The Adventurer's Guide
Extreme Tourism in Croatia: Skydiving, Bungee Jumping, and Paragliding
When we travel, we tend to try new things. We’ll eat new foods and speak new languages. We may even do something we could never be convinced to do at home, like an extreme sport. There’s something about traveling the world that gives us the courage to try. But these high-octane activities are not just another way to get the blood pumping while on vacation — they provide a whole new take on the country you’re visiting.
On your vacation in Croatia, you’ll have no trouble finding natural beauty as you swim in waterfalls, navigate to nearby islands, and hike through vast national parks. Once you’ve toured through as much stunning landscape as possible, it’ll be time to get a new vantage point: The view from above.
Skydiving is a popular activity in Croatia, and there are two preferred locations to choose from. When you’re in the capital, Zagreb, take a break from admiring the Austro-Hungarian architecture along pedestrian-friendly streets, and head skyward for an urban style skydiving experience. The convenience of being close to the city center is nice, but what you’ll really remember is an aerial view of the bustling city dotted with colorfully-tiled roofs.
The coastal Zadar, on the other hand, provides a more exotic experience. Here, you’ll fly over the coastline and Kornati and Paklenica national parks. Stunning views from the plane — including Velebit, Croatia’s largest mountain — will calm your nerves before the big jump.
In Croatia, the place to go bungee jumping is just about half an hour by car outside of coastal Zadar. At 63 meters, the Maslenica Bridge is the highest place to bungee in the country, and is a gathering place for those looking to partake in the thrilling activity.
The deck arch bridge, at 377 meters long, spans the Novsko Ždrilo strait. Standing atop it, you might as well be inside a postcard. The azure waters beneath you, the Adriatic Sea and vertical cliffs in the distance — and that’s all before the real adrenaline kicks in. When you look down and notice there’s a boat awaiting your leap to shuttle you back to shore, you take one last look at your magnificent surroundings, snap a mental picture, and jump!
One of the top paragliding spots in Croatia is the Tribalj valley, south of Rijeka, where you can lift up to 2,000 meters off the ground over Kvarner Bay and the Vinodol Riviera. The hilly, mountainous Istrian Peninsula is another favorite option. From the small village of Buzet in the north of Croatia, you can admire a wide array of terrain from the sky. On a single flight, you can cover the Mirna River, several different vineyards, and tiny but picturesque towns in the hills, including Hum and Sovinjak.
If your travels take you to the Dalmatia region, head to the foot of Biokovo Mountain. Taking off from this site, views include the coastal towns of Makarska and Podgora, Brac and Hvar islands, and the neighboring country of Montenegro.