Activities

Hiking/walking

Author: Aleksandar Gospić

Paklenica provides everything that a mountaineering soul might wish for. Nine splendid hiking trails lead through the canyons and to the peaks, all the way to Veliko Rujno, Sveto brdo and Vaganski vrh as the highest peak of Velebit, providing an irresistible challenge to mountaineers. Those who visit the area will certainly wish to return. The trails 150 kilometers long in total range from easy to difficult, with each requiring mountaineering equipment.

Velika Paklenica canyon - Anića luka - Lugarnica - Paklenica Mountain Lodge

After a 20-minute climb from the parking lot in the Velika Paklenica canyon, one reaches Anića luka (250 m.a.s.l.). From there, it takes an additional hour and a half of hiking along an easy trail to reach the mountain lodge.

Trail length: 6km

Trail difficulty: Easy

Elevation difference: 400m

Recommended time of year for visit: Trail can be used throughout the year

Accessible to persons with disabilities: No

Recommended equipment: Hiking equipment recommended (hiking footwear and clothes, backpack, personal accessories, food and water, sun protection)

Availability of drinking water: Yes

Velika Paklenica – Anića luka – Manita peć

After a 20-minute climb from the parking lot in the Velika Paklenica canyon, one reaches Anića luka (250 m.a.s.l.). From there, it takes additional 10 minutes of hiking to reach the trail branching towards Manita peć. It takes 45 minutes to climb from the beginning of that branch to the cave itself. A viewpoint on top of the climb offers views of the surrounding peaks.

Trail length: 4km

Trail difficulty: Medium difficulty

Elevation difference: 450m

Recommended time of year for visit: The cave  Manita peć is open from April to end-October according to defined schedule, and visit to the cave is recommended in that time of year. 

Accessible to persons with disabilities: No

Recommended equipment: Hiking equipment recommended (hiking footwear and clothes, backpack, personal accessories, food and water, sun protection)

Availability of drinking water: No

Note: Opening hours of the cave Manita peć (10-13 hours): April - Saturdays; May - Wednesdays and Saturdays; June and October - Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays; July, August and September - every day

Manita peć – Zoljin kuk – Vidakov kuk – Tomići – Starigrad

After an hour and thirty minutes of climb from the Velika Paklenica canyon to the cave Manita peć, there is a further climb along the talus cones and rocks to Zoljin kuk and Vidakov kuk, taking an hour and a half from Manita peć in total. The peaks offer views of the mountain and the sea. What follows is a somewhat easier 40-minute section of the trail to the intersection towards Tomići, with approx. two and a half hours of downhill hiking remaining to Starigrad.

Trail length: 10km

Trail difficulty: Difficult

Elevation difference: 800m

Recommended time of year for visit: Spring / autumn

Accessible to persons with disabilities: No

Recommended equipment: Hiking equipment recommended (hiking footwear and clothes, backpack, personal accessories, food and water, sun protection)

Availability of drinking water: No

Mala Paklenica - Njive Lekine - Grabove doline - Anića luka - Velika Paklenica canyon

Mala Paklenica entrance can be reached by car, and the Mala Paklenica canyon can be explored only by hiking. The trail largely follows the Mala Paklenica creek bed, and it is very demanding in some sections. After four and a half hours of hiking, the trail leads through the grasslands of Njive Lekine and Grabove doline for the next 45 minutes. What follows is an hour of relatively steep descent to the Velika Paklenica canyon.

Trail length: 12km

Trail difficulty: Difficult

Elevation difference: 650m

Recommended time of year for visit: Spring / autumn

Accessible to persons with disabilities: No

Recommended equipment: Hiking equipment recommended (hiking footwear and clothes, backpack, personal accessories, food and water, sun protection)

Availability of drinking water: Yes

Note: The trail is not passable during the rainy period of the year.

Paklenica Mountain Lodge - M.Močila - Crni Vrh - V.Močila - Njive Lekine - Grabove doline (Jurline) - Velika Paklenica (canyon)

From the mountain lodge, the trail passes through beech and black pine forest to Mala Močila, with the climb taking one hour, and then continues through the forest towards Crni Vrh. From the beginning of the trail branch towards Crni Vrh to the peak itself, there is a 20-minute hard climb. One needs to return via the same trail back to the beginning of the branch, and continue towards Velika Močila for one hour. The part of the trail between Velika Močila and Njive Lekine offers a view of the Mala Paklenica canyon. From Njive Lekine to the Velika Paklenica canyon, there are two to two and a half hours of hiking, first on flattish terrain, and then downhill. Six hours of hiking in total.

Trail length: 10km

Trail difficulty: Medium difficulty

Elevation difference: 1000m

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

Accessible to persons with disabilities: No

Recommended equipment: Hiking equipment recommended (hiking footwear and clothes, backpack, personal accessories, food and water, sun protection)

Availability of drinking water: No

Paklenica Mountain Lodge - Buljma - Struge - Marasovac

From the mountain lodge, the trail passes through beech forest to the Buljma pass, reached after approx. one and a half to two hours of hiking. The pass offers a view of the Velika Paklenica valley on the east, and the Veliko Rujno valley on the west. What follows is a descent towards the Struge valley, where a mountain shelter is located. The section from Struge to Marasovac requires 20 more minutes of easy hiking across mountain grasslands. There is drinking water on Marasovac.

Trail length: 6.5km

Trail difficulty: Medium difficulty

Elevation difference: 990m

Recommended time of year for visit: Summer / autumn

Accessible to persons with disabilities: No

Recommended equipment: Hiking equipment recommended (hiking footwear and clothes, backpack, personal accessories, food and water, sun protection)

Availability of drinking water: Yes

Struge - Marasovac - Vaganski Vrh - Lipa staza - V. Paklenica

The trail from the Struge mountain shelter to Marasovac leads through mountain grasslands, with interchanging climbs and level sections, grasslands and talus cones, taking two and a half to three hours to reach Vaganski vrh, the highest peak of Velebit. The quickest way to go from Vaganski vrh to the Velika Paklenica canyon is by taking the trail of Lipa staza, steeply descending to the canyon in the form of a long talus cone. The total hiking duration is 7 hours. 

