The southern end of the Velebit massif culminates in a flourish of tortured limestone formations above the straggling seaside town of Starigrad Paklenica. It constitutes the obvious base for the Paklenica National Park (Nacionalni Park Paklenica), the most accessible hiking area in the southern Velebit. At the centre of the park are two limestone gorges, Velika Paklenica and, 5km to the south, Mala Paklenica (literally, Big Paklenica and Small Paklenica), which run down towards the sea, towered over by 400m-high cliffs. Velika Paklenica is a major tourist destination busy with hikers and rock-climbing enthusiasts from spring through to autumn, while Mala Paklenica has deliberately been left undeveloped in order to protect its status as a (relatively) untouched wilderness – paths are not well maintained and you’ll need good maps (available from local shops and the National Park office in Starigrad) if you want to explore.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Croatia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Sailing in Croatia: a first-timer’s guide

Sailing in Croatia: a first-timer’s guide

Coastlines don’t come much more idyllic than Croatia’s 2000km of ruggedly beautiful Adriatic shore. Along this magnificent stretch are ancient Roman remains…

03 Jul 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
Island-hopping in Croatia: a practical guide

Island-hopping in Croatia: a practical guide

With its mountainous coastal backdrop, scattering of tawny islands and giddyingly translucent waters, the Croatian Adriatic offers one of the most compelling se…

13 Jun 2017 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

Festivals are a different beast in 2017. They used to be associated with drinking warm cider while watching crusty bands in your naffest clothes; now the best e…

07 Jun 2017 • David Hillier insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month