National Parks Cycling and Hiking Guided Tour Zagreb-Split 7nts (Saturdays; on request)
Activity Level: 5
- Departs From: Zagreb
- Location: Risnjak, Velebit, Plitvice, Paklenica, Krka
- Duration: 8 Days
- Availability: SATURDAYS, May 11, Jul 20, Sep 28, Oct 5, 12
Activity Level: 5
- Departs From: Zagreb
- Location: Risnjak, Velebit, Plitvice, Paklenica, Krka
- Duration: 8 Days
- Availability: SATURDAYS, May 11, Jul 20, Sep 28, Oct 5, 12
- Cycle and hiking tour of 5 national parks from the mountain regions to the Adriatic coast
- UNESCO World Heritage Site – Plitvice Lakes National Park.
- Risnjak, Northern Velebit, Plitvice Lakes, Paklenica and Krka National Parks
- Barac Caves
- Includes arrival transfer from Zagreb or Rijeka and departure transfer to Zagreb, Zadar or Split
8 days from (Zagreb) Zvecaj, Risnjak, Kupa River, Velebit, Plitvice Lakes, Barac Caves, Paklenica, Krka River, Skradin and to Zagreb/Split
This scenic cycling tour will take you through five national parks: Risnjak, Northern Velebit, Plitvice Lakes, Paklenica and Krka. Daily cycling routes are between two and five hours on easy to moderate terrain and leave enough time for relaxing in the evening. The accommodation is chosen carefully to reflect the local feel close to the key destinations, while the foodies will enjoy variations of continental specialities and sea food delicacies.
2019 Departures: May 11, Jul 20, Sep 28, Oct 5, 12
Arrival airport: Zagreb or Rijeka
Departure airport: Zagreb, Zadar or Split
Itinerary8 days from (Zagreb) Zvecaj, Risnjak, Kupa River, Velebit, Plitvice Lakes, Barac Caves, Paklenica, Krka River, Skradin and to Zagreb/Split
Open age tour, minimum 8yrs, physically challenging. Double/twin rooms. Solo travellers must book a double/twin for solo use with a solo use supplement. Arrival transfer from Zagreb and departure transfer to Zagreb or Split included.
2019 departures: May 11, Jul 20, Sep 28, Oct 5, 12
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Day 1 Arrival in Zvecaj (D)
Zvecaj is a small village by the Mreznica River, not far from the highway connecting the Croatian capital city of Zagreb with the harbour of Rijeka. We will meet you at the airport, railway station or in the harbour and transfer you to Zvecaj. “The Green Corner“ (Zeleni kut) is a well known restaurant and a small family owned hotel overlooking the green Mreznica River and its waterfall. Each room has its own bathroom, most of them a sunny balcony as well. It was built above an old mill which now supplies electric power. The hotel serves traditional Croatian specialties using fresh water fish from its own fishing ponds, homemade cheese, ham and sausages as well as local farm grown vegetables and fruit. The group usually gets together around mid-day, which will give us enough time to choose and test the bicycles on a short tour of the villages. In the evening we will meet on the terrace overlooking the river for dinner and brief orientation, where we will have the chance to discuss the upcoming holiday and get to know our guides and fellow travelers.
- Hotel in the Mreznica River area; Meals: D; Drive: 1h from Zagreb airport, 1.5 h from Rijeka airport.
Day 2 Risnjak National Park and Kupa River Valley Cycling (B)
On our first day of biking, we’ll start exploring Risnjak National Park. The pristine park covers an area of 63,5 square kilometers including the Risnjak and Snjeznik ranges. The Kupa River forms a natural border between Croatia and Slovenia. The Kupa flows through a picturesque valley, also known as the mysterious valley of butterflies – more than 500 species of butterflies inhabit the area! We’ll start the tour from the entrance to the National Park and bike towards Razloge. The route leads through little villages and forest paths, where the fresh clean air will renew your senses. The bridge crossing the Cabranka River by Zamost 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 Brod, where we will cross back to Croatia. Here we will have time to relax and freshen up a cold drink before returning back to our hotel.
