Hiking in Zadar Archipelago: Most Beautiful Island Trails
blog cover hiking in zadar archipelago

The islands of Zadar archipelago are filled with unspoiled nature and magnificent trails ideal for a fun day of hiking in Zadar archipelago during springtime.

Although everyone prefers the summer months for boat trips, spring trips are not something to be easily disregarded. You can enjoy the warm spring sun, untouched nature and serene atmosphere on the islands while you reconnect with nature. 

Imagine the lush nature, warm sun and fresh sea breeze complemented with otherworldly vistas while you are exploring the hinterlands of the islands. Hiking is an ideal activity, enabling you to stay active, have fun and enjoy scenic  360 vistas from the hilltops. 

Here is our list of beautiful island trails which will be a highlight of your hiking in the Zadar archipelago.

people hiking at kornati and watching panoramic vistas
Enjoy breathtaking vistas during a hiking tour of local islands

Visit a Hiking Paradise -the island of Ugljan 

On Ugljan island you will have fun, and learn about new and unfamiliar places, stories, and customs. You will enjoy unspoiled natural beauty, pine forests, crystal clear sea, stunning beaches, open-air fish markets, and experience the unique beauty of this lush island.   

Hiking in Zadar Archipelago will give you a chance to climb to the hilltops of Ugljan island and conquer the peaks with sweeping views of the Zadar archipelago, mainland, and Velebit.     

Discover the trails and seafront promenades along the coast of Ugljan, hike through the shade of olive groves, woods of holm oak and enjoy the scent of Aleppo pine. 

Visit the numerous viewpoints, rest on old stone walls with scenic vistas and refresh yourself in secluded pristine bays.

happy people on island ugljan molat and ugljan boat tour
Enjoy a Scenic hike

Here is a list of the scenic viewpoints on Ugljan Island:

Rest area “Black Tear” (Ćinta – Čeprljanda) is located near a rainwater natural pit, which was once used for water gardens, olive groves, and vineyards of the locals. This place got its interesting name due to the specific black colour created by the holm oak leaves.

Rest area Muline is located on the Fisherman’s coast, where you will discover that island of Ugljan has a 2000-year-old tradition of olive growing and olive oil production. You will see the remains of an agricultural farm from the 1st century AD, and a replica of the ancient Liburnian olive mill. This is praised as one of the strongest oil mills in the Mediterranean. You will also witness a port from which the oil was transported to all parts of the Roman Empire.

Lookout Liburni (Čelinjak – Muline) is the first known habitat of the Illyrian tribe Liburni, on Ugljan Island. This settlement on the hill Čelinjak dates from the 4th century A.D. and you can still see the several square-shaped Liburnian houses that were preserved to this day.

Try out Lungomare paths and enjoy easy hikes near the seafront

These scenic routes are intended for all age groups and fitness levels. They stretch along the coastline of Ugljan island, passing through many coves and centuries-old pine woods. On the other side of the island, you will discover a beautiful trail connected with the village of Kukljica with easy hiking trails overlapping the island’s beautiful inland. 

There you will enjoy hiking in the Zadar archipelago`s Mediterranean trails that run through the olive and pine woods of island Ugljan, known for its vast fields of Olive grooves.  

More demanding hiking trails are intended for active hikers, due to steeper terrain and wild, intact nature. It’s worth hiking through these trails, as they provide superb views of the Zadar archipelago from their numerous viewpoints.    

Here is a list of a few easy trails for fun Hiking in the Zadar archipelago:

  • Trail 6. Kukljica – Veli vrh (122 m) – Nehaj – Kali, with a length of  5,5 km this scenic trail can be done in 2 hours of walk. You will enjoy this easily passable trail without breaking a sweat. 
  • Trail 16. Kukljica – Ilovača – Nehaj – St. Pelegrin – Kali, is an easy hiking trail with a length of length 5 km, which can be done in 1h and 30 minutes of walk. 
  • Trail 17. Kukljica – St.Jerolim – Otrić – Kali, is yet another easy trial, with 5km of length that can be walked under 1h and 20 minutes of walk.
  • Trail 19. Kukljica – Jelenica Bay – Sabuša Bay– Knučabok Bay – Zdrelaščica bay- Gospa od Sniga – Cape Glavina – Kukljica. This trail is a true touristic attraction, easily passable and filled with nature and scenic pristine bays. The length of the trail is 6,5 km, and it can be easily done in  1h and  40 minutes of walking.

Conquer the St.Michaels Fortress

The attractive Fortress of St. Michael was built in the 6th century and rebuilt in the 13th century as a Venetian fort. You can easily reach St. Michael’s hill with a 3 km long road suitable for cyclists, pedestrians, and cars leading to the hilltop and the fortress.

The true reward will be the 360-degree panoramic vista over 200+ islands of the Zadar archipelago, National Park Kornati, Zadar, Velebit, and Zadar region. 

