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The Top 7 Mountains in Croatia: The Best for Hiking and Biking

Nestled between the Adriatic Sea and the picturesque Balkans, Croatia boasts a stunning array of mountain ranges, each offering a unique experience for outdoor enthusiasts. 

As you embark on your hiking and cycling adventures, expect breathtaking panoramic views encompassing diverse landscapes and an abundance of wildlife. From the rugged peaks of Velebit to the lush greenery of Risnjak National Park, each range has its own unique charm and experience to offer.  

In this article, we guide you through some of the best mountains in Croatia, highlighting their top hiking and biking trails, scenic vistas, and other exciting activities for nature lovers. Lace-up your boots and explore the depths of the Croatian countryside, as Cruise Croatia carves out your path and leads the way.

1. Dinara Mountain Range

Located in the southern region of Croatia, the Dinara Range stands as a majestic mountainous wonderland, spanning across the borders of both Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Hiking Trails

Mount Dinara itself is home to the crown jewel of all hiking trails: the Dinara summit trail. Embark on the challenging ascent to the top of Mount Dinara, which is the tallest peak in the mountain range, sitting at just over 1800m high. 

The journey to the summit isn’t a walk in the park; it can take several hours due to its rugged terrain and steep incline. Once you reach your destination, you will be rewarded with a rush of endorphins and some of the best views in Croatia.

For those seeking a less challenging hike, the Glavaš Trail is an excellent alternative. Embark on the 14.8-kilometer journey through rich greenery and marvel at the fantastic views of nearby valleys and towns along the way. 

You will also be treated to a small glimpse into the country’s history as you cross paths with the medieval fortress of Dinarić. It finished construction at the beginning of the 15th century and was used to monitor and protect traffic routes to Bosnia. 

Biking Trails

The impressive Dinara range is also a haven for mountain biking enthusiasts. The Svilaja Downhill trail offers a thrilling adventure that starts at the Svilaja peak and takes you through exhilarating descents with varying levels of technical difficulty. Adrenaline junkies will find this trail immensely satisfying.

2. Velebit Mountain Range

Belonging to the Velebit Nature Park – a UNESCO-protected biosphere reserve since 1978 – the Velebit Mountain Range is the largest and most diverse mountain range in Croatia. It spans over 145 kilometers and offers an array of hiking and biking trails that cater to different skill levels and interests. Perfect for the ecotourism enthusiasts amongst us. 

Hiking Trails

A renowned hiking trail on Velebit, the Premužić Trail is a well-maintained and relatively easy route that stretches for approximately 57 kilometers. The trail passes through enchanting forests and unique karst formations, providing a captivating hiking experience.

The karst formations on the Velebit Mountain Range are of significant importance due to their unique geological and ecological characteristics. Formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks, they create distinctive features like sinkholes, caves, and underground rivers. 

On Velebit, these formations have shaped the terrain, creating an intricate network of caverns and gorges that support the diverse flora and fauna. These underground ecosystems act as essential habitats for a range of specialized species, some of which are found nowhere else.

Along your journey, be sure to keep a special eye out for the fascinating wildlife that calls this mountain range their home, namely the critically endangered Balkan Lynx which makes for a particularly impressive sighting. When you reach the end of your trail, you will be greeted with breathtaking views of the Adriatic and the diverse landscapes of the Velebit region. 

Biking Trails

Baške Oštarije Trail is one of the most popular mountain biking trails within the Velebit range. It starts at Baške Oštarije and stretches across 30 kilometers of diverse terrain. It covers a mix of gravel roads, forest paths and rocky sections, making it suitable for intermediate-level mountain bikers. The route treats riders to captivating vistas of both the coastal and inland regions.

3. Mount Učka

Rising gracefully above the Istrian Peninsula, Mount Učka is one of the more beautiful mountains in Croatia, offering a green oasis that contrasts beautifully with the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea. A plethora of winding hiking and bike trails can be found amongst Učka’s protected nature park, which plays an integral role in preserving Croatia’s biodiversity.

Hiking Trails

The Vojak Summit Trail is a favored hiking route that takes you to the highest peak of Učka Mountain, Mount Vojak, which stands at approximately 1,396 meters above sea level. Awaiting at the top of this 7-kilometer-long trail are astonishing panoramic views of Istria and the Kvarner Gulf, wrapped around the entirety of the peak. The ascent to the summit is moderately challenging but highly rewarding.

As an alternative, the Plas Educational Trail is perfect for families and nature enthusiasts who wish to learn more about the region’s biodiversity. This easy 3-kilometer trail is dotted with informational panels and showcases the blooming floral landscapes of Učka Mountain.

Biking Trails

The Učka Loop is a popular mountain biking trail that covers approximately 40 kilometers. The route offers a mix of challenging ascents and thrilling descents, making it suitable for experienced mountain bikers. Along the way, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the Istrian Peninsula and the Adriatic Sea.

4. Biokovo Mountain

Biokovo Mountain, located along the Dalmatian coast, is a stunning blend of rugged cliffs and Mediterranean vegetation. Hikers will be enthralled by the diverse trails, which offer unparalleled views of the Adriatic coastline.

Hiking Trails

In quite a contrast to your usual experience of mountain vistas, the newly constructed Skywalk is a unique attraction on Biokovo Mountain, providing visitors with a thrilling reward at the peak of their mountain. 

