Activities

Bicycling

Visitors can explore cycling trails riding their own bicycles. Six cycling trails with mixed gravel and asphalt surface can be combined. Passing through the settlements of Velebit characterized by traditional architecture, these trails take cyclists through extraordinary forest and mountain landscapes offering views of the sea and Velebitski kanal, the sea channel below the mountain.

Senj – Oltari

All three trails take cyclists along the western slope of Velebit facing the sea and offering views of the Kvarner Bay and the islands. The trails are local and forest marked roads that connect small picturesque mountain settlements interspersed with rocky grasslands, pine and beech forests, as well as impressive sea vistas. In their initial section (8 kilometers long), trails Senj – Oltari and Sv. Juraj – Oltari are marked by a relatively high gradient, so the climb requires significant effort. However, the climb gets milder later on with the switch to gravel surface, and the effort is awarded with wonderful views.

Viewpoint Crni vrh represents a must-see destination in this area, offering views of the entire Kvarner region, the islands and the coastline of Velebit. Trail Vratnik – Oltari begins at 700 meters above sea level, making it a less demanding trail compared to trails Senj – Oltari and Sv. Juraj – Oltari, but no less attractive. 

Trail length: 19.4 km

Elevation difference: 903 m

Recommended time of year for visit: Spring, summer, autumn

Bicycle rental possibilities: Not available

Trail type: Asphalt 54%, gravel 46%

Note: This trail can be combined with trails Sv. Juraj – Oltari and Vratnik – Oltari, turning into a loop tour.

Sv. Juraj – Oltari

All three trails take cyclists along the western slope of Velebit facing the sea and offering views of the Kvarner Bay and the islands. The trails are local and forest marked roads that connect small picturesque mountain settlements interspersed with rocky grasslands, pine and beech forests, as well as impressive sea vistas. In their initial section (8 kilometers long), trails Senj – Oltari and Sv. Juraj – Oltari are marked by a relatively high gradient, so the climb requires significant effort. However, the climb gets milder later on with the switch to gravel surface, and the effort is awarded with wonderful views.

Viewpoint Crni vrh represents a must-see destination in this area, offering views of the entire Kvarner region, the islands and the coastline of Velebit. Trail Vratnik – Oltari begins at 700 meters above sea level, making it a less demanding trail compared to trails Senj – Oltari and Sv. Juraj – Oltari, but no less attractive.

Trail length: 17 km

Elevation difference: 947 m

Recommended time of year for visit: Spring, summer, autumn

Bicycle rental possibilities: Not available

Trail type: Asphalt 62%, gravel 38%

Note: This trail can be combined with trails Senj – Oltari and Vratnik – Oltari, turning into a loop tour.

Vratnik – Oltari

All three trails take cyclists along the western slope of Velebit facing the sea and offering views of the Kvarner Bay and the islands. The trails are local and forest marked roads that connect small picturesque mountain settlements interspersed with rocky grasslands, pine and beech forests, as well as impressive sea vistas. In their initial section (8 kilometers long), trails Senj – Oltari and Sv. Juraj – Oltari are marked by a relatively high gradient, so the climb requires significant effort. However, the climb gets milder later on with the switch to gravel surface, and the effort is awarded with wonderful views.

Viewpoint Crni vrh represents a must-see destination in this area, offering views of the entire Kvarner region, the islands and the coastline of Velebit. Trail Vratnik – Oltari begins at 700 meters above sea level, making it a less demanding trail compared to trails Senj – Oltari and Sv. Juraj – Oltari, but no less attractive. 

Trail length: 14.8 km

Elevation difference: 256 m

Recommended time of year for visit: Spring, summer, autumn

Bicycle rental possibilities: Not available

Trail type: Asphalt 43%, gravel 57%

Note: This trail can be combined with trails Senj – Oltari and Sv. Juraj – Oltari, turning into a loop tour.

Oltari – Duliba – Krasno

Starting at Oltari, we first cycle along the LC 1933 local road through the forest all the way to Krasno. Half way along the route, we come across an intersection of trails, with the branch proceeding to the right leading towards the Northern Velebit National Park, and the branch proceeding straight continuing towards Krasno – a mountain settlement with 450 inhabitants, located in the very heart of the northern part of Velebit. This settlement is characterized by 13 hamlets located along the edge of the field.

Krasno has four cycling loop trails, marked by different colors on the map. Cyclists who decide to take these trails will get acquainted with the settlement, while enjoying panoramic views of this largest settlement of Velebit and the peaks that surround it. Information center of the National Park and the Forestry Museum are also available for visits.

Trail length: 10.8 km

Elevation difference: 207 m

Recommended time of year for visit: Spring, summer, autumn

Bicycle rental possibilities: Not available

Trail type: Asphalt 71%, gravel 29%

Note: There are four cycling loop trails in Krasno that can serve as continuation of this trail.

Oltari – Zavižan – Lom – Lubenovac – Alan

Starting at Oltari, the trail towards the Northern Velebit National Park proceeds along the asphalt road to the point where we reach the official Park entrance at Babić Siča. The trail then continues along gravel surface to Zavižan and Mali Lom, where it connects with the ŽC 5126 asphalt road. The trail then proceeds southwards and turns right in the form of a gravel trail after three kilometers, at Careva kuća mountain hut. This gravel section takes us across Lubenovac all the way to Alan.

