When you travel abroad why confine yourself to just one experience or activity? Life’s short and you may as well try and squeeze in as much excitement as you possibly can. For this reason, multi-activity holidays are the way forward.
One favourite destination for such breaks is Croatia, a rousing land of contrasting environments, terrains and sights.
Now you can enjoy all these activities at once and often in the same location. Only the intrepid and the fearless should read on!
A River Runs Through It
The Mreznica River’s 25 square-mile basin is a veritable trove of adventure sports opportunities. Easy to moderate-level kayakers will appreciate the Class I-II upstream conditions. You’ll encounter a series of fragrant, warm-water pools, not to say some of the 93 waterfalls situated along the entirety of the river.
Mreznica’s alpine climate can sometimes be so chilly that you’ll need neoprene clothing, which is provided by most tour operators.
The fertile explosions of foliage along the banks of the river hide a plethora of rare birds well worth a look with the binoculars: the Great White Egret, the Golden Eagle and the Lesser Spotted Eagle amongst them.
Once you’ve had a paddle, this is also the perfect point of departure for a hike through the Piltvice Lakes National Park, the oldest in Croatia. The park is surrounded by beautiful mountains whose slopes serve as natural reservoirs.
More daring climbers will want to take on 1,640 metre Gornja Plejesvica, the region’s tallest peak, while those who prefer ‘going underground’ will enjoy the numerous karstic pit-caves. Cadinka (203 metres) is challenging enough to warrant use of the Single Rope Technique, so make the necessary preparations before descent.
For centuries Dubrovnik was one of the most important ports of Southern Europe, and this legacy remains evident in its old city walls, elegant mansions and harbourside storehouses.
Also remarkable about this city is its close proximity to the eye-catching islands of Sipan, Lokrum and Mlijet, each of which offer unique thrills.
With its medieval monasteries, vineyards, olive gardens and pine forests, Sipan is a cyclist’s paradise. While it’s possible to take Sipan at a leisurely pace, the more committed cyclist will want to take on the off-road course that begins at the island’s futuristic-looking radar station, continues down the ridge line to Kalaberra Cave, ascends to Suicide Cliff (where the view across the cerulean ocean is astonishing), before a 300-metre single-track straightaway to the Marianas Country Club for something cold to drink.
But there’s more to Dubrovnik’s neighbouring islands than cycling. Croatia Holidays that include the 2-hour ocean canoe trip from the Old Port to the flora-filled island of Lokrum are a must. Fully-guided, you’ll get the best views of the dazzling white city walls and, as you approach the island, treat yourself to a swim off a golden sand cove.
While the concept of a beach is simple – where land meets water – it features an almost infinite number of potential activities. Croatian beaches are no exception.
Watersports fanatics of all kinds flock to the magical western beach of Viganj for its perfect conditions.
Located in the shadow of St Elias Hill in the channel between Korkula and Peljesac, Viganj boasts windspeeds of 5-8 Beauforts between 2pm and 8pm every day from April to September.
It’s easy to understand, then, why this was the site of the 1989 Windsurfing World Cup and the 1990 European Championship.
It’s also a magnet for surfers, kitesurfers and hang-gliders.
Maritimo Windsurfing School offers intensive courses that should get you up to a good technical level in just 4 days.
A yacht trip around the Peljesac Peninsular (on which Viganj lies) will take you past gorgeous botanical gardens of sub-tropical flowers, attractive fishing villages such as Dol and Podac, the cloud-touching peak of Svet Ilija (961 metres) and various rolling, silver pebble beaches.
Light and medium draft yachts can four-point moor at Viganj’s main jetty or either side of its pier. Southwest of the monastery is more suitable for deeper drawing craft.