One of Croatia’s most pristine rivers, The Mreznica offers school groups plenty of opportunities for kayaking, rafting and canoeing, as well as swimming under some of its 93 waterfalls.
Water and mountain activities all week long are the feature of this action packed itinerary. The trip starts with rafting and kayaking on the Mreznica River, continues with trekking in the canyons of Velebit Nature Park and finishes on the Dalmatian Coast.
The Mreznica River is one of Croatia's most desirable retreats, hidden away from the rest of the country by mountains and forests. It boasts transparent green water, unspoiled woods and magical landscapes. Every bend in the river gives the expedition team another view and more to see. Drifting down this river, dragging the boats up the bank late afternoon and lighting the camp fire to cook on is a true wilderness adventure expedition.
Paklenica National Park is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and a favourite hiking and climbing destination in this part of Europe. Lying on the southeast slopes of the Velebit Mountain, near the coast and cut by two awe-inspiring gorges - Mala Paklenica and Velika - Paklenica's scenery is one of the most pristine in the whole Mediterranean.
Both areas' diversity offers options for several activities which you can also combine in a multi day adventure expedition. The Schools Worldwide team have developed many itineraries to Croatia over the years and have prepared the following school expedition based on our personal recommendations and experiences. However, as with all our school expeditions, every itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to suit your school and your group. You can choose this itinerary exactly as it stands, or use it as a starting point for your group's own unique overseas experience...
Leaving the UK, you arrive in Zagreb and transfer to your basecamp, situated 70km from Zagreb, by the Mreznica River. The Mreznica is considered one of Croatia’s cleanest rivers, with plenty of great places for swimming, canoeing, kayaking and rafting. The river is 64km long, and is special for its 93 waterfalls and pools of warm water between them, perfect for refreshment away from beach crowds. Clear green water, unspoiled woods and magical landscapes make it one of Croatia’s most desirable continental retreats. After preparing the camp we will walk alongside the river and enjoy a swim under the waterfalls.
After breakfast you drive upstream to the starting point of your river adventure. After a short introduction to paddling, you push off for a day of refreshing fun on the clear, emerald waters of the Mreznica River. Depending on the water level, we use rafts, two-person sit-on-top kayaks or open canoes which are easy and safe to navigate. Due to its biological diversity and variety of habitats, the Mreznica area should soon be categorized as a Croatian Nature Park. It is home to many endangered and protected plant and animal species that you may get a chance to observe. These include 4 species of birds from the ‘red list’ of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature – the Golden Eagle, the Lesser Spotted Eagle, the Western Capercaillie and the Great White Egret. The day will be filled with swimming, exploring waterfalls and enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings. At the end of this river section you will set up camp and spend the evening by the river.
Today we continue our descent down the Mreznica, on another section of the river. You will perfect your paddling skills and spend a day filled with activities on the water.
Today you drive to Starigrad, a town at the doorstep of Velebit mountain. Velebit is the largest mountain chain in Croatia. Your hike starts in Paklenica National Park, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and a favorite hiking and climbing destination in this part of Europe. Lying on the southeast slopes of the Velebit Mountains, near the coast and cut by two awe-inspiring gorges, Mala Paklenica and Velika, Paklenica’s scenery is one of the most pristine in the whole Mediterranean. The lofty peaks making up this range offer huge views of both coastal and mountain scenery. You will hike to Borisov Dom, a mountain hut popular among mountaineers.
Today you continue hiking up the Velebit mountains and exploring the geomorphological phenomena and forms, diverse flora and fauna, attractive landscapes and pristine nature. The great diversity and the presence of endemic, rare and protected plant species make Velebit a very valuable floristic area, not just in Croatia, but in Europe and the world as well. The following genera prevail in the park’s flora: daisies, grasses, legumes, mints, roses and carnations. The white-headed vulture (wing-span up to 2.6m) resides in this area, as well as numerous insects (the most fascinating are the mountain butterflies), mammals, bears, wild boars, wildcats, lynx and many more.
You’ll start your descent down the mountain towards Starigrad, before spending the afternoon on the beach in Starigrad and the evening in a camp close to the seaside.
Zadar is the main city in Northern Dalmatia with over 76,000 inhabitants. Most famous for its Old Town, set in a peninsula that is completely pedestrianised, the town has numerous Roman and other wonderful sights so is a delight to visit. You’ll also have time to relax on one of the nearby beaches before the final evening dinner and a celebration of an amazing adventure.
Leaving Croatia this morning, you may have time for some final souvenir shopping before heading back to the UK.
- Destination: Croatia
- When to go: May to Jul
- Duration: 8 days
- Trip type: Adventure
- Mreznica River
- Velebit Mountains
- Beaches and waterfalls
- Zadar tour
- Accommodation: Hotel
- Ideal for: Ages 14 to 15
Travellers will need:
- Good level of fitness
- Appreciation of the outdoor environment
The largest mountain chain in Croatia, Velebit offers some of the most pristine scenery in the Mediterranean. Paklenica National Park makes an excellent hiking destination.
Located on Croatia’s Dalmation Coast, the intriguing city of Zadar is famous for its Old Town and numerous Roman and Venetian ruins, and makes a great addition to any overseas school adventure.