The trail passes through wonderful areas where visitors can learn a lot about the unique characteristics of Velebit, enjoying unforgettable landscapes and abundant biodiversity, while admiring impressive peaks under which they cycle. There are also opportunities to relax on the terraces of mountain lodges Zavižan and Alan, watching a uniquely beautiful sunset.

Trail length: 44.5 km

Elevation difference: 207 m

Recommended time of year for visit: Spring, summer, autumn

Bicycle rental possibilities: Not available

Trail type: Asphalt 32%, gravel 68%

Alan – Mrkvište – Štirovača

Starting from the Alan mountain hut, the trail proceeds eastwards. For two kilometers, the route of this trail follows the route of Oltari – Alan trail, and then it continues straight towards Mrkvište, where we connect with the ŽC 5126 asphalt road and descend along hairpin bends to Štirovača for 3 kilometers. This trail offers a pleasant cycling experience along one of the oldest preserved roads of Velebit, built in 1860. The road originally served for the transport of logs from Štirovača to Jablanac.

The trail offers wonderful views of grassland plateaus of Mirovo, Tudorevo, Bilenski padež, Šegotski padež and Dundović padež, with the remains of shepherds' dwellings still visible. As we reach the final destination, we are welcomed by a completely different image of Velebit – the wide valley of Štirovača with its impressive coniferous forest and crystal-clear creeks winding through it. A sip of cold water from the spring of Štirovača will serve as deserved award for the effort.

Trail length: 11.9 km

Elevation difference: 227 m

Recommended time of year for visit: Spring, summer, autumn

Bicycle rental possibilities: Not available

Trail type: Asphalt 30%, gravel 70%

Hiking/walking

Velebit is a major attraction for hikers, with as many as fifteen hiking trails in the protected area. Without a doubt, the best known trail is the Premužić Trail, passing along the peak areas of northern and central parts of Velebit. With its 57 kilometers, it also represents a superb example of trail construction. Hikers usually pass it north to south, starting from Zavižan mountain lodge and ending at Oštarijska vrata.

Premužić Trail

If you have decided to take a walk along the Premužić Trail, depending on your fitness level and available transport, we recommend several tours. You can go for a full-day excursion by starting from the north (Zavižan) or south (Alan) towards the site of Rossijeva koliba, which takes approximately two or three hours of hiking respectively. You can return to the starting point along the same route. If you are in the mood for more hiking, you can descend towards Lubenovačka vrata via Fabin dolac.

The return to Zavižan is possible across Škrbina draga, and return to Alan is possible across Lubenovac and Tudorevo. The return hike will take more time – 4 to 5 hours. If you can organize transport by vehicle, we recommend that you go for a hike along the section of the Premužić Trail between two mountain lodges. That will take 5 to 6 hours.

Trail length: 14.8 km

Trail difficulty: Easy / medium difficulty

Elevation difference: 550 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes, layered clothes

Availability of drinking water: Available: mountain lodges PD Alan, PD Zavižan

Zavižan – tour of the peaks of Zavižan

A climb taking ten or so minutes takes us from Zavižan mountain lodge to the peak of Vučjak (1644 m.a.s.l.). Climb to Velika kosa (1622 m.a.s.l.) is very easy too, and if we take a somewhat steeper trail, we can descend from that locality to the Velebit Botanical Garden, walk through the Garden along the loop trail, and then return to the mountain lodge by taking either the road or the trail.

This hike takes slightly less than two hours. A more demanding and time-consuming alternative is to climb from Velika kosa to the peak of Balinovac 1602 meters above sea level (at one point, the climb requires holding onto a peg!), followed by the return from Balinovac down the scree terrain onto the loop trail leading to the Velebit Botanical Garden.

Trail length: 3 km

Trail difficulty: Medium difficulty

Elevation difference: 250 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes, layered clothes

Availability of drinking water: Available: mountain lodge PD Zavižan

Zavižan – Mali Rajinac – Rossijeva koliba – Zavižan

Hikers who wish to spend an entire day on a loop tour can start from Zavižan mountain lodge along the hiking trail leading to the highest peak of the northern part of Velebit – Mali Rajinac (1699 m.a.s.l.), located in the Velebit Nature Park. From there, after descending to the Zavižan – Veliki Lom road, hikers should continue across Škrbine drage and climb to the mountain shelter Rossijeva koliba. What follows from there is the well-known Premužić Trail, enjoyable in the beauty of its surrounding stone peaks. Hikers then return to Zavižan mountain lodge.

Trail length: 9 km

Trail difficulty: Difficult

Elevation difference: 360 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes, layered clothes

Availability of drinking water: Available: mountain lodge PD Zavižan

Zavižan – Veliki Zavižan

There are two ways for hikers to reach Veliki Zavižan, the highest peak of the Northern Velebit National Park (at 1676 m.a.s.l.). The first and easier ascent to the peak starts at the entrance to the Velebit Botanical Garden. The route takes us through alternating forest and meadow sections, turning into mountain pine thicket towards the end. The second route starts in the Velebit Botanical Garden. It is very steep, and it is better to use it for descent from the peak. The peak itself is rocky and barren, thus offering a stunning view.