Trail length: 8.5km

Trail difficulty: Medium difficulty / difficult

Elevation difference: 1250m

Recommended time of year for visit: Late spring / early autumn

Accessible to persons with disabilities: No

Recommended equipment: Hiking equipment recommended (hiking footwear and clothes, backpack, personal accessories, food and water, sun protection)

Availability of drinking water: Yes

Paklenica Mountain Lodge - Ivine vodice - Sveto Brdo

The trail from the Struge mountain shelter to Marasovac leads through mountain grasslands, with interchanging climbs and level sections, grasslands and talus cones, taking two and a half to three hours to reach Vaganski vrh. The trail then continues along mountain grassland terrain to Malovanski stanovi, and then via a long talus cone Zla ploča to the grassland Čičina dolina. A climb to Sveto brdo follows from there. The total hiking duration is 6 hours. The trail offers panorama views of the valley of Velika Paklenica and the surrounding dolines and peaks.

Trail length: 12km

Trail difficulty: Medium difficulty

Elevation difference: 400m

Recommended time of year for visit: Summer / early autumn

Accessible to persons with disabilities: No

Recommended equipment: Hiking equipment recommended (hiking footwear and clothes, backpack, personal accessories, food and water, sun protection)

Availability of drinking water: No

Note: The trail is largely exposed to the sun, which is particularly strong at that altitude. 

Planinarski dom Paklenica – Ivine vodice – Sveto brdo

It takes two and a half hours to reach Ivine vodice from the mountain lodge, and the trail passes through beech forest and mixed beech and black pine forest. The trail passes along the Velika Paklenica creek, offering views of Babin kuk through the crowns of trees. There is a mountain shelter at Ivine vodice, with a water source next to it that sometimes runs dry in the summer. 

From Ivine vodice onwards, a steep trail leads through old beech forest to meadows of Čičina dolina, with one more hour of hiking to get to Sveto brdo. High mountain meadows, rich in various plant species, are particularly interesting in May and June, intertwined with rocky terrain and large rocks. A steep climb towards Sveto brdo at 1753 m.a.s.l. takes approximately 45 minutes, offering an unforgettable view of the region of Lika and northern Dalmatia and its islands.

Trail length: 10km

Trail difficulty: Medium difficulty

Elevation difference: 1250m

Recommended time of year for visit: Spring / autumn

Accessible to persons with disabilities: No

Recommended equipment: Hiking equipment recommended (hiking footwear and clothes, backpack, personal accessories, food and water, sun protection)

Availability of drinking water: Yes

 

Cave tours

Author: Dražan Mimica
Manita peć is the only cave open to visitors, even though the area of Paklenica is rich in these karst phenomena. Cave dripstones are quite unusual and intriguing in their shapes, as can be seen from the names given to them, such as “helmet”, “pipe organ”, or “witch”. The cave itself is richly adorned with stalagmites, stalactites and cave cascades. No one will remain indifferent leaving the cave, and an hour and a half needed to reach the site is effort well invested, given the experience that awaits the visitor of this subterranean world. 

Cave Manita peć

Manita peć is the only cave in the area of the Park that is open and equipped for visits. Its spaciousness and beauty have been thrilling the visitors ever since 1937, when the completion of the trail leading to the cave made the visits possible. Entrance to the cave is located at 570 meters above sea level, and the hike from the parking lot in Velika Paklenica to the cave takes around an hour and a half.

Length: 175 m

Wheelchair accessible: Not accessible

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

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Temperature: 9°C

Duration: 30 minutes

Note: Temperature in the cave is approx. 9°C throughout the year, so visitors are advised to take suitable clothes in the warmer part of the year. 

 

Wildlife viewing

Author: Dujo Bušljeta
The canyons of Paklenica are home to the fastest animal of the world, the peregrine falcon. The speed of its flight sometimes exceeds 300 kilometers per hour when diving towards the prey. The canyons of Paklenica provide ample opportunities for wildlife viewing, including the short-toed snake-eagle, golden eagle, bear, chamois, swift and many other species. Good fitness level is required, together with patience and respect for nature, for she is primarily home to animals rather than people in this area.

Velika Paklenica canyon - cliffs

The central part of the Velika Paklenica canyon consists of steep cliffs, and that part of the canyon is also its narrowest and the most attractive section. Easy and quick access from the parking lot makes it possible to enjoy wildlife viewing throughout the year. Since that part of the Park is also the most visited Park area during the warmer part of the year, the likelihood of spotting large mammals is relatively low.

Wildlife species that can be seen: Peregrine falcon, swift, swallow, rock dove, blue rock thrush, common kestrel, subalpine warbler, Eurasian blackcap, Eurasian nuthatch, rock nuthatch, bats

Recommended time of year for visit: Throughout the year

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Wheelchair accessible: Not accessible

Mala Paklenica canyon

Mala Paklenica canyon is a wild area with a low number of visitors even during the most visited part of the year. The area is excellent for birdwatching, including songbirds and birds of prey. Due to the demanding nature of the trail passing through the Mala Paklenica canyon, reasonable fitness level is required.

Wildlife species that can be seen: Peregrine falcon, short-toed snake-eagle, golden eagle, Eurasian eagle-owl, pallid swift, black-eared wheatear, subalpine warbler, Eurasian blackcap, Orphean warbler, sombre tit

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

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual visits

Wheelchair accessible: Not accessible

Manita peć - viewpoint

The trail leading towards the cave Manita peć offers wide views of the Velika Paklenica valley and the surrounding peaks. 

Wildlife species that can be seen: Swift, raven, short-toed snake-eagle, chamois, bear, horned viper, Balkan green lizard, Dalmatian wall lizard

Recommended time of year for visit: Autumn / winter / early spring

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Wheelchair accessible: Not accessible

Schools in nature

Author: Natalija Andačić
There are seven programs on offer within the School in Nature program of the Paklenica National Park, covering plant and animal world, geology and speleology, as well as endemic species. They are intended for elementary and high school students, and they are also available in summer months during the school holidays. Individual programs include expert guidance through the canyons, for direct experience is the best guarantee of lasting memory.

