Cowboy Eco Retreat

Velebit Nature Park Croatia: (IT-CROA02)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/Croatia_Cowboy_Eco_Retreat.aspx

Introduction
Velebit Nature Park Croatia
As Europe’s only DK Eyewitness Travel Luxury Ranch, our property truly stands apart from other luxury resorts. The idea of a guest ranch is that you are a guest, rather than a lodger, visiting a home away from home and taking part in the same adventures and traditions as if you owned it. It is our pleasure to offer all gourmet meals, a robust outdoor activities program, an experienced staff and expert guides and top-of-the-the-line gear based on the idea that our mountain will become your playground for the length of your stay. Our Ranch is proudly operated with environmental sustainability in mind.

Choose from a variety of accommodation types to fit your style! Different types of accommodation facilities offered at the Ranch include rooms, suites, chalet, lodges, river tents and Native American tipis. They all feature beds dressed with soft linens, private baths (river tents 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. We design our facilities for fun and relaxation in order to create peaceful and relaxing atmosphere and allow you to have an unforgettable vacation.

Our commitment to balanced and restorative cuisine has been recognized by Michelin guide editors who honored us in two consecutive editions, both in 2016 and 2018, by listing the Ranch in their little big book! Our 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 we serve is prepared fresh from scratch the same day in our 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 our mind.

We have an extensive list of activities to keep every person happy. Riding, zip lines, adrenaline parks, archey, and more will suit those with an appetite for adventure! If you are here to relax, take advantage of our yoga, massages, hot tub, meditation, and more. Children enjoy a host of adventures designed to inspire and foster an appreciation for the outdoors and provide education on Croatia’s history and tradition. From learning to care for animals at the Barn, to exploring the banks of Ranch Creek for local flora and fauna, Little Bears will reconnect with the natural world and broaden their horizons.

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a stationary ride, so all nights will be spent at the Ranch.

Description
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 rooms, suites, chalet, lodges, river tents and Native American tipis. They all feature beds dressed with soft linens, private baths (river tents 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. We design our facilities for fun and relaxation in order to create peaceful and relaxing atmosphere and allow you to have an unforgettable vacation. WIFI onsite lets you connect to loved ones and share photos of your trip! Laundry is available for an additional fee.


Buffalo Lodge
Built in 1924, this mountain cabin offers laid back and relax country style luxury. Old-fashioned charm and the rustic flavor of frontier living all superbly blended with casual elegance. Restoration followed traditional construction techniques. On the first floor sits bedroom, rustic bathroom with a two-meter long soaking tub, living room, balcony overlooking the Square, private terrace with mountain views and kitchen. On the second floor, the Lodge is appointed with a luxury suite that includes a sitting area and separate bathroom. Designed to be reminiscent of Scandinavian wooden houses, its minimalistic clean lines will appeal to those seeking finer things in life. The Lodge can accommodate up to 8 people. Self-catering and personal chef service are available in the lodge.


Casitas
Casita Stella and Luna represent finest in the luxury outback living. In shape they are reminiscent of African mud huts to evoke the times of great expeditions. Inside, finely appointed with handwoven middle-eastern wool rugs, handmade furniture, extra large duvets (to ensure you stay snug and warm at night), fine linens, embroidered ultra-fluffy towels and plush robes, slippers, hair dryer and natural amenities (shampoo, lotion, conditioner, cotton balls, q-tips). Each of them consists of master bedroom, working and reading area with cast iron wood stove for cozying up in front with a good book on a chilly evening. In building Stella and Luna, we took a great care and consideration for the people with special physical needs. Therefore, both exterior and interior are designed on a single level which enables unobstructed movement. With private gardens outside and swimming pool and Japanese hot tub only meters away, you can consider them a private retreat in their own right.


En-suite Rooms

Four en-suite rooms will give you maximum comfort with their distinctively arranged interior in which every piece of furniture tells its own story. Two double rooms (Bear Cave, Sweet Grass) and two single rooms (Ponderosa, Wrangler) will cradle you with their carefully appointed furniture, featherbeds, massage showers, uncluttered simplicity and above all nurturing silence as a result of natural, sheep’s wool insulation that is sourced from sheepherders in the valley. Wood for building doors, windows and furniture was sourced at the ranch as part of sustainable forestry program and it was built in collaboration with a local carpenter. This way local people benefit from your stay in these small but beautiful dwellings. They come with private porches where you can wash down trail dust and enjoy a cold beer, while watching evening settle over the valley.


