Dramatic coastlines, woodlands with an air of the mystical and blue, blue lakes are around every corner in this walker’s paradise. Croatia stands out because of its rich variety of nature: you can wander past spectacular waterfalls, stroll around impossibly blue lakes and explore lush islands —all on the same walking holiday! |
Plitvice National Park has had UNESCO World Heritage status since 1979, and is one of the oldest National Parks in southeast Europe. It consists of 16 terraced lakes, whose precise shade of blue or green are in a constant state of change depending on the algae and mineral levels of the day. Around their shores are tumbling waterfalls.
There is no shortage of walking opportunities here, and around the lakes and in the forests you can find specially-laid boardwalks, making for an accessible rambler’s paradise.
There are plenty of 3- to 8-hour walking routes through the park. These are my personal recommendations:
- Trail A is an easy 3.5km loop starting from Entrance 1, and is a great way to take in highlights including the Great Waterfall and Kozjaka Bridge while discovering the lower lakes on the way.
- Trail H is a moderate 8.9km trek which starts from the less-crowded upper lakes. Take the shuttle to the starting point and indulge in a scenic boat ride across Lake Kozjaka back to the lower lakes.
- Trail K is a whopping 18.3km itinerary which will allow you to spend the entire day exploring the beauty of the whole park.
Situated just off the Dalmation Coast, this thin little island isn’t far from Dubrovnik. The north-western area is a National Park boasting truly gorgeous landscapes ranging from gorges and chasms telling of its volcanic past, to two enticing, glimmering salt lakes and woods straight from a fairytale.
Easily accessible from several of the Croatia resorts including Dubrovnik, Hvar, Split and Korcula by ferry, you could even stay on the island itself if you’re a keen trekker who wants to wake up with the breath-taking scenery but a stone’s throw away.
The MPO is a 43km hiking trail which opened in 2012. Very clearly marked out, with 20 control points along the way, it’s the perfect way to see all the island has to offer in more reasonable stages.
Lasting four days, each stage of the MPO are as follows:
Krka National Park
- 5 hours: Pomena to Govedari
- 7 hours: Govdari to Blato
- 6 hours: Blato (via Rogovici) to BabinoPolje
- 6 hours: BabinoPolje (via Veliki Grad) to Sobra
Highlights include the Skradinski Buk waterfalls, a stunning collection of 17 falls staggered over different levels make up this iconic view. With 142km² of enticing lakes, the winding Krka river and thick, fairytale woodland, you’ll find you have to stop your trekking to take photographs of nature’s splendour quite frequently!
For the best views over the park, trek the 8km from Stinice to Roski Slap. This is the highest point in the whole park and the vista is just breath-taking, while the hike itself is unbelievably picturesque to boot.
The Skradinksi Buk is a 2km loop which gives you great views of the main attraction (the falls of the same name) – a great route option if you don’t have a lot of time in the park.
Just Take Your Pick, You Won’t Be Disappointed!
In Croatia, resorts with quick and easy access to the walking routes of your wildest dreams are in no short supply. This magical country has some truly spectacular walking opportunities. Choose your favourite, get your boots on and go!
John Dixon is an experienced world traveller and the Managing Director of Prestige Holidays. For over 30 years, he has been providing luxury accommodation in Croatia resorts as well as Sicily, The Canaries, Bermuda and many other destinations around the globe. John tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of his properties, and stay up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in arts, history and culture.
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