Nature & wildlife trip
Live in the mountains for a week and get around by horseback riding, hiking and riding off-road in 4x4s. With a western-themed ranch as your home base, you’ll experience the lifestyle of a cowboy while exploring Velebit, the monumental Croatian mountain.
Spend a week on the authentic western yet luxury ranch on the magnificent Velebit mountain. Velebit is the largest mountain range in Croatia. Its biodiversity and natural beauty have long been acknowledged and the entire range was included in 1978 in the world network of biosphere reserves within the UNESCO programme of Man and the Biosphere (MAB).
Unleash your adventurous spirit and become a real cowboy. Enjoy the ranch activities from riding classes to hiking, caving/spelunking, canoeing, mountain biking, archery, and off-ranch activities like ziplining, all-terrain vehicle adventures, and kayaking. With guides and gear always provided, you do not need to worry about feeling safe. In this all-inclusive offer, an all-day connection with nature and horses will allow you to fully renew your spirit, recharge with energy and bear the stress of everyday life more easily.
|Suitable for||2-8 people|
|Price per person||from 1,478.00 €|
Active holiday specialist and a very passionate windsurfer
Activities are taking place on the Velebit Mountain
The hiking trails are different and adapted both to the experienced and recreational hikers, and come with breathtaking views
Even if you sleep in a cosy cabin or a tipi, you'll still feel like you're sleeping under the stars
The cowboy life isn't always in the saddle
What stories will you have to share at the end of each day?
The ranch is located inside Velebit National Park, a member of the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) network, being the national winner in the category „Tourism and Protected Areas“.
From the start, it has committed to being a part of the Velebit ecosystem in an entirely environmentally sustainable manner. The ranch started with a vision for a sustainable wilderness resort. The dream became a reality as the food for people and livestock has come from local farms and gardens.
All the windows, doors, furniture, carpets, decors, and construction material have been made by local artists and craftsmen and sourced in the valley. You are thinking green? This is a place for you. Enjoy the concept that puts human in the centre of attention to create a balanced and integrated living system for all creatures.
An extensive variety of on-ranch activities are available from 9 am to 6 pm. All guided activities include professional guides with a passion for the adventure and a selection of gear, such as cowboy hats and boots, raincoats and walking canes.
With so much to discover, we encourage you to do two activities per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, or to participate in one of the day-long activities. Schedule is designed around a 7-day stay, from Saturday to Saturday. During your stay you can try every activity at the ranch at least once.
Itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, snow and water levels, special events or interests, etc. Ranch guides and trip leaders will do their utmost to ensure the best possible experience for their clients without compromising safety at any time. This may mean changing the original itinerary to avoid discomfort or risk which could be caused by exceptional situations. You as a guest are not a mere spectator but rather an active participant. You absorb a wealth of knowledge and wisdom from locals and you leave some of your own wisdom behind.
Fly into Zadar (transfers also possible from other airports). Your driver will meet you at the exit of the arrivals area at Zadar Airport and take you to your mountain base for the next 8 days. People from all over the world venture out to Velebit in search of peace and unhindered contact with nature. In this land where horses graze freely and where meadows are filled with wildflowers, people encounter one thing they did not plan on meeting: themselves.
Check in upon arriving to the ranch. Your accommodation will cradle you with carefully appointed furniture, feather beds, massage showers and above all nurturing silence because of the natural sheep wool insulation that is sourced from shepherds in the valley. After settling down, come for a welcome drink in the Saloon where you will meet your host who will come to greet you and talk briefly about the week ahead and your horseback riding experience. Dinner and overnight at the ranch.
In the morning hours, after a fresh, nutrient-rich, tasty breakfast, you will participate in the two-hour horseback riding program - the shortest riding program on the ranch where you can start your cowboy adventure. Inhale the glorious scent of saddle leather mixed with wildflowers and sun-warmed pine. No matter how much experience you might have, all riders go through a brief technical orientation before getting on their horse.
Delight in the simple luxury of experience—the power of a strong and willing horse beneath you, the freedom of the frontier—and satisfy your yearning for adventure.
In the afternoon hours, after lunch, make sure not to skip the wagon ride. This can be a real family adventure as three generations (grandkids, parents and grandparents) can fit in one of the restored country wagons for a ride through the village. The journey will take you close to the farms that produce milk and dairy products for the ranch to experience organic farming first hand and see where our food comes from. Try your hand at driving a team of horses and earn the bragging rights!
To conclude this great day, join the BBQ and barn dance evening. On the dance floor you will have the freedom and space to show your cowboy spirit and learn new moves from your dance partners through dancing on the real cowboy music. It is fun, playful, relaxing and connecting. Laughter, song and togetherness - a good party is guaranteed for the guests of all ages.
