The ranch is located inside Velebit National Park, the UNESCO protected Biosphere Reserve since 1978.
The ranch started with a vision for a sustainable wilderness resort. The dream became a reality as the food for people and livestock has come from local farms and gardens. All the windows, doors, furniture, carpets, decors and construction material are made by local artists and craftspeople and sourced in the valley. You are thinking green? This is a place for you.
Once a year you can enroll to an expedition deep into the mountain on a journey that guests describe as “trip of a lifetime”, or “best vacation ever”! After you spend a week on the mountain listening to the sound of silence and deepening understanding of yourself and your place in this world, you will never look at life with the same eyes again.
The Saloon and sleeping in a Bear Cave People from all over the world venture to Velebit in search of peace and unhindered contact with nature. In this land where horses graze freely and where meadows are filled with wildflowers, people encounter one thing they did not plan on meeting: themselves. Your accommodation, the Bear Cave is a double en-suite bedroom that will cradle you with carefully appointed furniture, feather beds, massage showers and above all nurturing silence as a result of natural, sheep's wool insulation that is sourced from sheep herders in the valley. After settling down come for a welcome drink in the Saloon where our guides will go through the program details for a safe and enjoyable holiday, and provide you with all the GPS map info for the surroundings. Dinner and evening entertainment.
Bonding with the horses & exploring the ranch Can you smell that? Fresh, nutrient-rich, tasty breakfast is served. At the beginning of your riding adventure, we will start with the basics. You will learn how to understand and communicate with your horse before you get to mount it. Your understanding of communication between yourself and your horse is what will be not only discovered but also advanced and understood. It is one way that we are able to take your horseback riding experience from ordinary to extraordinary. Explore the ranch and feel at home as Velebit mountain will become your playground for the length of your stay.
Food tip: Food on a ranch has been described as a "soul food" and designated as "cooked with love." The cooks use fresh ingredients which they pick from surroundings or source them locally. A daily set menu is in keeping with what's seasonal from local suppliers and available at the ranch.
Test yourself on a hiking trip Monday is a lay day for horses so you will have a hiking trip. The forest around us has an abundance of logging trails that are a hikers paradise. The hiking trails are different and adapted both to the experienced and recreational hikers and people who enjoy walking through beautiful, picturesque landscape. After the lunch, you can join cowboy games. A variety of fun and safe games to make you laugh and smile and get a good workout. Sack runs, tug-of-war, snap-the-apple, wood chopping, wagon-in-a-river, spoon run are few of the games that we play as a part of this favourite activity for guests of all ages.
RC tip: We recommend a combination of different activities in order to explore which is the best for their body & spirit renewal. Spending time in nature and trying out the variety of recreational outdoor activities is the most natural way to connect with your inner self.
Saddle up and share the horseback riding pasion The two-hour horseback riding program is the shortest riding program on the ranch. Inhale the glorious scent of saddle leather mingled with wildflowers and sun-warmed pine. No matter how much experience you may have, all riders go through a brief technical orientation before getting on their horse. This helps bring horses back into our minds and allows us to begin our journey to becoming better riders. This scenic ride goes through the valley with spectacular views, stream crossings, gorges and meadows. Wranglers at the ranch are well versed in natural horsemanship and love sharing their passion for horseback riding with guests of all different experience levels.
Trail ride on Via Dinarica Today you'll roam the range. Treat yourself with an extraordinary day and experience the mountain country on a horseback. A trail ride through the beautiful foothills of Velebit Mountain is a very special activity as you will enter the popular Via Dinarica trail. You will be provided a tasty lunch on the trail and interesting facts about the land, Croatia wildlife and flora. Enjoy a day full of great moments, fantastic scenery and fun on tame and surefooted horses. There is a high chance of spotting a bear on one of these rides, which will be another new exciting experience for you.
Mighty mountain on a 4x4 ride 4x4 off-roading is another way to discover Velebit Mountain. People on the ranch often have to make their own way, clearing fallen trees or navigating around rock boulders. Trips are guided and take you to some of the deep corners of the mountain where wild animals roam free. The trip is a combination of off-roading and hiking. Simple but tasty lunch is prepared and served by mountain guides at Veliki Alan mountain hut. During summer nights around the campfire, live music and singing happen. From country evergreens to pop standards, there is going to be your favourite song you can sing along.
Seize the day and test your inner Cowboy Ride a bike to the birthplace of Nikola Tesla to Smiljan, or set out on a journey. Find for yourself hidden wonders of our valley - soft meadows bursting with vegetation, peaceful shady grooves as shelters from the summer sun. We offer free GPS maps for download to all our guests to discover trails surrounding the ranch. Every Friday afternoon our guests are a part of an exciting display of our cowboy's skills. They include a flag parade, races (pole bending, barrel racing), obstacle courses, wagon runs, shooting a bow from a back of a horse and other fun and safe activities for all ages and skill levels. Spend a final night all together around the campfire and talk about favourite moments from this week.
RC tip: The ranch is a perfect place for families with kids. There are many activities tailored for kids such as: pony rides, forest day, gold panning, cowboy games, arts and crafts workshop and many more.
Just one more thing before departure After the breakfast, you can check-out. If you have time, we suggest you visit Plitvice Lakes National Park. This gorgeous park is just one hour away by car. The Plitvice Lakes are famous for their 16 magnificent and entwined cascading lakes that form a gorgeous ring of water. Plitvice has been named one of the 35 most beautiful national parks in the world, and for good reason. Did we mention the park is protected by UNESCO? Release your inner explorer and see for yourself why Plitvice Lakes have found their place on UNESCO World Heritage List.
Real Experience d.o.o.