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Packrafting Adventure in Croatia

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

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Trip Ref #10369

Packrafting Adventure in Croatia

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

DURATION
4 nights
LOCATION
Croatia
ANNUAL LEAVE
3 or 4 days off work
SEASON
May-Sep
GROUP SIZE
Up to 8 people
MEETING POINT
Zagreb Airport
ACCOMMODATION
Classic

Hotel · Campsite

OVERALL RATING

4.8

Based on 34 reviews
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

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.

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

Visas where required

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).

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. Check out the Getbybus website for bus times and tickets.

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 partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount 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
  • Water shoes 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
  • Head torch
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Sleeping bag hire: 2 nights

Payable Before Departure

Sleeping bag hire: 2 nights

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

Gwynfor

Absolutely amazing trip! Our guide, Lovlo, was super friendly and is an expert at both making you feel welcome and helping you with your packrafting. The packrafting was super fun, the scenery was gorgeous, the accommodation was great, the food was lovely (even as a vegetarian).

Jay

Great trip with a cool group of people, would definitely recommend if you are on the fence about booking. You really feel like you are in the middle of nature far from everyone else, seeing sights that most wouldn’t. And of course it’s fun to go down the rapids and falls.

Richard

Highly recommended, especially for those looking to get into rafting / kayaking for the first time. There's lots of thrills, spills, white-water, waterfall jumps, and plenty of adrenaline; but all of it is very easily manageable even if you've never been on the water before. We went at the end of the season when the water level was quite low, but even a bit higher it still would've been very doable for beginners.

Our guide Ivan was great and really looked after us, making sure we all had fun and giving us a crash course in basic Croat language, culture, and history — watch our for the Rakia! Croatia is beautiful (even when the weather isn't!), the food is great — especially the homemade stuff by Mariana at the campsite — and there's so much of it you might not need to buy lunches, and if you're lucky you might even get to see sunbathing Terrapins.

100% would recommend, and very much looking forward to getting back to Croatia soon!

A highly recommended trip with a great group of people!

Carina

If you are unsure whether to take this trip and love water - do it! A perfect mixture of serene nature and a fun adrenaline rush. This was my first adventure with Much Better Adventures, but not my last OFF COURSE. I was a bit comprehensive regarding the room sharing and travelling alone, but these concerns were a waste of time. The group on this trip was amazing. Everyone was open-minded and contributed to making this trip amazing. Our group leader DD was great. He pushed us to do our best while being attentive to safety. He really contributed to making this trip unforgettable. The food was delicious and the accommodation was perfect. A really cozy hotel by the lake with live music one evening. This spot seems to be an attractive spot for locals to take a swim on sunny days. This created a great lively atmosphere. The campsite was beautiful and quiet - and the toilet facilities were great. Do not forget to bring your carabiner, wet shoes and a dry bag.

Maisie

OF COURSE! Would 100% recommend this trip to anyone! It was the best tour I’ve ever done. You need to feel ready to flip your packrafts, swim and jump from waterfalls (you do get a choice with this though), as well as feel fit enough to paddle for a good distance. The scenery was gorgeous, the food we had was all local and delicious, while camping it was all homemade by the lovely Mariana (worth checking options if you’re veggie or vegan) - Mariana also kindly made a cake for one of our group's birthdays. You get an opportunity to buy lunch during so no need to bring these. Pillows are provided during camping. A dry bag is definitely needed, a carabiner is helpful. Our guide DD (Davor) was very skilled and made sure we all got the most out of our trip. He taught us all the skills we needed to stay safe and make the most out of it. He was very knowledgeable about packrafting and the areas we visited. He made sure we all had fun while also pushing us to the best of our abilities. Make sure you pack lots of sun cream and be ready for a fun filled, adrenaline adventure!

