Riding in the Croatian countryside

The Velebit mountains and valleys

Discover the forests, plains and mountains of the Velebit natural park in Croatia – a UNESCO protected biosphere reserve. In the saddle, you will explore one of the most ecologically diverse areas in Croatia. During this western-style trail ride, you will have the chance to ride across the ever-changing scenery of Velika Plana and spot the local wildlife, including brown bears. This is an excellent camping trail for those who enjoy peace and quiet, and for intermediate riders willing to reconnect with nature.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Trail Riding
7 days - 5 days riding
From £1,820
Family holidays
from 13 y.o
Open to non-riders
  • Riding in Croatia
    Ride in the pristine Velebit nature reserve
  • Rider overlooking the views in the Velebit natural park
    Explore Croatia on a trail riding holiday
  • Riders in the Velebit Natural park, Croatia
    Explore the mountains and valleys of the Velebit natural park in the saddle
  • Riders letting their horses drink from a stream on a trail riding vacation in Croatia
    Reconnect with nature on a trail ride in Croatia
  • On horseback in Croatia, Velebit Natural Park
    Horseback riding holiday in Croatia
  • Western riding holiday in Croatia
    This riding holiday is the occasion to try Western riding
  • Riding in the Croatian countryside
    Enjoy beautiful views from the best seat in the house!
  • Velebit mountain biosphere reserve on horseback
    Explore the UNESCO Velebit Mountain Biosphere Reserve on horseback
  • Riders in a stream in Croatia
    A relaxing trail riding holiday in Croatia
  • Horseback riders in Croatia
    Trail riding in Croatia

Itinerary

Highlights

- Explore the UNESCO Velebit Mountain Biosphere Reserve on horseback.
- Excellent standards of accommodation, both at the ranch and while camping out on the trail, with comfortable safari tents.
- Discover the local fauna with the opportunity to spot brown bears
  • Day 1 1: EUROPE – CROATIA

    Linden Tree
    Fly to Zadar, Rijeka, Zagreb, Split or Dubrovnik airport (flight not included but we are happy to help upon request). If you have opted for a transfer as part of your holiday, you will be met by a member of our local team who will take you to the ranch - transfers are not included, please see dates and prices. You also have the option to rent a car and self-drive to the ranch.

    The ranch is located in the valley of Velika Plana, at the base of Velebit Mountain, inside Velebit Nature Park. If there is time, you can relax or explore the ranch grounds, perhaps meet the horses, before dinner.

    Overnight at the ranch.
  • Day 2 2: LINDEN TREE RANCH - 2-3 hours riding

    Linden Tree
    After breakfast, you will participate in a natural horsemanship session led by Linden Tree founder Bruce. His signature style of horsemanship is based on what he calls “natural human” and genetic memory. After lunch at the ranch, you tack up the horses, ready to go on an afternoon trail ride to put into practice what you learned in the morning.

    Overnight at the ranch.

  • Day 3 3 : VELIKA PLANA – CAMPSITE - 5-6 hours riding

    This morning, you set out for your first full day-ride across the Velebit nature reserve. The goal today is to reach a high mountain plateau, where the back-up team has set up our base camp. On the way you will cross hidden springs and watercourses. This is an intensive ride, covering some rough terrain, often going through unmarked territory.

    Accommodation tonight is in safari-style tents on comfy beds and proper mattresses and duvets… Glamping at its finest.

  • Day 4 4 : OLD ROMAN ROAD - 5-6 hours riding

    A good cowboy breakfast will be served in the morning. Today you will ride across an old Roman road that leads to the seaside of the mountain. You will stop for your picnic lunch at the Ranger’s station, before heading back to the base camp for the night.
  • Day 5 5 : BROWN BEAR VALLEY - 5-6 hours riding

    Your trail ride takes you over the mountain into a valley where several movies were made. This is also a popular brown bear habitat - there is a high probability of spotting these majestic animals during your trail ride. Picnic lunch is carried in your saddlebags. In the afternoon you will circle back to the base camp, riding on a dirt road with good opportunities for a faster pace.
  • Day 6 6 : BACK TO THE RANCH - 5-6 hours riding

    Linden Tree
    On this day, you and your riding companions will ride back to the Ranch using high-altitude switchbacks, popular during the Middle-ages with outlaws and renegades. You will stop for your picnic lunch near the animal watering hole. Again, it is very likely you will be able to observe some of the local wildlife. In the evening, a feast awaits at the Ranch, after which a soak in a hot tub is a real treat!
  • Day 7 7 – CROATIA – EUROPE - No riding

    Transfer back to your airport of choice after breakfast – departure is at around 11:00 am. Please account for the transfer times before booking your flights.