Trail length: 2 km

Trail difficulty: Easy / medium difficulty

Elevation difference: 180 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes, layered clothes

Availability of drinking water: Available: mountain lodge PD Zavižan

Zavižan – Pivčevac

This hiking trail begins at the mountain lodge Zavižan and takes hikers to the peak of Veliki Pivčevac (1676 m.a.s.l.), named after pivac, the local name for grouse. The peak offers views of the entire Northern Velebit, the grasslands of Krasnarska jezera and the areas of Hajdučki kukovi, Rožanski kukovi and Mali Rajinac.

A steep trail descending from the peak leads to the Zavižan – Veliki Lom road that hikers can take in order to return to the mountain lodge. In the immediate vicinity of the intersection of hiking trail and the road, we come across a relatively small pit of Vukušić snižnica (1470 – 1450 m.a.s.l.), hidden between the rocks so that sunshine never reaches it. As a result, snow is retained in the pit during the summer months as well. The site is named after the family of Vukušić that used the pit as an important source of water and ice.

Trail length: 4 km

Trail difficulty: Medium difficulty

Elevation difference: 250 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes, layered clothes

Availability of drinking water: Available: mountain lodge PD Zavižan

Alan – Buljma

This hiking trail leads from the mountain hut Alan to Buljma along the mountain ridge, and the peak itself is located at 1451 meters above sea level. From the peak, hikers descend to the southern section of the Premužić Trail, and then they can take the road to return to the mountain hut. This short excursion without major climbs, offering pleasant views of the sea and the valley of Mirovo, takes approximately 1.5 hours of hiking.

Trail length: 0.5 km

Trail difficulty: Easy

Elevation difference: 150 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes, layered clothes

Availability of drinking water: Available: mountain lodge PD Alan

Alan – Alančić

The peak of Alančić (1612 m.a.s.l.) can be reached from the Alan mountain hut in about one hour of hiking northwards along the Premužić trail. This peak is covered in grassland, and it offers a magnificent view of a considerable part of the northern and central areas of Velebit and of the sea.

Trail length: ~2 km

Trail difficulty: Easy / medium difficulty

Elevation difference: 160 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes, layered clothes

Availability of drinking water: Available: mountain lodge PD Alan

Alan – Zečjak

The climb to the peak of Zečjak (1622 m.a.s.l.) takes approximately two hours of hiking in one direction. From the mountain hut Alan, the route first leads along the road towards Štirovača, and then along the Premužić Trail to the south. The climb to Zečak follows from there. Hikers can return from the peak along the same route, or they can proceed via Kita to the road at the Veliki Alan mountain pass. Zečjak is the second-highest peak of the central part of Velebit, with Šatorina as the highest peak.

Trail length: 9.6 km

Trail difficulty: Difficult

Elevation difference: 260 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes, layered clothes

Availability of drinking water: Available: mountain lodge PD Alan

Alan – Veliki Golić – Goljak

Hikers can reach the peak of Goljak (1605 m.a.s.l.) in the Velebit Nature Park by turning from the road that leads to Štirovača to the road leading towards Veliki Lubenovac. We then quickly reach the hiking trail that branches off towards Veliki Golić and Goljak. The peak of Goljak offers lovely views of Veliki Kozjak, Kita, Bilenski padež and other peaks in the wider surroundings. This loop trail is attractive due to the fact that it mostly passes along grassland areas, and it is not excessively demanding due to absence of difficult climbs.

Trail length: 4.5 km

Trail difficulty: Medium difficulty

Elevation difference: 300 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes, layered clothes

Availability of drinking water: Available: mountain lodge PD Alan

Alan – Veliki Lubenovac

The site of Veliki Lubenovac is a wonderful grassland area with the remains of shepherds' dwellings. It can be reached by departing from Alan along the Premužić Trail towards the north, and then turning right at the branch leading towards Krajačev kuk. We then begin descending along the hiking trail. We can return to Alan by taking the hiking trail, and then continuing along the gravel road that passes next to the grasslands of Tudorevo.

Hikers wishing to engage in a more demanding excursion can climb to Veliki Kozjak. This site can be reached by taking the hiking trail that leads from Veliki Lubenovac. This additional climb to one of the most beautiful peaks of this part of Velebit takes approximately two hours of hiking. The peak of Veliki Kozjak offers a magnificent view of Veliki Lubenovac, Goljak, Hajdučki kukovi and Rožanski kukovi, extending northwards all the way to Vučjak and the mountain lodge Zavižan.

Trail length: 5.2 km

Trail difficulty: Easy

Elevation difference: 140 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes, layered clothes

Availability of drinking water: Available: mountain lodge PD Alan

Oltari – Babić Siča – Zavižan

The trail begins on the road leading towards Zavižan. Starting from the Babić Siča entrance to the National Park, we can reach Zavižan along two educational trails. The trail Staza zviri (Wildlife Path) mostly leads through beech forest, taking 1.5 hours of hiking. The trail Trag čovika (In the Footsteps of Man) passes mostly along the littoral slope, taking 2 hours of hiking to get to Zavižan.

