Why Croatia? Because of the tons of hiking trails, really tall waterfalls, and delicious truffles. Not to mention the Adriatic coastal views, Mediterranean climate, and how everything tastes so darn good. And the people are some of the world’s most welcoming, so what’s not to like?
I hiked my legs off in Croatia. At least it seemed that way because after the second day of more than 8 hours of hiking, I couldn’t feel them any longer. That really wasn’t a problem as I was smitten. Here are some details on what I found so lovely.
The following five destinations offer beautiful pathways and views. Waterfalls are plentiful in Croatia, powerful too. Many of the hiking trails highlight the country’s different water features.
Plitviče Lakes National Park for the Waterfalls
Plitviče Lakes National Park is world famous for its streaming waters. There is a chain of 16 lakes joined by a ladder of waterfalls. Mother Nature really outdid herself here. Located in central Croatia and roughly 114-sq.-miles in size, the forest-reserve park has walking paths and hiking trails following the waterways, and the scenery is breathtaking. Definitely a case of “a picture is worth 1,000 words.” Check out the video.
On the Isle of Pag
Pag, the Croatian island known for its string of nightclubs lining the beach, offers hiking in a lunar-like landscape. The topography formed thanks to the island’s lack of fresh water. The soil’s earth tones offer a nice contrast to the blues of the water and sky. Such a difference from the waterfalls of Plitviče Lakes National Park. Hiking here is a must and so is hiring a guide, unless, of course, you are up for an unspecified amount of time wandering a lunar landscape without fresh water.
Krka: Electrifying Waterfalls
Krka National Park in southern Croatia has a series of seven waterfalls, which are part of the country’s hydroelectricity grid. You can see the traditional watermills, too. Skradinski Buk, an educational trail, is the path. Plan on spending 2 hours to walk around the park. The pathway is made mostly of wooden planks, making for an easy walk. Be prepared to be impressed with the waterfalls.
Paklenica for Beginners through Adventure Seekers
Located in the Velebit Mountain range, Paklenica National Park has something for everybody. There are easy walks as well as Alpine-like adventure treks in the 125 miles of trails and paths. There are caves, too! The park is near the Dalmatian Coast and climbing to some of the high peaks for the panoramic views is worth the effort.
How About Hvar?
Hvar is an island off Croatia’s Dalmatian coast in the Adriatic Sea offering a variety of hiking options. I recommend going to St. Nicholas Peak, elevation about 2,060 feet, where the view takes in the islands dotting the Adriatic and the mountains. Hiking on Hvar includes going through lavender fields and olive groves. Or you can go through town walking the old streets up to the Spanish Fort, also known as The Fortress. The view overlooking the harbor is magnificent. (You can take a taxi also.)
Foodie Alert — Talking Truffles Here
Croatian food is fabulous. You can’t go wrong with everything made from scratch and fresh ingredients. Plus, the truffles. And that the wine and olive oil infrastructure originated in Roman times. But, oh, those truffles. Did you know that dogs are used to hunt the truffles (technically a tuberous fungus)? They start training at 3 months, and it is pretty impressive what a good job they do. The truffles on pasta (freshly homemade) was one of my favorite dishes. Really, truffles on anything probably would qualify as “one of my favorite dishes. Last note, asparagus in the springtime. Mwah! Croatia — arrive hungry and eat your way through it.
Happy trails! I hope you have the chance to enjoy hiking in Croatia. If you have insider tips, please share. Need more reasons to visit Croatia? Check out my time in the Istria region here and food and lodging suggestions here.
Where to stay?
Take a 360 virtual tour of Hotel Lone here.
After the rain…time for a dip @LoneHotel
Stay safe. Be seeing you on the road soon!