Natural and cultural characteristics; tourist offer of the Park

Lecture (power point presentation)

Target age group: Elementary and high schools

Duration: 45 minutes

Recommended time of year for visit: Throughout the year

Suitable for individual / group visits: Group visits

Wheelchair accessible: Not accessible

Note: Organized group visits must be announced at least 7 days prior to arrival

Speleological sites of the Park

Lecture (power point presentation)

Target age group: Elementary and high schools

Duration: 45 minutes

Recommended time of year for visit: Throughout the year

Suitable for individual / group visits: Group visits

Wheelchair accessible: Not accessible

Note: Organized group visits must be announced at least 7 days prior to arrival

Forests of the Park

Lecture (power point presentation)

Target age group: Elementary and high schools

Duration: 45 minutes

Recommended time of year for visit: Throughout the year

Suitable for individual / group visits: Group visits

Wheelchair accessible: Not accessible

Note: Organized group visits must be announced at least 7 days prior to arrival

Flora and fauna of the Park

Lecture (power point presentation)

Target age group: Elementary and high schools

Duration: 45 minutes

Recommended time of year for visit: Throughout the year

Suitable for individual / group visits: Group visits

Wheelchair accessible: Not accessible

Note: Organized group visits must be announced at least 7 days prior to arrival

Martens of the Park

Lecture (power point presentation)

Target age group: Elementary and high schools

Duration: 45 minutes

Recommended time of year for visit: Throughout the year

Suitable for individual / group visits: Group visits

Wheelchair accessible: Not accessible

Note: Organized group visits must be announced at least 7 days prior to arrival

Endemic species of the Park; Velika Paklenica canyon

Expert guidance

Target age group: Elementary and high schools

Duration: 2 - 4 hours

Recommended time of year for visit: Throughout the year

Suitable for individual / group visits: Group visits

Wheelchair accessible: Not accessible

Note: Organized group visits must be announced at least 7 days prior to arrival

Fauna of the Park; Velika Paklenica canyon

Expert guidance

Target age group: Elementary and high schools

Duration: 4 hours

Recommended time of year for visit: Throughout the year

Suitable for individual / group visits: Group visits

Wheelchair accessible: Not accessible

Note: Organized group visits must be announced at least 7 days prior to arrival

Bicycling

Author: Dinko Denona
The Starigrad – Reljan cycling trail is great for cycling as well as hiking. Eight kilometers long, it leads from the center of Starigrad Paklenica to the Park entrance Velika Paklenica. Passing through old hamlets that provide a glimpse into the ancient way of life, this trail is also part of the educational trail A Short Journey Through History, with information panels providing insight into the area and its heritage.

Starigrad - Reljan

This cycling and walking trail, eight kilometers long, leads from the center of Starigrad-Paklenica to the Velika Paklenica entrance, continuing through old hamlets via Mala Paklenica to Seline.

Trail length: 8 km

Elevation difference: 100 m

Recommended time of year for visit: Throughout the year

Bicycle rental possibilities: Available: Raftrek Agency and UO Rajna

Trail type: Asphalt - gravel - dirt trail - stone

Guided tours

Source: Arhiva NP Paklenica
Benefiting from the knowledge of excellent guides is one of the best ways to get acquainted with the Park, with four guided tours on offer. Suitable clothes and footwear are required, together with sufficient quantity of drinking water; visitors should also be ready to start in early morning hours during the summer months marked by major heat. Some tours are available throughout the year, and the best time for visit would be spring, when the plant world is waking up from its winter sleep. Learning by hiking is an excellent way to learn about Paklenica. 

Velika Paklenica canyon - cave Manita peć

The tour starts from the parking lot in the canyon of Velika Paklenica, via the main trail passing through the canyon. After the initial 20 minutes of ascent, visitors reach the wider and flat part of the trail, taking them through the forest to the branch of the trail leading towards Manita peć. What follows from the beginning of the branch is a constant 45-minute climb towards the cave.  

Duration: 4 hours

Recommended time of year for visit: The cave is open only in the warm part of the year, and the most pleasant time of year for this tour is spring and late summer.

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Wheelchair accessible: Due to the configuration of the terrain, the activity is not wheelchair accessible

Recommended equipment: Recommended equipment includes suitable clothes and hiking shoes, warm and waterproof clothes, protection against rain, wind and sun, as well as drinking water.

Note: Due to sun exposure on the trail during the summer months, early morning start is recommended.

Velika Paklenica canyon - Lugarnica forest cottage - Mountain Lodge

The tour starts from the parking lot in the canyon of Velika Paklenica, via the main trail passing through the canyon. After the initial 20 minutes of ascent, visitors reach the wider and flat part of the trail, taking them through the forest to the Lugarnica forest cottage after an easy 30-minute walk. The mountain lodge is half an hour's walk away from Lugarnica. 

Duration: 4 hours

Recommended time of year for visit: This tour is available throughout the year. It is most beautiful in the spring, in April and May.

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Wheelchair accessible: Due to the configuration of the terrain, the activity is not wheelchair accessible

Recommended equipment: Recommended equipment includes suitable clothes and hiking shoes, warm and waterproof clothes, protection against rain, wind and sun, as well as drinking water.

Velika Paklenica entrance - Pjeskarica educational trail - Velika Paklenica canyon - Anića luka

Starting from the Park entrance, the tour of Velika Paklenica leads to the restored mill open for visits, and onwards via the Pjeskarica walking and educational trail to the Velika Paklenica canyon for two kilometers. The trail passes through an area rich in diverse relief forms and abundant vegetation.

Impressive rocks up to 700 meters high can be seen in the canyon, together with climbers conquering them, endemic plant species and numerous birds. A 20-minute climb from the canyon follows next, covering approximately 200 meters of elevation difference, and bringing the visitors to Anića luka, where they can refresh at a spring of cold water.

Duration: 2.5 - 3 hours

Recommended time of year for visit: This tour is available throughout the year. It is most beautiful in the spring, in April and May.

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Wheelchair accessible: Due to the configuration of the terrain, the activity is not wheelchair accessible

Recommended equipment: Recommended equipment includes suitable clothes and hiking shoes, warm and waterproof clothes, protection against rain, wind and sun, as well as drinking water.

