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Velebit (national park)

Mountains have special place in hearts and minds of many nations, to some are even national symbols like Olympus to Greeks. Here it is often said that Velebit is such symbol to Croatians; a mythical mountain, a home of Gods. In the world of today such beliefs belong to tales but pride, admiration, respect, beauty, myth, reverence, defiance are just some of the words which Velebit evokes in Croatian people. When comparing height with higher mountains, like Olympus or Alps, Velebit does not come close but its beauty and amazing diversity, powerful appearance, length beyond one's sight, unbreakable bondage with crystal clear blue sea at its foot make Velebit special and unique mountain in the world.
Velebit has one more thing that many mountains lost long ago, its innocence. There are no huge huts, no hordes of people, just peace and wilderness. In 1978 value of Velebit was recognized by UNESCO which declared it a part of the international network of Biosphere Reserves. Velebit is one of the world's undiscovered natural treasures. If you are looking for something completely different and uniquely beautiful come to Velebit, where mountain and sea, islands and sky interlaced in inextricable ball of beauty.

Velebit is the largest though not the highest mountain range in Croatia. Its highest peak is the Vaganski Vrh at 1757 m. The range forms a part of the Dinaric Alps and is located along the Adriatic coast, separating it from Lika in the interior. Velebit begins in the northwest near Senj with the Vratnik mountain pass and ends 145 km to the southeast near the source of the Zrmanja river reasonably near Knin.

The important characteristic of Velebit are its simple, solid form, stiff cliffs, and the nakedness of seaward side and the wood-covered slopes of the Lika side. The basic geological characteristic of the mountains is karst; flora and fauna are abundant. The most popular spots on Velebit are: the peak of Vučjak, above Zavižan, the botanical gardens on Zavižan, Rožanski kukovi, Štirovača and the Paklenica National Park.

Premužić's Pathway (Premužićeva staza) A pathway called Premužićeva staza (Premužić's pathway) leads through the northern and middle parts of Velebit. This pathway was built between 1930 and 1933 and it connects northern and southern Velebit. Its length is 50 km. Many parts of Velebit would not be reachable without it.

Stone inscriptions (Pisani kamen) Above Kosinjski Bakovac, in Begovača Forest near Begovača Source, there is an inscribed stone (Pisani kamen), an epigraphic monument from the 4th century AD. A Latin inscription carved in a rock prescribes that access to quick water of Begovača Source is granted by the Parenthines, a tribe from the area of Kosinj to a Japodic tribe, the Orthoplines.

This large stone carries the following inscription:


The translation: "By arrangement of borderlines between the Orthoplines and the Parenthines. Access to live water to Orthoplines (shall be) open in the width of 500 steps." (translated by: Kosović Jure, engineer)

Nature park Velebit (Park prirode Velebit) With its area of almost 2,000 km², the Velebit Nature Park is the largest protected area of Croatia, larger than all other protected areas taken together. Within the Park, there is a series of smaller protected areas, including two national parks: Northern Velebit and Paklenica, and the strict reserves of Hajdučki and Rožanski kukovi. On this magnificent mountain that in its diversity, unique relief and richness of plant and animal life is one of the most significant in Europe, there is a whole series of natural sights ranking among the highest values Croatia has to offer. Therefore, this whole 150 km long mountain is protected as UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, currently the only one in Croatia.

National Park North Velebit (Nacionalni park Sjeverni Velebit) Is the youngest of the Croatian national parks, established in 1999. It comprises the most attractive and, in terms of nature, the most valuable areas of the northern part of Velebit. A large number of attractive sights are concentrated in this predominantly mountainous park - magnificent carst forms of Hajdučki and Rožanski kukovi, unique botanical garden and Lukina cave, one of the longest in the world. Croatian mountaineers consider this area the greatest jewel among the Croatian mountains. Due to its remoteness from the main roads, this area is somewhat less visited, but this only increases its mystic and primeval natural ambience.

Paklenica National Park (Nacionalni park Paklenica) The area of Park has an exceptional diversity of geomorphological forms. The most attractive and most valuable parts of South Velebit are surely the impressive canyons of Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica.

  • Velika Paklenica canyon is 14 km long and 500-800 m wide. In its narrowest part around the Bunkers, the canyon is only 50 m wide. Vertical cliffs rise above both sides of the canyon up to a height of over 700 m. The most attractive part is the area around the steep drop of the stream downstream from Anića luka, where steep cliffs rise directly above the stream, forming the narrowest part of the canyon between Anića luka and the parking lot.

  • Mala Paklenica Canyon is of lesser dimension, and the torrent running through it is much less powerful. It is 12 km long and 400-500 wide. In its narrowest part, it is only 10 m wide, while the surrounding cliffs rise up to a height of 650 m. The pass between the Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica Canyons is formed by a very inaccessible karstic area comprising rocks and cliffs. The highest area of Paklenica National Park is the narrow ridge of Velebit, 1 to 3 km wide. The highest peak of Velebit – Vaganski vrh (1 757 m asl) is also here.

Hiking is the only way to really get to know Paklenica. The Park area contains 150 km paths, from those intended for tourists, leading from Velika Paklenica Canyon to Manita peć cave, Lugarnica forest cottage and the mountain hut, to those intended for mountaineers, leading to the highest peaks of Velebit.

The price includes:

  • Domestic food during the trekking
  • Mountain house accommodation
  • Entrance to the National Park Sjeverni Velebit and Paklenica
  • Professional guide
  • Quick tea/coffee breaks
  • Workshop: Aromatic and endemic herbs of Velebit

Additional services & possibilities (not included in price):

  • Tesla house trekking
  • Fishing
  • Trekking extension (to Plitvice Lakes, Pag Island, Una River (Bosnia and Herzegovina) )

Trek information:

  • Duration: From 2 to 7 days
  • Terrain difficulty: 3
  • Trek levels: Easy, Normal, Advanced
  • Available: April-November
  • Type of accommodation: Mountain house
  • Types of trek: Heritage, Sightseeing, Adventure, Relax
Duration of trip:

The trek is adjustable to your wishes: duration, distance, terrain difficulty etc. Please fill out the form on the right carefully so we can ensure you as good conditions as we can.