Trail length: 7.8 km

Trail difficulty: Medium difficulty

Elevation difference: 655 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes, layered clothes

Availability of drinking water: Available: mountain lodge PD Zavižan

Krasno – Jezera – Zavižan

The starting point of this climb is in the settlement of Krasno. The built trail leads roughly to the middle of the climb, and the route continues from there in the form of a hiking trail in good condition. The first part of the climb is rather hard, taking hikers along consecutive bends until they reach a mountain pass and arrive to the area of Jezera. From there, we continue hiking along a grassland plateau to the intersection of hiking trails.

This part of the trail is marked by small poles, so hikers can follow the route more easily, and the poles can also get very useful as orientation in winter climbs. When we reach the intersection of hiking trails, we need to follow the signposts for mountain lodge PD Zavižan. The trail continues further, passing around sinkholes and entering tall beech forest. We then reach the road leading to Zavižan, slightly before the parking lot, cross the road, and turn onto a built trail that takes us all the way to the mountain lodge.

Trail length: 7.8 km

Trail difficulty: Difficult

Elevation difference: 880 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes, layered clothes

Availability of drinking water: Available: mountain lodge PD Zavižan, Krasno

Jablanac – Alan

In the summertime, due to the heat, hikers are advised to take sufficient drinking water supplies and to depart as early in the morning as possible. From the mountain hut Miroslav Hirtz, we follow the markings as we hike uphill. After 4 kilometers, the trail passes across the Adriatic Highway approximately one kilometer south of the gas station above the settlement of Jablanac. We continue hiking through rocky terrain until we reach the asphalt road leading towards Alan. We proceed to the right for approximately one hundred meters, and then we turn left to the trail leading towards Turska vrata (Turkish Gate).

As we pass this site, we enter a somewhat more forested and flatter part of Donja Branjevina. After that, we mostly climb through the forest, crossing the road leading towards Alan on two occasions, until we reach the former industrial cableway, where we cross the road for the third time and come to the meadow of Alan, where we can already see the mountain hut. This route takes approximately 4 hours of hiking.

Trail length: 9 km

Trail difficulty: Difficult

Elevation difference: 1350 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes, layered clothes

Availability of drinking water: Available: mountain lodge PD Alan, Jablanac

Babić Siča – Šarin šarinac – Ciganište – Paljež – Modrić dolac – Plančica – Vukušić duliba – Vujinac – Struge – Oštrik – Alan

Marked longitudinal hiking trail taking hikers along the littoral side of Velebit branches from the entrance to the National Park at Babić Siča, halfway between Oltar and Zavižan. The trail is very picturesque, passing through abandoned hamlets of shepherds' dwellings that were used in summer by the locals in the past. The trail leads through groves and across the grasslands, with wonderful views of the sea and the islands.

This trail is an alternative to the Premužić Trail, but it is more demanding in terms of required time and fitness level. That is why it might be particularly interesting to more curious and experienced hikers who wish to explore less known and less used trails. The route is predominantly oriented southwards, and it passes along approximately two thirds of the mountain's height. The trail leads through terraces spreading in a longitudinal direction, and it cuts across two trails climbing up the mountain from the sea – first the trail that leads towards Zavižan, and then the trail leading towards Rossijeva koliba. Finally, this hiking trail ends as it reaches the road leading to Alan, two minutes of hiking away from the Alan mountain hut. The route takes ten hours of hiking. 

Trail length: 18.2 km

Trail difficulty: Difficult

Elevation difference: 1060 m

Recommended time of year for visit: Summer

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes, layered clothes

Availability of drinking water: Available: mountain lodge PD Alan

Note: This demanding trail is suitable only for experienced hikers, and only in summer months.

Gornja Klada – Zavižan

The route of this trail begins at Gornja Klada, next to the chapel, leading to the end of the asphalt road, where the markings direct us to a well-adapted and well-built hiking trail. In a constant climb, we pass below the peaks of Biondinovača and Dujkovača. Continuing further along the winding trail, we reach Babrovača and summer dwellings of the Vukušić family. The trail ascends from Babrovača to Ciganište. After that, section of the educational trail Trag čovika (In the Footsteps of Man) takes us further to Zavižan. The climb takes approximately 4 hours.

Trail length: 8 km

Trail difficulty: Medium difficulty

Elevation difference: 1300 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes, layered clothes

Availability of drinking water: Available: mountain lodge PD Zavižan, Gornja Klada

Educational trails

Velebit can be explored by walking in the footsteps of man, wildlife and shepherds, or even by facing the temper of Zavižan weather... Eight educational trails are available, and visitors will not make a mistake whichever trail they choose. The only thing that remains to be done is to plan when to come to Velebit again, in order to explore even more routes, enjoy diverse flora and fauna, and discover the remains of a unique way of life visible in traditional architecture. It is impossible not to be impressed by the immense peaks and valleys of the mountain.

Staza zviri (Wildlife Path)

This is the shortest path to reach Zavižan on foot, and it takes approximately 1.5 hours of hiking. This trail teaches visitors about various interesting animal species of Northern Velebit. It is possible to come across traces of some of these species, or even to see them during the walk.

