Adventures / Rapid Rafting

Packrafting Adventure in Croatia

The ultimate packlight journey down two beautiful rivers in a wild corner of Croatia

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Trip Ref #10369

Adventures / Rapid Rafting

Packrafting Adventure in Croatia

The ultimate packlight journey down two beautiful rivers in a wild corner of Croatia

DURATION

4 nights

LOCATION

Croatia

ANNUAL LEAVE

3 days off work

SEASON

May-Sep

GROUP SIZE

Up to 8 people

MEETING POINT

Zagreb Airport

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel · Campsite

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

You'll need a reasonable level of fitness and an adventurous nature, but no previous experience is necessary

Paddle down narrow canyons, run rapids and jump waterfalls on the Mrežnica and Zrmanja Rivers

Hike through the wild Krupa River Canyon and past the Devertac Waterfalls - a series of nine cascades

Wild swim the emerald waters of the Velebit National Park and camp on the riverbank

Deemed one of the '25 best holidays to Croatia' by The Times

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    Stephen, August 2022

    Amazing trip. Worth it

    Luke, August 2022

    The trip was well organised with a load of activity crammed into a short period. The local guide, Luca, was a great instructor and ensured we all bonded as a team throughout.

    Alexander, August 2022

    The trip was excellent! I was a little wary signing up to a 4 day trip with 7 complete strangers, but definitely lucked out on the company. Plenty of communication before during and after, our guide Luca was amazing and the packrafting was just the right balance between providing a challenge and a holiday at the same time.

    Cheryl, September 2022

    Excellent value for money! Never a dull moment on this trip, 4 days of jam packed adventure! What better way to see such a beautiful country. Loads of memories made with a great group of people and an excellent guide!

    Danny, September 2022

    Brilliant trip! The guide, Stjepan, is a top guy, making sure we all got the basics and then there were 3 days of laughs! Accommodation and food was all good, and the Croatian folks we met along the way were super friendly. One recommendation - take hiking boots / walking shoes for the trek - you won’t regret it! Zagreb (beginning) and Zadar (end) are both worth a nights stopover. Overall - definitely give this a go!

    Jonathan, September 2022

    Fantastic trip! This was a lot of fun with really interesting activities every day. Each day was better and better with more remote and exciting parts of the river as your confidence builds. Our guide Stjepan was a top guy who did everything to make the trip fun and safe for us.

    Jolyon, September 2022

    Fun times

    Katie, July 2022

    Amazing trip through gorgeous scenery - with some fun drops and waterfalls to go down. We had a great guide and fabulous group who all got on really well. Thoroughly recommend this trip.

    Fran, July 2022

    Fantastic trip with everyone made to feel welcome whilst still pushing us out of our comfort zone and getting that much needed adrenaline rush. Marko the local guide was fantastic and shared his expertise on kayaking with us well. Overall great trip and would recommend anyone to give it a go.

    Dan, July 2022

    This is a great trip. The rafting is great fun, the organising company do a great job, and the landscape and scenery are beautiful. I'd definitely recommend.

    Included

    Guides

    Expert, local, English speaking guides

    Accommodation

    2 nights in a hotel, 2 nights camping

    Meals

    Breakfast and dinner each day

    Transfers

    To and from the airport and everything in-between

    Equipment

    All your packrafting and camping equipment

    Not Included

    Flights to and from the meeting point

    Some meals as described

    Travel insurance

    Personal expenses

    The Area

    map

    Logistics

    Starts

    Zagreb Airport

    17:30 on Day 1

    Ends

    Zadar Airport

    12:45 on Day 5

    Transfers

    Your host will meet you at Zagreb Airport at 17:30 on Day 1 and transfer you to your hotel at the start of the adventure. On Day 5 you will be dropped off at Zadar Airport at 12:45 in time to catch flights that depart after 15:00.

