-Revel in the beauty of the Balkans-
Imagine starting the day gliding over the clear waters of the Adriatic in search of rare dolphins, lunching on a turquoise sea, and then venturing into rugged mountains in search of brown bears at sunset. Your day of adventure finishes around a camp fire, sharing stories and enjoying local hospitality and cuisine. This is all possible in Croatia's Velebit Mountains.
Imagine starting the day gliding over the clear waters of the Adriatic in search of rare dolphins, lunching on a turquoise sea, and then venturing into rugged mountains in search of brown bears at sunset. Your day of adventure finishes around a camp fire, sharing stories and enjoying local hospitality and cuisine. This is all possible in Croatia’s Velebit Mountains.
Stretching from the edge of the Adriatic Sea to peaks of 1750 metres, the stunning Velebit region is covered by beech and pine forests, underground canyons, caves and waterfalls. These habitats are home to some of Europe’s most rare and elusive wildlife, including Balkan chamois, red deer, brown bear, wolf and lynx.
Over 100 bird species will keep most enthusiasts happy too, including golden eagles, peregrine falcon, capercaillie and white-backed woodpecker.
Explore the Velebit’s vast landscapes on foot or horseback, by boat or kayak, on a mountain bike or in a 4x4. New wildlife watching hides offer travellers the chance to see some of the remote mountain animals like bear, wolf, deer or wild boar in their natural environment. Travel here and discover some of Croatia’s most beautiful, undiscovered and fascinating areas.
The 145-kilometre long Velebit massif is one of the most biodiverse areas in the Balkans with a range of unique habitats. With many areas of this beautiful region now characterised by land abandonment, rural exodus and fading cultural tradition, Rewilding Europe is working with local partners to transform these challenges into opportunities. This has seen the establishment of the 17,000-hectare Velebit Nature Reserve, where rewilding is offering a fresh approach to wildlife management and underpinning the development of a local nature-based economy.
"Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience."
- Francis Bacon
Local Croatian wildlife photographer and guide Nino Salkic recently commented “…being in the hides waiting for wildlife is like meditating, its a patience game and I always feel energized regardless of what we see.”
As a third generation photographer, Salkic’s love for nature was quickly matched with his growing interest in photography, and as he was born and raised in Velebit, the mountains are where he feels most at home.
Over the past years, Nino has been involved in all aspects of the wildlife hide development and with the assistance of research cameras is keeping up to date information on the wildlife movements in the area.
Adventurer, mountaineer and photographer aren't enough, Nino is studying Nature Conservation in his spare time...and documenting the storms that grace the Adriatic and coastal mountain regions.
Through all of this, his focus is on the promotion of natural beauty, wildlife and culture of Croatia.
"When there is already a mountain it should be climbed, patiently and all the way to the top. When there is already a mountain it needs to be met, with heart and ear like a mother's word. When there is already a mountain it should be conquered, slowly and wisely as the only love." Ljerka Car-Matutinovic
Nino is equally comfortable and confident behind the camera lens, a mountain top or ranging against the local storms along the Adriatic coast.
Wildlife Guide And Photographer, Velebit Mountains