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Walking Croatia's Coast & Mountains - Private Dunn

Available Departures: Sep

8 days from


without flights
Walk & Trek
Guided Group

Hike the very best mountain trails in Croatia and explore Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, Split and Zadar on this excellent walking holiday.

Trip Code: CACA
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.


Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Walking Croatia's Coast & Mountains - Private Dunn

  • Explore through the rugged Velica Paklenica Canyon to Manita Cave
  • Cascading waterfalls and lush flora in Plitvice and Krka national parks
  • Hike to a rustic Paklenika homestay for a warm welcome and great food
  • Stroll along beautiful promenades in the coastal gems of Zadar and Split

At a Glance

Accommodation & Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 6 Lunches
  • 5 Dinners

Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast is home to an incredible coastline, dramatic national parks, towering peaks, medieval towns, mount-watering food, cascading waterfalls and wonderful hospitality. This lovely walking holiday to Croatia includes some of Europe’s most spectacular trails, including a part of the spectacular Via Dinarica long-distance footpath which snakes through the Balkans. From the Croatian capital of Zagreb, with its bustling market, colourful old centre and stunning cathedral, we head first to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Plitvice Lakes.  Here we’ll discover an abundance of beautiful cascading waterfalls and stunning lakes. The undiscovered Velebit Mountains and breath-taking Paklenica National Park offer jaw-dropping scenery, off the beaten track trails and a visit to a welcoming homestay. Wherever we go on this holiday, we’ll be surrounded by dramatic views of the coast and the stunning archipelago of offshore islands. In the charming coastal towns of Zadar and Split we can enjoy Croatia’s famed café culture, amazing restaurants, stunning promenades and beautiful medieval architecture. This provides the perfect contrast to our adventure in the dramatic mountains.

Is this holiday for you?

This holiday takes you along excellent walking trails with views of the superb Adriatic Coast and there is enough walking each day to keep regular hikers happy. Walking days are usually between 4 and 5 hours on trails which range from grassy paths and forest woodland to alpine paths in the mountains. On some days we encounter sections of the Via Dinarica, the new long distance walking trail that l …

This holiday takes you along excellent walking trails with views of the superb Adriatic Coast and there is enough walking each day to keep regular hikers happy. Walking days are usually between 4 and 5 hours on trails which range from grassy paths and forest woodland to alpine paths in the mountains. On some days we encounter sections of the Via Dinarica, the new long distance walking trail that links the countries of the Balkans. On Day 4 we stay in the heart of Paklenica away from any roads. On this day's relatively short hike we’ll carry what we need for 1 night but as all bedding is supplied, there is no need for heavy backpacking. Staying in the homestay gives us the opportunity to experience an unspoilt location and home cooked food. There are a couple of long drives (max 2 hours) as this holiday includes a number of the country’s highlights and most spectacular national parks. Relaxed evenings are spent in charming towns as this holiday gives a wonderful insight into a lesser known region of Croatia.

Why KE?

The Via Dinarica long distance trail is described as one of the top walking trails in the world. Why not join KE and enjoy sections of this fantastic trail as it leads you through the stunning landscapes of Croatia's finest national parks.



Meet at group hotel in Zagreb. A single timed transfer from Zagreb Airport is included. There will be time to explore the centre as Zagreb is a small and welcoming city with a colourful mixture of Austro-Hungarian grand buildings, pavement cafes, museums, galleries, a cathedral and quirky funicular railway connecting the Lower and Upper towns. The cathedral has twin spires soaring over the city and frescoes dating from the second half of the 13th century. St. Mark's Church has a unique tiled roof from 1880. Tiles on the left include the medieval Croatian coat of arms, whilst the emblem of Zagreb is on the right. The 13th century tower of Lotrscak offers a bird's eye view of the city and for the past hundred years a cannon is fired at noon to synchronise church clocks. For people watching, Trg Bana Jelacica is a hive of activity. Grab a table and enjoy watching flower sellers mingle with tram travellers.

