Croatia’s Paklenica National Park is located on the southern slope of Velebti Mountain, not far from Zadar in the northern part of the country. The most visited climbing destination in Croatia, the park features the Mala (small) and Velika (large) Paklenica Canyons and more than 360 different climbing sites. Velika Paklenica Canyon is 14 kilometers long and ranges from 500 to 800 meters wide, with surrounding cliffs rising up to 700 meters. At the entrance to the Mala Paklenica Canyon, visitors will find a small educational center focused on birds of prey, owls and vultures.
The best way to explore the park is on foot and the more than 150 kilometers of hiking paths include all levels of difficulty. The tourist path leading from Velika Paklenica Canyon to Manita pec cave, the Lugarnica forest cottage and a mountain hut is the most popular. It features 10 educational boards along the way providing information on the natural features of the park and cultural features of the area. Another path goes about eight kilometers from the center of Starigrad-Paklenica to the park entrance, passing through several old villages. Along this route, boards tell the history of the area going back to prehistoric times.
Basic admission to the park is 40 to 50 Croatian kuna, depending on the season. Multi-day tickets and hiking permits are also available. To reach the park from Zadar takes about 45 minutes by bus or just 30 minutes from the Zadar airport. Buses also run from Rijeka to Starigrad-Paklenica. Coming from Zagreb, take the train to Zadar first and coming from Ancona, Italy, take the ferry to Zadar. The best time to visit is in April, May, June or September.