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Luxury Horse Riding Holiday in Croatia

Amidst the foothills of the Velebit Mountain lies a hidden valley full of natural beauty, horses, culture, and endless adventures, home to a private and unique guest ranch: Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch, Croatia’s premier horse riding destination. Come and stay in a real Sioux tipi or cozy chalet, ride in pristine nature, visit a ghost town on horseback, and indulge in a tasty cuisine featured in a Michelin guide. Experience frontier life in this heart-changing adventure. You will come as a city-slicker and leave as a true and tried cowboy and cowgirl!

Key Information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 100 kilograms / 220 pounds
  • Horse Height Range: 14 to 16 hands
  • Horse Breed: Western pleasure horse

Meet the instructors

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  • Horse and gear
  • 4 days of horse riding
  • Approximate daily riding time: 4 hours
  • Luggage transportation and use of all facilities
  • All-level horse riding sessions
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 3 daily meals

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


5 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 10 participants
Airport transfer available:
Franjo Tuđman Airport (US$294 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Zadar Airport (US$176 per person)
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Check-in Time:
Check-out Time:

During this holiday, you will spend the first night at the ranch, four nights on the trail (guest homes, mountain huts), and one night in a hotel. Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch is an ideal place for adventurous travelers looking for something completely different - a laid-back environment with an authentic, intimate ambiance, truly your home away from home.

The accommodations feature the best of ranch living with finely appointed amenities to help guests relax after a day of horse riding and other activities. Different types of accommodation facilities offered at the ranch include en-suite rooms, luxury lodges and suites, river tents, and native American tipis.

They all feature beds dressed with soft linens, private baths (river tents and tipis have detached bathrooms), porches and mountain views. With studio hall, saloon, the square, hot tub, swimming pool, archery range, horse riding arena, tack room, two creeks, and a river, there’s plenty of indoor and outdoor space for guests to spread out comfortably. They design the facilities for fun and relaxation in order to create a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere and allow you to have an unforgettable vacation.


Itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, snow and water levels, special events or interest, etc. Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch guides and trip leaders will do their utmost to ensure the best possible experience for their clients without compromising safety at any time.

This may mean changing the original itinerary to avoid discomfort or risk which could be caused by exceptional situations. Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch reserves the right to alter the itinerary without prior notice.

The minimum age is 13 years. Anyone under 18 should be a regular and enthusiastic rider, have a keen sense of adventure and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. There have been people in their 70's on trips, but again, they were fit, in good health, and rode regularly prior to their holiday.

Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch ask that you judge yourself (and your children) honestly in this regard, as they will take your word for it and plan the trip accordingly. It is important that you feel fit and healthy before going on the trail. You will be traveling in the wilderness, where medical services (beyond first aid) are not readily available.

Day 1

Arrival in the afternoon. Explore the ranch and meet the horses.

Day 2

After breakfast you tack the horses, go on a short trail ride to make sure you are ready for the adventure. After lunch at the ranch, the trip begins. In the evening you reach Smiljan, the birthplace of Nikola Tesla. You will bed for the night at a rustic farmhouse.

Day 3

Your goal for this day is to reach Medak. On the way, you will cross hidden springs and watercourses. This is an intensive ride, covering some rough terrain, often going through unmarked territory. A real adventure for real cowboys and cowgirls! Accommodation will be at the family-run ranch house.

Day 4

The stretch between Medak and St. Rok is flat with many opportunities for gallop and fast riding. After the lunch break, you start climbing the mountain one more time. Overnight will be at the campsite on the mountain.

Day 5

The ride on this day takes you over the Velebit Mountain where Winnetou movies were filmed. As you continue your way down along southern slopes, you might spot a herd of wild horses. In the evening, you arrive at Paklenica National Park.

Day 6

Enjoy rafting on the Zrmanja River. The evening will be in Zadar, an ancient city at the coast.

Day 7

Departure after breakfast.


Bruce Yerkovich


This holiday will take place at Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch in Croatia, situated in a valley at the base of Velebit Mountain in Velika Plana, only a few kilometers from the birthplace of Nikola Tesla, Smiljan. Velika Plana valley together with Lika planes is known as the natural haven characterized by its beautiful green landscapes and unique vegetation whose combination proved to be ideal for the creation of the ranch with the main activity being horse riding.

Natural resources and wildlife of Velebit Mountain provide the opportunity for an unforgettable adventure holiday in Croatia. Although Croatia is best known as a summer holiday destination, more and more people are seeking escape from the crowds and traffic and searching for a different active form of relaxation in nature in winter and throughout the year.

The ranch property is comprised of mountains, soft hills, meadows, pastures, forest, mountain-fed creeks, and gravel roads or forest paths. The 50 acres of ranch land also encompasses a mile of frontage along the Ricina River that flows into the Lake Krušćica. To the far west and south, soft rolling hills give way to snow-capped peaks of the Velebit mountains. Northward and eastward, deciduous trees stretch along the valley floor following the river coming deep from the mountain.

The ranch is home to an array of wildlife, including wolf, bear, deer, ibex, fox, coyote, a variety of eagles and an array of birds. Velebit mountain is one of the last places in Croatia to have more animals than people. The ranch offers special vacations for wildlife enthusiasts in spring and fall, during seasonal migrations.

The ranch is also located 23 kilometers from the town of Gospic in a region known as Lika. They are off the beaten path in the southern region of the country approximately halfway between Zagreb and Split and close to Plitvice Lakes, Paklenica, Krka, and Northern Velebit National Parks.

