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Most people opt for an active lifestyle these days, even on holiday. Croatia is ideal for an active holiday because of its climate and geographic features. It offers a wide variety of adrenaline sports options and you can choose the ones you like the most. Check out our choice of top 7 water sports in Croatia here, and now read more about top adrenaline sports you can take on during your Adriatic holiday. We bet there will be no dull moment!
Hiking is one of those activities which connect generations, surpass all differences and connect people who share their interest for nature. Since you're far away from home already, meeting new people will come in as an extra bonus. Here are our suggestions for a great hiking experience.
HIKING IN CROATIA – TOP SPOTS
South Velebit spans from Oštarije to Mali Alan, and its length is 46 km in air distance. Steep and sea cliffs are intertwined with continental and Mediterranean climate. Even though they are exposed to sharper climate conditions, the steep cliffs are much nicer for hiking because they offer a lot of shade and water to drink. The highest peaks on Velebit are Vaganski vrh (1757 m) and Sveto Brdo (1753 m), and one of the most interesting areas is the Paklenica National park.
Difficult climb up the Mosor mountain pays off to all those who make the effort with an exceptional view of the Cetina Canyon, Dinara in Omiš and Biokovo. The most beautiful and the highest peak of the Mosor mountain is St. George or Kozik (1319 m). Each season has its perks so there is no wrong time to climb up the Mosor mountain. Just don't forget to carry something to drink (and enough of it), as well as suitable clothes and equipment.
Biokovo is part of the Dinaridi, and the second highest peak in Croatia is located there – St. George (1762 m). Climbing on Biokovo should be taken seriously because the peaks of Biokovo are hardly reachable and time-consuming. Since Biokovo is full of rocky landscapes, there is no natural shade and you'll need enough water to climb up the mountain, at least 4 to 5 liters. Besides St. George, the peaks of Biokovo that attract hikers are: Šćirovac (1619 m), St. Ilija (1642), Kimet (1556), Stuvid (1155 m) , St. Rok (1062 m) and Sokolić (788 m).
Rock climbing is a physically demanding activity which requires strength, endurance and balance in combination with quick reactions and focus. Climbing can be dangerous, so climbing without suitable equipment, proper training and professional guidance is not recommended to inexperienced enthusiasts. Experienced climbers are recommended to use tested and proven techniques. Climbing usually has the goal of passing a certain distance and pushing your own limits further with every new challenge. Thanks to geographic features, the Adriatic has a lot of locations at which climbers can enjoy their favorite activity.
CLIMBING IN CROATIA – TOP SPOTS
One of the most interesting climbing places in Croatia is most definitely Omiš. Besides being at the very intersection of the sea, river and mountain, Omiš is attractive to climbers because of its great road connections with surrounding places. The climbing directions are also available on all sides of the world and this is very important because it means that there is a possibility of climbing in the shade during summer. A lot of climbers from all over Europe visit Omiš and enjoy the cliffs of one of the most beautiful historic towns in Croatia.
The island of Pag is extremely interesting to sport climbing enthusiasts because the rocks are so high and vertical in some parts, and under the lifelong influence of bora, have an unusual shape. Passionate climbers will most definitely enjoy climbing the steep part of St. Vid's peak and rocks above the Ručica beach on the northwest side of the bay of Pag where they will also find special sport climbing marks.
The biggest Croatian peninsula – Istria – is a true heaven for those who love free climbing. The beautiful town of Rovinj offers different opportunities for an adrenaline experience, and we present just some of them. The park-woods Zlatni rt is the most popular climbing location. The vertical rock at a 20 m distance from the sea overlooks the west, so the climbers enjoy unimaginably beautiful sunsets and unique views of the Rovinj archipelago at the end of the day. The paths are suitable for beginners and families with children. Dvigrad is a climbing spot located just a 10 m car ride away form Rovinj, and just a couple of kilometers from Limska draga. Limska draga has a climbing spot as well, located by the road to Poreč. Since the rock is directed toward the south, climbing is recommended in the late afternoon. It is important to note that the climbing rock is right by the road, but it is not the main road, so there is almost no traffic there off-season.
One of the favorites when it comes to city transportation is definitely a bike. Its popularity is on the rise year after year. Besides a higher demand and usage in the cities, the bike has been used for recreational purposes and enjoying nature for what seems like forever. Since it is a truly fun activity and a healthy way to spend your pastime, it is endorsed by people of all ages. Of course, alongside its recreational sphere, bike racing is also very popular.
