How to book the best Croatia summer activity, with advice on walking routes, watersports and sailing, our expert’s recommended outings.
Croatia’s numerous unspoilt deep blue seascapes and dramatic rocky landscapes offer a stunning backdrop for activity holidays. Croats are mostly athletic, both by nature and by nurture, so they don’t let it go to waste.
Some of their most impressive mountain ranges have been designated national parks – Risnjak, Paklenica National Park and North Velebit – all of which are criss-crossed by networks of hiking paths. Mountain biking, caving and rock climbing are added attractions. Rafting and canyoning are also on offer, most notably down the Cetina River near Omiš and the River Zrmanja near Zadar, both in Dalmatia.
Istria’s slightly tamer landscape, with gentle green hills, is ideal for cycling activity. One of the most popular routes is the 61km (37 miles) Parenzana, following a disused narrow-gauge railway that linked Poreč on the coast to Trieste in Italy during the early 20th century. Check out istria-bike.com for more detailed information.
Birdwatching enthusiasts should visit croatiabirding.com for an for overview of what Croatia has to offer – the wetlands of Kopacki Rit and Lonjsko Polje nature parks stand out.
The Adriatic coast with its scattered islands really is a haven for sailing. Numerous charter companies rent out boats, generally on a weekly basis (Sat–Sat), with the option of a skipper too – whom you will need if you do not possess an sailing licence yourself. The major charter bases are Dubrovnik for the islands of South Dalmatia; Split for the islands of Central Dalmatia; and Biograd-na-Moru for the islands of the Kornati National Park in North Dalmatia.
Other water sports which are catered for by local agencies and schools include sea kayaking (notably around the Elaphiti islets near Dubrovnik); scuba diving (with top dive sites including the Baron Gautsch wreck near Rovinj and the Blue Cave on Bisevo near Vis); and windsurfing (from Bol on Brač and Viganj on Pelješac).
Croatia summer –
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