Mountain hiking in Croatia

Mountain hiking in Croatia

By fulghum | fulghum | 24 Jun 2019

The second oldest national park in Croatia, National Park Paklenica, offers unique natural phenomena - canyons up to 700 meters high, hidden abysses and caves, green oak, hornbeam and pine forests as well as streams and waterfalls. Paklenica National Park is therefore a perfect destination for nature lovers and mountain hikers. This time we bring you everything you need to see in Paklenica, which trails are good for hiking and other attractions that you must experience on a trip to one of the most beautiful national parks in Croatia. Paklenica National Park is located in Northern Dalmatia, an hour's drive from Zadar. If you are coming from the direction of the capital city of Zagreb, you can take the Zagreb-Split motorway to Paklenica. Take the motorway at Maslenica exit and follow the highway for 15 kilometers in the direction of Rijeka. By bus you can arrive from Zadar to Starigrad Paklenica (50 minutes ride). If you are traveling by bus from Zagreb, you must first reach Zadar and then continue by bus to Paklenica. You can also get to Paklenica from Rijeka and from Split (carrier Autotrans).


Parking at the entrance to the park costs 10 kuna (1,35 €). There are two entrances to the park: the main entrance of Velika Paklenica and the secondary entrance of Mala Paklenica. The price of the national park ticket for the low season is 40 kuna (around 5 €) and in the high season 60 kuna (around 6 €). The admission price may change, so we recommend that you check the current price on the official park page. Less well known is the fact that Paklenica National Park is an area with exceptionally diverse geomorphological formations that harbor endemic herbal and animal species on and below the Earth's surface. It is endemic from 1,000 registered herbaceous species and subspecies 79. The distinctive nature of Paklenica National Park lies in its paradoxical natural beauty - cliffs of canyons up to 700 meters high, plateaus covered with thin grass and dense forests of oak, eastern hornbeam and black pine, hundreds of kilometers of mountain as well as in the rich cultural and historical heritage and adrenaline competitions in high rock climbing. The attractions of the wild forests and steep cliffs of the Paklenica National Park compete with the caves and abysses that were inhabited by cave bears and their hunters 30,000 years ago. Later they became small farm buildings in which the remains of ceramics, weapons and bones metaphorically tell the story to curious climbers and mountain hikers.


Out of the 53 abysses and 37 caves that are hidden in the Paklenica National Park, you must by no means miss the Manita Peć Cave, which will win you with its first hall, and then 80,000 years old unusual stalactites and stalagmites that resemble the organ. , helmet and witch, after which they are named. Educational and cycling trails that accompany streams in some places will take you through the Paklenica National Park by rebuilding you, in addition to raw deep gorges, protected species of butterflies, unusual birds, rare plants, as well as human hands - paklenic water mills. Etno - House Marasović, a restored authentic stone house of this region, welcomes you right at the entrance to Paklenica National Park. In addition to souvenirs and information, you can also find reinforcements for the long mountain and hiking trails ahead of you. Several days are needed to climb all the hills and walks of Paklenica, so stay in Starigrad or Seline in the Paklenica National Park and enjoy the wild kingdom of rocks.
The best time to visit NP Paklenica, if you do not like the heat, is early spring or late summer. On the other hand, Paklenica is full of forests, which will provide shade and heat protection in the hottest part of the year. Remember that if you want to visit some parts of Paklenica outside the season (eg Manita peć), you must report to the park management in advance from 1 November to 1 April. Paklenica National Park is a paradise for all who love nature walks. Experience the raw beauty of the mountain landscape. It is also possible that you will also encounter different animal species, such as the brown bear, the wolf, the lynx and the wildcat. If you do not have the form for heavier trails, we recommend the Velika Paklenica trail (550 meters long), which runs from the renovated mill to the fortress and Paklarić prospect. One more trail, which is one of the most popular, also leads from Velika Paklenica to the Mountain Cottage. On this trail you will see mills, Velika Paklenica Canyon, small waterfalls and the popular rock climbing Anića kuk. There are 10 informative panels on the trail with detailed information about the above-mentioned places not on the trail. If you want to experience a true adventure, and you are an experienced mountain hiker, we recommend a hiking tour to the highest peak of Velebit - Vaganski Litter (1757 m). Also take a slightly lower but no less demanding peak of Sveto Brdo (1751 m) and Liburnije litter (1709 m). Liburnije litter is an ideal place for photographs of a wonderful view of the archipelago of the Middle Adriatic.


 Interesting events in Paklenica National Park
• International bats night This international event has been taking place since 1997. Bats live in the Paklenica National Park, which is why the park is ideal for its observation. The program includes activities for children, lectures on bats and exciting searches for bats with the so-called bat detector - an ultrasonic detector that allows people to hear its frequencies. This event takes place every year at the end of August.
• International meeting of climbers One more international event taking place in NP Paklenica is the International Climbers' Meeting, which takes place every April. These events include more related programs for all ages, ranging from competitions to climbing courses. In a few days, there is a speed climbing competition, a mountaineering marathon that runs from dawn to dusk, a children's speed competition and a top rope school for children and adults.

Advice for mountain hikers
• Prepare all necessary equipment in time
• carry a lot of water with you (especially in summer)
• carry first aid equipment with you
• Only follow the paths that your physical form corresponds to and know
• Do not go hiking alone and at night
• Inform someone you are going on tour and when you plan to return Rules of conduct in NP Paklenica
• it is forbidden to discard garbage in nature - respect nature
• Camping in the National Park is prohibited    
• Hunting is prohibited  
• it is forbidden to distribute fire and throw cigarette butts

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