CYCLING IN CROATIA – TOP SPOTS
Cycling in the secret bays of the Biograd riviera is the best way to get to know the town and its surroundings. If you go for a ride through the pine woods to Pakoštane and Kamenjak peak, you will be able to enjoy the most beautiful view of the Adriatic. Hidden bays and olive yards of the island of Pašman will reward all its visitors with the view of the Biograd archipelago from the other side. And, to complete your exploring of the Biograd riviera in the best possible way, we recommend the Vransko jezero path full of nature and historic sights.
Full of natural and cultural sights, the northwest Istria is a true cycling oasis on the Adriatic coast. The northwest Istria hides 12 hill routes and six routes for cyclotourists, as well as 13 routes for city cyclists. The most prominent route is the Parenzana route with the MTB Parenzana marathon. Other races are Istria Granfondo, professional races Istrian Spring and Umag Trophy and, lastly, MTB training camp.
The island of Hvar is an ideal destination for cyclists. Hills and steep terrain on the most sun kissed island in Croatia are the most suitable for MTBs. Among the MTB routes on Hvar, we recommend the 21.5 km long Purkin kuk route starting from Stari Grad. The route goes over Velo Grablje to St. Nicholas – the highest peak on Hvar (626 m) – and then goes back to Dol and Stari Grad. To finish this route you need about two hours. On Hvar's peninsula Kabal, there is the 24.7 km long Kabal route going through Stari Grad, passing through various hidden bays of the peninsula, and then dividing itself into two parts leading to the two edges of Kabal. You will need about two hours to finish this route.
Walking is one of the most simple activities you can take on when on vacation. Slow walking doesn't require big preparations and expensive equipment, but it has a lot of advantages. Besides getting from one place to the other while breathing in the fresh air, you can stop and check out everything you find interesting along the way and really feel the rhythm of the place you are walking through. Of course, this relates to city walking. To walk in the nature – over the hills or island inland – you will need a bit of preparation and equipment, but the enjoyment will be that much bigger. We recommend at least 30 minutes of walking a day, and if you manage to steal a moment or two from your vacation time, that will be even better. Finally, walking is excellent because it ensures us the conditions to clear our minds and to focus on everything that surrounds us.
WALKING IN CROATIA – TOP SPOTS
The island of Mljet has a long path for walking/hiking which gets more and more visitors year after year. It is about 43 km long, and it takes 23 hours to completely finish it. The path on the island of Mljet is marked along the whole length and takes you from Pomena to Sobra over Goveđar, Blato, Rogović, Babino polje and Veliki grad. Walking on this path will reward the adventurous ones with amazing views of Biokovo, Pelješac and the island of Lastovo.
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is an inevitable destination in Croatia when it comes to walking in the embrace of unbelievable nature. At Plitvice Lakes National Park you will be welcomed by two marked paths which, depending on the starting point, get divided into two additional paths. The first one starts from the parking lot Hladovina over D1 to Oštri Medveđak, Tručić, Tupi Medveđak and ends at Oštri Medveđak again. Walking along this path takes about 2.5 hours. The second path is a bit shorter than the first one and can be finished in 1.5 hours. This path starts at Turčić and ends at the parking lot next to the main entrance into the Plitvice Lakes National Park.
GORSKI KOTAR AND KVARNER
Walking in Kvarner will give you numerous wonderful views, meadows in the woods and lowlands, walking paths next to the sea with the scent of pine and sea. A longer walk connects coastal areas with those in the inland, for example, Rijeka's mountain transversal path and Kapela's mountain path. The mountain path around Rijeka's torches connects islands, coast and the inland, and all those who enjoy long walks will definitely love it. You will see interesting parts of Gorski kotar if you take a walk along the mountain path in the area. All paths are suitable for the inexperienced, and you can get to each starting point by car.
Unlike walking, running is not one of the simplest activities to take on when on vacation, but it is most definitely one of the most practical and useful ones. Runners will agree that you will only need strong will to begin because running becomes a need later on. If you go on vacation with running as a habit, just bring your equipment to minimize the possibility of injuries, and here are some suggestions of beautiful Adriatic places made for running.
RUNNING IN CROATIA – TOP SPOTS
Park-woods Marjan in the city of Split is ideal for running. It will take a 20-minute walk for you to get to Marjan from the city center. Runners will find trim paths with exercise plans in the thick shade of the trees – ideal for hot summer days. But Marjan also has a shady asphalt road with a sea view which adds to the total experience of calmness and brings peace to all those running there. The total length of Marjan's running paths is about 40 km so the most demanding runners will be satisfied with their options.
