Have an active family holiday to remember in Croatia

Discover beautiful Croatia on a family adventure to remember. Hike through stunning mountain scenery, learn the difference between stalactites and stalagmites on a caving expedition, bike alongside meandering streams and cascading waterfalls and raft the gentle rapids along the Zrmania River. Feel like taking a break? There’s ample relaxation time too – swim and snorkel in the clear blue Adriatic sea, wander along the stunning waterfront paths with an ice cream, or simply relax in the sun by the hotel pool.

Start
Zadar, Croatia
Finish
Zadar, Croatia
Countries
Croatia
Themes
Family
Code
ZEFC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 8
Group size
Min 2 Max 16
Carbon offset
0kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Get into the heart of Paklenica National Park – hike where the mountains meet the sea, where stunning deep gorges, atmospheric caves, lush forests, and lost villages wait to be explored
  • Drift along pure spring-fed rivers past sparkling waterfalls, and then battle with rushing rapids as you ride the Zrmanja River on a whitewater raft
  • Calm things down and conquer the sea as you cruise between the unique islands of Kornati National Park for a spot of swimming and snorkelling
  • Discover why Croatia is the place all the foodies want to be – drop by wild Pag island and get hands on with the tasty local cheese
  • Mix activities with a dip into the country’s history – cycling though Krka National Park is like a ride through Croatia’s past

