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Small Group Touring: Active in Croatia: Split to Split

Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,527

Hike, raft, kayak, and bike your way through one of Europe’s emerging stars on this Croatia tour that showcases this Balkan gem’s natural beauty, starting in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Split.


This is a small-group adventure with a focus on an authentic experiences, value for money and responsible travel. Groups are led by an expert local guide with a maximum of 16 people (the average tour has around 10 people). Accommodation varies from modest guesthouses, to homestays and hotels.

 

This 8-day Croatia trip gets your heart pumping and your eyes bulging as you explore the country’s most picturesque natural sights, reached on foot, on the water, and by bike.

Consider booking an extra day or two in Split to see what all the fuss is about (when you arrive and catch your first glimpse of the ancient buildings and sparkling coast, you’ll wish you had). Then transfer to Starigrad, ready for your first hike. Explore Paklencia National Park, one of Europe’s most scenic climbing regions. Next, hit the crystal blue waters of the Zrmanja River, admiring the surrounding cliffs as you canoe or white water raft your way through them, subject to conditions.

This is also a superb region for biking. Return to Paklencia, this time cycling the trails for a different look at the mountainous landscape. Feel free to push yourself, because your reward is a rest in the azure waters of the Adriatic, and some time to explore the charming town of Zadar. Now that you’ve got a taste for these beautiful waters, enjoy a day out on them with a sea kayaking adventure in Paklenica Bay.

Finally, visit Plitvice Lakes National Park, a bona fide Croatian treasure known for its range of lakes and waterfalls. Spend a day surrounded by nature, then return to Paklencia for departure.


 

At Goway we are experts at designing personalized itineraries to suit your special interests, tastes and budget. Let us arrange your ultimate travel experience today.
Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,527

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Zadar

Today you will arrive in Split and take a transfer to Starigrad. Ease into things with a welcome meeting, where you will get acquainted with the rest of the group. The evening is spent at leisure exploring the streets of Starigrad, one of the oldest towns in Europe.

Special Information:
A private transfer can be booked for any time of the day from both Split and Zadar Airports (at an extra cost). Meet your leader and group at a welcome meeting at 6.00pm tonight - check with reception to confirm the time and place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). There are no activities planned before the meeting, so if you arrive early there are plenty of things to keep you busy.

Accommodation: Hostel

Day 2

Zadar - Starigrad Paklenica

For centuries Zadar was the capital city of Dalmatia, and the city's rich heritage is visible at every step. An important coastal town, the musical steps of the 'Sea Organ' on Zadar's waterfront express its important relationship with the sea. On an orientation walk with your leader this morning trace marble streets through the Old Town and discover Roman ruins in amongst medieval churches. In the afternoon take a local bus to Starigrad Paklenica, a small town in a harbour that sits at the foot of the UNESCO Velebit Nature Park. This is your gateway to the Paklenica National Park - two canyons divide this mountainous region, filled with gorges, and cliffs that reach up to 400 metres in height. The evening is spent at your leisure exploring the streets of Starigrad (literally 'old town'), one of the oldest towns in Europe, built on the historic Roman settlement of Argyruntum. Relax harbourside tonight before all your activity this week.

Accommodation: Guest House

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 3

Hiking in Paklenica National Park

After breakfast, it's time to set off on the first active adventure of this trip. A hike through the Velebit mountain range in Paklenica National Park is a great way to get familiar with the area. The National Park is home to one of the most visited climbing sites in Europe, incredible rock formations and stunning natural scenery. Your hike will take you by the right edge of the Velika Paklenica Canyon and reveals the most magnificent views of the national park. Have your camera at the ready to capture the lush surroundings, which are a result of the pure spring water that flows through the area, blossoming the trees and meadows. When you arrive at a mountain lodge there'll be time for a traditional lunch (optional). After lunch, why not try the homemade brandy of the region. Alternatively, try some of the herbal tea, made from the Velebit herbs that the region's famous for. Back on the track, you'll drop by a 17th century village, Sklopina, which consists of houses built into the cracks in the rock. The return path leads you to the very bottom of the Velika Paklenica Canyon, along the creek where you can freshen up. Return to the comfort of your Starigrad apartment.

Special Information:
Total walking time today is approximately 6-8 hours, with an altitude difference of around 850 metres.

Accommodation: Guest House

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 4

Canoeing or Rafting on Zrmanja River

The Zrmanja River travels 69 kilometres as it winds along its route from the southern part of Mount Pljesevica towards the Adriatic Sea. Today delivers all things wet and wild as you hit the water for an exciting canoe safari or a white water rafting adventure, so make sure you pack your swimming gear, a towel and sunscreen. After a short drive from Starigrad you will reach the start point at Kastel Zegarski. After a short briefing, you'll begin your journey down the river all the way to Obrovac, a distance of 14 kilometres. During the white water rafting season the rapids will be grade 2 or potentially even grade 3. Make your way along perfectly clear and green waters, through karst scenery of narrow valleys and steep sided canyons, passing magnificent waterfalls. The first part of the trip is easy, allowing you to get a feel for your craft and enjoy the surroundings, and then it will gradually get more downhill, with an increase in waterfalls and rapids. Drifting serenely and also getting the heart pumping makes this a memorable day of activity.

