Cycling Croatian National Parks

Experience wonders of nature day by day

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Cycling Croatian National Parks Photo: Huck Finn
Accommodation in guesthouse Zvecaj on Mreznica River Photo: Huck Finn
Cycling tour in National Park Risnjak, Croatia Photo: Huck Finn
The power of Plitvice waterfalls, Lika region Photo: Pixabay / licence-free
Beautiful cyclamen along the Plitvice paths Photo: MariaK / inlandia.com
Risnjak National Park cycling adventure Photo: Huck Finn
Large number of caves in Croatian national parks  Photo: MariaK / inlandia.com
Over Kozjak lake with tourist boat Photo: MariaK / inlandia.com
Majerovo springhead on the Gacka River, Lika region Photo: Sergio Gobbo / HTZ
Trouts in the clear turquoise waters of Plitvice Lakes Photo: MariaK / inlandia.com
Walking around Kozjak Lake, NP Plitvice Lakes Photo: MariaK / inlandia.com
The beauty of Plitvice waterfalls Photo: MariaK / inlandia.com
Cycling through countryside of Croatia Photo: Huck Finn
Breathtaking view of Plitvice Lakes National Park Photo: MariaK / inlandia.com
Power of nature – Krka River waterfalls Photo: Matea Chiara Ormus / Inlandia
Inside National Park Krka, Dalmatia Heartland Photo: Matea Chiara Ormus / Inlandia
Krka National Park, Dalmatia Photo: Matea Chiara Ormus / Inlandia
Walking in National Park Krka Photo: Matea Chiara Ormus / Inlandia
Picturesque Skradin on the bank of the Krka River Photo: Huck Finn
National Park Krka with its stunning waterfalls Photo: Pixabay / licence-free
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Exploring national parks by bike

The trails on this 8-day cycling tour lead us through Croatian TOP 5 national parks and their surroundings: Risnjak, Plitvice Lakes, Northern Velebit, Krka and Paklenica. You will enjoy exploring thick forests, clear turquoise lakes, the idyllic courses of rivers with dramatic waterfalls and the valleys hidden between mighty mountain peaks.

Our stopovers during the tour days will be green environment of Mreznica, Kupa and Krka rivers with their numerous rapids and waterfalls.

The tour itself is an easy to moderate cycling tour on modern multi-gear touring bicycles. The cycling routes are paved roads with no or very limited traffic, mostly with slight downhill or flat sections and few but short climbs, easy to walk along your bike. All the way we will have a full vehicle support that can carry passengers, transport luggage and bicycles during bad weather or on more difficult sections for clients not fit for moderate climbs.

Discover quiet country lanes, picturesque villages and national parks on a cycling tour through Croatian most beautiful continental landscapes.


ITINERARY

Arrival in Zvecaj

Day 1 - Arrival in Zvecaj

Transfer from the airport or railway station to accommodation in Zvecaj, a small village on the Mreznica River. The village is surrounded by fresh green nature of river canyons and forests of beech and hornbeam, rich in mushrooms and other forest fruits. The family-run hotel "Zeleni kut“ (English: Green Corner) has a long tradition and a unique location overlooking the Mreznica River and its waterfall. It was built above an old mill. Each room has its own bathroom, most of them a sunny balcony as well. The hotel serves traditional Croatian specialties using fresh water fish from its own fishing ponds, homemade cheese, ham and sausages as well as vegetables and fruit from local farms. After settling into your rooms, we will test the bicycles on a short tour around the villages. At 8:00pm we will meet on the terrace overlooking the river for dinner and brief orientation, where we will discuss the tour itinerary and get to know our guides and all participants. Drive: 1h from Zagreb airport, 1.5 h from Rijeka airport. Accommodation: 3* Hotel in Mreznica River area. Meals: dinner.