    If you are already in Zagreb or are arriving by train or bus, your host can meet you at the parking area behind the main train station in Zagreb at 17:00. If you are staying longer in Croatia after your adventure, you can be dropped off at Zadar bus station at 13:00 on day 5. There are frequent bus connections between Zadar and Zagreb: https://getbybus.com/hr/autobusne-linije/zadar-1505/zagreb-1510/2022-04-29)

    Travel options

    There are regular flights to Zagreb from airports across the UK and Europe. Flights to Zagreb from North America generally transit through Brussels, Paris or Amsterdam. There are direct flights between Zadar and London Gatwick for those looking to return to the UK after the adventure.

    For those wishing to avoid flying, there is an excellent Croatian sleeper train overnight from Munich to Zagreb which you can take to arrive in Zagreb on the morning of day 1.

    What about all the carbon?

    We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

    Day 1

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 2

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 3 – Day 4

    Campsite · Twin tent

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 5

    Departure day

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    What is the food like?

    Dinners at the hotel on Days 1 and 2 will have a menu with three different options each day. Dinners on Day 3 and 4 at the campgrounds will be cooked by your host and will use local produce and traditional Croatian cooking based around a meat element such as local sausages, bread, pastries, pasta and dumplings. Breakfasts at the hotel and campgrounds are continental buffet style with some local products thrown in for good measure. You may get to sample the famous Skradin risotto, popularised by the late Anthony Bourdain. You'll need to buy a packed lunch each morning to take with you, please budget €7-10 per lunch.

    Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form. We also recommend that you bring some of your favourite protein snacks along with you.

    What is the accommodation like?

    Zeleni Kut Hotel

    You'll stay at Zeleni Kut during the first two nights of your trip - a family-owned hotel located in Zvecaj, on the bank of the Mrežnica River with its own private beach area. You'll stay in a twin-share room with a private bathroom. Double rooms can be requested.

    Riverside camping

    You'll stay at two riverside campgrounds on Days 3 and 4. First up is Camp Kastel Zegarski, located on the bank of the Zrmanja river. 12km further down the river is Camp Slapovi Zrmanje, a picturesque campground with various swim spots in the river and waterfalls right by the camp.

    You'll stay in twin-share tents with sleeping mats included. Both campgrounds have toilets and outdoor showers.

    Upgrades

    For solo travelers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

    Day 1

    Welcome to Croatia

    Touch down in Zagreb and meet your host at the airport before driving over to the small village of Zvecaj, right on the bank of the Mrežnica River. Check into your hotel and enjoy the surroundings before grabbing dinner and a run through the adventure with your guide.

    Day 2

    Packraft bootcamp and first taste of paddling

    Packrafting

    2hrs · 5km

    Your guide will run you through a packrafting bootcamp - teaching you about the history of packrafting, how to pump and pack your raft, paddling and self-rescue techniques and hydrology. Ease into life as a solo packrafter on a flat and easy section of the Mrežnica River, stopping for swims and admiring the spectacular scenery of the Mrežnica River Canyon. Late afternoon you'll head back to the hotel for some time to relax by the river, swim, or grab a game of beach volleyball before dinner.

    Day 3

    Time for rapids and waterfalls

    Packrafting

    3-4hrs · 4km

    The fun is ramped up today as you put your new-found packrafting skills to the test on the livelier upper section of the Mrežnica. Weaving through the channels of the river canyon, you'll tackle a bunch of exciting rapids and even jump down a waterfall. After a day of high fives and permanent smiles, you'll pack up the rafts, dry off and hop back in the van to head on to the next leg of your adventure. Arriving at the small village of Kaštel Žegarski in the heart of the wild Velebit National Park you'll set up camp right on the banks of the Zrmanja River and tuck into dinner homemade by your host.

    Day 4

    Hike the Krupa River Canyon and raft the Zrmanja

    Packrafting

    2-3hrs · 5km

    Hiking

    3-4hrs · 5km · 400m up

    Wake up to the sound of the river in your secluded camp and enjoy a homemade breakfast to fuel you up for a big day. Carrying your packraft on your back, you'll hike through the Krupa River Canyon - a protected area where kayaking and rafting are prohibited. Stomp past the Devertac waterfalls - a series of nine cascades -before reaching a secret spot for a riverside lunch. Blow up the packraft again and put in on the Zrmanja River to tackle a stretch of multiple rapids and the occasional waterfall as you navigate your way down. Finishing at Muskovci, head back to camp to relax beside the river before dinner.

