Croatia: A deep natural experience in the Velebit Mountains

A privately guided experience on horseback and by foot. Learn about wildlife deep in the magical Velebit Mountains of Croatia

A four-night bespoke guided experience through the Velebit mountains, both on horseback and on foot. This is a unique exploration of the area, its wildlife and the impact of rewilding. Support rewilding activities in the area through bear tourism. 

Take days out to explore the area on horseback, enjoying delicious local cuisine in Megi's Michelin recommended restaurant and hospitality while discovering the area and its captivating wild nature. 

All your activities and expert hosting are provided within a ranch-style setting at Linden Tree Retreat&Ranch. Comfortable and unique accommodation with outdoor heated swimming pool, hot tub, library and badminton court, amongst other facilities. All this is rounded off by an opportunity to see bears from a photography hide in the mountains.


Day to day program

Day 1: Arrival after 3pm. Welcome drinks and program familiarization. Dinner at the Ranch. Accommodation at the Ranch

Day 2: Breakfast. Day ride to Ghost town. Lunch at Ghost town. Dinner at the Ranch. Accommodation at the Ranch.

Day 3: Breakfast. Premužić trail day hike. Lunch at the Ranger's station on the mountain. Lazy afternoon at the Ranch. Dinner at the Ranch. Accommodation at the Ranch


Day 4: Breakfast. Jeep Safari with animal tracking. Lunch on the mountain. Bear watching at Lagosta bear hide. Dinner in town. Accommodation at the Ranch

Day 5: Breakfast and departure

Trip Details

  • Days: 5 day/4 night trip
  • When: All year round
  • Accommodation: Linden Tree Retreat&Ranch
  • Guide:  Dr. Bruce Yerkovich
  • How to get there: You can easily reach Zagreb or Gospic by train and then get a bus to Senj.  If you decide to catch a plane, the closest airport is Zagreb, and in summertime Zadar. You can rent a car from the airport for an easy 3 hr drive to the Velebit Mountains.
  • Languages: English, Croatian.


  • Private tour, flexible dates
  • €1690 per person (when travelling with 2 people)
  • Min 7 years to participate. 
  • 20% discount for 13-17 kids. 

The price includes: 4 nights at Linden tree Retreat&Ranch, single or double room. Private local guide: Bruce Yerkovich. A visit to the bear hide on day 4. 5% rewilding levy. Fee for the bear hide.  All-inclusive of meals, horseriding, hiking and other facilities at the ranch: outdoor heated swimming pool (available during summer season only), Japanese ofuro hot tub, movie theatre, library, badminton, volleyball, archery, bocce ball, horseshoe pit, bicycles, evening entertainment, free satellite Wi-Fi. 

Not included in the price:  Flights. Transfer from airport/trainstation to Linden Tree. Drinks and personal extras. Insurance 

What to bring: We recommend you to dress in layers. Hiking shoes, sun hat, water bottle, daypack, long pants, hat and wool gloves, jacket, raincoat or poncho, sun protection cream, non smelling mosquito/tick repellent and camp shoes (sandals). Binoculars, personal toiletries/medicines and a sense of adventure!

Our responsibility

Rewilding Europe Levy: 5 % of your booking sum goes to the local Rewilding Europe organization.

Due to the huge growth in coastal tourism in Croatia over the last 10-15 years, many local inhabitants have moved out of the Velebit area towards the coast. As a result, many areas of this beautiful region are 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 23,000-hectare Velebit Nature Reserve.

A new wildlife watching venture saw the construction and opening of two wildlife hides in this reserve in 2016. These will benefit the local community through job opportunities and boosted tourism income. They represent the first step in developing the area’s vast potential as a sustainable nature tourism destination.

Two unique forests in the Rewilding Velebit area were recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Rewilding Europe is working to promote this model across Europe.

Read more about our work in the Velebit Mountains here.


Aukje Van Gerven


Meet Bruce

Bruce worked both in the corporate and academic environment until 2008, when he founded Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch, a guest ranch on the slopes of Velebit Mountain in Croatia.

Dr. Bruce Yerkovich, American-Croatian entrepreneur and scientist received his doctorate in the United States in the field of Quantum Biophysics. Subsequently, he specialized in bioinformatics and human genomics. 

As a part of his research efforts, Dr. Yerkovich pioneered CIDER

(Community, Integrity, Development, Evolution and Responsibility), a multidimensional tool to serve as a guide in developing sustainable and ethical business practices. 

In 2016 the Ranch was listed as one of The Top 10 Luxury Camps in Europe by DK Eyewitness Travel Magazine. 

Bruce lives at the Ranch with his wife Megi, where he trains horses and takes guests on horseback expeditions.

Dr.Yerkovich is an author and serves as a guest speaker and lecturer in the field of sustainable development and his services are sought after both by private and government sector.

Dr. Bruce Yerkovich
Owner and cowboy, Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch