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There are so many phenomenal walks in Croatia that there’s a reasonable chance you’ll never want to leave. The country’s vast coastline is one of the biggest draws, with breathtaking trails along stunning cliffs, looking down at the pure blue Adriatic.
While the lure of the Adriatic coastline and Croatia’s paradisiacal islands is strong, walking inland has just as much fantastic scenery to offer. Hikes in Croatia’s mountainous areas provide views to die for and you can easily choose trails to suit any ability and timescale. Many of Croatia’s most amazing mountain trails aren’t too far from the coast either, making it perfectly doable to explore the heady peaks as well as the extravagant coastline.
The hiking options are truly endless in Croatia so take a look at our selection of trails to get started.
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Imagine hiking up through rough terrain, pine forests providing shelter from the sun before you emerge near the summit. You head onwards and at the top you turn around. Below, you can see the sparkling blue sea and a chain of islands. This is what it’s like to explore hikes in Croatia’s coastal Lika region.
The Dinaric Alps run the entire length of the country and it’s within this vast range chain that you’ll find some of the best hiking trails in Croatia. In the Lika region, just north of Zadar, the mountains form an incredible stretch of landscape containing two national parks, Northern Velebit and Paklenica.
This is karst landscape, a geological formation created by soluble rock, such as limestone and dolomite, where sections dissolve leaving vast caves. Karst formations can make for fascinating sights and these mountains are filled with short and long-distance trails that will provide unforgettable views.
With a vast 1,104 miles (1,777 km) of mainland coastline and over 1,000 islands, there’s a lot of sea views to be had. Walks along Croatia’s Adriatic coast are dramatic in the extreme, with a backdrop of huge mountains stepped against each other.
Brac, Hvar and Mljet islands all have fantastic hiking trails with breathtaking views of the mainland and surrounding islands. On Mljet island you can trek to Odysseus’ Cave where the legendary hero was supposedly shipwrecked.
The Pelješak Peninsula in the south, just above Dubrovnik, has a maze of strenuous trails through the hills and will present you with stunning views throughout the day.
Between its islands and mountainous coastline, many hikers can’t tear themselves away to look even further inland. There are plenty of phenomenal areas away from the Adriatic though so don’t discount hiking here.
Papuk Nature Park, a nature reserve in the far south east of the country, is a considerably less visited hiking region and yet utterly beautiful. The first UNESCO Geopark in Croatia, Papuk is a mountainous and heavily forested area with more hiking trails than you can shake a stick at. You’ll also find waterfalls, limestone meadows, lakes and caves here.
Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, is overlooked by an outstanding hiking area as well. The Medvednica Nature Park is immediately north of the city and you’ll walk in dense forests and enjoy exceptional views over the capital. On your hikes in this mountainous park, you can stop by the Medvedgrad medieval castle or summit Sljeme, the highest peak.
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