- Hotel in Mreznica River area; Meals: B (picnic lunch on your own); Activity: Cycling, 3-4 hours/ around 50 km, easy/moderate; Van ride: 1-1.5h each way.
Day 3 Northern Velebit National Park Cycling (B,D)
After breakfast, we’ll load our bikes and luggage and drive to Croatia’s youngest national park – Northern Velebit National Park, 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 excellent trout fishing. A stop for lunch will be made by its source, surrounded by numerous old wooden mills. From here, we drive towards the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Plitvice Lakes National Park. Accommodation in the park is provided by the families of Korana Village, a small romantic place hidden away in a valley by the Korana River. The houses are small, traditional dwellings with simple rooms in an idyllic setting. The peaceful atmosphere makes the village an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding area – Korana Village has no pubs, restaurants, shops, schools, not even a church – it’s just a village as small and wonderful as it can be, an ideal setting for a fairy tale.
Accommodation: Private guesthouses in Plitvice Lakes National Park; Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own); Activity: Cycling, 3-5 hours/ 43 – 63 km, easy/moderate; Drive: 2 -3 h.
Day 4 Walking The 16 Lakes Route (B,D)
Today we will be visiting the most beautiful and stunning national park of Croatia – Plitvice Lakes National Park – possible only by walking or hiking around its 16 lakes, numerous waterfalls fed by both the Black and White Rivers, and seemingly endless forests. We start our day walking along the wooden paths and bridges in and around Plitvice Lakes, Croatia’s premier national park. Its exquisite series of 16 emerald green and opal blue travertine lakes, more than 90 waterfalls and numerous caves make it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lakes are surrounded by beech and pine forests and are home to extensive wildlife. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in the pure, untouched nature. A panoramic boat and train ride will take us back to the start.
Accommodation: Private guesthouses in Plitvice Lakes National Parks; Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own); Activity: Walking, 4-6 km, easy; Drive: 10 min each way.
Day 5 Countryside and Barac Caves Cycling (B,D)
For those who chose a 5-day trip, this is the end of your holiday. The rest of the group continues the trip. Today is all about exploring the lovely pastoral Croatian countryside by bicycle. We cycle on roads that are nearly traffic free through forests, between hills and across green fields. Cycling through traditional villages, we reach Barac Caves, where we stop for a guided underground tour of the cave’s fascinating limestone formations. According to local legend, a man named Barac fought heroically and defeated a raging Turkish giant near these caves, which were thereafter named in his honor. After visiting the caves there will be enough time for sunbathing by the river Korana in the village before we enjoy traditional Croatian dinner.
Accommodation: Private guesthouses in Plitvice Lakes National Parks; Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own); Activity: Cycling, 2 – 3 hour/ 30 km, easy/moderate.
Day 6 Paklenica National Park Hiking (B)
After saying goodbye to our village hosts we continue south to Paklenica National Park, part of a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and a favorite hiking and climbing destination. Lying on the southeast slopes of the Velebit Mountains near the coast and cut by two awe-inspiring gorges, Mala Paklenica and Velika, Paklenica’s scenery is one of the most pristine in the whole Mediterranean. The lofty peaks making up this range offer huge views of both 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 Skradin for the evening.
- Skradinski Buk Hotel in Skradin; Meals: B (picnic lunch on your own); Activity: Hiking, 4 hours, easy/moderate; ; Drive: 2h 1h.
Day 7 Krka River National Park Cycling (B,D)
The last day of the journey takes us to Krka River National Park with its fantastic karst formations and travertine waterfalls. We explore the park’s extensive waterways and complex history dating back to late 10th century and first Croatian kings. 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 where we will have a view over the island and its monastery. After cycling, we return to the hotel and enjoy a late afternoon in the old town before the final evening dinner and a celebration of an amazing adventure.
