Six Outdoor Sports and Activities and Where to Try Them in Croatia

Total Croatia News

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Photo: Mario Romulić
Photo: Mario Romulić

So many months have passed since you booked your accommodation and bought your tickets. Summer has finally arrived and so has your well-deserved vacation. All you want is to forget about work and college for a few days and focus on living your life to the fullest. You just want to lie on the beach or float in the calm waters of the Adriatic. Who doesn’t?

But it occurs to me that maybe some of those many days that you will spend in Croatia could be reserved to try something new, something fun. And I’m not talking about what you may already know you can do in Croatia, like sailing or hiking (both great, by the way). You may have never tried some of the six outdoor sports and activities that we will mention below, but here is always a first time, and is there any better place than Croatia? Luckily, you will be in one of these destinations already, and if not, we will try to convince you to make some small adjustments to your travel itinerary!

Windsurf in Viganj

On the Dalmatian peninsula of Pelješac, about ten minutes west of Orebić by car, is the village of Viganj. In case you are not familiar with the Maestral winds in the area, they are very common strong winds in the summer that make Viganj a very popular destination in Croatia for windsurfing. Although many championships (some of them international) are held in Viganj, do not think that it is a sport reserved for professionals. Windsurfing is a very entertaining sport that you can do on calm and flat waters. In Viganj you can find instructors who will teach you and your family the basics. Additionally, in Viganj you will find a good number of bars and restaurants to refresh yourself and calm your appetite after an intense day.


Photo: Mario Romulić

Rafting in Omiš

The beautiful and historic town of Omiš is a 50-minute drive south of Split. While noted for its beaches, charming old town, and views from above, Omiš is located at the mouth of the Cetina River, the largest in Dalmatia. It has a length of 101 km (63 mi) and its basin covers an area of 1,463 km2. From its source, the Cetina descends from an elevation of 385 meters above sea level to the Adriatic Sea, making it a preferred destination for those who love river sports. In the city of Omiš, you will see numerous agencies and companies offering tours and rafting classes, ideal if you come in a group. Definitely an activity that you must try if you want some adrenaline and at the same time enjoy the beauty of the Cetina canyon.


Photo: Mario Romulić

Rock climbing in Paklenica National Park

Paklenica National Park is located 50 minutes by car from the city of Zadar and is one of the largest in Croatia, as well as one of the most spectacular. Paklenica has something for everyone, but surely what has brought it a lot of popularity are its huge stone walls, and every year thousands of daring locals and tourists visit Paklenica to climb them. Do not be intimidated, because although you will see many experienced climbers, you can start from a basic level and climb as necessary. Now, if you are one of those experienced climbers, you cannot miss this great opportunity, especially if you are in Zadar! Rock climbing on a hot summer day can be exhausting, but don’t worry, because you will do it next to the Paklenica river, ideal for cooling off! The place also has bars to drink water, beer, whatever you want!


Photo: Jose Alfonso Cussianovich

Scuba diving in Brijuni National Park

Brijuni National Park is located in Istria and is a string of small islands reachable by boat from Fažana, 20 minutes from the city of Pula. Brijuni, in addition to being recognized for its archaeological and cultural sites, also has incredible and diverse marine fauna and flora. The waters of the Brijuni National Park are extraordinary for scuba diving, which is organized by guided groups and gives you the opportunity to appreciate and photograph the National Park seabed.


Photo: Mario Romulić

Kayaking in Dubrovnik

Although kayaking is an activity that you can practice along the entire Adriatic coast, including the Croatian islands, we had to highlight Dubrovnik as a top destination to do it. It is one of the most practiced in Croatia because, although it requires technique and practice, it is an activity to do calmly and appreciate everything around you. If you dare to do it in Dubrovnik, you will see that there is something very special about kayaking next to the ancient walls of the Pearl of the Adriatic. You also have the opportunity to visit the island of Lopud, and of course, there will be plenty of time to get off the kayak on the beaches of Dubrovnik and cool off from the summer heat.


Photo: Mario Romulić

Kitesurfing in Nin

Similar to windsurfing, kitesurfing is also an activity in the sea where your best partner is the wind. While in windsurfing you combine surfing with sailing, in kitesurfing you will use a kite (sorry for the redundancy). On a good windy day, you can travel distances at impressive speeds, as well as being able to lift off the surface and basically fly, allowing you to perform mind-blowing tricks in the air. It sounds intimidating, but you will find instructors who will help you start small and you will see that it is very entertaining. You can kitesurf in places like Viganj, but another very popular kitesurfing destination is Queen’s Beach in Nin, 30 minutes from Zadar. With spectacular views of the Velebit mountain range and an area known for its healing mud, practicing kitesurfing will be the highlight of your day.


Photo: Mario Romulić

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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