Trail length: 3.6 km

Duration: 1.5 hours

Elevation difference: 311 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Trail type: Hiking trail

Number of interpretation panels: 6

Trag čovika (In the Footsteps of Man)

The trail leads along the sea-facing side of Velebit, and follows the old shepherd paths. It takes approximately three hours of hiking. As visitors walk along the trail, they can learn about the harsh traditional way of life of people who lived in this area for centuries.

Trail length: 5.3 km

Duration: 3 hours

Elevation difference: 311 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Trail type: Hiking trail

Number of interpretation panels: 8

Vremenske ćudi Zavižana (The Temper of Zavižan Weather)

This educational trail dedicated to meteorology was designed in the autumn of 2011, in cooperation with the National Hydrological and Meteorological Service. The trail links the parking lot below Vučjak with the mountain lodge and weather station of Zavižan, continuing further to the very peak of Vučjak.

Trail length: 0.5 km

Duration: 20 minutes

Elevation difference: ~100 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Trail type: Hiking trail

Number of interpretation panels: 17

Velebit Botanical Garden

On the occasion of 40 years since the establishment of the Velebit Botanical Garden, fifteen information panels have been placed in the Garden, offering visitors an even better insight into the plant life of Northern Velebit and its diversity, including many endemic species and other rare and protected species. Visitors can thus see all the effort, enthusiasm and love invested by numerous scientists, experts, workers and gardeners who cared for the Garden.

Trail length: 0.8 km

Duration: 30 minutes

Elevation difference: ~20 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Trail type: Hiking trail

Number of interpretation panels: 15

Štirovača

This trail is dedicated to the only water-rich area in the Northern Velebit National Park, describing its geological characteristics and biodiversity, as well as history of forestry and forest management in the area.

Trail length: 1 km

Duration: 40 minutes

Elevation difference: 0 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Trail type: Hiking trail, gravel

Number of interpretation panels: 11

Put pastira (Shepherd Trail)

This trail acquaints visitors with the biological and landscape values of the grasslands of Lubenovac and the strict reserve of Hajdučki kukovi and Rožanski kukovi. Grasslands are a threatened habitat, disappearing due to natural vegetation succession on the slopes of Velebit as a result of abandonment of livestock breeding.

Trail length: 1,5 km

Duration: 50 minutes

Elevation difference: 50 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Trail type: Forest path, hiking trail

Number of interpretation panels: 6

Premužić Trail

The section of the Premužić Trail located in the Northern Velebit National Park is equipped with 26 educational panels creating a mosaic of information consisting of geology, speleology, plant and animal world, and cultural heritage of the area.

Trail length: 14.8 km

Duration: 6 hours

Elevation difference: 550 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Trail type: Hiking trail

Number of interpretation panels: 26

Park Management

Visitors get acquainted with the localities and attractions of the Northern Velebit National Park, coupled with photographs and quotations of numerous Velebit enthusiasts.

Trail length: 0.1 km

Duration: 15 minutes

Elevation difference: 0 m

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Accessible

Trail type: Area around the Park Administration building

Number of interpretation panels: 12

Schools in nature

In a small green workshop, elementary school children learn about the basics of meteorology, botany and natural science. The school adapts to weather conditions. Although the school in nature program takes five hours, it is not tiresome for children; instead, the beauty of having a classroom in nature reinvigorates the participants.

Little Green Workshop

Educational program Little Green Workshop has been prepared for elementary school children. It includes the following available programs: Little Meteorologist; Little Botanist and Little Natural Scientist.

Target age group: Lower grades of elementary school

Duration: Up to 5 hours

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Suitable for individual / group visits: Group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Guided tours

Three guided tours cover diverse aspects of the National Park, based on the interests of visitors. Those interested in meteorology will head to the area of Zavižan. Tour of the Premužić Trail is also on offer, as well as a tour program designed for visitors who wish to get acquainted with the wilderness of Velebit and its carnivore species. In order to ensure a pleasant and safe experience of guided tours, visitors will need hiking shoes, suitable clothes and sufficient drinking water.

Half-day tour

Visit to the Zavižan meteorological station and the Botanical Garden, coupled with a climb to one of the mountain peaks of the Zavižan area.

Duration: Up to 4 hours

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions. 

Suitable for individual / group visits: The tour is suitable for groups, but it can also be arranged for individual visits.

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes; layered clothes; sun protection; sufficient water

Note: The tour route is adjusted to the wishes of the group.

Full-day tour

Visit to the Premužić Trail and the Botanical Garden.

Duration: Up to 8 hours

Recommended time of year for visit: The usual visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November, depending on weather conditions.

Suitable for individual / group visits: The tour is suitable for groups, but it can also be arranged for individual visits.

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes; layered clothes; sun protection; sufficient water

Note: The tour route is adjusted to the wishes of the group.

Wildlife watch

Tour of most of the Park, with a focus on wildlife.

Duration: Up to 8 hours

Suitable for individual / group visits: The tour is suitable for small groups, but it can also be arranged for individual visits.

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Recommended equipment: Hiking shoes; layered clothes; sun protection; sufficient water

Accommodation and catering

Author: Ante Vukušić
Most accommodation capacities are located in mountain huts. Visitors should check the opening times prior to visit, as well as available accommodation capacity and catering options. Good preparation is a guarantee of pleasant stay, and nature enthusiasts will certainly enjoy direct contact with nature and the mountain.