    Day 5

    Final dip and transfer to the airport

    Soak up the last of your time by the river with some breakfast and a bit of free time for a final dip in the river or a mini-hike into the wilderness around the camp before your host transfers you to Zadar in time for your onward flight.

    15% Off Outdoor Gear

    In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

    What's included?

    • Twin tents
    • Sleeping mat
    • Professional ALPACKA pack rafts
    • Life jacket
    • Paddle
    • Helmet
    • Neoprene wetsuit
    • Rain jacket
    • Waterproof container for shared group use

    What do I need to bring?

    • Lightweight easily washable items for travel and daily wear
    • Swimwear
    • Towel
    • Sun hat with brim and sunglasses
    • Thin trousers and long sleeve for the evenings (just in case)
    • Lightweight rain jacket (waterproof and breathable)
    • Trainers or lightweight adventure shoes for the hike
    • Flip Flops or other sport shoes that you don’t mind getting wet
    • Sleeping bag - season 2 (if you prefer to rent one, please refer to prices below in 'Optional Extras' and contact your host)
    • Pillow (optional)
    • Water bottle or hydration pack
    • Sunblock and lip balm
    • Personal first aid kit (including any medications you use)
    • Small backpack
    • Drybag (if you want to carry some personal items on the raft, phone/camera etc..)
    • Camera, film/memory cards and spare batteries

    Sleeping bag hire: 2 nights

    Payable Before Departure

    Sleeping bag hire: 2 nights

    Extra night camping at Zrmanja Camp

    Payable Before Departure

    Extra night camping at Zrmanja Camp

    Per Person, Per Night

    Single/Twin/Double Room at Zeleni Kut Hotel

    Payable Before Departure

    Single/Twin/Double Room at Zeleni Kut Hotel

    Per Night

    Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

    Payable Before Departure

    Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

    Private airport transfer between Zagreb/Zadar Airports and accommodation (minivan for up to 8 people)

    Payable Before Departure

    Private airport transfer between Zagreb/Zadar Airports and accommodation (minivan for up to 8 people)

    Packrafting involves paddling in light inflatable boats, then packing them up and hiking with them to access new areas. Originating from wilderness travel in Alaska, packrafting is a bit of a niche sport but rapidly gaining popularity. The whole paddling kit (raft, paddle, PFD and helmet) weighs around 5kg and packs down really small so it’s easy to carry, yet it's also durable, stable, easy to paddle and certainly not to be mistaken for a pool toy.

    Remember that you will add the weight of the packraft to your personal items when hiking, so you will have to be prepared to carry around 10kg on your back.

    You need to have a reasonable level of fitness and an adventurous nature for this trip, but no previous experience is required as you'll be given full instruction on how to packraft. You should be comfortable being in water - you are going to get wet! - and ideally be able to swim a short distance, though full safety gear is provided and you'll be wearing a life vest while on the packrafts. There are plenty of swim spots at the lunch stops, by the camp in the evening, and during the secret waterfall visits where you can swim without life vests.

    Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

    Spring and autumn temperatures range from 9 – 21 °C with roughly 10 days of rain per month. Summer temperatures range from 16 – 30 °C with just 6 days of rain each month. The water temperature will be between 16°C and 19°C - on trip dates where the water is colder your host will provide wetsuits.

    Yes, anything that you don't need for the trip itself can be kept securely ready to pick up at the end of the trip. Your main luggage will be transferred between the hotel and the two campgrounds while you are enjoying your time packrafting down the rivers.

    For current advice about travelling in Croatia, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

    On the Mrežnica and Zrmanja Rivers you will be rafting through grade 2 and 3 rapids.

    Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

    Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

    We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

    We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

    If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

    All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

    You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

    Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

    Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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    Pay In Installments

    You can choose to pay for this trip in as many installments as you like, with no interest or fees.

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