Dates & prices

Price details

- International flights are not included, but can be booked upon request.

- Rates are per person based on sharing a twin or double room or tent during the ride.

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 4 riders and a maximum of 9 international riders, plus guides. 

- There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a room/tent with another guest of the same sex. To guarantee your own room/tent there is a single supplement of €250/£225.

- Transfer information: Airport transfers from major airports to the Ranch per car, each way:
Gospić (bus or train terminal) €35/£27 up to 3 pax, €50/£45 up to 6 pax - 30 mins
Zadar (airport) €150/£135 up to 3 pax, €250/£220 up to 6 pax - 90 mins
Zagreb & Split €250/£220 up to 3 pax, €350/£310 up to 6 pax - 2,5 hours
Rijeka €300/£265 up to 3 pax, €400/£355 up to 6 pax - 3 hours
Dubrovnik & Pula €500/£440 up to 3 pax, €600/£530 up to 6 pax 5 hours
In 2021, transfers from Vienna, Graz, Ljubljana, Trieste, and Venezia airports also available. Inquire for the quote.
Renting a car is also possible and highly recommended. Free parking on the premises.

- Gratuities (5-10%) are not included in the listed price.

- Accompanied minors are welcome from 13 yo, provided they can already ride and do so regularly at home.

- Weight limit is 100kg/220lbs/15.7st
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 English-speaking horse guide

Logistics

A local team of cooks and a chef
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider

Accommodation

Double or twin room at the ranch or in tents

Meals

Full board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 7

Additional equipment

Saddle bags

Extras

Occupancy and environmental tax
Nature park riding permit

Price doesn't include

Meals

Alcoholic beverages and personal extras

Transport

Return airport transfers
International flights

Extras

Tips to the local team (5-10%)

Insurance

Visas and personal purchase
Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

Optional

Extras

Single room/tent supplement
  • May - June 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    22/05/2021 28/05/2021 £1,820 Open Book now
    19/06/2021 25/06/2021 £1,820 Open Book now
  • September - October 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    18/09/2021 24/09/2021 £1,820 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

The stable is made up of 15 mixed breed horses (Lipizzans, Bosnian mountain horse, Croatian warm bloods, Arabian and Quarter horse). All of the horses are well behaved and have been trained for the trail rides.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

This is suitable for adult riders with limited riding experience. Children must be over 13 to participate but should be riding regularly at home and be prepared for an adventurous, sometimes demanding, trail riding holiday.

Weight limit is 100kg/220lbs/15.7st

Pace

The pace will be dictated by the terrain - mostly at a walk, but with trots and canters when the terrain allows.

Tacking ability and participation

The wranglers will tack and untack the horses for you, but you can help with this if you like.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

Although you do not need to be a very experienced rider, you must be fit and ready for an adventurous trail ride, with some long hours in the saddle. To join a regularly scheduled ride, you should be able to walk, trot and canter. Private groups can be of any ability.

Equestrian equipment

Helmets are mandatory. We recommend you bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Western tack.
Saddlebags and horn bags.

Travel info

Comfort

At the ranch (3 nights): Different types of accommodation facilities are offered at the Ranch: chalet, lodges, river tents and even Native American tipis. They all include beds with linen, private bathrooms (except river tents), porches and mountain views. There are no TVs in the rooms. There is Wi-Fi in all rooms and common areas. The ranch also boats great amenities: there is a TV room, library, saloon, hot tub, heated swimming pool, archery range, badminton/volley ball court, and a nearby river. The ranch is small and intimate in size, with a maximum capacity of 36 guests. Laundry facilities available at an extra cost.

On the trail (3 nights): camp is set-up ahead of time and consists of comfortable walk-in safari tents, with made-up beds (no sleeping bag necessary). A shower tent and a toilet tent are available.

