Hike Croatia: Islands & Mountains
Enjoy the very best of Croatia; the coast and islands, the beautiful towns, near-perfect national parks and spectacular mountains. Starting in the fascinating UNESCO city of Dubrovnik, we begin our journey along the coast where the crystal clear sea forms the backdrop for many of our early walks, followed by the peaceful sound of waterfalls as we head into the national parks of Paklenica and Krka. Here we have a chance to visit Skradinski buk waterfalls and enjoy walks through spectacular gorges, forests and mountain scenery.
• Walk idyllic coastal and mountain routes
• Discover the beautiful UNESCO town of Dubrovnik
• Experience the wilderness of Krka and Paklenica National Parks
• All breakfasts
• All accommodation (see below)
• All transport and listed activities
• Tour leader throughout
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DAY 1 - Start Dubrovnik
The tour starts in the fascinating old city of Dubrovnik. Situated right on the Adriatic Sea, the fine religious buildings surrounded by heavily fortified walls and the jumble of red-tiled roofs make this a truly enchanting place. In the evening we will take a walk around the city and go out for a group meal where we will have a briefing about the tour.
DAY 2 - Walk from Gornji Obod to Strazisce Peak; transfer to Dubrovnik, explore the old town.
After breakfast we take a short transfer (about 25 minutes) to the village of Gornji Obod. From here we follow a path that zig-zags its way up to the village of Velji Do. After a break, the walk continues up to Strazisce Peak, and at the top we are rewarded with spectacular views back over Dubrovnik and can see the commemorative cross in memory of the US aircraft which crashed delivering aid in 1996. We return to Velji Do and then transfer back to Dubrovnik where we have the afternoon to enjoy the city. The shelling of Dubrovnik by Serb troops in 1991 and 1992 outraged the world. Fortunately over the last 10 years great care has been taken to re-build the damaged parts of Dubrovnik and the city has now returned to its former glory. The cobblestoned streets of the old town, or Stari Grad, features fountains, churches, palaces and museums – all built from the same light coloured stone. There are no motor vehicles in the city but at night the streets come alive as locals and visitors take an early evening stroll along the Stradun – this is the main street and is covered in smooth shiny marble.
DAY 3 - Transfer up the coast to the Biokovo Massif; walk above the town of Makarska; transfer to Bol on the Island of Brac.
After breakfast, we will transfer by bus to Tucepi. This transfer takes about 3.5 hours including a coffee break en route. Once in Tucepi we begin our walk to Makarska, through the Biokovo mountains. The Biokovo massif rises up steeply above the Makarska Riviera in three spectacular shelves, providing hiking at all levels and fabulous views. Our destination of Makarska is a small but lively town, tastefully restored in stone after a devastating earthquake in 1962. It has a fantastic 2km stretch of beach, so if we have a bit of time we can take a refreshing dip before we head for the island of Brac. We will catch the ferry from Makarska and transfer to Bol, by far the biggest draw on the island of Brac.
DAY 4 - Climb Vidova Gora for views over Bol and Zlatni Rat, the Golden Beach; afternoon to relax on the beach.
We start today with a 20 minute transfer to the small village of Gazul, and from here we begin our walk to the peak of Vidova Gora (780m). The first part of our walk will take us through woodland for around 1.5hrs as we gradually ascend 230m to the summit of the highest point on Brac Island. The views from the top of Vidova Gora are spectacular as we can see all the way to the island of Hvar in the distance and the famous 500m long spit of Zlatni Rat jutting out to sea in the foreground – this view is one that features on many postcards in Croatia so make sure to bring your camera! From here, our walk is downhill for around 2hrs towards the town of Bol. In the afternoon you can make the most of the glorious beach of Zlatni Rat. It is south facing, so ideal for an afternoon of rest and relaxation.
DAY 5 - Catch the ferry to Split and enjoy a couple of hours exploring the old town before transferring to Krka N.P.; visit the Skradinski buk waterfalls
We begin with a morning ferry transfer to Split, Croatia’s second biggest city. The old centre is compact and easily explored on foot, with the main draw is Diocletian’s Roman Palace. The town as a whole is a lively and friendly place with a bustling café culture, so it is simply a nice place to stop, have a coffee and soak up the atmosphere. We then have a transfer (approx. 84km) by bus to Krka National Park. Here we begin our walk to the Skradinski Buk waterfalls, made up of a series of waterfalls dropping down in 17 dramatic steps. The area is accessed by wooden walkways and forest paths. The area is also fantastic for wildlife – it is now an important wildlife sanctuary with several species endemic to the region or now extinct elsewhere in Europe. The walk will take around 2.5 hours and is all on easy paths. In the late afternoon, we transfer to Starigrad Paklenica.
DAY 6 - Velika Paklenica N.P. gorge walk via Ramici Village.
Today we have a walking tour of the National Park Paklenica. Paklenica is home to the two impressive canyons of Velika and Mala Paklenica, vertically cut into the mountain where climbers from all across Europe come to test their skills and conquer these vertical assents. In a relatively small area of the national park, there are several unusual karst forms and caves, and the area is extremely rich in flora and fauna. Our 7.5 hour walk starts with a short jeep ride up to Veliko Rujno (850m), and from here we climb 300m for fantastic views over the park. Our walk is then mostly downhill as we have 1150m of descent through the quietest areas of the park, the village of Ramici and finishing in the main canyon itself. In the afternoon we return to Starigrad Paklenica.
DAY 7 - Another day in Paklenica N.P.; walk to a meadow beneath Bojin Kuk peak before returning to Starigrad Paklenica in the afternoon
Today we have another opportunity to explore the wonderful wilderness of National Park Paklenica and complete the most challenging walk of the trip. We walk to the saddle of 'Pod Jaginim Kukom' which has a great view up to Bojin Kuk. The Bojinac group is made up of a vast area of limestone, with the karst scenery forming towers of rock, furrowed limestone cliffs, caves and soft green meadows creating a contrast against the severe rock. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty and a walkers paradise. Today's walk takes about 5-6 hours, the terrain is quite challenging and rocky and requires our concertation, steady footing and good balance. En route, we pass the unusual Mirila graves. This afternoon we return to Starigrad Paklenica in time for a swim and relaxation before leaving Croatia tomorrow.
DAY 8 - End Zadar Airport
Transfer to Zadar airport where the tour ends.
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