Mala Paklenica canyon - Njive Lekine - Velika Paklenica canyon

The Mala Paklenica entrance can be reached by car; the canyon of Mala Paklenica is accessible only by hiking. The trail largely leads along the bed of the Mala Paklenica creek, and it is very demanding in some sections. Due to the extraordinarily interesting petrophilic ornithofauna, Mala Paklenica is a zone where climbing activities are strictly forbidden. 

After four and a half hours of hiking through the canyon, the trail leads through the grasslands of Njive Lekine and Grabove doline for the next 45 minutes. What follows is one hour of relatively steep descent to the canyon of Velika Paklenica.

Duration: 6 hours

Recommended time of year for visit: This tour is available only during the dry periods, when there is no water in the Mala Paklenica creek bed.

Suitable for individual / group visits: Due to the demanding terrain, the tour is primarily focused on individual visits; guided tours include no more than 8 persons per guide.

Wheelchair accessible: Due to the configuration of the terrain, the activity is not wheelchair accessible

Recommended equipment: Recommended equipment includes suitable clothes and hiking shoes, warm and waterproof clothes, protection against rain, wind and sun, as well as drinking water.

Note: Due to sun exposure on the trail during the summer months, early morning start is recommended.

Alpinism/climbing

Author: Luka Tambača

The canyon of Velika Paklenica is the most important climbing site in Croatia, but also far beyond national borders. The area includes some 400 climbing routes. Paklenica is a climber’s paradise, and the site of Anića kuk a permanent climbing challenge. This rock, the biggest on the mountain of Velebit with its height exceeding 300 meters, enjoys respect among climbers due to its diverse forms and overhangs. Climbers and mountaineers enjoy this area in the fullness of their adventurous spirit.

Velika Paklenica canyon

Paklenica National Park is the most important Croatian climbing venue, well-known beyond the Croatian borders as well. Marked by its limestone terrain, it includes around 400 equipped and prepared routes of various grades of difficulty and length (grades 3 to 8b+), which means that every climber can enjoy his or her own optimal route.

Most of the short sport routes are located in Klanci, the narrowest part of Velika Paklenica canyon. Due to easy access, they are also suitable for climbers with small children.
The Crljenica sector is particularly interesting and appealing for climbing during the winter months. The best-known climbing rock in Paklenica is Anića kuk, with up to 350-meter long routes diverse in character, ranging from unequipped ones to technical routes and long modern sport routes.

Routes in Paklenica are quite diverse in terms of their equipment level. Older routes are equipped with pitons, while newer routes include modern anchors.

The main climbing season in Paklenica starts in spring, and lasts until late autumn. Most climbers convene here around May 1st, when the traditional International Climbers' Meeting is held, with a range of events and competitions.

Number of routes: Approx. 400

Recommended time of year for visit: Throughout the year

Route grade: 3-8b+

Note: Climbers can use a special offer of purchasing 3-day and 5-day tickets, as well as annual tickets for NP Paklenica.

Paklenica National Park Public Institution organizes daily monitoring of the climbing site by the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS) during July and August, and monitoring on extended weekends in other months (Easter, May Day, Ascension Day, Corpus Christi, Pentecost, Statehood Day of the Republic of Croatia, All Saints' Day).

Accommodation and catering

Author: Šime Sorić
Forest cottages, mountain lodges and private accommodation are some of the catering and accommodation services on offer. It is important to bear opening times in mind, since some facilities are open only during certain periods of the year. One should also make sure to check which particular services are offered by a given facility and what needs to be brought by visitors themselves; in addition, it is important to check whether a given facility has drinking water available.

Forest cottage - Lugarnica

Following a climb along the main trail through the Velika Paklenica canyon, approx. 2 hours of hiking from the parking lot, visitors can reach the Lugarnica forest cottage at approx.  400 m.a.s.l., Located right next to a creek, it offers simple catering services.

Important information:

Opening times: 10:30 till 16:30 from May to October

open on weekends and holidays from Easter onwards.

Contact:

Phone: +385 (0)23 369 155;

e-mail: prezentacija@paklenica.hr

Note: 

Picnic can be organized for groups on prior notice.

Private catering facility - Ramića Dvori

Following a climb along the main trail through the Velika Paklenica canyon, approx. 2 to 2.5 hours of hiking from the parking lot, 10 minutes uphill from the mountain lodge, visitors reach the hamlet of Ramići, where the establishment Ramića dvori is located. It offers simple catering services, including food and drinks.

Important information:

580 m.a.s.l.

Contact:

Phone: +385 (0)23 231 756
Cell: +385 (0)91 589 8617
E-mail: marijo.ramic@gmail.com

 

Private catering facility - Ivančev Dom

Following a climb along the main trail through the Velika Paklenica canyon, approx. 2 to 2.5 hours of hiking from the parking lot, 10 minutes uphill from the mountain lodge, visitors reach the hamlet of Parići, where the establishment Ivančev Dom is located. It includes four rooms with four beds each, two bathrooms with toilet, and a kitchen with dining area. The entire facility uses solar energy for lighting and refrigeration, which makes it possible for visitors to bring food for several days of stay.

Important information:

580 m.a.s.l.

Contact:

Owner: Franjo Parić
CONTACT INFO:
Phone: +385 (0)23 369 139
Cell: +385 (0)95 801 7785 / 098 937 8577
E-mail: paklenica@gmail.com

 

Mountain lodge - Paklenica

It takes around two hours of hiking to get to the Paklenica mountain lodge from the Velika Paklenica canyon. The lodge includes approx. 50 beds in multi-bed rooms, a kitchen, dining area and toilet facilities. In addition, the facility is equipped with electricity and running water. We recommend visitors to take sleeping bags for night stays at the lodge.

Important information:

The facility is open throughout the year. It is located at 480 m.a.s.l.