Risnjak National Park and Kupa River Valley

Day 2 - Risnjak National Park and Kupa River Valley

On our first biking day, after having breakfast, we will explore Risnjak National Park. The pristine park covers an area of 63,5 km2 including the Risnjak and Snjeznik ranges. From the entrance to the National Park we will bike towards the village of Razloge. The route leads through little villages and forest paths till the village Zamost and the bridge over the Cabranka River which is also a border crossing to Slovenia. After a short passport procedure, we will bike along the Slovenian bank of the green Kupa River to village Brod, where we will cross back to Croatian side of the border. The Kupa River forms a natural border between Croatia and Slovenia. It flows through a picturesque valley, also known as the mysterious valley of butterflies - more than 500 species of butterflies inhabit the area. In this valley we will have a break to relax before returning back to our hotel for dinner. Accommodation: 3* Hotel in Mreznica River area. Meals: breakfast and dinner (packed lunch on your own). Cycling: easy/moderate, 3-4 hours/ around 50 km. Drive: 1-1.5h each way.

NP Northern Velebit & Gacka Valley

Day 3 - NP Northern Velebit & Gacka Valley

We continue our biking tour towards Croatia's youngest national park - Northern Velebit. After breakfast, we’ll load our bikes and luggage and drive to the park at 800 meters above sea level. After a short walk in Krasno village and the park area, we will descend by bikes to the Valley of Gacka River, world famous for trout fishing. On its source surrounded by numerous old wooden mills we will make a lunch break. From here, we drive towards the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site – Plitvice Lakes National Park. Accommodation in the national park is provided in family guesthouses in Korana Village, a picturesque village on the Korana River. The houses are small, traditional with simple rooms in an idyllic setting. There is no pub, restaurant, shop or school, not even a church. The peaceful atmosphere makes the village an ideal base for exploring the surrounding area. You will feel like in a fairytale. Accommodation: Private guesthouses in Plitvice Lakes National Park. Meals: breakfast and dinner (packed lunch on your own). Cycling: easy/moderate, 3-5 hours/ 43 – 63 km. Drive: 2 -3 h.

Walking Plitvice Lakes

Day 4 - Walking Plitvice Lakes

Description: Today, we will visit the most beautiful and stunning national park of Croatia - Plitvice Lakes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will walk and hike around 16 lakes and numerous waterfalls, along the wooden paths and bridges in and around the lakes. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in the pure, untouched nature. At the end of this walking tour and on the way to the exit of the park, we will take a pleasant panoramic boat trip, followed by a short drive by tourist train through dense forests of Plitvice. Accommodation: Private guesthouses in Plitvice Lakes National Parks. Meals: breakfast and dinner (picnic lunch on your own). Walking: easy, 4-6 km. Drive: 10 min each way.

Countryside and Barac Caves

Day 5 - Countryside and Barac Caves

For those who chose a 5-day tour, this is the end of their holiday. The rest of the group continues the tour by discovering beautiful Croatian countryside by bicycle on roads with limited or no traffic. Cycling through traditional villages, thick forests and colourful landscapes we reach Barac's Caves, where we stop for a guided underground tour through Upper Barac’s caves with its length of 520 metres. The limestone rocks hide numerous stalactites, stalagmites and stalagnates. The historical genesis goes back to the ancient beginnings of human civilization. After visiting the caves we return back to Korana Village where we can spend a rest of the day swimming in the River Korana while waiting for a traditional Croatian dinner. Accommodation: Private guesthouses in Plitvice Lakes National Park. Meals: breakfast and dinner (packed lunch on your own). Cycling: easy/moderate: 2 - 3 hour/ 30 km.

Hiking in National Park Paklenica

Day 6 - Hiking in National Park Paklenica

After breakfast, we will leave the Korana Village and continue south to Paklenica National Park. The park is a part of a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and a favorite hiking and climbing destination. It lies on the southeast slopes of the Velebit Mountains over the Adriatic coast. More and more visitors are attracted by the natural phenomena of two impressive canyons Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica with their incised cliffs (400 m deep), numerous caves, the only wooded area on coastal side of Velebit and protected animal and plant species. The surrounding peaks offer superb panoramas of coastal and mountain scenery. There are several wonderful hikes through beech and black pine forests to choose from. The most popular is the trail leading to Borisov Dom, a mountain hut popular among mountaineers. After descending all the way to the sea we drive to the romantic beautiful city of Skradin for dinner and overnight stay. Accommodation: 3* Skradinski Buk Hotel in Skradin. Meals: breakfast and dinner (picnic lunch on your own). Hiking: easy/moderate, 4 hours. Drive: 2h+1h.

