Where to Go Hiking In Croatia for Group or Individual Expeditions

hiking in croatia

If you haven’t been hiking in Croatia yet, then you’re missing out on national parks, olive groves, lush forests, vast grasslands, crystal clear mountain rivers, and majestic mountains…

…you get the idea. Croatia is stupidly beautiful.

Any natural features you can think of, you are likely to run into them on your hiking trip to Croatia. Your expedition will take you through amazing views that will stay with you forever.

We would know. We can’t stop gushing about our trip to Croatia to basically anyone who will listen.

And since you’re here, let the gushing begin. 💦

The Top Hiking Regions in Croatia

In this post, we have identified hiking trails suitable for beginners and experts. Most of these places have loose stones and little sun protection, making hiking an absolute adventure. (step aside, perfectly-paved-paths-of-Yellowstone!)

Some of the spots have their locations near old towns, which open doors for you to discover hidden beauties of the Mediterranean. Plan adequately, respect the sun and the environment, and you are in for a treat.

1. Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park is a popular destination for hiking enthusiasts in the Lika Region and beyond, covering an easy 12 km. Its recognition comes from the fact that it is Croatia’s oldest National park. Hike here in the fall, and the color of the leaves will leave you in awe. 

hiking in croatia

The region offers breathtaking dense forests and calm lakes as well, so literally no matter where you venture, you’ll be dragging your jaw on the ground along with you.

Consider trailing in the morning at around 8 a.m. or earlier when the crowd is not as significant at the entrance. Find information concerning the routes and trails at the main access point. Also, there is sufficient signage along the tracks to give you a history of the area. Located next to Bosnia and Herzegovina, it’s a beautiful gem along the inner border of Croatia.

The best part? Its surroundings are cities where it is relatively easy to find accommodation while hiking.

As for Explorer Chicks, we like to get there early to beat the crowds and then spend the day wondering how a place can be so beautiful.

2. Paklenica National Park

Paklenica National Park is on the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia’s most spectacular karst river canyons…

…that’s how you know it’s good, when a river-carved canyon is involved!

This area is suitable for day hikes, given that about 2/3 of the park is forest. In fact, the park has 150 kilometers of marked trails, with the most popular ones being Velika and Mala Paklenica. The hiking trails offer various difficulty levels but are worth all your spare time.

Given the nature of the canyon, you have the opportunity to climb many peaks with breathtaking views of both the Adriatic Sea and the deep gorges in the park. It’s also an excellent region for fitness enthusiasts to go…

…which is why explorer chicks love it so damn much. You can literally climb your way through the park!

hiking in croatia
Explorer Chick’s scaling cliffs on our Adventure in Croatia trip

Book a hiking trip there all year round but expect crowds in the summer season. April, May, June, September, and October are the best months to hike there. Hiking in the parks takes about two hours, with trails marked in red and white signs to make navigation easy for tourists.

Join us in June to get access to all of the best trails and climbs in Paklenica National Park!

3. Istrian Countryside

The Istrian countryside, located between Trieste and Kvaerner Gulf, has the most famous hiking trails. It is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea, giving plenty of epic views of both the sea and the cute little towns all around. 

What kinda views? Think: incredible views of the Istrian Hills, Italian Alps, and Kvarner Islands. 

And views aren’t the only draw in this region. With all of the hiking paths through the lush forest, you’ll stumble across majestic waterfalls along the canyons.

Our favorite? Cruising through the Peranzana hiking trail on your E-bike. 

hiking in croatia

For those of you that want to amp up your biking, you could even try bikepacking your way through the countryside.

There are also tons of places to make stops, such as Groznjan and Motovun, where we like to go wine tasting, olive oil tasting, truffle tasting…. Okay, we eat. We eat our way through the place.

4. Northern Velebit National Park

northern velebit national park
(Photo credit: LeonardoDj, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons )

Northern Velebit National Park is one of the best hiking areas for a multi-day hiking expedition. On this hiking trail, you get the chance to be in the presence of the biggest mountains (not the highest mountain) in Croatia. The total trail covers about 100 km, which you can conquer in about nine days. 

Hiking starts at Zavzidan with a 600-meter ascent into the slopes of the Velebit hiking trail. Part of the 100 km trail, about 57 km, is the Premuzic trail built in the 1930s as a connection route between North and South Velebit mountain.

The best time to walk here is when the weather is favorable in the summer months. In a fairytale-esque kinda way, you get to pass through craggy peaks and spend nights in the mountain shelters when hiking here. The catch? It’s essential to prepare with food, equipment, and clothing to ensure that you have the best time since it’s a long hike. 

5. Zagreb Town Region

Zagreb by night
(Photo credit: Suradnik13, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Zagreb Town Region, the country’s capital, will have you in awe with its exquisite architecture. Its endowed medieval architecture features Gothic cathedrals, making us drool over the ancient history that seems to be dripping from the buildings here. 

North of Zagreb are the Medvednica Mountains (translated as Bear Mountain), which you will undoubtedly enjoy hiking. Its highest peak stands at 1033m and is nothing short of mesmerizing. The western part of the mountain range has been declared a nature park, which is the kind of outdoor space we love.

Find some trails in the Medvednica Mountains.

6. Ogrlice and Roski Slap Loop

While the name of this loop sounds a little frisky, slap means waterfall in Croatian, so don’t expect to get slapped at the waterfall. Ogrlice and Roski Slap Loops are among Croatia’s most accessible regions. Its location in Krka National park allows you to explore a slice of the wild while hiking the trails. The waterfalls in Krka National Park are the closest waterfalls to Split.

The best part of this loop?

Hiking in this area comes with lots of swimming spots where you can stop briefly for a dip. It is an accessible hiking region going up to 3 kilometers and should take only an hour to cover, making it the perfect pitstop on your Croatian road trip.

hiking in croatia

Adventure in Croatia with Us

Are you looking for a fun group to go hiking in Croatia with? You can join the Explorer Chick entourage and enjoy the company of like-minded women who love the outdoors and just adventuring in general. We’ve got all of the best places booked and reserved, plus local guides to show us what Croatia is really about. 

Meet the Writer

emily mumbi

Emily Mumbi

Emily is an explorer and freelance writer born and raised in Kenya. She’s been on various adventurers in Kenya, such as trekking in Hell’s Gate and hiking on Ngong Hills.

When not on her own adventure, you’ll find her reading about exotic places to visit around the world and stories of others’ adventures. She enjoys watching movies and spending time with her 2-year-old nephew.

Favorite Outdoor Adventure: Exploring beaches on the Kenyan coastline

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