Boasting a dramatic coastline with gorgeous canyons, mountains, and lakes, Croatia makes a fantastic place for hiking. It’s also home to numerous national parks, such as the stunning Plitvice Lakes and Krka National Park. Indeed, Croatia is one of the world’s best destinations for hiking, giving you numerous hiking trails to choose from, depending on your hiking skills and abilities.
Below, check out the hiking destinations to try in Croatia.
Dubrovnik is one of those cities well-suited for hiking. Regardless of where you go in the city, you’ll always find places to explore on a hike, whether strolling around the famous Old Town or trekking Mount Srd. You can also venture to the beach to enjoy spectacular coastal walks or visit nearby islands to explore off-the-beaten paths. Regardless of your preferences, you’ll find a trail to walk on in Dubrovnik.
Climbing Mount Srd is a rewarding and scenic hiking experience. While you can get to the top on a cable car, hiking is the best option since you’d be able to stop at some spectacular viewpoints along the way. The summit is within walking distance from the Old Town, so it’s doable for anyone and will take less than an hour, depending on your hiking skills and abilities. The best time to climb Mount Srd is during sunset, although it can also get crowded. Nevertheless, the killer views will make it all worth it.
If you want to venture outside the city, head to the nearby Koločep Island, which you can reach on a ferry ride from Gruz Harbour. The island has several footpaths taking you through beautiful villages and secluded beaches.
2. Hvar Island
Hvar is a gorgeous island in the Adriatic that you can reach on a ferry from either Split or Dubrovnik. It’s a long and sunny island surrounded by Korcula, Brac, and Vis islands. Famous for its vibrant party scene, Hvar is also a haven for outdoor adventurers and a popular spot for hiking in Croatia.
One of the best walks to try in Hvar is to hike up the Hvar fortress. It’s an uphill walk, yet you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of Hvar town and its harbour. The path starts in Ulica Higijeničkog Društva, requiring you to climb a long stairway at Kroz Grodu street. Expect several switchbacks on the trail, which can get strenuous during a hot sunny day. Walk slow, as the stone path can get slippery. You will reach the Spanish Fortress, where you can enjoy the views of the Old Town, the harbour, and the Pakleni islands from afar.
Another great hike in Hvar is the trail that takes you to a secluded cove called the Stiniva Cove. The hike requires walking on a steep and rocky path. It’s not an easy hike, but there are several picturesque stops where you can relax and enjoy the views. Also, your efforts will be rewarded once you get to the stunning cove where you can go for a refreshing swim.
Zadar is Croatia’s oldest and continuously inhabited city. It lies on the Adriatic Sea in the north-western area of the Ravni Kotari region. Renowned for its extraordinary beauty, Zadar is an incredible place to hike and reconnect with nature. Hiking in Zadar will take you to spectacular mountains with amazing views. Also, a great way to see Zadar is to pre-book a cruise or tour around Croatia, this way you can stop off at all the top sights and enjoy a hike whilst in the area.
The Paklenica National Park is the best place to hike in Zadar, with hiking trails taking you through magnificent forests with rich biodiversity. It’s a protected area and a true haven for nature lovers. There are many hiking trails within the park, with varying difficulty levels. Regardless of the path, you are guaranteed to enjoy spectacular views of the mountains and the sea.
Zadar is surrounded by smaller islands where you can enjoy spectacular hikes. One of these is Pasman Island, with hiking trails that involve climbing through sharp rocks and is more suited for skilled trekkers. There are easier paths to walk, including one that connects to the nearby Ugljan island through a bridge. The Ugljan island lies opposite Zadar and is famous for its beautiful olive groves and 14th Century St Michael’s Fort.
4. Brac Island
Brac is the largest island in Croatia and is close to Split. It’s where you will find Croatia’s most famous beach, the Zlatni Rat Beach, also called the “Golden Horn”. And although most tourists would come here for the beach, others are here to enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking. There are many hiking trails in Brac that goes to spectacular places where you can enjoy incredible views of nature.
One of the most popular hiking trails in Brac is the one that goes to Vidova Gora, the highest point of the Adriatic Islands. It starts on a hill in the town of Bol and takes around 3 to 5 hours. Once you get to the top, you will enjoy the panoramic views of the Adriatic Islands and the famous Zlatni Rat beach. The trail is well-signposted and requires walking along rocky and uneven paths leading up to the mountain.
Another hike to consider in Brac is the one that goes to Zmajeva Pecina or the Dragon Cave, starting in the small village of Murvica. The mystical cave is renowned for its carvings of pagan symbols sculpted during the 15th century. It’s a 5-km trek and is best taken early in the morning.
Korcula island is a fantastic place to enjoy scenic walks in Croatia. The island has numerous hiking routes, making it an ideal place for those who love nature and adventures.
One of the most idyllic walks in Korcula is the trail that takes you to the Kocje nature park, starting in the town of Korcula. The park consists of interesting rock formations with magnificent views of the Peljesac channel along the way.
The trail from Korcula Town to Forteca is an easy 3-km loop path with incredible viewpoints. It begins at Sveti Nikola Street in the town centre and ends in the 18th Century fort built by the English. Unfortunately, the fort is already dilapidated, so no one is allowed to enter.
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