a pristine forest covered mountain range located around 15kms inland from the Croatian coast. As the source of the River Kupa and the habitat of the lynx, this protected landscape is held very dearly by local Croatian people and the hiking trail from Crni lug to Big Risnjak includes a visit to one of the country’s most scenic high altitude huts, Schlossers, which is located about 100 metres from the summit. After enjoying the phenomenal views over the surrounding peaks of Gorski Kotar against the twinkling lights of the Adriatic it’s time to head back to base where a home cooked locally sourced evening meal awaits.
Day 3:Bid a fond farewell to your Zvecaj hotel after breakfast before undertaking the drive to North Velebit National Park, an area renowned for its beautiful karst rock formations and rich biodiversity within a pretty compact protected area of outstanding natural beauty. The park itself features a spider’s web of mountaineering and hiking trails, the most famous of which, the Premuic Trail, runs directly through the park’s heartland and features several impressive peaks with outstanding views over the islands of the Adriatic. After today’s walk in North Velebit you’ll be transferred to the equally impressive Plitvice Lakes National Park where this evening’s accommodation in Korna village provides the perfect valley setting for three nights against the banks of the River Korana.
Day 4:Plitvice Lakes National Park is generally considered to be one of Croatia’s finest with numerous wooden footpaths and traditional bridges forming the backbone to a good day’s walk around the park’s emerald green lakes and tumbling waterfalls. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Plitvice is a real pleasure to be a part of with pine forests, beech groves and hidden caves forming the habitat for untold indigenous wildlife and seasonal wild flowers. What better than a picnic lunch followed by a boat ride and a short train journey to display the park in all its glory, with a chance to swim prior to your evening meal always the perfect way to further increase your appetite.
Day 5:Free day - optional trips available - payable locally.
Day 6:Your journey continues south today as you leave Korana village behind and head into the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve of Paklenica National Park which is an extremely popular destination for hikers and climbers. If there’s time, the canyons of the Zrmanja and Krupa rivers will be the first port of call with the country’s oldest orthodox church, the Krupa Monastery, providing a fascinating contrast to the surrounding slopes and fast-flowing waterways. Both the Velika Paklenica and the Mala Paklenica canyons will feature prominently within this part of the tour with the southern side of Mount Velebit adding to the karst and river landscapes which also include a wealth of indigenous flora and fauna. As you pause to watch nomadic mountain shepherds tending their flock you’ll be treated to numerous well-posted walking trails with the ascent through black pine and beech forests to the Borisov Dom mountain hut, highly recommended. After a descent to the coast you’ll be met by your driver and transferred to this evening’s accommodation in the small town of Skradin which overlooks the Krka River.
Day 7:Your penultimate day of walking in Croatia takes place in the stunning karst surroundings of Krka River National Park which features numerous waterways as well as a cultural history that’s deeply entwined with the first kings of Croatia. Aside from the walking, you’ll also be invited to take a boat to the island of Visovac and visit the Franciscan monastery as well as being able to head to the Skradinski Buk waterfall and find out more about the corresponding hydroelectric power plant. A late afternoon stroll around the cultural cobbles of Skradin’s old town completes the trip rather nicely with your final dinner in Croatia enabling fond memories to be forged over an evening of celebration.
Day 8:Transfer from Skradin to your chosen international airport or explore more of Croatia’s secret landscapes and national parks by opting to extend your tour at the time of booking.

Travel Team

If you would like some help or advice, or just want to discuss your ideas for your next trip, do give us a call.

Check dates, prices & availability

22 Jun 2019
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06 Jul 2019
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16 Jul 2019
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17 Aug 2019
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31 Aug 2019
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14 Sep 2019
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Rural Croatia walking holiday


We have chosen to include places to stay where there is much more opportunity for you to interact more fully with the local people, to practice your language and to minimise your carbon footprint. The village guesthouses and small hotels we stay in use predominantly local produce in the preparation of meals, reducing the food miles and carbon footprint associated with larger hotels.

We are walking through pristine national parks, showcasing beautiful forests, mountains and thriving wildlife. By hiring local walking guides, you will have plenty of information and practical advice on maintaining the local environment and ensuring no harm comes to the wildlife either directly or indirectly. We ask all our customers to respect the environment, and the education trails such as the Leska in Risnjak will help you to understand the intricacies of it. Litter, in particular, is damaging to the landscape and can injure animals so we encourage people to act responsibly.

As a company we employ responsible policies such as recycling paper, ink cartridges, glass and cardboard; we minimize the use of electricity and conducting the vast majority of our correspondence and promotion via the internet and email, minimizing the amount of paper used for our activities. We also compost waste in our company garden.


We only employ local guides and visit genuine and traditional artisans. By walking in the national parks you will encounter and support local people and their businesses as well as appreciating for yourself the rural way of life.

Accommodation on this holiday is in, primarily, family run, guest houses. The food is primarily sourced locally and a large number of dishes on the menus are home made. We only employ local guides as their expertise and local knowledge will enhance your experience and understanding of the historical context and the environmental impact of your visit.

You will, no doubt, read about the impact of the Balkan Wars of the mid 1990s; the countryside was devastated in this time as whole villages were destroyed and communities pulled apart along ethnic lines - because of this experience rural Croatia and more particularly, neighbouring Bosnia need a confident rural econmy to maintain their traditional way of life, which is, of course, so precious. Through our tours we aim to assist the local economies to thrive with the help of tourism whilst not losing the integrity of the community structures.

1 Reviews of Rural Croatia walking holiday

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 07 Oct 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The whole trip was great and seeing all different parts of the country from north to south.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If you don’t want crowds go off season some things may be closing but you won’t be overwhelmed with people.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

8 out of 10.

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