National Park Krka

Day 7 - National Park Krka

On the last day of our cycling tour we will explore by bike the National Park Krka, best known for it's extraordinary waterfalls and lagoons. One of the options is a visit to Skradinski Buk waterfall, the place where the second hydro plant in the world was built, just a few years after the one on Niagara Falls. We will bike to the viewpoint over Lake Visovac to enjoy a view over the island and its monastery founded by the Franciscans in 1445. After cycling, we return to the hotel inn the late afternoon. While a well-deserved dinner is being prepared you can discover the Old Town of Skradin, small town protected as a cultural monument. Accommodation: 3* Skradinski Buk Hotel in Skradin. Meals: breakfast and dinner (picnic lunch on your own). Cycling: easy/moderate, 3 hours/30-40 km.

Departure from Skradin

Day 8 - Departure from Skradin

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and flight home. Meals: breakfast. Drive: Zadar 45 min, Split 1 h, Zagreb 3.5 h.

- Note on the itinerary:

This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, water levels, special events of interest, etc. Our guides and trip leaders will do their utmost care to ensure the best possible experience for our 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. Inlandia.com reserves the right to alter the itinerary without prior notice.

Departure dates 2018

on Saturdays: 12th May, 16th & 30th June, 14th July, 11th August, 22nd September

Other dates on request.

Price information & additional costs:

Departure dates:

Prices:

8-day tour

5-day tour

12 – 19 May 2018

620 €

520 €

16 – 23 June 2018

710 €

590 €

30 June – 7 July 2018

790 €

620 €

14 – 21 July 2018

790 €

620 €

11 – 18 August 2018

790 €

620 €

22 – 29 September 2018

620 €

520 €

  • All prices are per person.
  • Minimum occupancy per room: 2 persons.
  • The tour price is based on a minimum of four (4) and a maximum sixteen (16) participants in a group.
  • Individual guests can join an existing group.
  • Definite departure will be confirmed to participants by e-mail.
  • High Season: June 30 - August 24
    Intermediate Season: June 2 - June 29, August 25 - September 14
    Low Season: May 19 - June 1, September 15 - September 28

DISCOUNTS:

  • children 12 years: 10%

Additional costs:

  • Arrival transfer after 6pm (Central European time): 30 € /transfer
  • Single use supplement: 20%

INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:

  • Experienced local English-speaking guide and assistance.
  • 7 nights accommodation (sometimes two rooms share one bathroom).
  • 2 meals per day (dinner day 1 - breakfast day 8).
  • Use of bicycles. (You are free to bring your pedals, seat and helmet.)
  • 6 days of organized activities.
  • National Parks entrance fees.
  • Local taxes and river permits.
  • Saturday arrival transfer from Zagreb or Rijeka airport.
  • Saturday departure transfers to Zagreb, Zadar or Split airport.
  • Ground transportation.
  • Basic insurance and costs for the organization and realization of travel.

Note*

Arrival and departure transfers: several group transfers between airport and destination depending on arrival/departure time.

NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE  /  Additional costs:

  • International airfare to/from Croatia.
  • Drinks and meals not indicated in the itinerary.
  • Tips and other personal expenses.
  • Additional health insurance and cancellation insurance, which can be arranged by e-mail to  info@inlandia.com
  • All other expenses not covered by the programme.

