Visiting Croatia for a hike? Absolutely!

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I love hiking. Every time, it’s a surprise what you’re going to see and you get to places you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. For my first hiking vacation, I went to Italy to the hiking trails between the Cinque Terre villages since this had been on my list for years. Due to the pandemic, I often had to postpone it, but last April it was finally happening. I am very enthusiastic about this type of holiday now and I was curious, can you hike in Croatia? Whether you want occasional hiking during your vacation or a full hiking vacation, with over 400 hiking trails, 8 national parks and 10 natural parks, Croatia is a good choice. Rugged mountain areas, forests, lakes, islands and waterfalls, the landscape is varied and diverse.

Plitvice National Park

Obviously, this park is on my list. In another blog I already wrote about my visit to Plitvice National Park, with its clear, green-blue water and the mighty waterfalls. I was there with a guide, but you can also easily hike on your own as the trails are clearly marked. In terms of season, I can recommend autumn as the red, yellow, orange and green leaves add even more colour to the landscape. I definitely want to go there again!


Do you want to go for a hike along seven waterfalls? Then head to Istria. The lowest is 4 metres and the highest is a whopping 26.5 metres high. This place also offers views of clear blue-green water, contrasting nicely with the light-colored rocks. The route is 13.5 kilometres long and takes about five hours. You start and end in the town of Buzet. If you like old villages, you can drive from Buzet to Motovun and Grožnjan.

Islands: Mljet and Cres

Fancy hiking on an island? Mljet is an option. It is known for its forests, two saltwater lakes and ancient monasteries. In total, the trail is 43 kilometres long, but you can divide it into four shorter routes. Some routes are more flat, while others are more hilly. So the island offers something for everyone. The island of Cres also offers several hiking trails. You will get to the most remote parts of the island, on mountain peaks and near caves and beaches. Kayaking is also an option. You can choose from routes of different lengths and levels of difficulty.

Mljet National Park

Velebit National Park

The hikes in this park are moderately heavy. You don’t have to ascend or descend much, but the mountain huts are relatively far apart, making the days long. You can hire a guide or walk the route yourself. Mount Tulove Grede is in this national park, is 1,120 metres high and is mesmerising to see its white, high peaks and shapes created by erosion. It’s not comparable to the mountains I have seen before. It reminds me of a Stegosaurian – one of those dinosaurs with spines on its back. Very special how nature shapes itself if you let it have its way. Tulove Grede is located about 50 kilometres east of Zadar. After about 45 minutes of walking, you already have a very nice view. After that, if you feel like climbing and scrambling, you can add about 20 minutes more. The view won’t change much, but you will have had another adventure.

The most famous trail in this park is Premužić Trail. It is about 57 kilometres long and about a third of the trail passes through Velebit National Park, with its distinctive karst rock (which refers to the dissolution of limestone by water). This section is supposed to be the most beautiful part of the hike. You can hike the Premužić Trail in three or four days, and you can stay in mountain huts overnight.

Northern Velebit

Long distance trail in development

And then there is the 2,109 kilometre Croatian Long Distance Trail (CLDT). I know America has many long trails, but apparently so does Croatia. This trail runs from east to north, west and all the way south. You can hike short sections, pick one of the three sections or hike it all at once. The terrain is diverse; from maintained mountain trails to natural paths, rocky terrain, forest trails, gravel roads and sometimes over asphalt roads.

In June, July and August it is very hot and in the winter months the wind can blow hard, sometimes for days, making one section impossible to hike. So go prepared. Good to know: the route is still under development and they are trying to minimise the number of asphalt roads. The trial is not yet completely marked, so right now you can use an app to mike sure you hike the correct route.

These are just a few ideas for hiking routes in Croatia. Decide for yourself what kind of nature you want to see and tailor your trip accordingly. Have you discovered a route yourself? Share it with us via email, we’d love to hear your experiences!