The magnificent Paklenica canyon

Photo: Volker Rauch
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Sports & adventure trip

Active outdoor holiday where Velebit mountain touches the Adriatic sea

Not too far from the city of Zadar, there is a place where the Velebit Mountain touches the Adriatic sea. It’s a destination beloved by mountaineers, adventurers and nature lovers, and it’s where you’ll be spending your active holiday hiking, biking, rock climbing, rowing and swimming.

Starigrad Paklenica was built on the foundations of an ancient city and today it is a bustling little tourist town on the slopes of the Velebit Mountain, by the Paklenica National Park. Marked routes lead to various peaks and unique canyons.

Starigrad is not only a pleasant vacation spot, but also a traditional destination for mountaineers, adventurers and all kinds of nature lovers.

Prove to yourself that you can do it and enjoy the stunning views at an altitude of 1753 m above sea level.

Get moving, don’t be a couch potato!

Hiking in the MountainsCycling through National Park PaklenicaRock climbingTour of the cave Manita PećSea kayaking in crystal blue waterSwimming
Trip availableMAY - JUL, SEP
Duration8 days
Suitable for4-8 people
SupportPartially guided
Languagesende
Price per personfrom 265.00 €
Great for
  • Everyone in good shape
You’ll be accommodated in
  • 3-star Private apartment
Trip designed by Matej Kuković

Nature lover, Paklenica National Park specialist

Activities are taking place in Starigrad, Paklenica

The Paklenica karst river canyon is a national park in northern Dalmatia region, just north of town of Starigrad, at the southern slopes of Velebit mountain. It is famous for two canyons: Mala Paklenica, and Velika Paklenica.

The right way to really get to experience Paklenica is on foot. More than 150 kilometer of trails are divided in 360 routes suitable for people of various hiking prowess. The main climbing season begins in spring and goes on until late autumn.

The nearness and the easy access to the mountains, particularly through the attractive Velika Paklenica canyon, means that nearby town of Starigrad is not just another beautiful Adriatic seaside resort. It’s the best base for exploration on foot, and also starting place for magnificent kayak boat shore hopping tours.

Starigrad is a town built on the foundations of the ancient Roman city of Argyruntum, but the area of South Velebit has been inhabited since prehistoric time, going back to the last Ice age, when small groups of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers roamed there.

Today, Paklenica National Park boasts wealthy and diverse flora and fauna. More than 1000 plant species and subspecies are found there, 79 of them endemic to this area. There are also numerous bird, insect and amphibian species to be seen.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to the adventure destination

Arrival at the apartment, situated only 500m from the Paklenica National Park. Swimming, exploring Starigrad. In the evening, become a romantic and enjoy the special sunset.

Day 2

Cycling below Velebit

A guided bike trip around the Paklenica National Park enables you to enjoy the beautiful Paklenica riviera and to experience a piece of history. Relax and cycle through small villages below the mountain from 9:30 until 15:30. There might be time for swimming and relaxing on one of the beaches.

tip

You will be given all the necessary equipment: a bike and a helmet, as well as additional equipment (tools) and a map of the area. You should bring shorts, a T-shirt, sports shoes, sunscreen, water and a picnic lunch.

Day 3

Experience rock climbing

Take the 2-hour Climbing Tryout, a sports climbing package designed for beginners who want to learn the basics. The climbing will take place at a designated area within the park (instructions available from the rangers upon arrival at the national park). We will start with a short introduction and an easier route; more experienced climbers can also show their skills and choose their own climb at the spot.

tip

Don't break anything!

Day 4

Sea refreshment with sea kayaking

Want refreshment? How about sea kayaking? Embark on a unique experience on the Adriatic sea and look at Velebit from a different perspective.

After receiving instructions on the beach in front of the Vicko hotel in the centre of Starigrad, we will set off towards the open sea and the town of Vinjerac. Upon arrival, enjoy the image of this quiet town. Kayaking and swimming in the crystal clear blue sea at the foot of the imposing Velebit will make your day.

Brief itinerary of the excursion:

10:00 – arrival at the destination – Starigrad Paklenica

10:15 – preparations for the excursion and instructions by the guide

10:30 – start of the excursion

12:00 – swimming break on the Vinjerac beach

15:00 – end of the excursion in Starigrad Paklenica

16:00 – departure

tip

Don't forget to bring a bathing suit, shorts, a T-shirt, water sandals and a towel, as well as spare clothes and footwear, sunscreen, water and snacks.

Day 5

Visit to Manita Peć cave

Today, we recommend an easy hiking trip to the Manita peć cave (15 minutes from the apartment on foot), located at an altitude of 570 m above sea level within the national park; the walk will take around an hour and a half. The cave drips with flowstones, it is rich in underground fauna and it is the home of many bat species.

On your way back, find a rock with cool spring water, feel the freedom of Velebit and take it home with you.

tip

The Manita peć cave is open to visitors from 10.00 to 13.00, so we recommend that you start the trip at 8.00. Also, in May and June the cave is open only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Day 6

Trip to the city with the most beautiful sunset

Use this day to visit Zadar, located just 40 km from Starigrad. If you don't drive, we recommend you use the local bus (cca 4 EUR/person); it's a great opportunity to have a chat with a local sitting next to you. Experience Zadar however you want, just don't miss the Monument to the Sun and the Sea Organ. In 2016, Zadar was named Europe's Top Destination and its charm will certainly leave a mark in your memories of Croatia.

Day 7

Horizontal day

A little rest never hurt anybody. Gather your impressions, make your friends jealous on social media, float in the sea, sunbathe, read a book in the natural shade, and spend your evening on the terrace in one of Starigrad's many cafés or your apartment, in good company, with a glass of the best local wine or brandy.

Stay up late.

Day 8

Check out

Check-out from the apartment by 10:00. Come again and we'll prepare new challenges!

What's included?

  • 7 overnight stays in 3-star apartment
  • Welcome drink, homemade brandy and wine tasting
  • Cycling trip through the Paklenica National Park (guide, bicycles, helmets, insurance, a ticket to the Paklenica National Park)
  • Sea kayaking (guide, equipment and insurance included)
  • Rock climbing (equipment, instructor and insurance included).
  • Tourist tax
  • VAT

What's not included?

  • Additional entrance for the Paklenica National Park (7.00 € per person – upon arrival, request a map of the sights and routes)
  • Entrance to the Manita peć cave (3.00 € per person)
  • Entrance to the Paklenica National Park for the rock climbing (7.00 € per person – upon arrival, request a map with sights and routes)
  • Transfer from Zadar Airport to Starigrad Paklenica and back (one-way 55.00 € for shuttle)
  • Personal expenses
  • Insurance

Ready to inquire about this trip? Let’s plan it together!