The Skywalk viewing platform, made of glass and steel, protrudes from the mountain’s edge in a semi-circle. For those that dare to look down, the view will quite literally take your breath away as you hover above the Adriatic waters.

Biking Trails

The main road that winds its way up Biokovo Mountain offers a challenging and scenic biking experience. Biokovo road is approximately 23 kilometers long and has a steep gradient, making it suitable for experienced and physically-fit cyclists. 

While a great mountain bike route, it’s important to note that you would be sharing the road with other vehicles. Most importantly, you should consider that cyclists under 16 have a legal obligation to wear a helmet and it is highly recommended for those over this age to wear one too. 

You should also make a conscious effort to make other road users aware of yourself (perhaps through reflective clothing) and your intentions, especially when turning at crossroads or using a roundabout. 

Additionally, it is forbidden to ride while under the influence of alcohol, using a mobile phone or riding with no hands. Additionally, anything that inhibits your concentration should also be avoided, such as wearing headphones.

Before taking your two wheels to the track, be sure to do some research to ensure you are cycling in accordance with Croatia’s rules and regulations. 

5. Risnjak National Park

The pristine Risnjak National Park is a true paradise for hikers and cyclists alike. Located in the Gorski Kotar region of Croatia, it boasts rich wildlife and diverse landscapes including dense forests and flourishing meadows. Home to and named after the elusive lynx (which is pronounced ‘ris’ in Croatian), this park is like a fun fair for nature enthusiasts.

Hiking Trails

The Schlosser Trail is a very popular hiking route in the national park, taking you through dense beech and fir forests. It leads to the top of Veliki Risnjak (the highest peak in the area) standing at an elevation of roughly 1,500 meters. The trail is about 14 kilometers long and serves up spectacular views over the surrounding mountains and the Adriatic Sea.

Another beautiful but slightly more moderate route is the picturesque Kupa trail. Starting at the Crni Lug entrance of the park, visitors follow a mix of flat and gently inclined pathways for 10 kilometers, making it a great option for families. 

The trail follows the meandering course of the Kupa River, which forms the western border of the park, showcasing the natural beauty and biodiversity of the region. You may also be fortunate enough to spot an otter basking in the sun and playing in the waters. 

Visitors will find plenty of rest stops along the trail, perfect for enjoying a picnic amidst the untouched beauty of the Croatian wilderness. 

Biking Trails

The 15-kilometre bike route beginning in the charming village of Skrad follows a pathway all the way to the National Park’s official entrance. Embark on a delightful ride through the park’s exuberant landscapes, stopping off occasionally to appreciate the park’s myriad wildlife offerings. 

6. Mosor Mountain

Nestled near the vibrant city of Split, Mosor Mountain offers a quick escape into nature for both hikers and mountain bikers, showcasing the best of the region’s natural beauty. From ancient ruins to picturesque landscapes, Mosor Mountain is a versatile destination that will satisfy any adventurer’s desires.

Hiking Trails

The Veliki Kabal summit stands at approximately 1,331 meters above sea level and is a very popular hiking destination. The Veliki Kabal Trail is encapsulated by breathtaking panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea, the nearby islands and the city of Split. The hike is about 8 kilometers long and is suitable for walkers of moderate fitness levels.

Biking Trails

For those cyclists up for a challenge, the Mosor Circular route is a long and tough biking adventure. This circular trail covers approximately 30 kilometers and takes you through various villages and viewpoints on Mosor Mountain, allowing you to immerse yourself in the diverse nature of the region.

Exposure to the hot Mediterranean sun can make mountaineering a challenge, especially on Mosar  Mountain. We recommend planning your ascents in the early hours of the morning. After all, who wouldn’t want to catch the sunrise along the way?

7. Papuk Mountain

For geology enthusiasts and nature lovers, the UNESCO-recognized Papuk Geopark in Slavonia is a must-visit destination home to rich biodiversity. Witness the geological wonders of this mountain range and uncover the unique rock formations, karst landscapes, cascading waterfalls and ancient caves. 

Hiking Trails

A great starting point for hiking on Papuk Mountain is the Jankovac Forest Park trail. The picturesque route winds through dense forestry and takes you across charming wooden bridges arching over numerous natural springs. The trail is approximately 6 kilometers long and is suitable for hikers of all abilities. 

You may also want to explore the Papuk Nature Park, the first Croatian geopark featuring rolling hills, clear waters and abundant rock faces with many stunning walkways. One for the adrenaline junkies, you may want to look into the various activities the park offers such as paragliding and rock-climbing to complete your adventureful day. 

Biking Trails

The Papuk Circular Bike Route is a popular choice for cyclists, as it offers a comprehensive tour of the mountain’s diverse landscapes. The circular route covers approximately 46 kilometers and takes riders through forests, meadows, and picturesque villages.


Croatia’s mountains offer an unparalleled outdoor experience for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re seeking a challenging hike, an adrenaline-pumping bike ride, or simply want to bask in the beauty of stunning vistas, the mountains in Croatia have it all.

If you’re wanting to make the most out of Croatia’s mountainous wonderland, why not try a Cruise Croatia tour of the Adriatic? Soar along turquoise waters, exploring all the best hiking and cycling hotspots in the country. Get in touch with our travel experts to see how they can build your dream itinerary exploring Croatia’s mountains.

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