Special Information:
Seasonality and water levels in the river will determine whether today's activity will be rafting or canoeing.

Accommodation: Guest House

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 5

Starigrad Paklenica

After the last few days of action, it's time for a rest! There is no shortage of options - a dip in the azure blue waters of the Adriatic Sea, a doze on the beach, or perhaps an exploration of the nearby village of Nadin for a traditional lunch and some wine tasting. Croatia is fast becoming a hot destination on the radar of foodies, and this area is known for producing some of the finest organic wines in the country. Alternatively take a trip out to the stunning World Heritage-listed Plitvice Lakes National Park (approximately 1.5 hours one way). It's one of the oldest national parks in south-eastern Europe and the largest in Croatia, a misty Eden of endless waterfalls and spectral blue lakes. The waters tumble from a high, tree-lined ridge down through the valley and skirt dense forests of beech, spruce and pine. If action is still the order of the day, there are many optional activities that can be undertaken in the national park. Perhaps hike to the interesting Manita Cave, 175 metres long and whose cool interior houses a wealth of stalagmites and stalactites, or hire bikes and do some more cycling within the national park. If you're after the opposite level of activity, then perhaps chill out and refresh at a local spa. In the evening, perhaps come together for a traditional Croatian dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Guest House

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Mountain Biking in Paklenica National Park

It's time to head back and explore the mountain paths in or around Paklenica National Park - except this time it's on two wheels. The grassy hills and rugged mountain trails of the park make for a great spot to get some mountain biking practice in. Cycle around the countryside and enjoy this breath-taking part of Croatia. The route chosen will depend on the group's ability - there are three routes that can either be tackled by individually, or they can be combined. They run from about 15 to approximately 40 kilometres in length. All trails travel through the characteristic rocky landscape of Dalmatia, dominated by the view of the slopes of the serrated Velebit mountain peaks and beech and black pine forest. Ride through untouched nature, and diverse flora and fauna, thousands of plant species, 79 of which are endemic to the area. Cycle along dry stone walls through picturesque villages, characterized by traditional stone architecture, and pass many cultural and historical sites, with the Adriatic Sea never far away.

Accommodation: Guest House

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 7

Sea Kayaking to Vinjerac

This is a place where the mountains meet the sea, and today you’ll hit the beach and then keep on going for a sea kayak adventure in Paklenica Bay. Strike out on the clear blue sea through the Velebit Channel and spend a day on the water, the mountains your backdrop as you tour the coastline. Glide along blue satin water that’s often so clear that you can see the bottom, and there’ll be plenty of chances to stop and dive into the water on swimming breaks. Along the way you’ll stop for lunch, then your final destination is the nearby fishing village of Vinjerac across the bay, a picturesque place with a neat row of pastel coloured houses fronting the harbour. Look back across the sea to the looming Velebit mountains. In the evening, come together for a traditional Croatian dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Guest House

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 8

Starigrad Paklenica

After breakfast it's time to bid a fond farewell to this active Croatia adventure. If you would like to stay longer in Starigrad Paklenica we are happy to book you additional accommodation here (subject to availability). A departure transfer is not included but can be booked at an additional cost to both Split Airport or Zadar Airport.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2018:  May 19; Jun 16, 30; Jul 25;  Aug 8; Sep 22

2019:  May 4, 18; Jun 15, 29; Jul 13;  Aug 24; Sep 7, 21

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 6 nights accommodation in a Guesthouse
  • 1 night accommodation in a Hostel
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 1 dinner
  • Minibus transportation
  • Activities (mountain biking in Paklenica National Park, Plitvice Lakes National Park, rafting on Zrmanja River, and sea kayaking) 

PRICE EXCLUDES: 

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature 

OTHER INFORMATION:

Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

Group size: Maximum of 16 travellers per group.

Physical Rating: Be prepared for some serious physical activity. The majority of activities included on this trip will be challenging. The fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy your holiday. The trip is graded as active and requires no previous experience although an ability to cycle is essential for the mountain biking. Days of mountain biking, walking and rafting can be a rigorous test of stamina, but with full vehicle support we believe anyone in good health should be capable of participating. The difficulty of the walks and rides will depend on the ability of the group and will be adjusted accordingly.

Meals: Please budget around 240 Euro for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.

Visas: Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.

Tipping: If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

TB INTREPISPL19SG: ZMXC
7 Sep 2019
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