As you may have already noticed until now, Croatia is not just sun and sea. Croatia is also dense forests with the most different flora and fauna one could ever imagine. Croatia is also uninhabited mountains with spectacular views from above. Croatia is also mesmerizing national parks with dreamy lakes and streams. I love Croatia, and one the best ways to fully explore it is by doing it on foot. Whether you are a fan of adventurous hikes or peaceful walks, you will find something to suit your soul here. To help you plan your trip at the best, let me share a few tips on each of the main regions of this beautiful country.
Let me begin with my favorite place on Earth: Istria. Istria is the region of amazing natural sceneries, good wine and nice people. This area, unfortunately, does not have huge mountain massifs or super-high peaks, but it offers enough for those who wish to hike around. Apart from Vojak which is the highest peak of the region, one of my favorite places is Korita. Korita is an amazing peak set above the village of Brgudac. What is great about it is that you can choose between even three different paths to get to the top. One is accessible even with bikes and is not steep at all. The other two are, but with one being slightly milder than the other. Whatever your choice of the day may be, the top is what makes Korita special. First of all, it consists both of green and spacious meadows for those who wish to lay down for a while. Others can continue with a brief yet super-steep climb towards the rocky peak, from which the view is simply fantastic. And, on top of that, a fresh source of healthy water is provided as well. Fill your bottles up or simply have something to eat at the local mountain lodge. And do not forget to take a few deep breaths, because this is the ultimate zen-zone.
Kvarner is another Croatian region rich in mesmerizing natural sceneries and attractions. It features several natural parks which are all fantastic locations to hike and walk around, but one of the most special ones is certainly Platak. Why is it that special? Well, because Platak actually doubles as a ski resort as well as an all-year-round destination. And yes, it does feature sea views. How amazing is that? Platak is amazing because you can literally visit it during any time of the year, and you will always find something interesting to do. From organized summer sport tournaments to winter sledge fun, this place has it all. And of course, there are plenty of cool paths to walk around. When you get tired and need a break, you can either have some lunch at the local restaurant or you can even rent a barbeque and prepare it on your own. And finally, with Platak being such an interesting place to visit, it does occasionally have some problems with overcrowding. Therefore, if visiting during high-season days, embrace yourself with tons of patience and polite smiles.
Nonetheless of the fact that Dalmatian people are often characterized as slightly lazy and ˝take it easy˝ people who love spending their days by the sea, this area actually offers some of the highest mountain massifs as well as the very highest mountain peak. Yes, I am now referring to Dinara, the mountain which was actually fully recognized only this year. Indeed, the area has been proclaimed as a natural park during this February. Sinjal, Dinara’s main peak, is 1831 meters high and it represents the highest Croatian point. So, yes, it certainly does deserve a few dedicated sentences. And not to mention that this mountain constitutes the natural border between the countries of Croatia and Bosnia & Hercegovina. To reach the top, you can choose between seven different paths, based on their intensity and their duration. At around half way, you will encounter the Brezovac mountain lodge where you can either sleep over or simply stop for a well-deserved refreshment.
Slavonia may be the flattest Croatian region, but it still has the capacity of offering pure beauty and great walking and hiking areas. Here, you may feel as being in a completely different dimension. One of Slavonia’s most precious natural beauties is definitely the natural park of Papuk. This is both a recreational destination as well as a touristic attraction. And, of course, a great ambience when needing to reset and reconnect with your inner self. Papuk park offers an adventurous adrenaline park, a spacious restaurant as well as plenty of other fun activities. However, when it comes to hiking and walking, make sure not to miss the park forest of Jankovac. Here, you will spend one of the nicest day-experiences ever. From spectacular waterfalls to gracious rivers and lakes, this certainly is the place to greatly re-charge your batteries.
The Croatian synonym for the land of a thousand hills is Zagorje. However, it is not all about hills here. Indeed, the region does provide home to an actual mountain peak, which surprisingly reaches up to even 1060 meters in altitude. This may not seem as a high peak to conquer, but there are plenty of pretty steep relations on the way to the top. Therefore, quite a nice experience this may become. Ivančica is one of my favorite places in Zagorje. From its top, you may observe this magical hill-land from two nicely set wooden viewpoints. Also, you can enjoy a few hours of pure relaxation at the local mountain lodge. To me, definitely worth the visit.
After now going through all of the largest Croatian regions and their greatest places to hike around, I have to admit one thing: I did not even realize how many magnificent hideouts this country owns until now. What will your next stop in Croatia be, when it comes to walking adventures?