*Food for thought: Burek is perfect as a cheap and tasty snack or street food. Here thin flaky pastry is filled with meat or cheese and served fresh from the oven - absolutely delicious. A starter which is filling enough to be a main is strukli. This pastry and cheese dish is very popular and common to Zagreb. Boiled or baked, dough parcels are filled with cottage cheese and once served is almost melt in the mouth. Pasta known as mlinci in Zagreb, is boiled and baked, before serving with a delicious sauce.



After an early breakfast, we transfer (2hrs) through the rolling hills of Croatia to one of the most outstanding natural aquatic landscapes in Europe, Plitvice Lakes. Granted UNESCO status in 1979, Plitvice is famed for its sixteen lakes, interlinked by cascading waterfalls, all set in a rich wooded area populated by bears, wolves, deer, wild boar and rare bird-life. Lying at the base of the Mala Kapela Mountain range, and only 60kms from the sea, this incredibly diverse national park is home to beech, spruce and pine trees plus over 1200 plant species, including the rare Lady's Slipper orchid. Plitvice is one of the most important natural habitats in Europe and we'll explore the park via the fantastic wooden walkways that cover the park. These bridges enable us to get a close-up of the lakes, whilst keeping our eyes open for the local brown trout. We'll also head deep into the richly wooded area hoping to spot deer or one of the 157 bird species that live in the park. Tonight we overnight in a hotel in the Plitvice area.



Today we leave the greenery of the Plitvice area and head towards the dramatic Northern Velebit National Park. Our transfer (1.5hrs) takes us to the Zavizan Mountain Refuge next to a small botanical garden. We'll have time to wander amongst a variety of indigenous and endemic plant species before walking along part of the spectacular Premuziceva Staza (Premuzic Trail). The Northern Velebit National Park is a protected reserve and visitors can only pass through the park on designated trails. The spectacular Premuzic Trail is a a 57 kilometre long footpath mapped out in the 1930s, by lifelong Velebit enthusiast Ante Premuzic. Snaking its way from one side of the Velebit’s central ridge to the other, the path provides a superb taste of the mountain’s varied geography, with lush deciduous woodland alternating with pine forests and arid rocky slopes. The trail was engineered to provide easy walking with gentle gradients and today we get to enjoy part of it, whilst experiencing the wild landscape of this dramatic mountainous area. From the Alan Mountain Refuge at the end of our walk, we drive to our overnight accommodation in the nearby village of Licko Lesce.



After breakfast, we'll drive out (1.5 hrs) to Starigrad-Paklenica on the coast. Here, we'll drop off most of our gear at the hotel we will be using in 2 nights' time and get back in our vehicle for the shorter transfer on an at times unsurfaced road up onto the high plateau of Veliki Rujno. We start our walk 900 metres above sea-level beside the small church of Our Lady of Rujno which was built to serve the local farming community who spend much of the year in isolated mountain hamlets as they keep a watch over their herds of cattle. The church was rebuilt in 1930 thanks to the dedication of a local priest and enthusiastic mountaineer, Don Ante Adžija. An annual procession in August sees hundreds of pilgrims make their way up the mountain to the chapel for mass. Following dirt roads and cattle trails, our walk takes us east below the high limestone crest of the Paklenika. We cross a blunt spur with views out to the islands in the Adriatic and then drop down into a forested bowl where we find the little hamlet of Ramici. Our overnight accommodate here is in a simple homestay (with dormitory rooms and shared facilities) where we are, nevertheless, guaranteed a warm welcome and delicious home cooked food.



After breakfast at the homestay, we'll transfer out to the start of our next walk in one of the more spectacular sections of the Paklenica National Park. Inhabited since prehistoric times, this rugged limestone region was granted national park status in 1949, due to its unique natural features and magnificent black pine forests. We start our walk through the canyon of Velika Paklenica, surrounded by huge walls and the remains of old water mills. These ancient buildings, built in the 19th century and still in use up until the 1960s, are well preserved cultural monuments and maintained by the national park authorities. We follow a spectacular serpentine trial that ascends the western wall of the canyon and finish our walk at the Manita Cave. This enchanting cave has been attracting visitors since 1937 with its stunning formations - the Helmet, the Organ and the Witch to name a few. At times during today's walk we can look across to the coastal islands of Rab and Pag and the archipelago (and national park) of Kornati. After exploring the cave we return to the coastal town of Starigrad-Paklenica. The rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy a walk beside the sea or just relax with a drink in one of the many pavement cafes or local bars.



