Krupa River and Zrmanja River

Krupa River

The Krupa River is an unknown pearl of karst, an oasis surrounded by rock. It is one of the least known, yet one of the most beautiful rivers in Croatia. It is only seven kilometers long but has much more to offer than ten times longer river, often degraded into a lifeless canal. The view from the edge of its deep canyon that carved itself into Dalmatia’s karst waterless plateau is breathtaking: the glistening waterfalls that tumble down to the river’s crystal clear water take on a deep greenish hue.


Zrmanja River – a hidden beauty

Zrmanja belongs to the group of the most beautiful and exciting European rivers with perfectly clear water, a magnificent canyon, and magical waterfalls.

The fairy-tale river Zrmanja rises in the town of Zrmanja from a spring in Lika at the foot of Mount Poštak at an altitude of 335 m and flows into the Adriatic Sea 12 kilometers from Obrovac.

With its 69-kilometer course, it cuts into the hard and harsh foot of the Velebit karst. Its main tributaries, along with Krnjeza and Krupa, are the rivers Ričica and Otuča from Lika. It also receives water from a series of caves that supplement its flow, such as Čudina, Ðurica, Čavlinska, Milića, etc.

The Zrmanja River is often affectionately called “Beauty and the Beast”. The swollen Zrmanja is one of the best places for rafting and is a real beast for all those who want adventure, and when it calms down, that river is a beauty that takes your breath away.

For millennia, Zrmanja made its way to the sea through the hard carbonate bed, creating one of the most impressive canyons in Croatia, which is why it has been protected as a significant landscape since 1964 from Obrovac to the mouth of the Novigrad Sea.

By raising the sea level by more than 120 m after the last ice age, today’s mouth of the Zrmanja River was turned into an estuary. In that part of the canyon, along the bottom of the riverbed, an uninterrupted layer of seawater flows, which provides a rich and diverse habitat for plant and animal species – a significant and sensitive ecosystem, an important breeding ground for various fish species, which must be preserved for future generations.

Zrmanja can rightly be said to be hidden due to the fact that most of its above-ground flow is hidden in a difficult-to-pass and up to the 200-meter-deep canyon.

Krupa River

Zrmanja is a river of six canyons. It was the canyon of that karst river that the creator of “Winnetou” chose as the location for filming his legendary film.

It is a river that has created many travertine waterfalls in its canyon, and Berber’s beech is among the most famous.

The canyon is most beautiful in the spring when it is adorned with luxuriant endemic vegetation, while as many as 8 endemic fish live in the water, a typical karst phenomenon – travertine barriers.

Zrmanja is a river with a thousand faces. Springing from a spring of unique shape, in its 69 kilometers of flow, it sometimes meanders through the fields, and sometimes it is constricted in a canyon. During high water, it roars with foaming rapids, and in the summer months, it completely disappears underground, only to reappear on the surface downstream.

Trip To Zrmanja

The adventure that the river Zrmanja has in store for you begins in the gathering place Kaštel Žegarski (about 40 km away from Pirovac in the direction of Obrovac), a small place on the banks of the river Zrmanja.

We go down the river Zrmanja all the way to the Musković fortress, where the ride ends.

Bathing breaks are organized during the ride.

There is also time for a pleasant and relaxing picnic in your own arrangement, so take with you what you consider necessary.

Upon arrival, the guides will help you prepare for the trip – you will be provided with waterproof barrels for your picnic, towels, water, sunscreen, a camera, or any other personal items you want to have with you during the trip.
When you are ready, you will receive a vest, helmet, and paddle (wetsuit and rain jacket in case of colder weather).

You will look like a professional canoeist in no time!

The guide will take you to the start where he will give you safety instructions, show you how to operate the boat and the trip can begin!

On the first part of the river, which is calmer and less demanding, you will be able to practice your rowing skills. At the moment when you are slowly getting hungry, you head to the Krupa River for a break for a picnic and a swim.

Krupa is the largest tributary of the Zrmanja river, and our picnic spot is located at the foot of an 8-meter waterfall in a small turquoise lagoon ideal for swimming and jumping.