Mountain lodge - Zavižan

Zavižan mountain lodge is a two-storey building built on the foundations of the previous facility called Krajačeva kuća. The lodge offers essential catering services, and visitors can also prepare their own food.

The ground floor includes the kitchen, one joint dormitory with 14 beds, and dining room that can seat 40 persons. On the first floor, there is one double bedroom, one room with four beds, and one dormitory with 8 beds. Rooms and dormitories are equipped with bunk beds and linen, so having one's own sleeping bag is not necessary. The lodge has electricity supply and a phone line. The facility has a water reservoir with limited capacity, and visitors are urged to save water. During the peak season, visitors are advised to make accommodation reservations in advance. In front of the lodge, there is a terrace that can seat approximately 50 persons.

Important information:

Open: permanently
Water: rainwater reservoir
Number of beds: 28
Dining area seats: 40
Services: food by arrangement; drinks
Shower: available
Electricity: available

Contact:

Phone:

  • 00385(0)53 614 209 
  • 00385(0)53 614 203

 

Mountain hut - Alan

This mountain hut is a two-storey log house. The upper level has five rooms with 40 beds. The ground floor includes an equipped kitchen where visitors can prepare and consume food and drinks. Behind the house, there is a water reservoir, and the kitchen has water supply during the summer season. Visitors are urged to be very careful when using water, and to save it as much as possible.

Water for hygienic purposes is provided next to the mountain hut. There is no electric lighting. Visitors are advised to bring their own sleeping bags. For those visitors who do not have sleeping bags, there is sufficient quantity of blankets that are also needed in the summer. Mountain hut Alan is managed by the Commercial Section of the Hiking and Orientation Club Sljeme from Zagreb. Continuous caretaking is organized at the lodge from mid-June until the end of October, and caretakers on duty are available on weekends in the remaining part of year. In the period when no caretakers on duty are present, this facility is open to hikers as mountain shelter with the most essential equipment. Mountain hut Alan has various beverages on offer, and simple dishes are prepared by arrangement and based on available resources.

Important information:

Open: permanently from the end of May until the end of October; outside of the main season usually open on Sundays
Water: rainwater reservoir
Number of beds: 40
Dining area seats: 30
Services: simple meals, drinks
Shower: not available
Electricity: not available

Contact:

Cell:

  • 00385(0)99 5154 999

E-mail:

Web:

Mountain shelter - Rossijeva koliba

Mountain shelter Rossijeva koliba was built in 1929. It is located next to the Premužić Trail, approximately two hours of hiking away from Zavižan.
The shelter is intended only for short stays in case of necessity or bad weather.

Mountain hut - Apatišan

Facility is located at 1112 meters above sea level.

Important information:

Number of beds: 12
Facility open: by arrangement
Facility supplies: partially supplied

Contact:

Contact person:
Josip Tomaić

Phone:

  • 00385(0)53 851 145

Cell:

  • 00385(0)98 9070 495

Facility managed by:
HPD Rajinac, Krasno

Note: 

Located in the vicinity of the Northern Velebit National Park.

Mountain hut - Careva kuća

Facility is located at 1180 meters above sea level.

Important information:

Number of beds: 26
Facility open: by arrangement
Facility supplies: no supplies

Contact:

Contact person:
Ante Plavčić

Phone:

  • 00385(0)53 772 298

Cell:

  • 00385(0)98 975 7564

Facility managed by:
HHPD Gromovača, Otočac

Note:

Located in the vicinity of the Northern Velebit National Park.

Mountain hut - Mrkvište

Facility is located at 1276 meters above sea level.

Important information:

Number of beds: 45
Facility open: by arrangement
Facility supplies: no supplies

Contact:

Contact person:
Neda Turina

Cell:

  • 00385(0)98 755 200

Facility managed by:
HPD Zavižan, Senj

Note:

Located in the vicinity of the Northern Velebit National Park.

Mountain hut - Kugina kuća

Facility is located at 1180 meters above sea level.

Important information:

Number of beds: 30
Facility open: by arrangement
Facility supplies: partially supplied

Contact:

Contact person:
Tomislav Čanić

Cell:

  • 00385(0)91 563 2075

Facility managed by:
HPD Željezničar, Gospić

Note:

Located in the vicinity of the Northern Velebit National Park.

Mountain hut - Oltari

Facility is located at 940 meters above sea level.

Important information:

Number of beds: 30
Facility open: by arrangement
Facility supplies: no supplies

Contact:

Contact person:
Ljubica Matijašević

Mob.:

  • 00385(0)91 563 2075

Facility managed by:
HPD Sisak, Sisak

Note:

Located in the vicinity of the Northern Velebit National Park.

Attractions

Zavižan

Zavižan is one of the best known localities in the Northern Velebit National Park. At 1594 meters above sea level, below the peak of Vučjak, we come across the Zavižan mountain lodge and the oldest high-altitude meteorological station in Croatia, established in 1953. Given the fact that Velebit represents a natural boundary between the continental and the Mediterranean part of Croatia, two opposing climates meet in the peak area of the mountain – the maritime and the continental climate. This phenomenon causes unpredictable weather conditions, which makes the Zavižan station immensely important for the meteorological community.

