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.
Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch is the only genuine working guest ranch in Croatia. Surrounded by 200,000 hectares of the UNESCO Velebit Nature Park, the ranch offers a range of equestrian adventures through the picturesque mountains, valleys, and coastal landscapes of Velebit. The ranch was founded in 2008, by Dr. Bruce Yerkovich.
Photography credits: Linden Tree Ranch and Resort and Straffan Widstrand
Dr. Bruce Yerkovich is an American-Croatian entrepreneur and scientist, who 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. He lives at the Ranch with his wife Megi, where he trains horses and takes guests on horseback expeditions.
From an early age, Dr. Yerkovich was fascinated by animals and plants and spent hours observing them. Later while working in the natural science field, he continued to be impressed by nature as an architect.
“When I decided to move my life deep into nature, it was to be able once again to admire that supreme designer and witness the kaleidoscope of products it has developed and put into motion, both on a mechanistic and biological level as well as energetically complementary ones”.
What he enjoys the most about nature is the change of seasons and how life adapts to it, without complaint or need to alter or affect it. We people could learn a great deal from it.
“In both of my careers, former one in the field of quantum biophysics and the latter one in nature-based transformational tourism, it is the fine tapestry of life and the underlying weaving that continues to mesmerize me”.
Dr. Bruce Yerkovich wants his guests to experience within, rather than without.
“A small change, that first snowflake on the slope of snow-covered mountain, that we gently help usher down the hillside. After that, they can never go back, never say ‘I did not see’. They cannot ignore the part they play in the shaping of this world”.
Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch works hand-in-hand with several conservation organizations in developing sustainable, environmentally responsible programs that benefit all. They are continually striving to ensure that the tourism brought to the area benefits local community.
The Retreat employs local men and women and contributes to the enhancement and global understanding of the Velebit Mountain Biosphere Reserve.
“Nature-based tourism is a form of experience that allows people to transform. Travel that changes us…”