The Velebit is the longest Croatian mountain; it abounds in natural diversity, unique karst landscapes, and intriguing history. Its natural resources have been declared a nature park, and there are five ways we suggest you appreciate the beauty of the mighty Velebit:
Velebit Photo Safari
Let’s kick off the Velebit tour with the easiest way to see it, in a 4x4 on a photo safari.
Suitable for all fitness levels, this safari starts in the morning, and the tour is done in either Croatian, English, or German. With your fees to the park paid as well as food and drink arranged, all you need to bring are some sturdy shoes, sun protection, and of course, your camera!
You’ll experience the Velebit Nature Park, the largest Croatian mountain, and its Karst phenomenon from the safety of an off-road vehicle. Stopping along the way for short walks and snacks, you be rewarded with panoramic views.
The photo safari is suitable for all ages and is not physically demanding, so it’s ideal for the whole family. You’ll learn about local medicinal, flowers, endemic species, and details of how this historic road was built on tour.
Along the way, you’ll pass film locations from the famous Karl May movie, Winnetou while the local secrets of sage, thyme, and mint enchant you as you keep watch for wild horses.
Guided Hiking Tour of Paklenica
Take a guided hiking tour of Paklenica National Park, starting from the largest plateau on Velebit mountain range. Your mountaineering tour starts at Veliko Rujno, and after an hour of laid-back hiking, you’ll reach Stražbenica at 1130 meters above sea level. Once there, you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the Paklenica beech and black pine forests.
Whip out your camera to capture the moment before you begin your very quiet ascend along the forest path to reach a farm. At the farmhouse, Ramića dvori, you will enjoy light refreshments before the final stop of Velika Paklenica Gorge.
This moderately demanding hike, suitable for ages nine and up, lasts 7 hours (2 hours of rest time) and will cover a little over 11 kilometers, in a cumulative ascent of 505 meters and descent of 1283 meters. The guided hike is available year-round and can be conducted in Croatian, English, or German.
Sunrise at The Summit
This demanding guided tour of Paklenica National Park will enchant serious hikers. Nowhere are sunrises more mystical than up high in the mountains. The journey begins while still dark. Your hike will begin under a ceiling of the stars and be illuminated by the full moon and the first golden hours of the day while the rest of Zadar sleeps.
Jump into a 4x4 and the starting point, where your guide will drive for a little over an hour to Libinje, 780 meters above sea level. Your 3-hour hike begins here, where you'll head toward the second-highest peak on the Velebit, Sveto brdo (eng. The Holy Hill), 1750 m above sea level.
Once here, you can take photos of the sea of lights across Zadar, peer out to views of Lika, the Zadar hinterland, or the islands before enjoying a short sleep under the stars before being awoken by the glorious sunrise!
After relishing the morning glory, you'll then head toward Mala Paklenica gorge on a 5-hour downhill hike before the tour ends.
South Velebit Bike Tour
Discover the appeal of the Velebit Nature Park on an extraordinary cycling mountain bike tour. This ambitious 3-hour cycling tour (total trip time 5 hours) will cover almost 34 kilometers along an asphalt and macadam route to the 'Tulove grede' lookout.
Touring year-round, you'll cycle off at 9 am and go uphill toward the lookout. Once there, you'll enjoy sweeping views of the islands in the Adriatic Sea before beginning your descent down the slope of southern Velebit; cycling along the rocky limestone conglomerate of unusual karst shapes, you will then end up on the peak Sveto brdo (eng. The Holy Hill).
With a cumulative ascent of over 2000 meters and a descent of 2784 meters, this cycle requires optimum physical fitness and cycling experience. All mountain bike equipment and a packed lunch are provided, so all you have to do is peddle to enjoy the picturesque views of largely untouched nature.
Zrmanja River-Kayak Tour
Appreciate this leisurely kayak tour with the whole family. Starting in Obrovac, you'll head out to the Novigrad Sea to discover the excellence of the Zrmanja area.
The crystal-clear waters and the 200-meter-deep canyon on the karst river Zrmanja will surely impress you on this kayaking trip. A light paddle is all that is required to enjoy the peace and beauty of the Zrmanja canyon. This effortless 14-kilometer kayak tour is suitable for families with children. Most ideal in summer, as it is possible to swim in the Zrmanja River.
You'll be equipped with oars, safety vests, and waterproof canisters to store your personal effects. Lasting around 5-6 hours between April and October, your experienced guide (in Croatian, English, or German) will accompany you as you take in the sights and smells of nature as you discover the beauty that is the Zrmanja!