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Croatia, Paklenica National Park - any trail recommendation?

Travel Forums Europe Croatia, Paklenica National Park - any trail recommendation?

1. Posted by ACoelho (Full Member 4 posts) 2y

Hi All,
This August I'll be travelling to Croatia and among other sites, I plan to visit the Paklenica NP near Sibenik.
I guess the valley offers a lot of good trails, but does everyone recommend a particular good one? I like scenic views...

2. Posted by anamarija (Budding Member 43 posts) 2y

Hi!

National Park Paklenica consists of two canyons - Big and Small Paklenica.

The Velika (Big) Paklenica Canyon has only one trail within the canyon itself. There're a couple of trails branching off on sides, but the best thing to do is to get to the Mountain Hut Paklenica (also called Borisov Dom) which is approx. 2 - 2,5 hours walk from the entrance along the canyon. From there there's a number of trails (various lenght, difficulty, through forest or over barren karst terrain...) branching off. It is possible to sleep in the Hut, of course (and I reccomend it!), but for August you have to book a bed in advance!

The Mala (Small) Paklenica is a relatively smaller canyon, but the "trail" is much, much more adventurous and demanding.

You probably know this already, but the NP website is here.

I have been and go to Paklenica and the surrounding area quite often, and please make sure to be well informed about the trails, terrain, water sources (!!!), wildlife and especially weather conditions. I can't stress that enough; Velebit Mt. (which Paklenica is part of, in its southern area) may not be as high as some other mountains, but many tourist-hikers underestimate it, especially in summer when all looks lovely and greeting card-like.

You'll have to get the newest hiking map of the NP (it's available in NP souvenir shops) because that map contains - among other things - water sources and mine-field areas. If you decide to venture further off the central trail in the canyon, I advise you to get a local guide.

As for scenic views and good trails - the Paklenica area is beautiful, really, whether you're in a canyon or up on the trails or on one of the peaks, it's all very scenic and you'll exhaust your camera, trust me :) It will all depend on the amount of time you'll have, and on the level of difficulty you want/can hike (are you going alone?).
For example, the Velika Paklenica Canyon trail is a must-see. The Vaganski Vrh ("vrh" is "peak") demands a full day of hiking (up & down), and can be very difficult in August if it's hot because you need to carry all the water with you (for the descent, too). My personal favorites are not-very-used trails like the one that goes along the canyon up on it's NW side, or the one to and from Crni Vrh... There're several Shelters (small, unmanned huts) around where you can spend a night - for example Struge, Ivine Vodice... Camping out of designated camping areas is illegal in Croatia.

(If you want, I could connect you to a friend of mine who's also a climber and a hiker and knows that area better than me; you can ask him anything you wish to know and get more detailed information. Just send me a message with your e-mail and I'll forward your request to him.)

3. Posted by anamarija (Budding Member 43 posts) 2y

Just to add to my previous post:

August can be very hot (around 30 deg C or more), so the temperatures are quite high no matter how high you climb (sun exposure!). In such conditions, trails of moderate difficulty are the best, and that includes the main canyon trail and several trails leading further from the Mountain Hut in Paklenica. Depending on the weather, you can choose to do an easy walk along a stream and through a forest (in the direction of Ivine Vodice, for example), or to climb up over karst terrain (not much shade) towards Struge. Just examples, like I've said, depends on what you really want to do (level of difficulty, other companions, dayhike or sleep-in-a-hut, etc...) and how much time you'll have. And weather conditions, of course - those can very abruptly change to colder temps with rain and/or colder wind on August 15th (+/- couple of days).

4. Posted by ACoelho (Full Member 4 posts) 2y

Thanks you anamarija, great tips!

5. Posted by anamarija (Budding Member 43 posts) 2y

You're welcome. Feel free to ask me for more information, I can dig up the NP trekking map and perhaps make some more specific recommendations over the next few days.

I think the most important tip of all that I can give you is that, in case you'll be going solo, you really should consider getting a local guide or joining a group of hikers, and not go on longer, further trails alone. The trail in the canyon is okay, it's "touristy" in a way and not a problem, and a couple of other shorter hikes from the Mountain Hut and from the canyon itself are okay to go on alone... but anything longer/further from the main canyon trail I wouldn't recommend going on alone if you're not familiar with the terrain.

In any case, I think you'll have a great time :)

P.S. - I have a couple of photos from Paklenica area in my gallery

[ Edit: Edited on 24-Jun-2012, at 08:42 by anamarija ]

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