Monday is a lay day for horses so you will have a hiking trip but first things first - you will enjoy your tasty breakfast.
The cowboy breakfast is more of an activity then a meal, because everyone participates: some of you will make pancakes, some eggs and bacon, some of you will roast coffee, grind it, then cook it… and all that while sitting on bales of straw in a circle around the fire.
The forest around you has an abundance of logging trails that are any hiker’s paradise. The hiking trails are different and adapted both to the experienced and recreational hikers and people who enjoy walking and soaking in this beautiful, picturesque landscape. If you like hiking, do not miss the Cathedral hike!
After lunch, there's a fun, outdoor educational program for children aged 4 to 12, Little Bears kid’s club. Children enjoy a host of adventures designed to inspire and foster an appreciation for the outdoors and provide education on Croatia’s history and tradition. From learning to care for animals at the Barn, to exploring the banks of Ranch Creek for local flora and fauna, Little Bears will reconnect with the natural world and broaden their horizons.
The ranch also provides an accessible and exciting opportunity to learn archery or hone your bow skills.
Just like every other morning, as a wisp of smoke escapes through the chimney, the aroma of freshly brewed oriental coffee will greet you to the dining room.
After breakfast, it's time to reunite with the horses and go for a two-hour scenic ride through the valley with spectacular views, stream crossings, gorges, and meadows.
In the afternoon you can join the Natural horsemanship demonstration. What this means is that your experience is bound to go far beyond that of a typical head-to-tail ride. Your understanding of communication between yourself and your horse is what will be not only discovered but also advanced and understood. It is again one way that we are able to take your horseback riding experience from ordinary to extraordinary.
Have you ever tried geocaching? It combines western heritage for treasure hunting with modern-day technology. Using GPS devices and coordinates, individual guests and groups locate hidden boxes on thousands of acres of the beautiful Velebit Mountain. Adults and families choose between intermediate or expert levels, allowing them to customize their search by ability and time constraints. Children search for boxes while learning about nature, history, geography and topography. “Hiking with a purpose” is a great way to become acquainted with our corner of the European wilderness.
4x4 off-roading is another way to discover Velebit Mountain, but if you don't like that, you can also hike or ride a horse.
Ghost town is an old ranching town that was abandoned some 50 years ago as the last ranchers moved from the mountain closer to bigger towns. Now it stands preserved in time reminding us of the times gone by. A simple but tasty lunch is prepared there and after that you can choose which way you want to return to the ranch – hiking, riding or driving in a jeep.
Upon returning to the ranch, have some rest before dinner, relax in the hot tub and let the water take away tension and stress, soothe muscle pain and stimulate blood circulation.
There's a two-hour trail ride on the schedule in the morning hours, and after that you can go for a walk and just keep connecting with nature. Close to the ranch are caves to visit, peaks to climb, rivers to cross and spacious meadows to rest in. The possibilities are endless. You can even ride a bike to the birthplace museum of Nikola Tesla (20 km /13 miles) to Smiljan, or set out on a journey and find for yourself the hidden wonders of the valley – soft meadows bursting with vegetation, peaceful shady grooves as shelters from the summer sun, ruins of forsaken hamlets telling stories of past times. Crossroad bikes will be at your disposal.
If you are traveling with your kids, we are sure you will enjoy the Little Bear’s club and activities in their “Survival academy” or participating in cowboy games, gold panning and pony painting party.
Glide along in a canoe on Lika River canyon. Enjoy the exercise when the wind is down and the river is still. Get your heart rate up while basking in the sunshine and splashing a paddle in the cool water. Depending on the water level, up to four prehistoric dams will have to be negotiated by taking your canoe on your shoulders while crossing a pile of ancient rocks. Keep your eye out for wildlife while paddling.
Enjoy a BBQ lunch by the lake, then have some rest and in the afternoon head back upstream by canoe to where you started your river adventure and return to the ranch.
After breakfast and check-out, depending on your flight schedule, a driver can take you to visit Plitvice Lakes National Park (optional). This gorgeous park is just one hour away by car. The Plitvice Lakes are famous for their 16 magnificent and entwined cascading lakes that form a gorgeous ring of water. Plitvice has been named one of the 35 most beautiful national parks in the world, and for good reason. Release your inner explorer and see for yourself why Plitvice Lakes have found their place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Private transfer to the Zadar airport.
We will double-check availability and make reservations for your rooms, restaurants, guides etc.
With reservations confirmed, we will prepare the best offer possible in regard to your arrival date & party size
You will get the offer via e-mail, along with the payment options. Feel free to request further customisations!