Cycle through forests of beech and black pine while taking in the view of Vesebit Mountain in Paklenica National Park. Take a leisurely hike through a misty Eden of endless waterfalls and spectral blue lakes in the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Kayak across the sea and visit the pastel-coloured fishing village of Vinjerac. Encounter waterfalls and heart-pumping rapids on a white water rafting adventure on the Zrmanja River
Discover the rugged landscape of Croatia on an active family adventure to remember. Hike past stunning mountain scenery and cascading waterfalls, raft the gentle rapids along the Zrmanja River and pedal through lush Paklenica National Park. Along the way, see quaint, seaside villages, munch on fresh seafood and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Breakfast Included: 7 Lunches Included: 2 Dinner Included: 1
Welcome to Zadar, the starting point for your Croatian family adventure. Ease into things with a welcome meeting at 5 pm, where you’ll get acquainted with the rest of the group and meet your leader. Make sure you bring insurance and next of kin information for your family, as you’ll need to pass these over to your leader. Following the meeting, head out for a group dinner (optional) with your fellow family travellers and get to know each other a little better. After dinner, perhaps visit the Greeting to the Sun, a monument consisting of 300 multi-layered glass plates that produces a stunning show of light after dark. It works in tandem with the Sea Organ, which you’ll visit tomorrow – one communicates with light, the other with sound.
Enjoy breakfast then take an orientation stroll around the town. Although you’re not spending much time in Zadar, it would be a shame to leave without exploring some of the city’s treasures. Walk to the Sea Organ, a piece of public art that generates beautiful music from the waves that lap the shore, an expression of Zadar’s important relationship with the sea. You may have heard its lilting notes last night if you chose to see the Greeting to the Sun. Trace marble streets through the Old Town and discover Roman ruins among medieval churches. Then, make tracks for Starigrad Paklenica, a small town in a harbour that lies where the sea meets the mountains. This is your gateway to the Paklenica National Park, a natural playground filled with gorges and cliffs that reach up to 400 metres in height. Get a good rest this evening, as the first hike of the trip kicks off tomorrow.
After breakfast, it’s time to set off on a hike through Paklenica National Park. One of the most visited climbing sites in Europe thanks to its incredible rock formations and stunning natural scenery, the park is yours to explore today. Today’s four-hour hike will take you past karsts formations and lush greenery until you reach Manita Cave, the only cave in the park accessible for sightseeing. It is 175 metres long and divided into two halls, both rich in stalactites, stalagmites and cascades. Explore part of the cave today at the end of your hike. The route can be adjusted depending on the ability of the group and the weather conditions, but it is highly recommended you bring hiking boots. Total hiking time is 5-6 hours.
Following the hike, return to the comfort of your accommodation for a well-earned rest. In the evening, maybe head out for a classic Dalmatian seafood dinner.
Today delivers all things wet and wild as you hit the water for a canoe safari or a white-water rafting adventure on the Zrmanja River, widely considered the most beautiful waterway in Croatia. Make your way along perfectly clear, aquamarine-tinted waters, through narrow valleys and steep sided canyons, passing magnificent waterfalls. The first section of the river is fairly easy to navigate, allowing you to get a feel for your craft and enjoy the surroundings. The rapids will gradually become more turbulent and the pace more exciting, and you’ll enjoy some exhilarating currents and falls. You’ll spend 2.5 hours on the water, including lunch.
Enjoy a free afternoon and evening back in town, where you can rest up and maybe grab some bread, olives and cheese from the market for an antipasto-style dinner.
After yesterday’s river adventure, it’s time to head back and explore Paklenica National Park on wheels. The grassy hills and rugged mountain trails of the park are perfect for a two-whelled adventure. Cycle around the countryside and enjoy this breathtaking part of Croatia. There are multiple biking trails that range from 15 kilometres to 40 kilometres in length, and the route will be chosen depending on the group's collective ability. All equipment will be provided. No matter the path, you will have as your backdrop slices of Adriatic Sea, serrated Velebit Mountain peaks and beech and black pine forests that define the Paklenica National Park. Enjoy an included picnic lunch during your ride.
Total riding time: 5 hours
Get back on the water today on a sea kayaking adventure through Paklenica Bay. Paddle out over clear blue sea through the Velebit Channel and spend a day on the water, with the mountains serving as your backdrop while you tour the coastline. Glide along blue satin water that’s often so clear that you can see the bottom. Feeling hot? There’ll be plenty of chances to stop and dive into the water on swimming breaks. Stop for lunch along the way, finishing your excursion in the fishing village of Vinjerac. Located across the bay, this picturesque town has neat rows of pastel-coloured houses fronting the harbour. Spend some time exploring the tiny township and perhaps enjoy an early dinner of some of fresh catch in one of the local restaurants. Return to Starigrad Paklenica for the evening.
Continue your journey through the stunning and varied waters of Croatia today with a trip to the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Make a 1.5-hour drive to the World Heritage-listed park in south-east Europe and the largest in Croatia, a misty Eden of endless waterfalls and spectral blue lakes. Take a leisurely 3.5-hour stroll around the park, soaking up views of waters that tumble from a high, tree-lined ridge down through the valley and skirt dense forests of beech, spruce and pine. The interplay of water, rock, and plant-life creates a wondrous, dynamic landscape, changing the water colour from azure to bright green, deep blue to grey. A series of wooden walkways pass over the landscape, ensuring there’s little impact upon the park. You can either pack a lunch or stop at a self-service restaurant in the middle of the park. A dark history lies among these sublime vistas, as the park is known internationally as the site of the Plitvice Lakes incident, an armed clash that occurred during the beginning of the Croatian War of Independence. Following your walk, return to Starigrad Paklenica and celebrate your final night with the group with dinner.
Your Croatian adventure comes to an end today after breakfast, unless you plan to stay on and explore a little longer. Say your goodbyes to your new friends. You can depart anytime following check-out.