Zavižan mountain lodge was built on the foundations of the previous facility called Krajačeva kuća, built in 1927. During World War II, Krajačeva kuća collapsed, and the Croatian Mountaineering Association began constructing a new mountain lodge in 1951, with the help of mountaineers from the town of Senj. The new lodge was opened on July 27, 1953.

Members of the Vukušić family have been doing the work of meteorological observers at the Zavižan station for three generations already. They also take care of the mountain lodge.

On the way towards the mountain lodge, near the chapel of St. Anthony, visitors can get acquainted with the geology and structure of Velebit shown on a geological block with information panels.

Thanks to easy access to Zavižan, coupled with the mountain lodge and other available facilities for visitors (parking lot, toilet facilities, benches, resting areas, etc.), this site represents an excellent starting point for hiking tours of Velebit. If you take any of the hiking trails leading to the surrounding peaks that also serve as viewpoints, you will be able to enjoy amazing views of the islands of the Kvarner Bay area and the mainland region of Lika. Breathtaking vistas offered by a group of Zavižan peaks (Veliki Zavižan, 1676 m.a.s.l.; Balinovac, 1601 m.a.s.l.; (Velika) Zavižanska kosa, 1620 m.a.s.l.; Vučjak, 1644 m.a.s.l.) are bound to enchant visitors who decide to explore them.

Note:

Open during the visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November. The status depends on weather conditions and the passability of roads and trails.

Velebit Botanical Garden

In the immediate vicinity of Zavižan, some fifteen minutes of hiking away from the mountain lodge, we come across the Velebit Botanical Garden. It was established in 1967, thanks to the initiative of Fran Kušan, PhD, professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry in Zagreb. As early as in 1969, the Botanical Garden was officially recognized as a horticultural monument. The guiding idea of the Botanical Garden founders is more than relevant today as well – they wanted to make the abundance of the flora of Velebit accessible not only to scientists, researchers and Velebit enthusiasts, but also to all visitors coming to Northern Velebit. Not long after the establishment of the Garden, the surrounding area Zavižan – Balinovac – Velika kosa was declared a special botanical reserve.

The Botanical Garden is located at 1480 meters above sea level, and its central part includes a sinkhole called Balinovačka ponikva, with a rocky loop trail 600 meters long leading around it. From this site, by taking the available hiking trails, visitors can reach the surrounding peaks – Velika kosa (1622 m.a.s.l.), Balinovac (1602 m.a.s.l.) and Veliki Zavižan (1676 m.a.s.l.). Stone steps leading downwards from the loop trail once took visitors to the bottom of Balinovačka ponikva at 1430 meters above sea level, but they are barely passable today.

There are around 300 plant species growing in the Botanical Garden. Some of these species are autochthonous in the local area, and other plants were brought in from other areas of Velebit. The plants in the Garden include some fairly rare Velebit species – such as the Velebit degenia (Degenia velebitica), Croatian sibbirhaea (Sibirea altaiensis ssp. croatica), karst edelweiss (Leontopodinum alpinum ssp. krasense), Velebit dianthus (Dianthus velebiticus), Kitaibel's primrose (Primula kitabeliana), Kitaibel's columbine (Aquilegia kitaibelii) and Croatian bittercress (Cardaminopsis croatica). A large rock garden with many intriguing species is a particularly interesting part of the Botanical Garden. It takes approximately one hour of easy walking to tour the Botanical Garden, and the best time for visit is during the months of June and July, when most of the vegetation is blooming.

The Garden also includes a botanical station and resting area with benches for visitors. Plant species are marked by nameplates, and information panels emphasize the key natural values of the Garden.

Before the Northern Velebit National Park was established in 1999, the Botanical Garden had been managed by the staff of the Krasno Forestry Office. Scientific work in the Garden was conducted by the Commission for Expert Measures and Monitoring, with renowned scientists and experts as members.

Note:

Open during the visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November. The status depends on weather conditions and the passability of roads and trails.

Premužić Trail

Ideas on how to bring the mountain of Velebit closer to tourists were first discussed in articles written by Croatian mountaineers published in the magazine Hrvatski planinar (Croatian Mountaineer) back in the 1920s. The funds for the construction of the trail were eventually ensured, primarily thanks to the dedication of Ivan Krajač, PhD, Minister of Trade and Industry during the times of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The trail was designed and built by Ante Premužić, forestry engineer, passionate mountaineer and a major Velebit enthusiast. Later on, Croatian hikers named the trail after him, thus honoring its designer.

The construction of the hiking trail began in 1930. It was jointly funded by the Forest Directorate of Sušak (the city of Rijeka), the Croatian Mountaineering Association and the Royal Administration of the Sava Banate. Due to the shortage of funds, the construction of the trail was delayed by an entire season, but the trail was eventually completed in the summer of 1933, when the most difficult section 1.5 kilometers long, leading from Čepuraš to Gromovača, was finished.

