Six outdoor sports and activities and where to try them in Croatia

June 24, 2022 – If you’re the type who’s always looking for adrenaline and adventure while on vacation in Croatia, why not try one of these six outdoor sports and activities?

So many months have passed since you booked your accommodation and purchased 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 you will spend in Croatia could be set aside to try something new, something fun. And I’m not talking about things you might already know how to do in Croatia, like sailing or hiking (both awesome, by the way). You may have never tried some of the six outdoor sports and activities we’ll mention below, but here’s always your first time, and is there a better place than Croatia? Fortunately, you will already be in one of these destinations, and if you are not, we will try to convince you to make some small adjustments to your travel itinerary!

Windsurfing 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 unfamiliar with the Maestral winds in the region, it is very common strong winds in summer that make Viganj a very popular destination in Croatia for windsurfing. Although many championships (including some international ones) are held in Viganj, don’t think that this is a sport reserved for professionals. Windsurfing is a very entertaining sport that you can practice on calm and flat waters. In Viganj you will find instructors who will teach you and your family the basics. Moreover, in Viganj you will find a good number of bars and restaurants to refresh you and calm your appetite after an intense day.

Photo: Mario Romulic

Rafting in Omis

The beautiful historic town of Omiš is a 50-minute drive south of Split. Although known 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 is 101 km (63 mi) long and its basin covers an area of ​​1,463 km2. From its source, the Cetina descends from an altitude of 385 meters above sea level to the Adriatic Sea, making it a privileged destination for lovers of river sports. In the town of Omiš you will see many agencies and companies offering rafting tours and courses, ideal if you come in a group. Definitely an activity you have to try if you want adrenaline and at the same time enjoy the beauty of the Cetina Canyon.

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Photo: Mario Romulic

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 what has certainly earned it great popularity are its huge stone walls, and every year thousands of locals and daring tourists visit Paklenica to scale them. Don’t be intimidated because although you will see many experienced climbers, you can start from a basic level and climb as needed. Now, if you are one of those experienced climbers, you cannot miss this great opportunity, especially if you are in Zadar! Climbing on a hot summer day can be exhausting, but don’t worry, because you’ll be doing it next to the Paklenica River, perfect for cooling off! The place also has bars to drink water, beer, whatever you want!

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Photo: Jose Alfonso Cussianovich

Scuba diving in Brijuni National Park

Brijuni National Park is located in Istria and is a string of small islands accessible 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 an incredible and diverse marine fauna and flora. The waters of Brijuni National Park are extraordinary for scuba diving, which is organized by guided groups and gives you the opportunity to appreciate and photograph the seabed of the national park.

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Photo: Mario Romulic

Kayaking in Dubrovnik

Although kayaking is an activity that can be practiced on the entire Adriatic coast, including the Croatian islands, we had to highlight Dubrovnik as a key 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 be done serenely and to 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 option 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.

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Photo: Mario Romulic

Kitesurfing in Nin

Similar to windsurfing, kitesurfing is also a sea activity where your best partner is the wind. While in windsurfing you combine surfing and sailing, in kitesurfing you will use a kite (sorry for the redundancy). On a good windy day, you can cover distances at impressive speeds, while being able to lift off the surface and fly, allowing you to perform breathtaking tricks in the air. It sounds daunting, but you’ll find instructors to help you start small and you’ll find it’s a lot of fun. You can kitesurf in places like Viganj, but another very popular kitesurf 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, kitesurfing will be the highlight of your day.

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Photo: Mario Romulic

To find out more about traveling in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN page.

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