Nature & wildlife trip

Ultimate birdwatching in Dalmatia: visit ornithological reserves & meet birds at the falconry centre

Enjoy the company of birds in the famous ornithological reserves of Pag Island, Vransko Lake, Guduča River, and the renowned Falconry Centre (Sokolarski centar) and gain new experiences and knowledge about the diverse avifauna of Dalmatia! Enjoy the rivers, green forests, and lush vegetation that are eagerly waiting to be discovered.

Trip highlights

  • Birdwatching at the ornithological reserves Velo blato and Kolansko blato on the island of Pag
  • Birdwatching at the semi-artificial lake Vlacina, and wetlands and swamp habitats of the island of Pag
  • Birdwatching at the special ornithological reserve of Nature Park Vransko Lake, a resting & feeding place for a whole range of endangered European species
  • Visit to the Falconry Centre, where you'll get to meet various birds of prey and check on injured and sick birds in the rehabilitation centre
  • Tour of an ornithological reserve in the National Park Krka, at the mouth of the Guduča river

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Watching birds and how they fly, sing, and nest is one of the most beautiful ways to relax in nature and a truly special experience. Despite its relatively small size, the Republic of Croatia boasts abundant natural heritage and is one of the most biologically diverse countries in Europe. 

Unique geographical position and climate as well as a combination of Pannonian, Dinaric, Mediterranean and pre-Alpine biogeographical influences and favourable geomorphological and hydrogeological conditions have contributed to the formation of a wide range of avifauna habitats in Croatia.

Bird lovers find Croatia extremely intriguing due to the 400 recorded bird species. 

Most notable among them are Mediterranean species, sea and deep-sea species, wetland species and a vast diversity of bird of prey species. 

Some of the more famous ones are the Western rock nuthatch (Sitta neumayer) and the olive-tree warbler (Hippolais olivetorum), which are species from the Balkan Peninsula and the Middle East with ranges whose westernmost part is located along the Croatian coast.

In addition to having the third largest water resources in Europe (after Iceland and Norway) and having one of the best ratios of country area to groundwater resources in the world, the Republic of Croatia boasts well-preserved natural habitats with hundreds of endemic plant and animal species.

Vransko Lake is unique in Croatia and Europe in terms of its position and features. It is actually a karst field filled with brackish water, which in turn makes it a cryptodepression.

Vransko lake is included on the List of Internationally Important Wetland Areas and is the largest natural lake in Croatia as well as an important resting and feeding place for a multitude of rare and endangered European bird species. More than 100,000 waterbirds fly-in there for the winter.

Day-by-day itinerary


Take a stroll through UNESCO protected city of Šibenik

After arrival in the city of Šibenik, check-in at the hotel. Take a short break and if you still have some spare time left, we suggest that you take a stroll through the stone-paved streets of Šibenik and give in to the charm of the gorgeous Dalmatian coast. Don't forget to visit the world-famous Cathedral of St. James, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and is known for its wreath consisting of 74 individual portrait heads. Overnight stay at the hotel.


Pag Island Bird Adventure

After breakfast, join in on a full day excursion to Pag island. It boasts a vast and well-preserved wetland area, which is becoming scarce in Europe due to the wetland avifauna becoming increasingly endangered and the disappearance of biotopes. We will also be visiting the ornithological reserves Velo blato and Kolansko blato, the semi-artificial lake Vlacina, as well as the wetlands and swamp habitats of the island of Pag. 

Velo blato Ornithological Reserve is exceptionally valuable in terms of biodiversity because it is home to more than 160 species of waterbirds, 66 of which are breeding birds that have found sanctuary here, especially during nesting, migration, and wintering. 

This is the habitat and nesting site of an array of beautiful bird species, such as: rock partridges, crested larks, short-toed larks, tawny pipits, Eurasian hoopoes, Montagu's harriers, glossy ibises, squacco herons, purple herons, or little egrets. You will also be visiting a family farm where you will get to enjoy the local cuisine. We suggest that after getting back to the hotel, you go out for a stroll and enjoy the beauty of Šibenik while having dinner at one of the top-notch local restaurants. Overnight stay at the hotel.


Spot a Falcon in Flight

After breakfast you will set off on a new adventure. Sharpen your senses because you will be visiting the special ornithological reserve of Vransko Lake, which is the highlight feature of the eponymous nature park and a "hot spot" - an area with a large variety of Ornithophilous fauna. The Park area is a very important resting place and a feeding place for a whole range of endangered European species. There are more than 100,000 waterbirds regularly coming to winter, four types of endangered species on the European level and seven species endangered at national level.

For lunch you will be treated to culinary delicacies from the local farm. In the early afternoon hours you’ll visit the Falconry Centre, which is nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean wilderness. You can catch an awe-inspiring glimpse of a falcon in flight. It is the only such centre in Croatia and the habitat of various species of birds of prey as well as a must-visit location for everyone looking for a taste of adventure in the wilderness. Also located here is a rehabilitation centre for injured, sick, and starving birds in need of medical attention. After an eventful day in the company of these gorgeous feathered creatures, we will return to Šibenik. Overnight stay at the hotel. 


Bird life surrounded by Cascades & Waterfalls of Krka National Park

After breakfast, you are going on a tour of the exceptionally valuable ornithological reserve, which is part of Krka National Park and is located at the mouth of the Guduča River. This is the habitat and nesting site of an array of beautiful bird species, such as: grey herons, mallards, coots, little grebes, black-necked grebes, great crested, grebes pygmy cormorants, great cormorants, Caspian gulls, black-headed gulls and mute swans. 

The Krka River is famous for its lavish cascades and waterfalls as well as an abundance of flora and fauna, including 221 bird species, which makes this area an ornithological reserve with one of the most diverse avifauna.

You will be stopping at a local farm where you will have homemade lunch in the surrounding of the Krka River and its stunning scenery. Return to Šibenik. Overnight stay at the hotel. 


Medieval Mediterranean Garden

After breakfast it is time for check-out from your hotel. If you have some spare time left before your departure, we recommend that you visit a unique landmark, the Medieval Mediterranean Garden of St. Lawrence Monastery. 

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