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Family Travel – In the heart of authentic Croatia

15-Day Itinerary travel in Croatia.

Self-drive from Zagreb for lovers of nature and wide horizons. A trip filled with authenticity and meetings.


You want unusual, slow travel and moments to share with your children in the middle of a green paradise, this trip is made for you! From the vineyards and castles in the north to the lakes and waterfalls of the national parks in Dalmatia, via the inland of Istria, this trip is ideal for children and grown-ups:


Zagreb, ideal European capital for a treasure hunt or a cooking class.
– Stay in a farmhouse in Istria and the Krka Park.
– Hike in Risnjak and Velebit National Parks.

Length of stay: 15 days

Kind: Croatia tours

Fix: For all public

Countries visited: CROATIA

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Day 1 : Zagreb

Arrival at Zagreb Airport and first contact with Croatia. Collection of your vehicle inside the airport. Arrival in Zagreb and drive to the north of Croatia, in the heart of an authentic region where slow tourism is king. Depending on your timing, discovery of the Neanderthal Man Museum in Krapina. The museum is very interactive and presents exhibitions on the evolution of mankind and the history of the Earth, from its origins to the modern era. Continue through the vineyards and settle in at your accommodation. Overnight in a 3-star chalet of character, typical of the North of Croatia. Standard room. Rental of a compact C-Class vehicle, type Opel Astra or similar , including:

– Unlimited mileage
– VAT tax
– Manual gearbox
– One driver insurance
– Basic third party insurance: CDW and TP.

Terra Balka can offer other options. On the spot the renter will be able to propose you additional insurances if necessary.

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Day 2 : Krapina

Day trip to the Zagorje region to discover the history, Croatian traditions and regional gastronomy. Departure in the morning in the direction of Trakoscan Castle, very close to Slovenia, in a beautiful natural environment. This neo-gothic castle, surrounded by a romantic garden, overlooks an artificial lake in the heart of a forest. Visit then walk in the park. Continue through the vineyards to reach the medieval castle of Veliki Tabor. The latter offers beautiful views over the region. It is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Croatia. Lunch is possible in a restaurant (local and regional cuisine) in the open air. End of the day at the open-air museum in Kumrovec, where Marshal Tito, former president of Yugoslavia, was born. This reconstructed village allows us to go back two centuries. Overnight in a 3-star chalet of character, typical of the North of Croatia. Standard room.

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Day 3 : Krapina

Direction Risnjak National Park. From the north of Croatia down to the Adriatic. Stop at Karlovac to enjoy the joys of swimming in the beautiful rivers of Kupa, Mreznica and Korana. Arrival then at the edge of the park. Overnight in a 2-star refuge-guest house. Double room. Dinner included at the refuge.

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Day 4 : Risnjak National Park

Immersion in Risnjak National Park, wildlife refuge. Located in the Gorski Kotar, the most mountainous and wooded region of the country, about 15 kilometers inland from the Adriatic Sea, this park is remote and rarely visited. The highest point, the Veliki Risnjak, rises to 1,528 metres. The park takes its name from the lynx (Croatian for laugh ), the wild cat that can still be seen, in addition to bears, wolves, wild cats, wild boars, chamois and deer. Loop hike to the Risnjak huts, among these peaceful rock giants in a universe that includes a large number of natural phenomena. Alpine, dinaric, Mediterranean and continental influences can be found there. Between limpid streams, dizzying fir forests and strange rock formations, your discovery takes on the allure of exploration.

-> 17 km, 856 metres elevation gain, about 6 hours-walk. Overnight in a 2-star refuge-guest house. Double room. Dinner included at the refuge. Park entrance included.

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Day 5 : Risnjak National Park

Istria: first experience. Road to Opatija, a prestigious seaside resort. Then you drive along the coast to Labin, a perched village that is really worth a visit. Then you enter the interior of Istria, passing through Gracisce, one of the most beautiful villages of Istria and yet very little frequented. In addition to its beautiful houses, the village offers an incredible panorama of the region. On your way to Borut, take a break in Pazin and its famous abyss which offers a pleasant stroll and if you are looking for adrenaline, opt for a zip line crossing or a caving descent! End of the day in Borut and installation at your accommodation. Overnight in a 2-star agro-tourism inn. Standard room.

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Day 6 : Borut

Exploration of Green Istria, the authentic, gastronomic and secret part of Istria. Route through the whole northern part of the region to discover villages perched among Buzet, Oprtalj where there is an atmosphere of artists’ studios, Groznjan, one of the pearls in terms of small authentic village and finally Motovun, a beautiful village that you visit on foot. Overnight in a 2-star agro-tourism inn. Standard room.

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Day 7 : Rovinj

Free and self-guided tour of Rovinj. Rovinj is the most beautiful Venetian wonder of Istria. Founded by the Romans, it preserves the remains of its fortifications. We advise you to take advantage of both the freshness and the morning atmosphere to stroll quietly. As you walk around the city on foot, along the waterfront, you will discover the charm of the facades, the views of the Adriatic that emerge from the narrow streets, and the surprising little terraces nestled between two rocks. It’s a little piece of paradise that can be discovered at different times of the day: in the morning when you wake up, in the afternoon when it’s hot, when you have an aperitif and the night-time activity begins to take shape. Whether it’s for a coffee or a cool glass of Malvazija , you’re spoilt for choice in the cosy terraces!

