Want a bit more from your holiday in Croatia? The country is the perfect choice for wide range of activity holidays, a great and slightly different way of seeing the country whilst also taking on some new challenges! There is quite a choice of different sports that you can participate in – it’s up to you to decide how active you want to be!
One of the easiest ways of booking yourself on an activity holiday is with Explorer Club. They offer an 8-day itinerary featuring a wide range of activities – rafting, canyoning, quad (ATV) safari and zipline – and can tailor your holiday to your experience level and particular interest. Accommodation is offered in one of their range of stunning private villas, and the itinerary also includes dinner prepared by a private chef at your villa on three nights! See the link for full details.
Activity Holidays in Croatia – Walking/Hiking
Croatia is perfectly suited for walkers, and there are numerous interesting walks to be had across the country. The most picturesque ones tend to be those in the National Parks, such as Plitvice Lakes, Krka and Paklenica National Parks and on the islands of Brijuni and Mljet.
Those interested in something a bit more strenuous – hiking – may like to head to Mount Biokovo (above Makarska) and the Velebit mountains (northern Dalmatia).
If you’re an experienced hiker and looking for an extended hiking holiday, you may be interested in the trails on the Via Dinarica. This almost 2,000km-long trail (three different ones, in fact) winds its way through eight countries – from Slovenia through to Croatia, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania and North Macedonia. Here is a fascinating account of one hiker who has experienced one of the trails: Eva Dinarica Project.
The Safe Trails (Sigurne staze in Croatian) website has been developed by the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service to provide an interactive map where you can plan walking and hiking routes. Use the map to plan your intended hike, and the website will tell you how long the hike will be (with distance, ascent and descent info too). You can then also download GPS files for your planned routes.
Oh, and if you’re a dedicated hiker you may want to familiarise yourself with the information on the Croatian Moutain Rescue Service website before you set off on any challenging hikes.
Activity Holidays in Croatia – Cycling
British company Freedom Treks organises cycling holidays in Istria, Southern Dalmatia and the Makarska Riviera, on which you stay aboard a boat. After a morning spent cycling, you can decide whether to cycle again in the afternoon or spend it cruising aboard the boat. Sounds delightful!
Skedaddle are another company that offers cycling holidays in Croatia.
Although cycling is of course possible throughout Croatia, Istria lends itself to cycling very well. Check out details of trails and help with planning a cycling holiday in this region on the comprehensive Istra Bike website. For the same thing in Dalmatia, take a look at the Bike Trails Dalmatia website.
A helpful new resource is the Croatian version of EuroVelo, the European Cycle Route Network. This site details a number of cycling routes in all counties along the Croatian coast.
If you’re planning a long-range cycle trek through Croatia and some of her neighbouring and nearby countries, take a look at the Trans Dinarica website for a cycling adventure through the Western Balkans.
Activity Holidays in Croatia – Tennis
Who can forget Goran Ivanisevic’s classic triumph at Wimbledon in 2001? If you’d like to emulate at least a bit of his success, why not head to a tennis camp in Croatia? Unfortunately, you won’t be able to have lessons from Goran himself, but there are good coaches and schools located at various places along the coast.
One such place is the Umag Tennis Academy, which is located in the same town as the ATP tournament held every July. There are programmes available for both children and adults.
Former Croatian player (and Roger Federer’s coach!) Ivan Ljubicic opened his Ljubicic Tennis Academy on the island of Losinj in 2021. As well as holiday camps for junior players, performance weeks to improve technique and your game and places at the academy are available.
Activity Holidays in Croatia – Skiing
Over the years, we’ve received several enquiries from visitors about skiing in Croatia – no doubt prompted by the fantastic achievements of Croatian skiing stars Janica Kostelic and her brother Ivica. (Janica won 3 gold and 1 silver at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games at Salt Lake City, and a further 1 gold and 1 silver at the 2006 Games in Turin; Ivica won a silver medal at the 2006 Games, and two silver medals in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver – that’s a lot of medals from the Kostelic family!)
Unfortunately, we have to disappoint as Croatian skiing facilities cannot compare with those in nearby Slovenia, Austria and Italy. (Even Croatian skiers train in Austria!)
We wouldn’t really recommend coming to Croatia for a skiing holiday. However, if you’re in the country during winter, your best bet is to head to Mount Sljeme, just north of Zagreb. This is where the Snow Queen Trophy, the FIS Ski World Cup event, is held.
Read a great article about it from the New York Times: Zagreb Is Set To Crown a New Queen of The Hill (3rd December 2006).
Otherwise, check out the other possibilities for hitting the slopes in our Skiing in Croatia.
Even if you don’t fancy skiing, if you’re ever in Zagreb in January try and attend the Snow Queen Trophy – it’s a pretty exciting and unique event.
Activity Holidays in Croatia – Diving
Diving is a very popular activity, as the sea is calm and beautifully clear. There are also quite a few ancient artefacts – both Greek and Roman – in the Adriatic Sea. Diving courses are available, but if you’re an experienced diver and don’t need any courses, you’ll still need to obtain a diving permit. There are also some restrictions on where you can and cannot dive.
Activity Holidays in Croatia – Cricket
Not a sport that you’d immediately associate with Croatia – but it is one that is slowly growing in popularity in the country. Or, to be more precise, on the island of Vis where you can take part in a cricket “tour” of 5/7/9-days duration that includes at least a couple of games against Croatian opposition. (Including, of course, Vis CC.) See www.viscricket.com for further details.
Activity Holidays in Croatia – Kiteboarding
Kiteboarding – a popular sport around the world – can best be enjoyed in Bol on the island Brac. Kiteboarding is a surface water sport that uses the wind to pull a rider through the water on a small surfboard or a kiteboard (similar to a wakeboard). Generally, kiteboarding refers to a style of riding known as freestyle or wake-style, whereas kitesurfing is more “wave-riding” oriented.
Situated in one of the most beautiful locations on the Adriatic, near the Zlatni Rat beach on the island of Brac (where there are ideal weather conditions – steady wind all day throughout the season), is the Yellow Cat kiteboarding centre which has been up and running for over 10 years. The centre is home to an area that is solely used for the purpose of kiteboarding and employs trained and very experienced staff. The company have 3- and 5-day courses for students of all levels, needs and preferences. You can also email the Yellow Cat kiteboarding centre at firstname.lastname@example.org for further info.
Activity Holidays in Croatia – Sailing
Other activities in Croatia
- Croatian Sport Fishing Association
- Orienteering in Croatia
- Zagreb Sport Find out what sport you can participate in and what sporting events you can attend in Zagreb and nearby
- Freedom Treks
- Val Tours
- Explorer Club
- Huck Finn
- Yellow Cat
- DuVine Adventures (Bike Tour)
- Blue Bike (Bike tours of Zagreb, and other cities in Croatia)
- Malik Adventures
- Zagreb Is Set To Crown a New Queen of The Hill (Skiing – New York Times, 3rd December 2006)
- Long-distance swimming in the Adriatic with SwimTrek (The Independent, 10th July 2004)
- Different activities on the Croatian islands (The Sunday Times, 16th May 2004)