Lakota Tipis

On the property, there are genuine American Indian tipis made by Nomadics Tipi in North America that made tipis for Kevin Costner’s movie “Dances With Wolves”. Being inside a tipi is living a step closer to nature. During the day, a tipi has a mellow even illumination that has never been equaled in a house. When it rains, it is cozy and dry inside while the drumming of the raindrops overhead soothes the soul. At night, especially during the full moon, shadows of surrounding trees are painted on the cover of the wall and with clear skies, stars shine down between the poles. Guests staying in tipis have their own detached private bathrooms conveniently located within meters from the tipi. Bathrooms are fully equipped with hot-water showers, toilets, bathrobes, slippers and toiletries.


River Tents
The newest addition to the distinctive array of guest ranch accommodations includes River tents—safari tents on the river bank. They feature twin bed accommodation and enough room under the beds four your luggage, top-grade cot beds dressed with the finest linens, amenities, private baths, and front porch rocking chairs to relax after a day in the saddle. Bathrooms are detached and are 50 yards away. Each bathroom is fully equipped with hot water showers, wash basins, toilet and a full array of toiletries, including plush bathrobes and slippers to keep you cozy. We call this a bush experience with a dash of luxury. Another name for it is glamping. Whichever way you call it, we are confident you will have a deep rest and real connection with nature.


Meals
All meals and select drinks are included in this trip. Every morning as a wisp of smoke escapes through the chimney, aroma of freshly brewed oriental coffee greets guests to our dining room. Inside, country charm meets eco-friendly chic, where locally made wooden tables and hand-hewn beams add to the ambiance. We believe your vacation at our ranch is more than just a vacation, it is a culinary getaway of the high order.
Our 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 we serve is prepared fresh from scratch the same day in our 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 menu. Respect for the sustainable production, harvest and preparation of these ingredients is always at the forefront of our mind.
Our commitment to balanced and restorative cuisine has been recognized by Michelin guide editors who honored us in two consecutive editions, both in 2016 and 2018, by listing the Ranch in their little big book!




This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding


Riding Experience
We specialize in riding programs for non-riders and first-time riders. Therefore no prior riding experience needed for any of our rides. Upon arrival, you may head to the barn to meet our wranglers, as well as our horses. Whether it’s your first time on horseback or you’re a seasoned rider, we have a horse for every skill level.

Pony Riding
Children enjoy guided pony rides at the Ranch. With our exceptionally calm horses and patient instructors, every child can go through this program while at the ranch and start developing basic riding skills. Those with experience can join advance group and work on their trotting skills or even try bareback riding.

Natural Horsemanship
Although the term itself is often overused and misunderstood, we relate this closely to what we consider our own variation. What this means to the guest is that the experience is bound to go far beyond that of a typical head-to-tail ride. Your understanding of communication between yourself and your horse is what will be not only discovered but also advanced and understood. It is again one way that we are able to take your horseback riding experience from ordinary to extraordinary. Although we consider this type of training to constantly be taking place, we also like to help our guests understand what it is that we are after in implementing such techniques.

Horses
We have a variety of breeds (Quarter horses, Arabians, Lipizzaners, mountain horses) to suit each individual rider's needs. We breeds our own horses and take extra care in their care and training. We ensure they are calm, collected, and desensitized.

Guides
We always have 1 guide for 5 guests.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary- subject to changes
You are welcome to start your trip any day of the week! See the weekly itinerary and description of the activities below.

Monday
Full Day (10:00am-5:00pm)- Off-ranch adventure day
PM- Little Bears Kids Club

Tuesday
Full Day (10:00am-5:00pm)- Canoe Expedition, or
AM- 2-hour Trail Ride or lesson
PM- 2-hour Trail Ride

Wednesday
Full Day (10:00am-5:00pm)- Off-ranch Adventure Day or Full Day Ride
PM- Little Bears Kids Club

Thursday
Full Day (10:00am-5:00pm)- Winnetou Trail, or
AM- 2-hour Trail Ride
PM- 2-hour Trail Ride and Children's Ride

Friday
AM- 2-hour Trail Ride or Wagon Ride
PM- Cowboy Games

Saturday
AM- 2-hour Trail Ride or lesson
PM- 2-hour Trail Ride and Children's Ride

Sunday
AM- 2-hour Trail Ride or Wagon Ride
PM- 2-hour Trail Ride , Children's Ride, and Little Bears Kids Club

--------------------------



Off-ranch adventure day

Zipline

Have you ever dreamed of Flying? Do you remember how free and excited it made you feel? Imagine being 80 meters above the ground and flying 120 km/h for 2 km with magnificent scenery of Lika below you. The total length of the cable is 1700 m which makes it the longest one peace zip line in Europe. This is a uniquely exhilarating experience!