They are at an elevation of 700 meters or 2,200 feet. Driving distances from major cities and tourist sights are approximately one hour from Zadar and Plitvice Lakes, two hours from Zagreb and Split, three hours from Rijeka, five hours from Dubrovnik and Istria, and seven hours from Vienna, Venice, Belgrade, and Sarajevo.

Nearby places

  • Bakovac village, 5 kilometers
  • County hospital - 25 minutes
  • Dubrovnik - 5 hours
  • Gospic, 23 kilometers
  • Otocac Airport (LDRO) - 45 minutes' drive
  • Rijeka - 3 hours
  • Split - 1 hour
  • Zadar and Plitvice Lakes - 1 hour
  • Zagreb - 2 hours


Linden Tree's food has been called soul food and designated as cooked with love. It is best described as a Croatian mosaic of world flavors - a sensational fusion of Mediterranean dishes plated with an international flare. Everything they serve is prepared fresh from scratch the same day in their open country kitchen, using the very best ingredients.

Eating food grown on-site or foraged from the nearby meadows and forest is at the heart of every Linden Tree menu. Respect for the sustainable production, harvest, and preparation of these ingredients is always at the forefront of their mind.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Lacto-ovo Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Organic
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Whole food
  • Yogic
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Whether you are into adventure or simply into enjoying beautiful mountain scenery while lying in the grass, Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch has got it all covered.

Grab a book from the library, explore your own thoughts or just take a nap. Refresh at the outdoor pool and relax in the Japanese ofuru hot tub. Since Linden Tree is an hour's drive (or less) from the best Croatian destinations (Plitvice lakes, Smiljan - the birthplace of Nikola Tesla, Zadar, Kuterevo, etc.), guests can visit it individually or Linden Tree can help them organize the trip and excursion.

For adventurous travelers:

  • Canoe expedition
  • Caving
  • Children’s pony rides
  • Cycling
  • Cowboy games
  • Day ride
  • Geocaching
  • Gold panning
  • Guided trip to Winnetou trail
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Riding lesson
  • Survival academy
  • Wagon ride

Spa treatments

Have you ever heard of Vitamin N? It cannot be synthesized in labs yet it is vital for you to have a meaningful and balanced life. N stands for Nature! Nature helps boost the immune system, reduces stress and blood pressure, elevates focus and mood, accelerates healing, and improves the sleep/wake balance.

By its very definition, wellness is the achievement of a balance of the mind, spirit, and body that results in overall well-being. Forest bathing (inhaling beneficial phytoncides), active and passive meditation in forests, especially old-growth forests, unplugging (from technology) by choice, sleeping outdoors (like in our tipis or river tents), nourishing your body with natural-sourced and organic foods, massaging your body, challenging your body, thrilling your psyche, immersing yourself in a demonstrably remote and authentically wild environment, childlike play, and doing nothing at all are all prescriptions for improved wellness.

At Linden Tree, all of that comes naturally. The grounds are designed as physical and spiritual sanctuary offering yoga, wellness, and restorative treatments for body and soul. A secluded compound with an outdoor treatment room, yoga room, Siberian cedar hot tub, swimming pool, and tranquil outdoor lounge spaces fosters healing and wellness processes inside your body. Throughout the season, Linden Tree hosts various practitioners and professionals who offer their wellness services to guests:

  • Japanese hot tub
  • Outdoor heated swimming pool
  • Aromatherapy
  • Forest day
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Items 1 and 2 are included in your all-inclusive daily rate, as is the use of Yoga studio.

What's included

  • Activities as outlined in the trip itinerary
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 3 meals daily from dinner on the first day until breakfast on the last day
  • Horse and gear
  • Use of all facilities
  • Transportation of luggage from accommodation to accommodation
  • Riding permit, national park entrance fees, occupancy tax, 13% VAT

What's not included

  • Bar drinks
  • Transportation back to Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch
  • 5% environmental fee and occupancy tax (0.7 EUR per person, per night)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from the east, north, and south

  • Take A-1 (a major highway that runs north-south).
  • Then, take Gospic exit.
  • At the bottom of the ramp, take left toward Gospic and follow the signs to Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch.
  • They are located 23 kilometers from the center of Gospic.
  • In Klanac, take right toward Donje Pazariste.
  • Drive 10 kilometers.
  • Drive through Donje Pazariste.
  • You will pass a brewery on your right.
  • Continue for another three kilometers.
  • Turn left when you see Linden Tree sign.
  • Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch is 0.5 kilometer on your left.

Driving directions from Jadranska magistrala, E65

  • Take the exit for Stirovaca (from June thru October as you can be snowed in at other times).
  • The drive is 53 kilometers long.
  • Go thru Stirovaca and Bakovac.
  • Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch is located five kilometers from Bakovac village.
  • Turn right to Velika Plana and follow the road for 0.5 kilometer.
  • They are on the left.

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Franjo Tuđman Airport (ZAG) or Zadar Airport (ZAD).

Arrival by bus

Gospic has bus services to Zagreb and Split (several departures and arrivals daily). Zadar and Rijeka are served by bus lines. From there, you can arrange Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch's car and driver pickup service.

Arrival by train

Gospic has train services to Zagreb and Split (several departures and arrivals daily). From there, you can arrange Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch's car and driver pickup service.

Airport: Franjo Tuđman Airport Airport transfer available: Franjo Tuđman Airport (US$294 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Zadar Airport Airport transfer available: Zadar Airport (US$176 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Quality of activity
7 days / 6 nights
from --
Availability information

You can book a shorter stay. For more information, please send Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch an inquiry.

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