Meals

All meals are provided for on this holiday. The food at the Ranch is Croatia- and Mediterranean-inspired, with everything prepared from scratch with the best ingredients, either grown on-site or locally sourced.

Lunch is a simple picnic carried in your saddlebags.

Dinners: 5-course meals at the ranch, simpler camping dinner during the trail.

Extra drinks and alcohol are not included but can be purchased locally at the ranch.

Vegetarian diets and specific dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice.

Climate

The ranch is located in the Velebit Nature Park at 700m above sea level. The mountain climate is pleasant during the warm months, April to October where the temperatures range from 15-30C during the day and 0-15oC over night. During the cold months, November to March, temperatures hover around 0C and drop well below 0C during the night.

Guide and local team

The ranch staff has great knowledge about the region and are all English speakers.

Tips

At the ranch gratuities are not included in the listed price - plan to tip around 5-10%.

Packing list

Important: You should adapt this list according to your departure date. Remember that whatever the season, nights are cold and bad weather is always a possibility.
There is no formal dress code at the Ranch, although most guests dress "Western casual" (jeans and a shirt!).

Head
- A riding helmet is MANDATORY. Helmet makers (GPA, HKM, LAS Helmets, Lamicell, Troxel, Equithème) now offer horse-riding helmets that are ventilated, strong, light and comfortable.
- Sunhat: cap for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana for protecting your neck and face from the sun and dust

Upper Body
- Thermals (long or short sleeved)
- Short or long-sleeved shirts (to provide protection from the sun) or T-shirt in a quick-drying material
- Lightweight fleece or jumper.
- Warm fleece or jumper (and a spare one in case one gets wet)
- Warm Goretex-style jacket (water-proof and breathable) in case of rain.

Legs
- 2 pairs of riding trousers or jeans or chaps - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on a holiday to ensure they don't rub.
- 1 change of trousers (riding trousers or jeans)
- Casual clothes for the evenings (jeans or walking trousers)
- Waterproof over trousers
- Thermal trousers for cold days or for sleeping in
- Cotton or synthetic underwear (non-irritant)

Hands and feet
- 1 pair Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps or long boots.
- Lightweight shoes or trainers for the evenings
- Several pairs of socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding

Night gear
- Pyjamas for sleeping in

Other useful items
- Camping towels
- Small bumbag to be worn whilst riding
- A soothing cream may be useful to treat areas irritated by long hours in the saddle
- Backpacks are not to be worn whilst riding. Everything should be kept either in pockets or in a bumbag : lip balm, sun screen, small camera, glasses, rope etc.
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Torch for moving around at night

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Vitamin C tablets
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc..
- 10cm wide bandage
- Painkillers
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

General information
- We recommend taking any valuables, such as your camera, iPod, iPad, medicines and glasses etc. in your hand luggage.
- Travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes is highly recommended - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals.

Visa & Health

Formalities

British citizens: other nationalities, please contact us.

Passport validity
Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.

Visas
If you hold a British Citizen passport, you don’t need a visa to enter Croatia.

The rules on travel will stay the same until 31 December 2020.
Please visit for the FCO website for up-to-date information - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/croatia/entry-requirements

Addresses of consulates

  • Ambassade de Croatie
    7, square Thiers
    75 116 Paris
    Tél. : 01 53 70 02 80
    Fax :
    vrh.pariz@mvpei.hr
  • Ambassade de France en Croatie
    Hebrangova 2
    Zagreb
    Tél. : +385 1 48 93600
    Fax : +385 1 48 93660
  • Ambassade de Croatie
    Avenue Louise 425
    1050 Bruxelles
    Tél. : +32 (0) 2 639 20 36
    Fax : +32 (0) 2 644 69 32

Health

If you’re visiting Croatia you should get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC isn’t a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but it entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as Croatian nationals. If you don’t have your EHIC with you or you’ve lost it, you can call the Department of Health Overseas Healthcare Team (+44 191 218 1999) to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate. The EHIC won’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or non-urgent treatment, so you should make sure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Source and more information: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/croatia/health

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Voltage

In Croatia the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. You will need an adapter.

Budget and money

The currency of Croatia is the Croatian Kuna. Major credit and debit cards are accepted in most banks and hotels. Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are easily exchanged for local currency.

Telephone and jetlag

Country code: +385