Trips are designed for flexible, energetic people who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Our daily program is a combination of kayaking, walking, swimming, sightseeing and exploring. You can expect to paddle about 10 miles a day (four hours), but our schedule is very weather dependent. Previous kayaking experience is recommended, but not required.
Group size: Min 4 – max 16 per group; larger groups are on request. Note: if the departure has less than 4 persons signed up and the clients still want to do the trip rather than cancel, we charge 20% extra
Day 1: Arrival to destination - Novigrad village.
Our trip begins today in Novigrad, small fishermen village. Novigrad is a lively and colorful costal town and is manageable on foot. Our hotel is well located for exploring and enjoying the magnificent view of the bay and mountain peaks of the Nature Park Velebit. After settling into your accommodation, we will meet in the hotel lobby for a get-together dinner and presentation of the program. Meals: D; Van drive from airport: Split 2 hours or Zadar 30 min.
Day 2: Sea kayaking under Maslenica Bridge.
This day is all about exploring hidden places of Novigrad Bay in our sea kayak. After sea kayaking instructions on the beach just in front our hotel we head out towards Maslenica Bridge. It was built over Novska idrilo - the narrow channel which connects Velebit channel and Novigrad Sea. Total length of the bridge is 300 m. Once we reach the Maslenica Bridge, representable red construction that was destroyed during the war in Croatia, but rebuilt in early 2006, we challenge ourselves to find the most beautiful little beach to make our lunch break. Meals: B and D (lunch on your own); kayaking: 4 hours, moderate.
Day 3: Hiking day in the National Park Paklenica and sightseeing Zadar town.
If there was ever a morning for you to get up early, this is that morning. Our small expedition leads us into National Park Paklenica, the most famous hiking and rock climbing national park in Croatia. It covers the area of torrent flows of Velika and Mala Paklenica, and their distinctive canyons carved vertically into the south slopes of Velebit and the broader surrounding area. The relatively small area has an abundance of exceptional diversity of geomorphologic phenomena and forms, diverse flora and fauna, attractive landscapes and intact nature. Having adapted to the geographic and climatic environment, the residents mostly engaged in nomad stock herding, which is confirmed by mountain shepherd residences. The fact that many people stayed in mountain residences in summertime is reflected in the ruins of numerous sacral buildings: churches, chapels, altars, holy hills and measures. The name Paklenica probably derives from black pine sap called “paklina”, which the locals used in traditional medicine, for wound treatment, for light and for coating of wooden boats. Hiking is the only way to really get to know Paklenica. We return to Novigrad for dinner. Meals: B and D (lunch on your own); Van drive: 1 h; hiking: 4-6 hours; moderate.
Day 4: Kayaking Zrmanja River - magnificent wild-west-like canyon.
We head out for canoeing down the magnificent wild-west-like canyon of the Zrmanja and Krupa Rivers. After a short introduction to paddling (watercraft may be raft, canoe or sit-on-top kayaks depending upon the river conditions), we push off for an afternoon of refreshing fun on the clear, warm and emerald waters of these Croatian rivers, considered two of the most beautiful in Europe. From the geologic aspect Zrmanja is also very interesting. The basin of Zrmanja is according to geologic researches built mostly of limestone and dolomite. Waterfalls and easy rapids, hidden swimming pools, steep sided canyons and, very likely, no one else on the river but our group – it doesn't get better than this! Relax this evening in peaceful Novigrad while enjoying a traditional supper. Meals: B and D (lunch on your own); Van drive: 30 min; kayaking or rafting: Class I/II rapids, 3-4 h.
Day 5: Optional trip day.
On your optional day you can be as active or as lazy as you wish. You can relax by the river, swim, play beach volleyball or even take another optional bike tour on your own. Several organized and guided tours of hiking, canyoning, climbing, sightseeing or beach trips will be proposed in case you are keen on discovering more beauties that Croatia has to offer. (Please note that the optional trip will incur an additional charge of approx 50€ per head, payable on site, and is dependent on suitable weather conditions. The price is based on a min. of 4 participants.). Meals: B and D (lunch on your own).
Day 6: Trekking Krupa River.
Through millenniums Zrmanja and Krupa rivers in the Velebit Mountain Nature Park have carved a spectacular canyon and built magnificent waterfalls. These are two of the most beautiful rivers in Europe with green banks and perfectly clear water. We start our day with a van drive to a little village called Golubici where very few people live nowadays. One of Croatia’s prettiest rivers is probably exactly tiny Krupa. Located just under the steep slopes of Velebit, this beautiful river stretches from the lovely spring all the way through a deep canyon where it meets Zrmanja – another beautiful karst river. Arriving to Golubic village we visit a local sheep and goat farm. After tasting local cheese and drinks we take a short walk down the hill to Kudin most – or The Bridge of Kuda – is one of the nicest places in the hinterland of Zadar. Actually, the place is called Deveterci for the 9 small cascades that make the place so magical. Kudin Bridge has been built at the turn of the 18th to 19th century. Legend says that a young guy called Kuda wanted to be closer to his loved one at the other bank of the river. So he built the bridge from 12 arches out of travertine blocks, and just as many pillars. The last two arches are now damaged but Kudin Bridge still stands despite time and high waters in the winter. After the hike we will stop and visit the Orthodox monastery on the Krupa river bank. You will experience only the sound of river and birds. Magical! Finishing our fabulous day we continue our journey to visit Zadar, beautiful old town on the Adriatic coast. In the past several years Zadar town has become an outdoor exhibition, attracting people from all demographic structures. It is really worth seeing and experiencing it. Meals: B (lunch and dinner on your own); hiking: 3-4 h, moderate.
Day 7: Sea kayaking expedition into Zrmanja River canyon.
We start our day just in front of the hotel and take a trip into the Zrmanja River canyon. The water here is brackish (mixed fresh and saltwater) which is the reason for abundant life under the surface. The eel which dwells here is a favorite gourmet specialty, but we are more likely to spot turtles, fish and birds along the way. After kayaking upstream on calm water like oil, swimming and jumping off cliffs we make an optional lunch break. In the evening we will enjoy our farewell dinner on the most beautiful terrace. Meals: B and D (lunch on your own); kayaking: 4-6 hours, moderate.
Day 8: Departure day.
Depart Novigrad for the airport and flight home. You are welcome to schedule your homeward transport for any time. If you decide to spend more time in Croatia, our guides will be happy to recommend other beautiful places to visit - especially those you won’t find in tourist guide books. Meals: B; Van drive: Split 2 hours, Zadar 30 min.
Note on Itinerary:
This itinerary is subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather, water levels, special events of interest, etc. Raftrek Guides and Trip Leaders will do their utmost to ensure the best possible experience for their clients without compromising safety at any time. This may mean changing the original itinerary to avoid discomfort or risk which could be caused by exceptional situations. Raftrek reserves the right to alter the itinerary without prior notice.
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Europe Croatia Outdoor: Water Drifter Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting Multi-activity
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