Itinerary

Your Croatian Adventure gets under way with your arrival in the seaside town of Biograd. Check-in to the hotel, which is located about 40 minutes drive from the city of Zadar. You can arrive at anytime before a welcome meeting at 6pm. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, maybe arrive a day early so you're able to attend. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. When you arrive, take some time to explore the marina or enjoy a walk along the beach. Time permitting, head to the nearby coastal town of Zadar – the musical steps on the waterfront express its important relationship with the sea. Trace marble streets through the Old Town and discover Roman ruins in amongst medieval churches. Croatia is fast becoming a hot destination on the radar of foodies, so get stuck into some local food tonight.
After breakfast this morning, you’ll head up the little spits of land around here to visit the island of Pag (approximately 1.5 hours). There's a strong wind that blows here in the winter months, and over many long years it’s transformed the rocky surface into a bare and moon-like landscape. The island is mostly home to sheep and a determined group of hearty islanders who wring an existence from the barren country. There are aromatic herbs that grow among the stones and give a unique taste to the famous sheep cheese, which alongside lamb and seafood delicacies make up the gastronomic offerings of the island. You’ll explore the island and the formerly wealthy salt-mining town of Pag, before having lunch in a locally run restaurant and visiting a cheese factory. Here you’ll get to sample many delights, including the salty, sharp and tangy paški sir cheese. After saying cheese, you’ll transfer to Zadar (approximately 1 hour), the former capital of Dalmatia whose rich heritage is visible at every step – Roman ruins in among medieval churches. It’s also a great place to check out the country’s vibrant café culture. After a full day, return back to the hotel in the evening.
Saddle up! Today you’ll jump on two wheels to cycle through the impressive Krka National Park. This 30-year-old national parks cover around 111 square kilometres from the head of the Krka River in the Knin Valley, down to the bridge of Sibenik, where the river flows into the sea. On its 75 kilometre long journey the river creates many beautiful lakes, waterfalls and cataracts – the 44-metre high Skradinski Buk is one of the most wonderful cascades in Eastern Europe. The park has an exceptionally rich and diverse collection of animals and planets – there are 860 species and sub-species of plants recorded, and it is one of the most important places in Europe for birds. It’s not just natural beauty that the park offers – the Franciscan church and monastery on the island of Visovac is just a short boat ride across a beautiful lake. There is hardly a better way to get around the area of the National Park than on a bike. Today’s route will lead you through Croatian history, passing through a landscape of forests and hills, monuments and bird reserves – you’ll even have time for a refreshing dip!
From biking to hiking today. Lace up your boots for a hike through Paklenica National Park – a great way to get familiar with the area. The National Park is home to some of the Croatia’s finest mountain scenery and one of the most visited climbing sites in Europe, incredible rock formations and stunning natural terrain. Drive for an hour and then begin a 2-3 hour trek up gorgeous gorges, stopping to admire the impressive views and lush surroundings. This part of Croatia is characteristic by the rocky landscape, dominated by the view of the slopes of the serrated Velebit mountain peaks and beech and black pine forest. Appreciate the untouched nature and diverse wild surroundings, with thousands of different plant species (79 of which are native to the area). Continue up to Manita cave and explore the 175 metre long cavern, filled with fantastic rock formations, stalactites and stalagmites. It’s cool in the cave so packing a jumper is a good idea. After leaving the cave, ascend a little further to the Lugarnica mountain lodge, where you’ll take a well-earned rest and refreshment. Return down the mountain, and back down the coast to Biograd. Today you'll also enjoy lunch in a small tavern that offers only local food prepared in the traditional way.
Swap the mountains for the water. After breakfast, head out to sea and the Kornati National Park for a day touring the rugged limestone coastline. Made up of more than 140 islands, islets and reefs, the national park is a wonderful place to spend the day. Cruise across the crystal clear blue waters between the islands that are uniquely free of permanent settlement, only a few simple houses in well-protected coves that are used by mainland landowners as temporary shelters. Stop to dive into the water for swimming or snorkelling, and soak up the sun on the boat or perhaps on a secluded stretch of rocky beach. Look out at the towering cliffs and across the barren moonscape islands (eaten clean by the sheep that used to graze here), then enjoy a delicious lunch of fresh fish. Don’t get too used to this lovely way of life at sea, because you’ll have to return to Biograd this evening! Don’t worry though – dinner at a local restaurant is waiting for you tonight.
After the last few days of action, it’s time for a rest! Today has been left free to do as you choose. There is no shortage of options – a dip in the azure blue waters of the Adriatic Sea or the hotel pool, a doze and picnic on the sandy beach, or perhaps another exploration of Zadar. For those interested in history, you could visit the atmospheric 9th and 10th century buildings of St. Peter's Chapel in nearby Starigrad or St. George Chapel in Rovanjska. Alternatively, head to the village of Nadin for a traditional lunch and some wine tasting – this area is known for producing some of the finest organic wines in the country. If action is still the order of the day, there are many optional activities that can be undertaken in the nearby national park. Otherwise, maybe just wander the winding streets of Biograd in search of the local specialty of sour cherry strudel.
The Zrmanja River travels 69 kilometres as it winds along its route from the southern part of Mount Pljesevica towards the Adriatic Sea. The river is amongst the most beautiful rivers in Europe with perfectly clear warm water, a magnificent waterfall, spectacular canyon sides, and lots of fish and birdlife. Today delivers all things wet and wild as you hit the water for an exciting white water rafting adventure, so make sure you pack your swimming gear, a towel and sunscreen. After a short one-hour drive you’ll reach the start point at Kaštel Žegarski. Have a briefing, then get a feel for your craft as you begin your journey down the river all the way to Muškovci. Work together as a team to paddle and battle some rapids easy enough for beginners, then – if time and weather permit – visit the beautiful Kupa waterfalls and swim under them. More waterfalls (some with white ice-like appearances) and rapids await as the gradient gradually increases to the finishing point. Drifting serenely and also getting the heart pumping makes this a memorable day of activity. Return to Biograd and maybe celebrate the end of this amazing active adventure with a final group meal.

Notes: No previous rafting experience is needed and the minimum age is 6 years old. We use professional SOTAR rafts for 6-8 persons, reliable and stable, easy to manoeuvre on white water. You will be kitted out with a life jacket, a paddle and a helmet, plus long neoprene suits and rain jackets in case of cold weather. Waterproof containers are available for personal items (camera, drinks, etc.). Don’t forget to bring shorts or a bathing suit, T-shirt, spare clothes, a towel, sun cream and a bottle of water. In case of colder weather, please take a long-sleeved shirt.
Today your Croatian adventure comes to an end (unless you want to stay on and explore a little longer – speak to your booking agent when booking). Take breakfast with the group this morning before saying your goodbyes to your newly-found friends and thinking about where to head to next.
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Inclusions

Meals
7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
Accommodation
Hotel (7 nights)
Included activities
  • Zadar City Tour
  • Pag Island Visit
  • Krka National Park Cycling
  • Paklenica National Park Hiking
  • Manita Cave Visit
  • Kornati National Park Boat Trip
  • Free day at hotel
  • Zrmanja River Rafting

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Important notes

A DISCOUNT OF 10% APPLIES ON THIS TRIP TO CHILDREN UNDER 15 YEARS OF AGE AT THE TIME OF TRAVEL.

Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.

Minimum age for children on this trip is 5 years old.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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