Liz

Best way to see a big, beautiful chunk of Croatia. Saw terrapins, some sort of river snakes, loadsa butterflies, jumped off some waterfalls, swam in the river in and amongst some of the most incredible scenery..... Excellent host, a great group of people - an awesome holiday from beginning to end. Top tip - It was crazy hot when we did this trip - wore leggings on days 1 & 2 which got wet very quickly (I'm not a natural rafter and fell in a couple of times) and they kept me cool throughout the day.

Cassandra

What a great trip! The length is perfect, as each day has something a bit challenging but definitely doable. Our guide, DD, was very knowledgeable and always made safe decisions while still providing adventurous opportunities. Our group size made it easy to get to know everyone and spend time together or find our own quiet time. The locations and accommodations are stunning, with beautiful scenery friendly staff and amazing food. We loved our trip and look forward to another adventure.

Paul

Great first trip with Much Better Adventures. Great group and host. Booking site not entirely accurate. Kit list needs updating and info on food (especially lunch) could be clearer. Also, more info on transfer times between locations, more time spent in minibus than anticipated.

Paula

Had a good time. Our guide Lepi was lovely, knowledgeable, very laid back with a cheeky side. Didn’t get to trek or do some parts of the itinerary due to weather issues. Our host did his best to find a suitable alternative. Main tip is to bring proper water shoes. You’ll need to buy your own drinking water and lunches. Everything else is provided. Favourite part was the secret waterfall and falling out the kayak down the rapids. If you get the chance, fall a sleep under the stars.

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 70% 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.

Weather conditions could impact on the ability of the host to run the itinerary in the intended format. In the event of heavy rain, flooding or extreme high temperatures, it is possible that conditions may become unsafe for the activities on this trip. If it is deemed unsafe to operate an activity on the original itinerary, your host has a number of alternative activities that would be considered as a replacement in these circumstances.

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.

The local tap water is safe to drink. Please bring along your own reusable water bottles (at least 1.5L) to fill up to avoid buying single-use plastic bottles.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

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 always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

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

TRIP DEPARTURE DATES

May 2024

Saturday • 11th May 2024

to Wednesday • 15th May 2024
€680.00
Fully Booked
Guaranteed to run

Saturday • 18th May 2024

to Wednesday • 22nd May 2024
€680.00
Fully Booked
Guaranteed to run

Saturday • 25th May 2024

to Wednesday • 29th May 2024
€680.00
Fully Booked
Guaranteed to run

Saturday • 1st June 2024

to Wednesday • 5th June 2024
€680.00
Fully Booked
Guaranteed to run

Saturday • 8th June 2024

to Wednesday • 12th June 2024
€680.00
Fully Booked
Guaranteed to run

Saturday • 15th June 2024

to Wednesday • 19th June 2024
€810.00
2 Booked • 6 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Saturday • 22nd June 2024

to Wednesday • 26th June 2024
€810.00
8 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Saturday • 29th June 2024

to Wednesday • 3rd July 2024
€810.00
3 Booked • 5 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Saturday • 6th July 2024

to Wednesday • 10th July 2024
€810.00
2 Booked • 6 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Saturday • 20th July 2024

to Wednesday • 24th July 2024
€810.00
1 Booked • 7 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Saturday • 3rd August 2024

to Wednesday • 7th August 2024
€810.00
2 Booked • 6 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Saturday • 10th August 2024

to Wednesday • 14th August 2024
€810.00
2 Booked • 5 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Saturday • 17th August 2024

to Wednesday • 21st August 2024
€810.00
4 Booked • 4 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Saturday • 24th August 2024

to Wednesday • 28th August 2024
€810.00
8 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Saturday • 31st August 2024

to Wednesday • 4th September 2024
€810.00
8 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Saturday • 7th September 2024

to Wednesday • 11th September 2024
€680.00
2 Booked • 6 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Saturday • 14th September 2024

to Wednesday • 18th September 2024
€680.00
7 Booked • 1 Spot left
Guaranteed to run

Pay In Installments

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

Full Financial Protection

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