- Skradinski Buk Hotel in Skradin; Meals: B and D (picnic lunch on your own); Activity: Cycling, 3 hours/30-40 km; easy/moderate.
Day 8 Departure (B)
Depart from Skradin to the airport and flight home. If you decide to spend more time in Croatia, our guides will be happy to recommend other beautiful places to visit – especially those you won’t find in tourist guide books.
Meals: B; Drive: Zadar 45 min, Split 1 h, Zagreb 3.5 h.
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.
- • 7 nights accommodation
- • meals as noted in itinerary (7xB=breakfast and 5xD=dinner)
- • use of bicycles
- • 6 days organized activities
- • National parks entrance fees
- • local taxes and river permits
- • Saturday arrival transfer from Zagreb or Rijeka airport
- • Saturday departure transfer to Zagreb, Zadar or Split airport
- • skilled English speaking guide and assistance
- • ground transportation
- • insurance
- NOT INCLUDED:
- • airfare
- • drinks and meals not indicated in the itinerary
- • tips and other personal expenses
Extras & Upgrades
Single use rooms are available upon request with a 20% surcharge. Sharing a twin room with another person is possible in case there are other guests interested in sharing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Check out our specific FAQ pages here:
Before You Go - General Croatia Info (general info for all travellers)
Before Your Cruise - General Cruise Info (for all small ship Croatia cruises)
Before Your Island Hopping Tour - General Info (packages combining hotels, ferries and transfers)
Before Your Private Charter - General Yacht and Gulet Charter Info (private charters)
Click here to see how the booking process works: https://www.discovercroatia.com.au/booking-process-how-to-book/
How far in advance do I need to book?
Cruises: For our weekly small ship cruises with guaranteed departures we suggest you book as soon as your plans are in motion. All cruises are extremely popular especially during peak season, which is June, July, August, September and these dates can be booked out up to a year in advance, especially September. One-way cruises are particularly sought-after and tend to sell out first, so please speak to us first to ensure your cruise choice is available before booking any flight arrangements.
Escorted Tours: Escorted Group Tours with guaranteed departures are also best booked as early as possible to ensure your place on the tour, as spaces are limited to a set number of passengers. Once the tour is full that departure is closed for new bookings.
Island Hopping, Self-Drive, Self-Guided Cycling/Hiking and Independent or Private Tours: Independent tours are available most days of the week at any time of year, so if you're booking late these are a great option. They can also start or finish on any day of the week, so can be a great alternative to the cruises (that mostly depart only on Saturdays). You can check out our Island Hopper Tours and our active tours for some examples. If you can't find what you are looking for please make an enquiry on any of our tours and let us know what you need. We love creating custom tours with our clients.
What do the different ship categories mean?
Please see our Ship Descriptions page here, for all the information on Ship Categories, Deck and Cabin Descriptions.
What is half-board? What meals are included?
Half-board (HB): This means that 2 meals a day are usually provided, mostly it will be breakfast and lunch on cruises, and breakfast and dinner on escorted tours. Each cruise or tour will have meals listed on the daily itinerary, so that you will know exactly which meals are included. Some lunches or dinners are swapped occasionally, so that you may enjoy a wonderful gourmet experience with your fellow travellers, such as a Captain's Dinner on a cruise, or a wine-tasting and lunch on an escorted tour. For the remainder of your meals you will be able to dine anywhere you choose and you will be responsible for the cost of those meals. Your Cruise or Tour Director will be happy to recommend a good value and trusted eatery nearby at every location, or you can explore on your own.
Bed and Breakfast (BB): This means that only breakfast is included in your holiday. Most of our Independent Tours include breakfast only, so that you are not beholden to going back to your hotel for lunch or dinner as you are going to be exploring on your own. We think that flexibility with lunch and dinner gives you the best option for exploring Croatia and experiencing the local culture and cuisine.
