Contrasts and diversity sum up Croatia, one of the most beautiful and beguiling countries in Europe: tall forests, wind-combed prickly thornbush and juniper on the stony uplands, the miraculous waterfalls in the Plitvice Lakes and Krka national parks, the aridity of the karst landscapes, modern tourist resorts and timeless old villages, the deserted Krajina region and the intensively cultivated Neretva delta. The parks are particularly welcoming to walkers, with miles of waymarked and well-maintained paths and trails, some bringing seemingly inaccessible summits within quite easy reach.
From prehistoric times to the end of the 20th century, many empires and events have left their marks on the Croatian landscape. There are prehistoric piles of stones on hilltops, Venetian-era town walls and towers, British and French fortresses, opulent Austro-Hungarian villas, partisans’ refuges and poignant memorials commemorating World War II resistance fighters, and even signs of the 1990s strife. Age-old expressions of religious belief survive in many simple, beautiful chapels in small villages. Stone walls and enclosures testify to the centuries-old challenge to wrest a living from the land, even though many are crumbling or are being reclaimed by forests.
- 70 long and short walks for all ages and abilities
- 1:50,000 topo maps
- 9 car tours and fold-out touring maps including ferry routes – ideal for planning
- 30 picnic suggestions
- public transport information, with websites
- online update service
Area covered: Croatia’s Adriatic coast from the Kvarner Gulf south to Dubrovnik, 11 islands, and two inland areas. Includes the Mljet, Plitvice Lakes, Krka and Paklenica national parks, Biokovo and Ucka nature parks, five of Croatia’s six World Heritage sites.
The best months for walking in Croatia are May to July, September and October.