ATV
If you long for the adrenaline rush ATV mini safari might be what you are looking for. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced driver two-hour tour through the fields and woods will give you an unforgettable experience in driving. Be prepared to be covered in mud and clouds of dust at the end of the trip.

Adrenaline Park
Adrenaline Park is a polygon that consists of several elements taken from the mountain climbing sports. The polygon is mounted on distributed cables at the height of 1-6 m above the forest floor. Families and individuals will remember Adventure Park for exploring and bridging their fears and discovering untapped sources of bravery. Families find new ways to communicate. These activities encourage an open mind and increase family connections. The highlight of this adventure is slide down 150 m long cable. Starting from the cliff and sliding through the treetops, across the field you will experience an unforgettable adrenaline rush.

Bear Watching
Among rich fauna of Velebit Mountain, bear is one that is hard to spot. These furry giants, hiding during the day, crawl out at the night to feed mostly on berries and bugs. So join us and stay alert, for in tranquility of the dark suddenly a rustle can be heard…
This activity is highly seasonal and dependent on bear migration and activity. It can only be arranged on the same day to ensure the maximum possible chance of spotting the animals.



Riding


2-hour Trail Ride
The two-hour horseback riding program is the shortest riding program on the ranch with which you can start your cowboy adventure. Inhale the glorious scent of saddle leather mingled with wildflowers and sun-warmed pine. Delight in the simple luxury of experience—the power of a strong and willing horse beneath you, the freedom of the frontier—and satisfy your yearning for adventure. This scenic ride goes through the valley with spectacular views, stream crossings, gorges and meadows.

Lesson
Many people tend to think that the horse is the only one being trained in this type of situation. Well, that’s not entirely true. We would love to help you understand how the horse is not the only one getting an education out of our training techniques. We can help riders overcome old experiences and instill confidence at any skill level.

Day Ride
You’ll roam the range, being the one with your trusty mount and the land. This is the wrangler’s favorite! Treat yourself with an extraordinary day and experience the mountain country on a horseback. Whether you live in Croatia or are visiting, a trail ride through the beautiful foothills of Velebit Mountain, is very special activity for the whole family, group of friends, small company get-togethers or just simply for yourself. We provide 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 our sure-footed horses. Join us for the whole day of horseback riding and enjoy a day full of exceptional moments, fantastic photos of landscapes and guaranteed fun.

Children's Ride
Children enjoy guided pony rides at the Ranch. With our exceptionally calm horses and patient instructors, every child can go through this program while at the ranch and start developing basic riding skills. Those with experience can join advance group and work on their trotting skills or even try bareback riding.

Wagon ride
Real family adventure as three generations (grandkids, parents and grandparents) can fit in one of our restored country wagons for a ride through the village. The journey will take you close to the farms that produce milk and dairy products for the ranch to experience organic farming first hand and see where our food comes from. Try your hand at driving our team of horses and earn the bragging rights!



Guided Activities

Little Bears Kids Club
As the Ranch understands the need to tailor the outdoor experience to suit our youngest guests, our Little Bears kid’s club caters to create a relaxed family vacation for both children and parents. Our kid’s club introduces children to the frontier living in an exciting and safe way. With our trained staff at the reins, parents can take a little time for themselves or adventure at a faster pace. Little Bears kid’s club is a fun, outdoor educational program for children aged 4 to 12. Children enjoy a host of adventures designed to inspire and foster an appreciation for the outdoors and provide education on Croatia’s history and tradition. From learning to care for animals at the Barn, to exploring the banks of Ranch Creek for local flora and fauna, Little Bears will reconnect with the natural world and broaden their horizons. Cowboy games, survival academy, pony painting parties, and gold panning are some of the many activities offered to keep your children entertained!
If the day is rainy, our Studio Hall becomes a platform for Arts and crafts workshop, board games, dance party or a movie theater, complete with a large collection of movies and popcorn.

Canoe Expedition
Glide along in a canoe on Lika River canyon. Enjoy the exercise when the wind is down and the river is still. Get your heart rate up while basking in the sunshine and splashing a paddle in the cool water. Depending on a water level, up to four prehistoric dams will have to be negotiated by taking your canoe on your shoulders while crossing a pile of ancient rocks. Keep your eye out for wildlife while paddling.

Winnetou Trail
Jeep is another way to discover Velebit Mountain. Trips are guided and take you to some of the deepest 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 rangers at Veliki Alan mountain hut.

Cowboy games
Great fun for company get-togethers or groups of friends and families with children. Variety of fun and safe games to make you laugh and smile and get a good work out. 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 favorite activity for guests of all ages.



Activities On Ranch

Hiking, cycling, yoga, archery, geocaching, hot tubbing, swimming in pool, massages, movie theatre, library, badminton, volleyball, and evening entertainment are also all available!


