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.
This week-long exploration of Croatia’s rivers, mountains and wildlife provides school groups with an insight into Croatia’s fascinating natural environments. Pupils are challenged with a range of water and land based activities, learning new skills and studying the flora and fauna found in this region.
The adventure begins on the magnificent and beautifully clear Mreznica River, which winds over 60 kilometres and is home to staggering scenery, rich ecology and birdlife. Groups can choose between rafts or canoes and spend two days on the river, with a night of wild camping.
Next on the itinerary are two days of trekking through Croatia’s Velebit Mountains, a UNESCO protected biosphere. Here you will find steep gorges and high mountain peaks. Pupils will study the diverse flora and fauna found in Velebit, and it is also possible to see mammals here, such as bear, lynx and wild boar, as well as the magnificent white-headed vulture, with 2.6 metre wingspan.
The itinerary ends with a visit to Krka National Park, one of Croatia’s most important areas for nature and biodiversity. Here pupils will learn about different plant species endemic to Croatia, and trek to the park's stunning waterfalls, which provide a great spot to cool off.
On arrival in Zagreb you will be met by your local guides and drive to your hotel, which is situated right next to the beautiful Mreznica River and one of its waterfalls. Once at the hotel, you will have some free time before your guides brief the group on the upcoming activities.
Today you will start your kayaking adventure, which lasts for approximately six hours, with a break for lunch. The rapids are fairly easy, and are technically classified as level 1 to 2. After a short introduction to paddling, you push off for a day of refreshing fun on the clear, emerald waters of the Mreznica River.
Due to its biological diversity and variety of habitats, the Mreznica area is due to be categorised as a Croatian Nature Park, and is home to many endangered and protected plant and animal species that you may get a chance to observe. These include four 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. Returning to the hotel, you will have the chance to change into dry clothes before an optional walk through the local villages and along the river.
After breakfast, you will grab your equipment again and drive up to the starting point for another day of kayaking. Today will be around six hours again, but slightly more demanding, with the rapids classified between 1 and 3. Perfecting your paddling skills, it should be another fun filled day on the water. You will arrive back to your hotel in time to pack your things and prepare your backpacks for tomorrow's hike.
It is an early start this morning to drive towards Starigrad, a town on the doorstep of the Velebit Mountains. Your hike will take you through Paklenica National Park, 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 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 fabulous coastal and mountain scenery. This hike will be around three hours long, and you will arrive at a mountain hut in time for lunch. The rest of the afternoon can be spent relaxing and helping prepare dinner with your hosts.
After your night in the mountain hut, it's time to pack your belongings and start the hike back down to meet your drivers. From here, you will drive to Skradin which is around one or two hours away. Once there, check in to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the afternoon exploring Skradin.
Today you will jump on the local ferry which will take you to Krka National Park, from where you will trek through the national park, around beautiful waterfalls and along theKrka River. Due to its geographic position, the park has numerous different habitats, resulting in an extremely diverse flora and fauna, with many endemic, rare and threatened species. After some time in the park, you will then catch the ferry back to Skradin for some free time relaxing on the beach.
Transfer by road back to Zagreb for your flight back to the UK.
- Destination: Croatia
- When to go: Jun to Jul
- Duration: 7 days
- Trip type: Explorer
- Rafting on Mreznica River
- Trekking in the Velebit Mountains
- Nature walks in Krka National Park
- Accommodation: Camping, hotel & mountain hut
- Ideal for: Ages 15 to 16
Travellers will need:
- High level of fitness
- Appreciation for outdoor adventure
- Interest in encountering new cultures
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.