Today, the Premužić Trail is considered a genuine masterpiece of construction. Built in a dry stone wall technique, it is designed in such a manner that it allows hikers to very easily explore the most barren and rocky areas of the northern part of Velebit – the strict reserve of Hajdučki kukovi and Rožanski kukovi. Passing along the ridge of the mountain from Zavižan to Baške Oštarije in the central part of Velebit, the trail is 57 kilometers long. Since there are no hard climbs along the trail, it is also suitable for visitors unaccustomed to demanding hiking. Several trails branching from the Premužić Trail lead towards some of the most beautiful peaks in the northern and central areas of the mountain – Gromovača, Crikvena, Šatorina and others. A 16-kilometer section of the Premužić Trail passes through the Northern Velebit National Park, and the mountain shelter Rossijeva koliba is located approximately two hours of hiking away from Zavižan.

In 2009, the entire Premužić Trail was officially protected as cultural heritage of national importance. Information panels placed along the trail add to the experience of pristine beauty offered by the Park.

Note:

Open during the visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November. The status depends on weather conditions and the passability of roads and trails.

Alan

The locality of Alan with its surroundings is an area of wide mountain grasslands, karst valleys and slopes, with picturesque peaks towering above them. Veliki Alan (1414 m.a.s.l.) is one of the most important mountain passes of Velebit. The road connecting the continental region of Lika with the sea passes across it. Mountain hut Alan is located below the peak of Alančić, at the very edge of the forest, right next to the access road. Alan offers a magnificent view of the sea and the islands.

In the immediate vicinity of Alan, we come across Mirovo. It once served as a mountain settlement during summer. Today, it is merely one of the grasslands of Velebit, with visible remains of dry stone walls and old shepherds' dwellings. In the past, Mirovo was one of the larger settlements on the mountain, as seen in many remains of stone houses, barns, dry stone walls and rainwater cisterns.

A neglected cableway for the transport of logs from Velebit, leading from Alan to the cove of Stinica on the Adriatic coast, is a monument of sorts to human absurdity. The cableway was built in horrible conditions by political prisoners of the penitentiary on the island of Goli otok. Commercially unused and unfeasible, the cableway operated for only several years.

One of the facilities at Alan is also Planinska igraonica (Mountain Playroom), the interpretation and education center. The center provides information to visitors about the life of Podgorci, inhabitants of the littoral slopes of Velebit, and about typical species and habitats of particular importance for the Natura 2000 ecological network.

In addition to the "playroom" prepared for visitors, several shepherds' dwellings have also been renovated, serving for accommodation and education, and named after several typical species: Velebit leech (Croatobranchus mestrovi), beetle species Morimus funereus, and capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus).

Note:

Open during the visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November. The status depends on weather conditions and the passability of roads and trails.

Štirovača

In its southern area, the Northern Velebit National Park includes one part of Štirovača – a spacious valley located at approximately 1100 meters above sea level, known for its conserved coniferous forests. Štirovača is one of the few localities in the Park with a spring of drinking water and several small creeks bringing water to the surrounding wet grasslands. All hydrological and geological karst phenomena can be seen here – springs, surface watercourses and abysses.

In the past, Štirovača was an extraordinarily active place, especially during the warm summer months. It included a sawmill, a restaurant, houses where people lived with their families and tended to their livestock, workers of the forestry and the sawmill... As a result, Štirovača continues to serve as favorite excursion site of the locals, and it also represents a pleasant resting place for all the other visitors. In order for visitors to enjoy the unique atmosphere of the valley of Štirovača, the Park has restored the water spring, installed benches for rest and provided barbecuing areas where visitors can prepare a tasty meal after a day of walking and enjoying nature.

In the immediate vicinity of Štirovača, located in the Velebit Nature Park, we come across abysses where watercourses disappear, and the site of Klepina duliba – a secondary old-growth forest where the impact of man, although present at times, was not intense enough to alter the original character of the forest.

Note:

Open during the visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November. The status depends on weather conditions and the passability of roads and trails.

Lubenovac

Veliki Lubenovac is one of the most beautiful sites in the Northern Velebit National Park. This karst valley is located on the very edge of the strict reserve of Hajdučki kukovi and Rožanski kukovi. A while back, Lubenovac was a place where people lived together with their livestock during the summer months. Today, this is the site where we come across the remains of approximately fifty shepherds' dwellings, dry stone walls and rainwater cisterns. A pond called Lubenovačka ruja also remained preserved on Lubenovac. In the past, it served as a watering place for livestock – sheep, goats, cows and horses.

Four shepherds' dwellings have been reconstructed at Lubenovac, with two dwellings serving for accommodation purposes. One of the reconstructed dwellings serves as an example and a reminder of the traditional way of life of Podgorci, the inhabitants of the littoral slopes of Velebit who used the pastures of Velebit during summer. Together with the interpretation and education center Planinska igraonica (Mountain Playroom) within the complex of shepherds' dwellings at the locality of Alan, the shepherds' dwellings at Lubenovac serve as key infrastructure for the accommodation, education and provision of information to visitors in the southern part of the National Park.

There is an educational trail along the edge of the meadow of Lubenovac leading to shepherds' dwellings. It offers visitors additional information about the nature of Northern Velebit.

Note:

Open during the visiting season, as a rule from the beginning of May until the end of November. The status depends on weather conditions and the passability of roads and trails.

National Park Northern Velebit

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