Contact:

Cell: 385 95 358 2111 (Dalibor Bračić, caretaker)

        385 95 813 1841 (Ines Pajić)

Phone: 385 23 301 636                                

email: paklinainfo@gmail.com

Note: 

Paklenica Mountain Lodge is managed by the Paklenica Mountaineering Association from Zadar
(Planinarsko društvo Paklenica, Zadar)
Phone: +385 23 301 636 (premises of  PD Paklenica)
E-mail: planinari.paklenica@gmail.com
Web: www.pdpaklenica.hr  

Mountain shelter - Vlaški Grad

Vlaški Grad mountain shelter is approximately four hours of hiking away from the mountain lodge, and approximately one hour of hiking away from the shelter at Ivine vodice. It can accommodate 8 to 10 persons for night stays, and represents a good starting point for hikes towards Sveto brdo, Vlaški grad or Veliki Libinj and Mali Libinj. There is a water source nearby that sometimes runs dry towards the end of July, with water appearing only after abundant rainfall.

Important information:

The facility is open throughout the year. It is located at 1280 m.a.s.l.

Contact:

For more detailed information, please contact:
Paklenica Mountaineering Association
Phone: 023/301-636
E-mail: planinari.paklenica@gmail.com
Web: www.pdpaklenica.hr

Note: 

Due to renovation, Vlaški Grad Mountain Shelter is temporarily closed! The shelter will not be functional until the renovation is completed, and use of shelter is advised only if absolutely necessary. Appropriate equipment is required for overnight stay in the shelter. The shelter should always be left clean. When using water or fuel wood, shelter supplies must be replenished, having other visitors in mind. Visitors are advised to check the availability of water, or to carry water with them.

 

Mountain shelter - Ivine Vodice

This open-type shelter is approx. two hours and thirty minutes of hiking away from the mountain lodge, and it can accommodate 12 persons overnight. There is a water source near the shelter. This mountain shelter represents a good choice for overnight stay for visitors planning an excursion to Sveto brdo. The shelter is managed by the Babulj Mountaineering Association from Bibinje. 

Important information:

The facility is open throughout the year. It is located at 1200 m.a.s.l.

Contact:

For more detailed information, please contact:
Babulj Mountaineering Association, Bibinje
091/11 22 440 - Marin Jukić
091/452 3340 - Stjepan Gverić
info@pdbabulj.hr
www.pdbabulj.hr

Note: 

Appropriate equipment is required for overnight stay in the shelter. The shelter should always be left clean. When using water or fuel wood, shelter supplies must be replenished, having other visitors in mind. Visitors are advised to check the availability of water, or to carry water with them.

Mountain shelter - Struge

The shelter is approx. three hours of hiking away from the mountain lodge. The shelter includes 15 beds, and obtains water from the water source at Marasovac, approx. 20 minutes of hiking away from the shelter.

Important information:

The facility is open throughout the year. It is located at 1400 m.a.s.l.

Contact:

For more detailed information, please contact:
Paklenica Mountaineering Association    
Phone: 023/301-636
Web: www.pdpaklenica.hr

Note: 

Appropriate equipment is required for overnight stay in the shelter. The shelter should always be left clean. When using water or fuel wood, shelter supplies must be replenished, having other visitors in mind. Visitors are advised to check the availability of water, or to carry water with them.

Camping site - National Park

The National Park camping site is located next to the management building of the Park. It is mostly used by returning visitors to the Paklenica National Park (rock climbers, hikers and others), and it is suitable for family summer vacations as well. The camp is located next to a natural pebble beach, and its capacity is approx. 100 persons.

Important information:

The camp is open from 15 March to 15 November. 

Contact:

For more detailed information, please contact:
Babulj Mountaineering Association, Bibinje
091/11 22 440 - Marin Jukić
091/452 3340 - Stjepan Gverić
E-mail: info@pdbabulj.hr
Web: www.pdbabulj.hr

Note: 

Reservations are not taken.

Educational trails

Author: Natalija Andačić
Visitors who decide to take a walk along educational trails will surely leave the Paklenica National Park with an excellent insight into its past and its unique characteristics. There are four educational trails available to visitors; the Velika Paklenica trail is the most popular one, leading from the canyon of the same name to the mountain lodge. There is plenty to discover about the unique natural and cultural characteristics of the area during the walks. The trails are accessible throughout the year. In addition to having a certain level of fitness, visitors should also take suitable clothes and footwear, and sufficient quantity of drinking water.

Educational trail Velika Paklenica

This is the most visited trail in the Park, leading from the Velika Paklenica canyon to the mountain lodge. The trail includes 10 interpretation panels educating the visitors on specific natural characteristics of the Paklenica National Park and cultural characteristics of the area.

Trail length: 5,5 km

Duration: 5 hours

Elevation difference: 400 m

Recommended time of year for visit: Suitable for visit throughout the year

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Trail type: Forest path (100%)

Number of interpretation panels: 10

Note: Recommended equipment includes suitable clothes and hiking shoes, warm and waterproof clothes, protection against rain, wind and sun, as well as drinking water.

Educational trail Paklarić with a belvedere

Paklarić Educational Trail is located along the left bank of the creek, not far from the entrance to the Park. The beginning of the trail is marked by information panels. The educational trail starts with an old, restored mill of Paklenica, and leads to the fortress of Paklarić at 121 meters above sea level and a belvedere offering a panoramic view. The trail is 550 meters long, and it includes four educational and information panels on shepherds' dwellings of Velebit, traditional agriculture, livestock breeding on southern Velebit and caravan routes. The belvedere also includes a telescope and two interpretation panels on important archaeological sites.

Trail length: 0,55 km

Duration: 45 minutes

Elevation difference: 120 m

Recommended time of year for visit: Suitable for visit throughout the year 

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Trail type: Wall-retained hiking trail (100%)

Number of interpretation panels: 6

Note: Recommended equipment includes suitable clothes and hiking shoes, warm and waterproof clothes, protection against rain, wind and sun, as well as drinking water.

Educational trail "A Short Journey Through the Past"

Educational trail "A Short Journey Through the Past" is part of a hiking and cycling trail. It includes five interpretation panels representing the history of the area from ancient times until the present.

Trail length: 0,7 km

Duration: 30 minutes

Elevation difference: 10 m

Recommended time of year for visit: Suitable for visit throughout the year

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Trail type: Gravel (100%) 

Number of interpretation panels: 5

Note: Recommended equipment includes suitable clothes and hiking shoes, warm and waterproof clothes, protection against rain, wind and sun, as well as drinking water.