Suggested highlights: Arc de Balbi, Clock Tower, St. Euphemia Cathedral, Zlatni Rt Park, Batana Museum, etc. Free visit of Pula. Pula owes its fame to the beauty of its Roman monuments, such as the Pula Arena, which is one of the six largest amphitheatres still in good condition today.

Highlights of the visit: Arena, Arch of the Sergii, Temple of August, Twin Gates and Hercules. Overnight in a 2-star agro-tourism inn. Standard room.

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Day 8 : Borut

Direction the Velebit and its multiple panoramas on the islands . Descent towards the Adriatic to follow the coast to discover northern Dalmatia. The mountains of the northern Velebit can be discovered in front of you. Arrival at the edge of the park. Overnight in a 2-star Bed and Breakfast. Standard Room.

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Day 9 : Sjeverni Velebit National Park

Hiking and ascent of Zavizan summit (1,678 m alt). Departure in the morning to reach the outskirts of the park whose landscapes are among the most spectacular in the country. On the program, walk in the gorges and observation of the luxuriant vegetation. The hike passes through meadows and forests. On the way, you may have the opportunity to observe wild boars or wild horses for example. The view from the summit is magical.

-> 12.5 km, 579 metres elevation gain, about 4 hours-walk. Park entrance included. Overnight in a 2-star Bed and Breakfast. Standard Room.

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Day 10 : Sjeverni Velebit National Park

Along the Adriatic coast, the beautiful Venetian stages. You leave the Velebit this morning and head south. Stop in Zadar to visit the fascinating city of Zadar. Continuation southwards. Numerous panoramas of the Kornati archipelago. Swimming towards Biograd na Moru before reaching Skradin. Check in at the hotel to Skradin, a charming and historic town on the banks of the Krka river fjord. The old town has an extraordinary location that will delight you. Check-in at the hotel. Treasure hunt in the city of Zadar. Your guide will give you a map and you will have to solve the different puzzles by yourself while observing the city and its monuments. Children and adults alike, you’ll take part in the game, paying special attention to every part of the route that leads you. At the end of the quest, if you have been worthy of the hopes placed in you, your guide will reveal his fabulous stories about Zadar. Overnight in a 3-star property near Sibenik and Skradin. Standard room.

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Day 11 : Krka

Visit of the Krka Park, on foot and by boat. From Skradin up the Krka Canyon by boat to the Skradinski buk waterfalls. Walk of about 2 hours around the site + swimming possible. Return to Skradin by boat.

-> The visit of the other sites of the park is not included. If you wish to do it, boat tickets are to be paid on the spot and Terra Balka must be notified in advance to coordinate the return transfers. Overnight in a 3-star property near Sibenik and Skradin. Standard room.

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Day 12 : Primosten

Visit the jewels of the Adriatic: Trogir and Split. Start the day by walking along the coast, which offers panoramic views and charming little villages like Primosten. Arrival in Trogir with its labyrinth of beautiful narrow streets surrounded by medieval walls. Visit on foot before reaching Split. As soon as you arrive, you can already feel the dynamism of the city listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Split has both a rich historical heritage and a lively local life. A walking tour of the Diocletian’s Palace, which encompasses the entire old town. The magic of the place works and you take a trip back in time, landing in the middle of the Roman Empire. Discover on foot, and at your own pace, squares, markets, alleys and craft shops. Return to Skradin at the end of the afternoon.

Highlights of the visit to Trogir : The famous St. Lawrence Cathedral, the remains of the ramparts, the Cipiko Palace, the Loggia and the Clock Tower, the Kamerlengo Castle and the St. Mark’s Tower, the many alleys, etc…

Highlights of the visit to Split : Palace Peristyle, St. Domnius Cathedral, St. Lucia Crypt, the Riva Walk and the Statue of Grgur Ninski. Overnight in a 3-star property near Sibenik and Skradin. Standard room.

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Day 13 : Sibenik

Free and unguided visit of beautiful Sibenik. Walk at your own pace to discover the fortified town and its magnificent medieval quarter whose immaculate stone buildings are reflected in the tranquil waters of its bay. Drive from Sibenik to the North, to the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Check-in at the hotel. Overnight in a charming small hotel in the middle of nature. Comfort room.

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Day 14 : Plitvice Lakes NP

Exceptional day’s walk in the heart of the Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Road to reach the park’s surroundings. You have several choices of visit and we recommend a full exploration. Departure by panoramic train to reach the upper end of the park. The visit begins with a ride along the Upper Lakes, the wildest part of the park, where the lakes merge, the platforms on which you walk pass over bodies of water and waterfalls. The water flows from all sides, it’s magical. Electric boat crossing on Lake Kozjak. Let’s go for a walk on the lower part of the park, through the gorges of the Lower Lakes, which will take you to the Great Waterfall. Continue to the top of the gorge with a panoramic view. Return on foot or by train. This circular program allows you to enjoy the beauty of the lake area of the park as a whole.

-> 8.9 kilometres walk on wooden footbridge. Little elevation gain. About 5 to 6-hour walk. Entry ticket to the park included. Overnight in a charming small hotel in the middle of nature. Comfort room.

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Day 15 : Plitvice Lakes NP

Drive from the Plitvice Lakes National Park to the city of Zagreb. Drive to the airport 2.5-3 hours before your flight. Return of your vehicle at the airport. Check-in and boarding.

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myriam - team terra balka
florian - team terra balka
lada - team terra balka
salomé - team terra balka
Antoine Martelot - terra balka travel agency

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