Ugljan island St.Michaels Fortress
Conquer St.Michaels Fortress

Get amazed by the panoramic vistas on Kornati Islands 

Kornati islands will give you that post-apocalyptic utopia feeling hiking in the Zadar archipelago. Although these islands are barren or have low vegetation, you will be amazed by the gorgeous National Park Kornati and awe-inspiring panoramic vistas from the hilltops.

Visit a stunning viewpoint in the very south of the island, Vrata Opata, which is a real insider tip. Since Island Kornat was inhabited since the Neolithic Age, you will get a chance to get a reward for your hike. After you conquer the hilltop of Kornat island, you will discover fantastic vistas and the remains of the Illyrian fort Tureta.

Mana and Klobučar offer magnificent views of ocean-facing cliffs that rose directly from the sea millions of years ago.  Furthermore, on the private island of Mana, you can visit the Hollywood blockbuster film set from the 1950ies, “As the Sea Rages” (you can also check out some other popular movie sets in the Croatian Adriatic sea). This hike is brief, scenic, and suitable for all ages and fitness levels, rewarding you with breathtaking views of the entire archipelago

Those interested in geology should take the easy educational trails on the islands Trtuša and Panitula to learn about the natural and human history of this fascinating area.

kornati private boat trip movie set on mana island
Explore the “Mana” movie set

Enjoy in Hike under the shade of lush vegetation in Telaščica

Nature Park Telaščica is a true Adriatic jewel filled with pristine nature and extraordinary natural phenomena. If you are planning to go hiking in the Zadar archipelago, you should definitely visit this gorgeous place. 

Make sure to hike through the shade of the lush pine trees and visit the mighty Telaščica cliffs. Here you will witness the majestic white cliffs soaring from up to 160m above sea level.  These cliffs are outstanding viewpoints, and not only look impressive, but they’re also home to various wildlife.

At the edge of the massive Telaščica cliff lies a fort that is called Grpašćak. There you will discover breathtaking views, you can observe dolphins, and learn more about the culture and history of the area. On the inside of the fort, you can find a museum with several exhibits, and you can take a tour that takes just over an hour to complete. 

The dolphins love to swim beneath the Telaščica cliffs, while the grey falcons and Elenora falcons are often spotted in the sky, hovering near their nesting rocks.

There are a few more interesting hiking trails that lead through the park. On these routes, you will enjoy the aromatic smell of the Mediterranean herbs in the area as you move through the interior of the park and up to Lake Mir. You might even spot occasional donkeys roaming around the park. Whichever trail you follow on your hike in the Zadar archipelago, you will have otherworldly vistas.

The most popular trail is a 2.2 km long circular trail that leads around Lake Mir, a lake with water praised for its healing properties. Alternatively, you can take the medicinal plants trail, which covers 1km from Grpačak to Gmajno Field, or a 2.5 km long route from Mir Bay to Lake Mir. 

telaščica salt lake mir
Explore the wonders of Nature Park Telaščica

Discover the lush Pašman island 

Pašman island is one of the most praised destinations for hiking in the Zadar archipelago. You can start with a scenic hike from Tkon, up the hill to Ćokovac, here you’ll get to see the St. Cosmas and Damian Monastery, dating back to Benedictine times. 

The monastery has a long history, and this window into the past will offer you outstanding vistas and a fascinating learning opportunity. Remember to bring a camera to capture these jaw-dropping views

It’s worth visiting Veliki Bokolj, which has an amazing look-out point, accessible by foot or bicycle, from where you can ascend to the top of Pašman Island.  The hike is suitable for all ages, although the terrain is slightly rocky, so make sure you have the right footwear.  This hilltop is will offer you an otherworldly sunset you’ll want to record on film, and the great news is that it only takes around one hour to climb to the peak.

veli bokolj sunset pašman island
Experience Unique Sunsets on Pašman Island – Photo by @visit_pasman

Straža and Pustograd trail, on the south of the island, is ideal for lovers of great views. From here you’ll be able to see a full panorama over the Kornati Archipelago and over to Velebit Mountain. There are some jaw-dropping views along the coast, and you will want to spend some time here taking everything in.

In fact, there are several hiking trails in the area, including one leading to Pustograd and an ancient fortress from the 6th century. If you want to vacation on two wheels, there are also plenty of cycling trails available all over the Island of Pašman. 

Why you should try hiking in Zadar Archipelago?

Islands around the Zadar archipelago will offer you unspoiled nature, fascinating vistas and pristine lagoons. There are numerous lush trails, which are relatively unknown to the majority of the visitors but are well worth visiting. 

Moreover, hiking in the Zadar archipelago is a great way to enjoy lush nature, get to know the islands, learn about the area and enjoy warm sunny days. Opt in for a boat tour, you can explore multiple islands and conquer the magnificent hilltops which will offer you awe-inspiring vistas.