Full-board (FB) is occasionally offered on cruises as an optional extra, but we do not recommend you take the full-board option unless you are really sure about it. A lot of the joy of the cruise and tour experiences is to dine in local restaurants, 'konobas' (traditional pubs) and bars, so that you can meet the people who live and work there. Why come all the way to Croatia only to eat on-board for every meal? There are so many fabulous (and even some famous!) eateries. Get out there and taste them!
What type of transport is used on the Island Hopper Tours? Local ferries and vehicle transfers
Local ferries: Local ferries are used between the mainland and the islands where possible. Most of these ferries are fast ferries (high speed catamarans). Our Island Hopper Tours include all ferry tickets, as well as delivery of the ferry tickets to your hotel, when we come to pick you up to take you to the ferry port. In some towns, where some hotels are in the pedestrian zone close to the ferry port (like Hvar), then you will be met at the ferry and directed to your hotel, with luggage assistance if required. If your hotel is outside the pedestrian zone you will be met at the ferry and taken to your transfer vehicle, with luggage assistance if required.
Transfers: Most Island Hoppers have private airport transfers included, and private transfers to/from the ferry ports on the islands. Some transfers will be shared transfers if there are others going to the exact same hotel at the same time and it is a short distance.
How fit do I need to be for my holiday?
Relaxation/cultural cruises and tours: On-board your cruise ship, you will need to be able to negotiate gangways and stairs and be able to step from ship to ship as the cruise ships are moored next to each other sideways and sometimes you need to step across to the next ship. You will be walking mostly on the cobblestone streets through the iconic cities and towns of the region. The excursions are best-suited to those who are capable of walking on uneven surfaces as many old cities and towns have limited totally flat surfaces that can accommodate wheelchairs or walking-frames. Please contact us to ask about your specific circumstances, as we are happy to help plan for your needs as best we can. Assistance will be provided on cruise ships to help you navigate getting on and off, but there are a few limitations. Please ask.
Cycling tours: Although almost completely flat this cycle tour is graded easy to moderate as the daily distance ranges between approximately 15-50 km. You will be biking mostly on the dedicated cycle paths alongside canals, rivers and through the iconic cities and towns of the region. This tour is well-suited to those who have never taken a cycling holiday before as it is flat and predominantly traffic-free and you also have the option of skipping the cycling and relaxing on board.
What happens if I can't attend an excursion?
It is possible to relax at your hotel, on the tour bus or on the boat at any time.
What happens if I can't cycle or hike a stage on an active holiday?
For cycling cruises: If you don't want to cycle it is possible to relax on the boat as it moves to the next port of call.
For cycling and hiking tours: If you don't want to (or can't due to illness or injury) cycle, hike or walk a stage, then we will make arrangements to have you transferred to the next stop on your itinerary so that you can continue with your holiday. Prices for transfers vary widely, so pricing will be provided on an 'as needed' basis only.
What equipment do I need?
Relaxation/excursion cruises and tours: You will need comfortable walking shoes, clothes for relaxing, your swimming costume, and a sunhat. Most cruises are fairly relaxed and casual clothing is fine for all meals, though you may want to take one nice outfit depending on where you wish to dine onshore.
Cycling cruises and tours: You will need comfortable sports shoes, comfortable clothes for cycling, waterproof jacket and trousers, a helmet and a sunhat. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack.
If you have any questions, just give us a call or email:
Call us or WhatsApp: +61 2 9212 1507
Email us: [email protected]
UNAVAILABLE / SOLD OUT
Click on available dates (blue or red) for pricing
- Day 1 Arrival in Zvecaj (D)
- Day 2 Risnjak National Park and Kupa River Valley Cycling (B)
- Day 3 Northern Velebit National Park Cycling (B,D)
- Day 4 Walking The 16 Lakes Route (B,D)
- Day 5 Countryside and Barac Caves Cycling (B,D)
- Day 6 Paklenica National Park Hiking (B)
- Day 7 Krka River National Park Cycling (B,D)
- Day 8 Departure (B)