Ston, a small place on the Pelješac peninsula, has a great sight – the Walls of Ston. There is an interesting run there, one of the most interesting ones in Croatia. It is clear that the runners should be fit for it, but there is also a guarantee of an unforgettable view from the walls over the sea. After the steep section of the path, you get to the flat one next to the sea. The race of Ston is most definitely one of the most memorable ones, so make sure not to miss it if you're around in September.
The island of Murter hides an exceptional path a bit longer than 2 km which starts at Podvrška Bay and ends in Pod Raduč street. It is protected by thick pine trees so it is ideal for all those looking for some shade. When it's sunny, you can see the amazing Kornati Islands so it would be a real pity to miss this opportunity and not use at least one day for this activity.
Paragliding is a recreational and competitive sport which enables flying through the air with a minimal level of effort and stress from an elevated starting point to which you can get by car or climbing the mountain. The fans of this sport say how adrenaline rushes and the peaceful effect of flying ensure top relaxation and deep sensations of the flight – from the surroundings to the motion itself. It really purifies the organism in a specific way and contributes to the psychological and physical well-being. This sport is very popular in Croatia, so we definitely recommend the unforgettable sightseeing of the Adriatic from a different perspective.
PARAGLIDING IN CROATIA – TOP SPOTS
Tribalj next to Crikvenica is one of the starting flight points suitable for inexperienced and experienced paragliding pilots. You'll find the Big and Small Start there – the first one is popular during summer, and the other one during winter. The reef is about 20 km long, and the height difference ensures an exquisite view of the sea and surrounding hills. Relaxation is guaranteed, and Tribalj is excellent for all types of paragliding pilots.
The Biokovo mountain is an extremely popular place among paragliding pilots and is said to be one of the most exciting starting points in Europe. This reputation comes from the fact that in the moment of flying, the paragliding pilots are 1000 m above the ground and have an amazing view of the surrounding places and countries – from Makarska to Herzegovina. Because of the heights, Biokovo is not recommended to inexperienced paragliding pilots.
Buzet is a favorite paragliding location in Istria. Thanks to the mild climate, ideal winds and beautiful scenery, the whole of Istria peninsula is very popular among paragliding pilots. Good road connections and accommodation offer are a guarantee of a nice landing on the desired spot.
Discover Central Istria
Skydiving is an adrenaline activity icon to most people and the first thing that comes to mind when in need of an adrenaline rush. People of all ages enjoy skydiving. We recommend tandem jumps to all beginners, while we present some of the best places for skydiving on the Adriatic for the more experienced ones.
SKYDIVING IN CROATIA – TOP SPOTS
Skydiving above Zadar, the most beautiful Dalmatian city with the most beautiful sunset in the world, is an experience which will give you a view over the magnificent Velebit, the beautiful Kornati National Park and the fantastic Paklenica. Of course, there is the view over the entire coast of Zadar and smaller islands. If you decide you need a dose of adrenaline on your vacation in the beautiful city of Zadar, choose a sunset jump to check for yourself if Zadar's sunset is the most beautiful sunset in the world.
The most sun kissed Croatian island offers an exquisite experience of skydiving thanks to the extremely beautiful views of the surrounding islands which are seen only from up above. Skydiving on Hvar is only possible during season, but it is best to check the availability with the organizers of the jump.
The island of vitality which is also a home to Apoksiomen, together with the islands of Kvarner, is a perfect backdrop for amazing photos of your unforgettable jump. Just like the other locations, the jumps are regularly organized from spring to fall, and depend on the weather during winter.
Discover Mali Lošinj
Zip line is a fun adrenaline activity which includes gliding on a wire connecting two points on a comfortable seat. Besides children's playgrounds in substantially smaller dimensions, zip line can be found in canyons and other attractive locations where it offers an unforgettable experience.
ZIP LINE IN CROATIA – TOP SPOTS
The Plitvice Lakes National Park continues to delight with its beauty and zip line over the Korana's Canyon on the very exit from the park offers a unique view of the amazingly beautiful area. Zip line over the Korana Canyon is 300 m long and you can reach the speed of 60 km/h while sitting on a paragliding seat which ensures great comfort.
The biggest and the most complex zip line on the Adriatic is located on the Cetina Canyon, and consists of eight wires of total length of 2.1 km. This zip line is simply a must for all of those who choose Omiš as their vacation destination and are up for staying active. Zip lining over Cetina Canyon is safe because a Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS) team is always ready on call.
Rudopolje in Lika is home to the longest one-wired zip line in Europe. Its total length is 1.7 km, and the speed which can be reached is 120 km/h. Of course, to reach that speed, you will need a good wind in your back. The platform on which the flight ends is actually a beautiful viewing point from which you can see three valleys that surround Rudopolje.