Remarks:

  • Maximum number of participants: 16 guests per group. Larger groups upon request.
  • Minimum age: 12 years if accompanied by parent(s).
  • Children discount: valid for children 12 years of age if accompanied by an adult. One child enjoying discount shares parents’ room; two or more children can have their own room.
  • Accommodation type: rooms in a 3* hotel and private guesthouses. The family run 3* hotel "Zeleni kut" offers rooms with 1 - 4 beds. Each house in Korana Village has 2-4 bedrooms, and sometimes two rooms share one bathroom.
  • Sharing a twin room with another person is possible in case there are other guests interested in sharing.

This itinerary includes a crossing the border with Slovenia. Please have a passport or ID card with you.

You need to bring:

Sturdy walking/cycling shoes, sun glasses, sun cream, water, appropriate spare clothes in accordance to the weather conditions (fleece/jumper, rain gear), camera. You are free to bring your pedals, seat and helmet.

 

  • Risnjak National Park
  • Kupa River Valley – butterflies valley
  • Natural beauties of Plitvice Lakes
  • Underground world of Barac's Caves near Plitvice
  • Magnificient nature of Velebit Mountain
  • Krka waterfalls
  1. Risnjak National Park is located in the heart of Gorski kotar, 15 km from the Adriatic Coast and in the vicinity of the town Rijeka. The park covers an area of 64 km2, including the Risnjak and Snježnik massif and the source area of the Kupa River. The highest point of the park is Veliki Risnjak (1.528 m) which offer breathtaking views of the Kvarner bay, Istria and the Julian Alps in neighboring Slovenia. The lowest point is the area around the source of the Kupa River (313 m). It has pleasantly warm summers and an average temperature of up to 22 °C; springs and autumns are rainy, and the winter is long and snowy with an average snow depth of between 122 and 448 cm.
  2. Kupa River Valley is the most developed tourist area in Gorski Kotar. It is located in the northern part of Upper flow of the River Kupa, between municipalities of Brod Moravice and Čabar. The valley is also known as magically valley of butterflies. In the area of 20 km almost 500 species of butterflies are registered which is about 60% of Croatian butterfly fauna. Kupa and its tributaries are also great for sport fishing and fly fishing.
  3. Plitvice Lakes National Park is a misty natural wonderland. A spectacular chain of turquoise lakes linked together with cascading falls and travertine pools. Plitvice is one of the oldest national parks in Southeast Europe and the largest in Croatia. It is listed on UNESCO's list of world natural heritage sites because of its exquisite series of 16 emerald green and opal blue travertine lakes, more than 90 waterfalls and numerous caves. The lakes are surrounded by beech and pine forests and are home to extensive wildlife. It is one of the most beautiful natural sights in Europe.
  4. Barac's caves (village Nova Kršlja) are located about 18 km east of Plitvice Lakes entrance. There are three linked systems of caves: Lower, Upper and New Barac's caves. For the visitors are only open Upper Barac’s caves with its length of 520 metres. The limestone rocks hide numerous stalactites, stalagmites and stalagnates. Various archaeological items were found here: stone axes, bracelets from the 7th century B.C. etc.
  5. Velebit Mountain Nature Park is one of the wildest parks in this part of Europe. Because of its value and importance for the conservation of biological diversity of the planet, the Velebit nature park has been included in the UNESCO's network of international biosphere reserve. The visitors gives a spectacular panorama of the north Adriatic Sea and its numerous islands. There are a lot of historical roads and well marked hiking paths. The park has 2 national parks: Northern Velebit and Paklenica.The must see places in Northern Velebit NP: Zavižan botanical garden (with elevation of 1.645 m), mountain ranges Hajdučki and Rožanski kukovi. Paklenica Canyon is also a well known hiking / walking, trekking and climbing national park.
  6. National Park Krka is a monument of nature of the highest category, protected as a part of the world natural and cultural-historical heritage. The tufa cascades of the Krka River make seven magnificent waterfalls, one of which is the most beautiful and highest waterfall in Croatia, the Skradinski buk, ten lakes and one lake spring. Animal world is rich here – as many as ten endemic fish species can be found in the area. There are 225 bird species in the area too, making the Krka River an ornithological area of extraordinary value. There are also six medieval fortresses and the ruins of two large ancient cities.

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