Educational and walking trail Pjeskarica

Educational and walking trail Pjeskarica connects the Paklenica mill and the parking lot in the canyon, extending along the eastern bank of the creek. The trail is 1,500 meters long, and passes through an area rich in diverse relief forms and abundant vegetation. A "classroom" for Schools in Nature educational programs is located at the beginning of the trail, and the remaining part of the trail includes interpretation panels.

Trail length: 1,5 km

Duration: 1.5 hours

Elevation difference: 70 m

Recommended time of year for visit: Suitable for visit throughout the year

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Trail type: Forest path (100%)

Number of interpretation panels: 7 interpretation panels and 4 route maps

Note: Recommended equipment includes suitable clothes and hiking shoes, warm and waterproof clothes, protection against rain, wind and sun, as well as drinking water.

Educational trail Manita peć

Educational trail Manita peć is currently under construction, with its completion scheduled for the beginning of the 2016 season. The plans include the installation of interpretation panels and the construction of a belvedere with a telescope and a panorama panel, with benches to be placed along the trail. From the beginning of the educational trail at the intersection Manita peć - Mountain Lodge the hike to the cave Manita peć takes approx. 40 minutes.

Trail length: 2 km

Duration: 1.5 hours

Elevation difference: 270 m

Recommended time of year for visit: Suitable for visit throughout the year

Suitable for individual / group visits: Individual and group visits

Accessible to persons with disabilities: Not accessible

Trail type: Forest path (100%)

Number of interpretation panels: 6 in preparation

Note: Recommended equipment includes suitable clothes and hiking shoes, warm and waterproof clothes, protection against rain, wind and sun, as well as drinking water.

Attractions

Cave Manita peć

Author: Dražan Mimica

Manita peć is the only cave in the Park area that is open and prepared for visits. Its size and beauty have been thrilling the visitors ever since 1937, when the visits to the cave started following the completion of the path. Entrance to the cave is located at 570 meters above sea level, and it takes about an hour and a half to climb to it from the parking lot in Velika Paklenica.

The cave is rich in dripstones, which are quite diverse in terms of their shape and origin. The most frequent types of dripstones one comes across in Manita peć are stalagmites, stalactites, dripstone pillars (stalagnates) and dripstone cascades. Some of these adornments are named after their peculiar shapes, such as helmet, organ and witch.

The cave is also marked by its rich subterranean fauna. There are eight bat species recorded in the cave, and the research conducted so far has also resulted in the discovery of 52 invertebrate taxa, out of which 20 taxa are genuine cave animals adapted to the subterranean environment and generally incapable of surviving outside of caves. They are characterized by the lack of pigment and organs of sight (photoreceptors); however, their other senses (smell, taste, touch) are well developed. Many renowned European biospeleologists have been researching Manita peć and collecting the fauna in it. These endeavors resulted in the discovery of new species, such as false scorpion Chthonius radjai, isopod Bogidiella sketi, as well as spider Stalita praetneri that can still be encountered in Cerovačke špilje (Velebit Nature Park).

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR VISITORS:

If you decide to visit the cave Manita peć, you will spend approx. 30 minutes in it accompanied by a guide, getting acquainted with many secrets of this intriguing subterranean world. The temperature in the cave is around 9°C throughout the year, which is why we recommend suitable clothes when visiting the cave in the warmer part of the year. The cave can be visited only in the presence of a guide.

OPENING HOURS OF THE CAVE

Regular opening times for visits to Manita peć:

April: Saturdays from 10:00 to 13:00

May, June, October: Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:00 to 13:00

July, August, September: every day from 10:00 to 13:00

 

Prior notice is required for visits outside of the scheduled opening hours!

Velika Paklenica canyon

The valley of Velika Paklenica is 14.5 kilometers long. Due to the impermeable lithological layer from the very source of the creek Velika Paklenica to the point where it meets the creek Brezimenjača, water is present in the bed of Velika Paklenica throughout the year.

Canyon characteristics are particularly prominent in the area from Anića kuk to Marasovići, three kilometers long – including the narrow width of several tens of meters, and considerable depth of up to 400 meters. Caved-in blocks of rock have partially closed the canyon, causing the formation of rapids and small cascades. This area has a remarkable geomorphological value, as well as the reputation of the most attractive Croatian climbing site, well known to climbers throughout Europe, but also beyond.

Note:

Velika Paklenica canyon can be visited throughout the year.

The main tourist trail passes through the canyon, and its length to the mountain lodge is approx. 6 kilometers. For the most part, the trail is not demanding, with the exception of a climb in the narrowest part of the canyon, which takes about 20 minutes.

Mala Paklenica canyon

Author: Aleksandar Gospić
The canyon of Mala Paklenica is known for its “wilderness” and conserved nature. The creeks of Mala Paklenica and Velika Paklenica are the only permanent watercourses on the southern karst slopes of Velebit. Mala Paklenica is more “modest” in its dimensions compared to Velika Paklenica, and the torrent flowing through it is considerably weaker. The creek Mala Paklenica is 12.5 kilometers long, and it rises from beneath Vlaškograd, from several sources.

As a rule, water can be found in the Mala Paklenica bed upstream from the branch of the trail leading to Njive Lekine, while the creek runs dry in its lower part. The left tributary of Mala Paklenica called Orljača is also a torrent flow that runs dry in the summer. In the wet part of the year, when water runs through the canyon, the trail is impassable.

Eight kilometers downstream from its source, Mala Paklenica creates a canyon approximately two kilometers long, marked by cliffs up to 300 meters high. In some areas, the canyon is only ten meters wide, or even less than that.

The erosion caused by what used to be abundant water flows in the past, running from the mountain peaks to the canyon, resulted in sediment brought by the waters and the creation of several larger cavities and caves in rocks, some with retained water.

Due to the importance of Mala Paklenica in the conservation of original petrophilic ornithofauna, climbing activities are strictly forbidden in this area

Note: 

In its initial part, the canyon of Mala Paklenica can be visited throughout the year. The remainder of the canyon can be visited in dry periods, when the creek runs dry. (Note: the mountain trail is following the flow of the Mala Paklenica creek for the most part.)