After breakfast we transfer (45 minutes) to the picturesque area of the Krupa River situated under the steep slopes of Velebit Mountain. This beautiful little river starts its life as a small spring and runs through the sinuous Krupa Canyon until its junction with the River Zrmanja. Tucked away amongst the canyons and caves of this compact limestone region there are lots of tiny hamlets and farms. Our short walk today takes us into the canyon of the Krupa River until we can drop down to a pretty series of cataracts interspersed with emerald green pools. Across the top of one of the falls there is an ancient (and amazing) drystone bridge, Kudin Most, reputed to have been built by a local boy whose young love lived on the other side of the river. From Krupa we transfer to Zadar where the rest of the afternoon is free to explore. Zadar is a vibrant, warm place with city walls built under Venetian rule. You'll find four old city gates - St Rok, Chain Gate, Land Gate and the Port Gate which sports the winged lion symbol of the Venetian Empire. Zadar has two wonderful attractions designed by local artist Nikola Basic. The Sun Salutation is a 22 metre circle filled with 300 multi layered glass plates which collect solar energy all day and powers the harbour lighting. In the evening its a wonderful light show from sunset to sunrise which is popular with locals. The second highlight is the Sea Organ, which is a great place to sit as pipes set in steps whistle and sigh from the movement of the water. St Donatus' Church and the Franciscan Monastery are beautiful buildings. Dating from the 9th century, St Donatus' is an unusual circular Byzantine church and only one of a handful of buildings that survived the Mongol invasion of the 13th century. The Franciscan Monastery houses a Gothic church from 1280 and a small treasury. If you prefer to sit and watch the world go by, then People's Square is the place to go.

*Food for thought: Grilled fish - mackerel or sardines are seasoned with olive oil and Mediterranean herbs, then grilled before being served alongside Swiss chard and potatoes. The result is simple and mouth-watering. Pasticada is slow-cooked marinated beef served with gnocchi. This traditional Dalmatian dish is prepared with special care.



After breakfast, we leave Zadar for a short transfer (1hr) to the beautiful Krka National Park. Created by the Krka River, arguably the most picturesque river in Croatia, this stunningly beautiful national park can only be described as a limestone phenomenon. We start off by exploring the park on foot before taking a memorable boat ride through the Krka Canyon, passing cascading falls to the spectacular Roski Slap. In the afternoon we drive to Split, Croatia's second largest city, which has an atmospheric mix of modern buildings, UNESCO palaces, old city walls, a beautiful promenade (the Riva), as well as a spectacular mountainous backdrop. More of a living museum, the UNESCO heart of Split or the Diocletian's Palace, is one of the most imposing Roman ruins in Europe. A melting pot of cafes and restaurants, alongside a military fortress, winding back streets, an imperial residence and fortified town, the Diocletian's Palace is hardly a palace but a living museum! Along with the Cathedral, town museum and cosmopolitan promenade, Split is a beautiful town with a breath taking backdrop and sweeping sea views. After regrouping in the evening, you'll head out to one of the city's many excellent restaurants for dinner.

*Food for though: Prosciutto (air dried ham) is a must try alongside Pag cheese and fresh bread. Pag cheese is produced from sheep which graze on hilly areas where the grass is exposed to frequent wind and salt, giving it a wonderfully tangy taste. A great way to start a Dalmatian meal is to have salted anchovies served with a squeeze of lemon juice. One of the most famous Dalmatian fish dishes is brudet. This fish stew is prepared with different types of fish and wine which is simmered over a low heat. Black risotto and calamari (grilled or fried) are specialities on the Dalmatian coast and at their freshest.



Your holiday ends after breakfast. A single timed airport transfer is provided for clients leaving on this day.


