Packrafting   Rafting   River kayaking   Rock climbing  

Paklenica National Park

Paklenica National Park covers 95 sq km of this mountain chain, rising high above the Adriatic. The stark peaks of the Velebit Massif stretch for 145 km, thus forming a dramatic barrier between continental Croatia and the Adriatic coast. The park contains some of the country’s finest mountain scenery, allowing you to trek up gorges, climb walls of stone, and meander along shady paths next to a rushing stream. The National Park Paklenica encompasses two deep gorges, Velika Paklenica (Great Paklenica) and Mala Paklenica (Small Paklenica), which scar the mountain range like giant marks. The dry limestone karst that forms the Velebit Range is highly absorbent, but several springs at high altitudes provide a continuous source of water and nurture patches of lush vegetation.


The country’s finest mountain scenery

 About half the park is covered with forests. Mostly beech and pine followed by pubescent oak. The vegetation changes as you ascend, as does the climate too. It progresses from the Mediterranean to continental to sub-alpine. The lower regions, especially those with southern exposure, can be fiercely hot in the summer, while the bura (cold northeasterly wind) that whips through the range in winter brings rain and sudden storms. The best time to visit the park is in April, May, June, or September. In late spring it’s at its greenest and the streams become torrents. In July and August, many of the streams dry up and it can be too hot to hike comfortably.


FUN FACT: Paklenica National Park is a heaven for sport climbers with routes ranging from basic ones for total beginners to the multi-pitch difficult ones, that even pros find challenging. The routes are well-equipped and maintained, however, it’s always wise to take a set of nuts, friends, and a few slings with you.