This site uses cookies and by using this site you are consenting to this.Find out how to manage your settings. Learn more

I understand


We will make you wanna explore Croatia

Dear travellers let me introduce you something more extreme – rafting and kayaks. Apart from the islands and the sea coast, Croatia may attract you with its possibilities for extreme sports activities. So, this time let’s skip beaches and go to river Zrmanja!

Main article photo by: Milenka Tatalović

Drawings of nature

It is among the most beautiful rivers in Europe. The spring of Zrmanja is located in southern part of Lika under Postak - the southern peak of Plješivica mountain and close to the south end of Velebit mountain. Nature had been playing a lot to draw the riverbed of Zrmanja. The blue-greenish water of the river flows through the narrow and long arable valley which encircles the southern end of Velebit through a 200-metre deep canyon, then it turns westwards, reaches Obrovac and after a few kilometres flows into the Adriatic sea in the bay named Novigradsko more.                                                                                   Zrmanja RIver

Photo by: Marina Merina

From a bird-eye view, the river looks like a giant snake that drives its way through the wooded area. It has many trenches through which otherwise the calm water of the river falls and breaks. That creates an amazing effect - travertine waterfalls. This is the paradise for kayaking and rafting fans.

An adventure through water of Zrmanja

After I saw spectacular pictures and videos I couldn’t stop myself from trying something new. According to the fact that my friends and I did not have any idea how this kind of activities look like, we decided to take an organised daily trip. The team which usually organises this kind of extreme activities took us directly from the hotel and drove us to Kaštel Zegarski village. After safety instructions provided by the trip leader, we took off to the river.

Start of Kayaking at Zrmanja River

Photo collage by: Milenka Tatalović

The water level was not that high, so we did the kayaking. Team leader explained to me that rafting is possible when the water level is higher and water moves faster. For me, that was the better option because I thought that kayaking is not that extreme. Honestly, as an absolute beginner, I was a bit scared of the possibility to break my head. However, it was worthy.

Surprisingly, I learned how to handle sit-on-top kayaks as you slowly enter the canyon. This is because the riverbed gives you the opportunity to get used to paddling - there are parts where the water is absolutely flat and in the moment you feel more confident, but then comes a waterfall. After the first hour of paddling down easy rapids, I was on another level and felt like a master of the universe and kayaking.

Kayak at Zrmanja Canyon

We reached the Krupa waterfalls in about an hour. For me, that was the best part because we took a break and we have been swimming under waterfalls. As a person keens into swimming and everything connected with sports activities - that was a dessert, a special moment… Swimming under waterfalls, feeling the power of water… And of course, the gentle touch of white river foam. I loved it!

River Zrmanja

Photo by: Milenka Tatalović

After this relaxing activity, the extreme part has started. There are many rapids and my adrenaline was pumping. We continued down and ended up in Muškovci. That was the end. However, not the end of a good trip. We enjoyed the tasty food in a nearby restaurant. Believe me after almost two hours of paddling and swimming I was starving. If you prefer you can make a picnic next to the riverside as well.                                                                                            Zrmanja Waterfalls

Photo by: Marina Merina

Finally, for those who are tempted in this active recreation… No worries - NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE IS WANTED. I was a bit surprised when I saw families with small children. However, keep in mind that the minimum required age is 6 years. Apart of that, the team which organises kayaking and rafting is quite experienced. They use two-person sit-on-top kayaks. Nobody is going to leave you alone in this adventure.

Zrmanja Kayaking Waterfalls

Photo by: Marina Merina


This kind of extreme sport is really affordable. Kayaking for 450 km from Šibenik to Muškovci costs 60 €. Prices are reasonable for those who want to take their families as well. Children younger than 12 years get 50% off discount.

For that price, we got a transfer from the hotel, professional canoeing instructor, canoeing equipment (life jacket, a helmet and a paddle, long neoprene suit and a rain jacket in case of cold weather, waterproof containers are available for personal items like camera or drinks). I’ll give you an advice – take shorts or a bathing suit, a T-shirt, water shoes, a towel, sun cream, water and a long-sleeved shirt, just in case. These are kind of mother advice, but our small group suffered a bit skipping them. It took me a lot in order to recover from sunburn.

Zrmanja Rafting

Photo by: Marina Merina

I do hope that this article is going to be useful for you and I managed to convince you to try something new during your next vacation. If not... Croatia is full of gems to be explored.
See you soon.


Destination guides