Paklenica is a mountainous area just north of Zadar along the Croatian coast. The place is well known to rock climbers around the world. To the rest of
usit doesn’t mean anything until we get there.
Just after leaving the Sveti Rok tunnel on the A1 motorway and descending southbound towards the Adriatic Sea you will cross the #8 coastal highway running from Rijeka in North Croatia to Dubrovnik in South Croatia. If you leave the motorway and go northwest on highway 8 for approximately 20 minutes you come to the Paklenica National Park and the small town of Starigrad.
Paklenica is a mountainous area well know to rock climbers around the world.
A few kilometers after the entrance to the park you’ll find the small town of Starigrad. It is really not much of a town. Rather it is a selection of private vacation houses, camping sites, small grocery shops, restaurants, cafes and fruit markets. There are a few hotels, but they are a minority in the area.
Continue through Starigrad and just where the town ends a sign on the left side of the road says “Adria Paradies.” Turn left and you will arrive in one of the best vacation places I have ever visited during my 13 summer holidays in Croatia. The “resort” is directly at the seashore and all apartments have magnificent views over the water. There is very little noise from the road behind the resort also because there is very limited traffic on this section of the road.
Aria Paradies is a small and exclusive summer holiday resort with 4 houses each holding 4-5 apartments. It is located directly at the sea and offers a small swimming pool (mainly for the kids) and a magnificent (private) rocky beach exclusively for the guests.
The place is managed by Marinko and his parents and they make a significant contribution to the informal atmosphere and the tranquility of the place.
Our apartment has a bedroom and combined sitting room/kitchen. The terrace is facing the ocean and offers a 180 degree panoramic view over the water and the peninsula on the other side. The sun is rising behind the house and our terrace is in the shade of the building until midday. In the afternoon we have full sunshine and in the evening we can enjoy spectacular sunsets behind the mountain range in the distance.
We always bring our bikes (you can also rent bikes in town) and drive down to the village in just a few minutes. There are plenty of cafés, restaurants, fruit and vegetable markets and small supermarkets. If you want hypermarkets there are quite a few just outside the town of Zadar (46km) that you will probably pay a visit anyway.
The national park Paklenica is just behind you. We go there by bike and hike if the weather is grey. If you fancy a hike in July/August do start early in the day as it gets pretty hot.
Last year we did a photo safari in the mountains and that was a breathtaking experience. You go away in the morning with a local guide in a 4WD and come back late in the afternoon. We were just 5 guests in our party and had a great time.
After enjoying the spectacular and peaceful mountains we finished the trip with a swim by some waterfalls.
Starigrad Paklenica is a peaceful and gorgeous area with so much to see and enjoy. It is fairly unspoiled because of the only few and small hotels available. Most of the accommodation is private apartments and rooms plus a few big camping areas.
The area around the small harbour offers night entertainment for the younger generation, but that doesn’t really take off until we have left on our bikes for a nightcap on our terrace overlooking the sea at Adria Paradies.
Hope to see you there.