Since this trail is one of the more demanding trails in the Park, a visitor choosing to pass it should be in good physical shape, and equipped with appropriate mountaineering equipment and sufficient quantity of drinking water.

Information on the state of the watercourse can be obtained from the Park management by phone +385 (0)23 369 155, +385 (0)23 369 202, or e-mail: np-paklenica@paklenica.hr.

Vaganski vrh

Author: Natalija Andačić

Vaganski vrh (1757 meters) is the highest peak of the Velebit Mountain, and also the highest peak of Paklenica National Park. The peak is a flat ridge covered in grass, and the vista from the peak after rain can extend for 300 kilometers. It is easy to see Risnjak 150 kilometers away and Klek 110 kilometers away, as well as Troglav, the highest peak of the mountain of Dinara, which is 105 kilometers away.

The peak is accessible in the warmer part of the year; in the colder part of the year, it is covered in snow for considerable periods of time, which requires winter hiking equipment. The climb can also be rendered more difficult by gale-force bora wind.

Weather conditions in this part of the mountain of Velebit can change very rapidly at any time of year, so it is strongly recommended to check the local weather forecast prior to climb.

Sveto brdo

Author: Ivana Adžić

Sveto brdo (1751 meters) is yet another prominent peak of the massif of Velebit, dominant among the surrounding mountain peaks. It is also the second-highest peak of Velebit, providing a view of both the continental and the littoral side. There is a large metal cross and a plaque with the Ten Commandments on the peak itself. It takes five hours to reach Sveto brdo from the mountain lodge, or four hours from Mali Libinj.

Note:

The peak is accessible in the warmer part of the year; in the colder part of the year, it is covered in snow for considerable periods of time, which requires winter hiking equipment. The climb can also be rendered more difficult by gale-force bora wind.

Weather conditions in this part of the mountain of Velebit can change very rapidly at any time of year, so it is strongly recommended to monitor the local weather forecast prior to climb.

Liburnija

Author: Aleksandar Gospić

The peak of Liburnija (1709 meters) is one of the most beautiful viewpoints of Velebit, providing a magnificent vista of the entire archipelago of the central part of the Adriatic. The peak was named after the first mountaineering society in Zadar and Dalmatia, called Liburnija and established in 1899. It is also the highest peak of Zadarska County. The best starting point for the climb is the mountain lodge in Velika Paklenica (480 meters), with the marked trail leading all the way to the peak. However, the climb is rather steep, and it is recommended only for more experienced mountain climbers.

Note:

From its littoral side, the peak is hard to access, so it is recommended only for experienced mountain climbers.

Anića kuk

Author: Mladen Radolović Mrlja

Nowhere on Velebit is there a vertical rock as well-known and remarkable as Anića kuk. Regardless of whether you climb its base along the edge of the creek, or observe it from some other place in Anića luka, this rock dominates the entire area.

The very peak of Anića kuk, at 712 meters above sea level, provides a wonderful vista of Podvelebitski kanal – the sea channel along the mountain – and the area where the Velika Paklenica creek leaves the canyon. Towards the north, one can see the mountain pass Buljma and the peaks of Babin vrh, Vaganski vrh and Sveto brdo, as well as the nearby localities of Komić, Krivi kuk, Vlaški grad, Borovnik and Zoljin kuk. Anića kuk has been attracting numerous climbers for over 70 years, and it includes over 100 climbing routes.

Note:

The peak Anića kuk is also accessible by hiking trail throughout the year.

The trail is rather demanding, in particular its section that passes along the eastern side and leads all the way to the peak.

The hike from the canyon of Velika Paklenica to the peak of Anića kuk takes approximately an hour and a half.

Babino jezero

Author: Mladen Radolović Mrlja

The peak area of the Park includes the hydrologically important area of Babino jezero. It is the only permanent lake in the area of Paklenica National Park and on the southern side of Velebit. The lake is located at the bottom of a major doline, at around 1600 meters above sea level, with the hiking trail passing along it towards Vaganski vrh.

Water in the lake is retained throughout the year, but it is not potable. The water level oscillates negligibly over the year, and the lake is usually frozen during the winter period. The retention of water is probably caused by a clay layer that filled the cracks in limestone material, thus preventing water drainage.

In relatively recent history (until the beginning of the Homeland War), the lake was used as a watering place for livestock during the summer months, when people would bring livestock to the mountain for summer grazing. With the disappearance of transhumance livestock breeding in the area, the lake was gradually covered in silty material (pelite) resulting from the decay of algae.

Animal species in the lake include mountain newts (Ichthyosaura alpestris), known as water lizards or so-called žmurci among the local population. In winter, newts hibernate by burying themselves in silt among algae and other plants on the bottom while the water surface is frozen, thus protecting themselves from cold. Newts are carnivores, i.e. predators, feeding on water insects and their eggs and larvae.

DIMENSIONS OF THE LAKE:

Surface: 523.1 m²
Volume: 1307 m³
Maximum length: 32.9 m
Maximum width: 16 m
Maximum depth: 2.5 m

Note:

In the winter months, the lake is usually frozen and covered in snow, so visitors are advised to plan the visit to the lake during the warmer part of the year.

Sightseeing point and fortress Paklarić

It takes about a 20-minute walk along the educational trail to reach the Paklarić fortress and belvedere at 121 meters above sea level. The belvedere provides a panorama view of the wider surroundings, and a telescope on site allows visitors to explore distant points of interest as well. The use of telescope is free of charge.

Note:

The belvedere and Paklarić fortress can be visited throughout the year.

Bojinac

Author: Hari Pulko

Bojinac is one of the most beautiful rocky landscapes in Croatia, marked by an abundance of karst forms. The highest peak of Bojinac is Bojin kuk at 1110 meters above sea level, and the peak of Jagin kuk is particularly impressive in terms of appearance.

This site became part of Paklenica National Park in 1997, when the Park boundaries were enlarged. Visitors can reach Bojinac via a marked trail from Vaganac or Veliko Rujno, and take a loop tour along its picturesque peaks.

Note:

Bojinac is available to visitors throughout the year.