Rates and Dates for Cowboy Eco Retreat

Rates include:

Accommodations (choose from rooms, suites, chalet, lodges, river tents and Lakota tipis) with private bath, three gourmet meals and snacks throughout the day, selected drinks, scheduled activities, evening entertainment, free satellite WiFi, valet parking, VAT

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20197 day trip, AP (Summer)€1140$1370
    • Daily Rate, pp€190$230
      Child Discount (13-18)(€115)($140)
      Child Discount (8-12)(€230)($275)
      Child Discount (4-7)(€685)($825)
  • B
    20197 day trip, AP (Spring & Fall)€1080$1295
    • Daily Rate, pp€180$215
      Child Discount (13-18)(€110)($135)
      Child Discount (8-12)(€215)($260)
      Child Discount (4-7)(€650)($780)
  • C
    20197 day trip, AP (Winter)€960$1155
    • Daily Rate, pp€160$195
      Child Discount (13-18)(€95)($115)
      Child Discount (8-12)(€195)($235)
      Child Discount (4-7)(€575)($690)
  • D
    20197 day trip, AP (Holidays)€1020$1225
    • Daily Rate, pp€180$215
      Child Discount (13-18)(€105)($125)
      Child Discount (8-12)(€205)($245)
      Child Discount (4-7)(€610)($735)
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.2

Tax 1: 2 %

Rates Note:

Environmental 2% taxes

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy
Tax: 2 %  

Rates Note:

Environmental 2% taxes


Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2019 Transfers from/to Gospić roundtrip (up to 4 pax), per car
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
70 $85

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
C 2019 01/03 - 04/30 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Winter) 1 /8 Reserve
B 2019 05/01 - 06/20 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Spring & Fal... 1 /8 Reserve
A 2019 06/21 - 08/20 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Summer) 1 /8 Reserve
B 2019 08/21 - 09/30 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Spring & Fal... 1 /8 Reserve
C 2019 10/01 - 12/12 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Winter) 1 /8 Reserve
D 2019 12/13 - 12/31 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Holidays) 1 /8 Reserve

Dates Note: Any length of stay available with minimum 2 nights!

Rates do not include:

Environmental 2% taxes, grauities

Other Info
Meeting: Velika Plana
Airport: Zadar Airport (ZAD)
Transfer: Gospić

Climate:
                                                Donje Pazarište area

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

38

42

50

58

67

74

79

79

70

60

49

39

Average Low Temperature (°F)

24

25

31

37

44

50

53

52

46

40

33

26

Average High Temperature (°C)

4

6

10

14

19

23

26

26

21

16

9

4

Average Low Temperature (°C)

-4

-4

-1

3

7

10

11

11

8

4

1

-4

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

9

8

9

10

9

8

5

6

8

8

11

10

Source: NOAA


Seasons
Located at an altitude of 700 meters (2,200 feet), the ranch is located in a mountain climate zone. Being in the mountains, this means that weather conditions can rapidly change. Therefore, you should come prepared for all kinds of weather.
We recommend that you dress in layers of “moisture wicking” clothing. This way you can always add or remove a layer depending on the changes in weather. Pack as light as possible (using a duffle type bag is best).

Spring, Summer and Fall (April to October)
During these months, the temperatures range from mild to hot, with temperatures as high as 30 C (86 F) during the prime summer months.

Winter (November to February)
At this time of the year, daily temperature hovers around 0 C (32 F) and drops well below 0 C (32 F) during the night. 

What To Bring:
The Ranch does not have a formal dress code, but most guests dress Western casual, no jacket required. Attire is relaxed and comfortable, even at dinner. For activities, we recommend dressing in layers. Riding and hiking boots, cowboy hats, and rain slickers are available in limited sizes on-site, as is all gear necessary to participate in all Ranch activities. Listed below are the items that we feel you should bring for a safe and comfortable vacation.

- Jeans or riding pants
- Convertible pants/shorts
- Shorts (mainly for July/August)
- Moisture wicking shirts (long and short sleeves)
- Fleece or sweater (for warmth)
- Gor-tex jacket for wind/rain
- Underwear (you may want to consider light weight long underwear for an early or late season)
- Socks
- Toque (warm hat)
- Bandana or lightweight scarf –available for purchase at the ranch
- Brimmed hat (protects from rain, sun and low branches) –available for purchase at the ranch
- Riding gloves
- Heeled, ankle-high, water-repellant boots
- Comfortable camp shoes
- Chaps (if available)
- Beach towel and swimsuit
- Camera
- Sunscreen
- Sunglasses
- Water bottle