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Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • A professional and qualified tour leader
  • Single timed airport transfers on arrival & departure
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • All land and ferry transport required by the itinerary
  • National Park entrance fees

  • Travel insurance
  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Extra activities and excursions not part of the itinerary
  • Tips
  • Miscellaneous personal expenditure - drinks and souvenirs etc

The group will meet at the hotel in Zagreb.

A single timed transfer from Zagreb Airport to the first nights hotel is provided.

On the last day of the Land Only itinerary, there will be a single transfer to Split Airport for flights departing in the late afternoon.

Anyone may join the group transfers by prior arrangement. Travelling as a group or on public transport saves energy. If this is not practical, we can provide private transfers at an additional cost. Taxis are also available.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 5 dinners are included in the holiday price.

Many places on this holiday have drinkable water from the tap to fill your personal water bottles. Please check with the leader at the various locations. Please take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) for days when drinking water out of the tap is not available. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Croatia has a fantastic variety of food due to the rich influence of the Mediterranean and Central Europe, which means that there is something for everyone’s tastes. Breakfasts are continental in style with bread, cheese, meats, jams, tea and coffee etc. Due to its close proximity to Italy there are few towns on the coast without a pizzeria, which are always simple, reasonably priced and excellent. Whilst on the coast fresh seafood is extremely popular and shouldn’t be missed.

Croatians enjoy fresh vegetables and side salads with dinner, alongside turkey, pork, chicken or fish. Cevapcici are very thin sausages, or kebabs, made from minced meat and a popular local dish. There is also plenty of good choices for vegetarians with Italian risottos, gnocchi and pastas on menus. Alongside the excellent food, Croatian wine is fantastic and very reasonably priced. Good quality wines are available by the glass and generally Croatians order wine by the glass, half litre or litre. After dinner digestives are extremely popular and worth a try, ranging from the warming and delicious honey, walnut and blackberry brandies to the fiery pear, herb and plum schnapps!

Accommodation on this holiday is in a variety of comfortable hotels and local guesthouses with 1 night in a simple homestay on a dormitory basis.

If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex (except for the 1 night which is in a dormitory). Single rooms for the 6 nights are available for a supplementary cost. If you are planning on extending your holiday additional nights at the group hotel are available on request.

The group will be led by a professional and qualified tour leader.

£200 should be sufficient to cover all non included meals and reasonable personal expenses. ATM’s are readily available in the towns of Zagreb, Zadar and Split plus on arrival at Zagreb Airport. The local currency in Croatia is the kuna, which can be obtained from exchange offices, banks and ATMs. The leader on arrival will offer advice on obtaining local currency.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.


Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.


You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

The unit of currency in Croatia is the euro.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

This holiday is part of our Explore International range. Participants on these trips can book through KE or through one of our international partners. This helps us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get your holiday up and running quickly. Led by an English-speaking guide, the cosmopolitan nature of these groups can be an important part of the experience!

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You should bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots
  • Trainers or sandals
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Trekking trousers / pants
  • Windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
  • Thermal baselayer shirts
  • T-shirts and/or casual shirts
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Eyewear - sunglasses
  • Daypack c. 30 litres / 1800 cubic inches
  • Headtorch / headlamp with spare batteries
  • Sun protection (including for lips)
  • Water bottles 1 litre / 1 quart (x2) (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Swimwear
  • Small towel
  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment, insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets.

The following items are optional:

  • Gaiters
  • Trekking poles
  • Shorts
  • Insect repellant - (DEET)
  • Camera, media, spare batteries
  • Small padlock (to lock your main luggage)
  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)


  • During this holiday there are a number of occasions when you will need to carry your KE bag for short distances. Some clients have found that a piece of luggage with wheels makes sense for this holiday.

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more


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More Information

  • Walking Croatia's Coast & Mountains - Private Dunn
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: CACA/01/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 20 Sep and ends on Sat 27 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$515
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining at the hotel in Zagreb. A single timed transfer is included from Zagreb Airport. The holidays ends in Split. A single airport transfers on departure to Split Airport is included.


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)

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