Crni vrh

Author: Natalija Andačić

Crni vrh is located in the central part of the Park, at 1110 meters above sea level. The peak provides a wonderful view of the forests of Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica and the sites of Velika Močila and Mala Močila, Golić and the entire peak zone from Debelo brdo (Višerujno) to Sveto brdo.

Visitors can reach Crni vrh from the parking lot in three and a half hours of hiking, from the direction of Lugarnica through Donja draga to Mala Močila, or via Jurline and Grabove doline to Mala Močila, continuing along the marked trail to Crni vrh. A firefighting and meteorological station was built on Crni vrh in 2007, consisting of an iron pillar 11 meters high and a small stone house with solar panels on its roof.

Note:

Crni vrh is available to visitors throughout the year, except in harsh winters or strong bora wind conditions, when it is best to postpone the excursion until the weather conditions become more favorable.

Sklopina

The hamlet of Sklopina is located approximately 200 meters northeast of the hamlet of Ramići. The area above Sklopina consists of rocks known as Sige among the locals. According to the locals, the hamlet got its name due to its “enclosed” nature, as its Croatian name suggests – it is sheltered under the cliff of a semi-cave that protects it against rough weather. The hamlet of Sklopina consists of four houses that were once used for accommodation, or served as shelter for livestock.

Note:

The hamlet can be reached by a marked trail passing through the Velika Paklenica canyon to the mountain lodge. From that point, there is a marked trail leading to Sklopina (approx. two and a half hours of hiking from the reception desk at the entrance to Paklenica National Park). The locality is privately owned, and it is accessible throughout the year.

Geological pillar

The geological pillar is located close to the Velika Paklenica entrance, and it represents the geological history of Paklenica National Park.

It shows a chronological succession of layers and rocks, starting from the oldest stratigraphic unit at the base of the pillar (dolomites from the Middle and Upper Permian 265 million years old), and ending with the most recent layers at the top of the pillar, the way they would look like without any subsequent tectonic or erosion changes over time. 

Note:

The site can be visited throughout the year.

Presentation Center „Underground City Paklenica“

A future multipurpose visitor center of the National Park is being built in the so-called “Bunkers” – an underground tunnel complex built during the turbulent political situation that marked the relations between ex-Yugoslavia and the USSR in the period from 1950 until 1953.

The tunnel complex was built by the JNA, and its tunnels were supposed to serve as shelter for the then state and military leaders. During the construction of the complex, the entrance area of the National Park was closed to visitors, but also to the locals. The construction of the facility was done in utmost secrecy, and the works included a troop of 500 soldiers and prisoners. The facility was opened for the first time in June 1991, when the metal doors to the complex were removed.

As part of the future visitor center, a souvenir shop and toilet facilities were opened at the southern entrance to underground tunnels in 2007.

Note:

The visitor center is currently under construction, and its opening is planned for the 2016 season, when the bulk of the facility should be open to visitors, including the corridors, the main hall, souvenir shop, HGSS mountain rescue service area, and a coffee bar.

Exhibition “Mirila – resting places of the souls”

Author: Natalija Andačić

Ethno-house Marasović is home to the exhibition entitled “Mirila – Resting Places of the Souls”. Mirila are stone monuments scattered along the paths of Velebit, remains of a unique funeral ritual practiced by the locals back in the days when they lived on Velebit and found survival on the mountain (from the 17th to the 20th century). Today, mirila are part of the protected intangible cultural heritage of the Republic of Croatia.

The exhibition on mirila speaks of the customs and the way of life, creation and dying of one entire era, through a modern interpretation provided by scientists and artists (Siniša Reberski, Krešimir Rončević, Radivoj Simonović, Tomo Vinšćak, Mirjana Trošelj, Petar and Josip Strmečki, Josip Zanki). 

The exhibition is organized by the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Starigrad and the Public Institution of the Paklenica National Park, in cooperation with the Klovićevi Dvori Gallery in Zagreb.

Note:

The exhibition is open every day from May to September; it is closed during the winter months.

The entrance to the exhibition is free of charge, and the exhibition is open daily from 13:00 to 21:00.

Paklenički mlin

In the first half of the 19th century, thirteen water mills were built on the Velika Paklenica creek, in the area from the current entrance to the Paklenica National Park to the Paklenica Mountain Lodge. These mills are Donji Marasovića and Srednji Marasovića, Šikića mlin, Dadića mlin, Markov mlin, Katića mlin, Donji Ramića mlin, Parića mlin, Gornji Ramića mlin (with a still functional fulling mill alongside it), Donji Parića mlin, Gornji Parića mlin, Donji Kneževića mlin and Gornji Kneževića mlin.

These mills once supplied the locals of the area of Podgorje with flour, but also the population of Ravni kotari and islands of the Zadar archipelago, until as recently as the 1960s. Nowadays, these mills are no longer in use, although most of them are in solid state in terms of construction.

Aiming to preserve this specific form of traditional architectural heritage, the Park Management restored the Srednji Marasovića mill with expert assistance of conservationists in 2000.

Note:

The mill is open daily from 7:00 to 20:00 in the period from April to October.

In the remaining months, it is open on request by contacting the reception desk at the Velika Paklenica entrance.

Mala Paklenica Educational Center

Author: Gordan Lukač

Mala Paklenica entrance area also includes a small educational center for presenting the importance of birds of prey and owls in protected areas and in all habitats of Croatia. Birds of prey and owls are the most endangered bird species in Croatia today. 

Their protection is still not sufficiently effective in Croatia’s protected areas, however. In addition, the declining numbers of certain nesting bird species in Croatia, such as griffon vulture, points to a careless attitude of man towards species and nature.

By tackling these issues and educating the visitors in small educational centers, such as the one in Mala Paklenica, the aim is to raise awareness and focus the attention of various visitor groups, in particular younger generations, children and students, on the importance of these endangered species and the necessity of their protection.

Note:

Mala Paklenica entrance is open daily from 6:00 to 14:00 in the period from May to October.

Educational panels on the importance of birds of prey and owls can be viewed throughout the year.

A guided tour of educational panels coupled with a lecture at the Paklenica National Park Presentation Center is also available at the price of 250 HRK. Prior notice is required.

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