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Velebit Mountain – Dream Come True for Hikers


Paklenica has over 150km of hiking trails, with routes taking from just a few hours up to an entire day. On one side you have the towering Velebit and on the other you have the mesmerising Paklenica beaches.
Paklenica National Park is a hikers paradise. With over 150km of trails which take you from rocky canyons to lush green meadows and mountain peaks. The guide Željko and I stuck to the novice trail winding our way through Velika Paklenica. We walked beside a beautiful stream which had lots of little waterfalls.

For those that are more experienced the park offers various shelters and accommodation up in the mountains so its possible to hike over a few days and reach mountain peaks such as Sveto Brdo 1753 metres and Vaganski Vrh 1757 metres.

I’m planning to return and take the two hour guided tour along the mountain trail, where I’ll be able to take a look at Manita Peć Cave. This cave is 175-meters-long and is divided into two halls filled with gorgeous stalagmites & stalactites.

The most popular hikes in Paklenica National Park are:
- Manita Pec Cave (1.5 hours)
- Forest house (1.5 hours)
- Mountain hut (2 hours) – you can even rent this out and sleep overnight in the park
- Velika Paklenica to Mala Paklenica (6 hours)

If you love trekking, then you’ll love the Velebit Ultra Trail competition. Held every year since 2003, with four categories: 16 km, 27 km, 47 km, and of course, for the toughest Velebit 100 km with a 6500 meter ascent. Registrations close early June each year.

Be safe

You can start out your day with blue skies and it can end with the bura wind blowing a gale and find yourself soaking wet from the rain. Equally a day on the Velebit mountain can get warm up quicky and you’ll be hot and thirsty so visit Paklenica well prepared and stay safe with these tips:

- Hike or climb in pairs or small groups
- Be safe and wear appropriate footwear
- Bring a jacket, as it can get very chilly in a matter of hours
- Pack plenty of fresh water
- More hiking safety tips can be found here
- If you become lost or in any danger, help is on hand by by phoning 112 where the Mountain Rescue Service can be reached.

Local Tips
The locals tell me that you would need a week to be able to cover the entire stretch of trails, so pack your comfiest hiking boots!
If you ever make the walk make sure you drink some of the spring water along the way. Its sign posted so you shouldn’t miss it. Its so crisp and refreshing!

Chasing the Donkey is the #1 Croatian travel blog, an award-winning project authored by an Australian expat and her Croatian husband who live in the Croatian countryside.


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