Best hiking spots in Croatia

Šime Unić
Best hiking spots in Croatia

When you hear the term “vacation in Croatia”, the chances are your mind will quickly race to the images of lovely beaches, sunny islands, and picturesque towns and villages.

However, you may be surprised to know that there are plenty of great places for hiking, too! No matter if you’re a beginner or a seasoned climber, you will find a route perfectly suited to your skill level.

Believe it or not, there are actually more than 1100 trails in the country, and every single one of them will show you amazing nature and incredible views. Still, some places stand out if you want to go hiking in Croatia, so allow us to show you where you should start exploring. It will be quite an adventure!

Plitvice National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park is visited every year by countless tourists. And for good reason! The lakes and nature here are nothing short of magnificent.

Hiking at Plitvice Lakes

However, what makes this place one of the best hiking destinations in Croatia is the fact that anyone can enjoy a nice hike here. The main hiking trail takes you around the bigger lakes, shows you some of the best sights the park has to offer, and can be completed by pretty much anyone. Oh, and you will also get to the swimming area this way! Just get to Entrance 1 and follow the loop.

This national park also has a few more demanding trails if you’re looking for a bigger challenge, but no matter which path you choose you simply can’t go wrong with Plitvice. One of the most scenic hikes you’ll ever enjoy.

Ston Walls

The small town of Ston boasts incredibly long walls - more than 5 kilometers for you to hike. Therefore, coming here is a great way to combine the amazing history of this part of the world with outdoor activities. Plus, the amazing city of Dubrovnik is fairly close by.

Ston walls are actually among the longest city walls in the world, and you might be interested to know that they were used in the filming of the Game of Thrones series. There is an entrance fee you will have to pay, but it’s only around 10 euros and therefore very much worth it.

The view from up there is amazing, with the Adriatic and the Pelješac peninsula stretching in front of you. You really don’t be an expert climber for this, although you may want to avoid wearing sandals or similarly open shoes during the hike.

Ston Walls

Dubrovnik Walls

The most famous city walls in Croatia and beyond - Dubrovnik city walls. Countless tourists walk them every year, and it would be a real shame if you were in town and missed out on this unique experience.

It’s quite something to look down at the incredible Old Town with its old stone streets and houses, while on the other side the Adriatic stretches out as far as the eye can see. The walls even have some amazing restaurants on them, so if you’re looking for an unforgettable meal, grabbing a bite there is pretty much impossible to beat. Not a bad place for buying real estate in Croatia, huh?

Dubrovnik City Walls

And if you’re sure you’ve seen these walls somewhere before, that’s probably because Dubrovnik played a major role in the Game of Thrones show - this is indeed King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms!

Plješivica Mountain

Now we have to get serious for a moment. If you want a great and challenging hiking trail in Croatia, Plješivica Mountain is where you have to go. You really should be well prepared if you’re looking to complete this hike, and solid boots and poles are pretty much a must.

You actually gain more than 1000 meters in altitude during this hike that is 12 kilometers long, which is another feature that adds to the difficulty of the climb.
However, the view from the top is spectacular, and since Pljesivica mountain is close to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, you will see the two countries unraveling in front of you. Beautiful flowers and loads of greenery are also a part of the hike, and some of the places along the way will stun you with their beauty.

The majestic Velebit is the biggest mountain in Croatia that essentially splits the country in two, and the best way to experience it is by visiting it from Zavižan. The beauty you will see that way is really hard to put into words.

True, there aren’t many hiking trails on Zavižan, but those that are there are of the best possible quality. The amazing view of the archipelago below you, the pristine nature, the cozy mountaineer hut… absolutely everything any hiker could ever want is here.

Do be warned, this is not a climb for beginners. Zavižan is quite challenging, and you should especially mind the weather because, unlike winter weather in Dalmatia, the coldest part of the year is extremely harsh here. As a matter of fact, it’s not uncommon to see snow in May here. Therefore, a summer climb is your best bet.
Prepare well, organize your trip well, and Zavižan will very much reward you.

Zavižan mountain

General information about hiking in Croatia

If you’re looking to spend a night on a mountain, look for mountain huts for a really authentic experience. They can be really comfortable, plus you can often find locals there running the place. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the area you’re about to visit and hear some very interesting stories.

Should ever find yourself in trouble, call Croatian Mountain Rescue Service. They are very well trained and equipped, so you can count on them to get you out of a pickle. You can dial the rescue number 112 to get in touch with them, but many huts and lodges also have a direct connection to them. The rescues are at the moment free of any charge.

Latest articles