Top 10 Croatia Marathon Races for Sports Enthusiasts

People running a marathon

Have you ever visited one of Croatia Marathon or Triathlon races?

If you already spent your vacation on one of the beautiful beaches near Pirovac, make sure to come back to Croatia in Autumn.

Several marathon races are held in Croatia, the most famous being the Zagreb Marathon and the Plitvice Marathon race. But there are other marathons worth visiting that appeal to sports enthusiasts for their interesting routes, beautiful and unique scenery. In this article, we bring you some ideas of where you can spend your active vacation if you’re in Croatia.

What is Marathon Race?

Marathon is the longest athletic discipline in running. An official distance of a marathon is 42,195 kilometers. It is generally considered to be the most difficult athletic discipline but also one of the most difficult sports disciplines in general.

Throughout the world, there are as many as 800 marathons held each year. Croatia, for example, is home to 115 races, ranging from short races, half marathons, marathons, to ultramarathons. The following are the scenic marathon and half marathon races held in Croatia.

Croatia Marathon Races

1. Zagreb Marathon

Launched in 1992, the Zagreb Marathon has become the largest racing event in Croatia over the years. It’s held every year in October. 

It started at Ban Josip Jelačić Square and ran through the streets of Zagreb. In 2015, the organizers changed the route and relocated it to Dugo Selo, to free the city center.

In addition to the marathon, there is a half marathon and a 5-kilometer race. The entry fee is between 20 and 33 Euros and includes a participant’s T-shirt, a medal, and a post-race lunch. Prizes are given in cash.

2. Plitvice Marathon

Did you ever run through breathtaking nature that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site? You can do this in Plitvice Lakes National Park every June. This Croatia marathon race is one of the breathtaking trails in this part of Europe.

Moreover, you can also sign up for the race as a family because the Plitvice Marathon also organizes the so-called Family Marathon. It is a family competition involving the performance of three runners, and the family must have one member representative in each of the runs (42 kilometers, 21 kilometers and 5 kilometers). The most successful families are especially rewarded. 

The entry fee ranges between 13 and 50 Euros, depending on the time when you purchased it and the trail type. The prizes are cash and sponsor gift packages for the first three places.

3. Brijuni Half Marathon

You could never have imagined that it was possible to run a marathon in paradise on earth. Well, Brijuni Marathon is a unique opportunity for such a magnificent experience. 

Brijuni Islands are a unique blend of natural values ​​and cultural and historical heritage, while the Brijuni National Park is an oasis of a perfect harmony of man and wildlife. 

The Brijuni Marathon offers two types of runs: a half marathon and a 10k, so everyone can find something for themselves. 

It’s held in March every year. The entry fee is either 33 or 36 Euros, depending on the type of the race. The prize consists of a trophy, a weekend at the seaside and sports equipment.

4. Plava Laguna Half Marathon

Plava Laguna Half Marathon runners can enjoy the route next to the sea every March. This half marathon starts at hotel Parentium in Poreč through Plava Laguna resort and ends back at hotel Parentium.

The organizers offer a 10K run, a family run of 3,5 kilometers, as well as kids run (400-1800 meters). 

The entry fee ranges from 10 to 25 Euros, depending on the type of the race. Kids’ fee is free. Prizes are in cash, while the first prize includes a two-night stay at Plava Laguna for two people.

5. Učka Trail

When you need a nice blend of sea and beautiful mountains, fresh forest air and mild Mediterranean climate, make sure to head to Učka trail. It passes through the protected natural landscape of Učka Nature reserve.

It’s a competition held in September each year that allows you to see and experience places where history, tradition, mythology and ancient legends intertwine with natural beauty.

The Green trail is a marathon race and is 42 kilometers long. Blue trail is a 31-kilometer-long track, while Perun trail is a 16-kilometer-long race.

The entry fee ranges from 20 to 40 Euros, depending on the trail and the time of the purchase. It includes a t-shirt, a cotton bag, a finisher medal, lunch, race bib, aid stations, and medical assistance.

6. Krka Ultra Challenge

One of the most scenic Croatia Marathon races, Krka Ultra Challenge, is a race held in October. It’s not exactly a marathon per se, because the trails consist of 80km Insane challenge, 53km Crazy challenge, 27km Mad challenge, and a 10K Happy challenge.

However, it’s held for a noble cause; the aim is to raise awareness & collect funds for diabetes and diabetes charities. The runners use #Run4Diabetes hashtag to spread it across social media.

The routes follow the Krka river and pass several impressive landmarks, viewpoints & waterfalls before finishing in the beautiful town of Skradin. 

The entry fee is 60 Euros for tourists and 30 Euros for Croatian residents. It includes Contribution to #Run4Diabetes charity (20% of entry fee), entrance to Krka National Park during the event day, one-day admission & boat ride to Skradinski Buk waterfalls, aid stations, race photos, Skradin beach ceremony, a medal for all finishing participants, a finisher T-shirt, a Goodie Bag and a KRKA Ultra Challenge souvenir.

7. Naturel Zrmanja Trail

Naturel Zrmanja Trail is a half marathon held every August. It passes through the gorgeous scenery of the Zrmanja river for all outdoor and nature lovers.

One of the most beautiful tracks in Croatia starts in front of the school in the small village of Golubić. The village is 15km away from the city of Obrovac. Except for the Challenger race of 24 kilometers, there are Active (14 kilometers) and Light race (7.5 kilometers).

The entry fee is 170 kunas (70 kunas of deposit before the race and 100 kunas in cash at the event). Children, minors, and people over 60 years of age need to pay only the deposit of 70 kunas.

8. Istrian Wine Run

Istrian Wine Run is not your regular running competition. It’s a marathon that takes place in September in Umag, Croatia. It’s aimed at professional athletes but also total newbies who want to try something similar for the first time. The race puts particular emphasis on having a good time and entertaining the competitors while presenting the Istrian gastronomic offer.

Competitors stop at wine cellars and wine and supply stations where they can taste the wines of numerous Istrian winemakers. At the start and finish, and at specific locations along the track, runners will be accompanied and animated by various music entertainers. Except for a 42-kilometer long race, Istrian Wine Run has a half marathon, as well as a 6K race.

One of the exciting features of this race is the custom of the participants to disguise themselves. After the competition, the organizers reward the best mask.

The winners of the race in the men’s and women’s marathon category competition receive, you guessed it, a quantity of wine that equals to their weight.

The entry fee for this unusual marathon is approximately 30 Euros for early birds and around 50 Euros for later purchases (depending on the payment method).

9. Ston Wall Marathon

Ston Wall Marathon is a unique sporting and tourist event held in September, started by a few enthusiastic athletes. The trail goes along the walls of Ston, the longest preserved defensive wall in Europe that dates back to the 14th century. 

The excellent organization guarantees a friendly atmosphere, friendly hosts, and the untouched nature of the Pelješac peninsula. Every year’s marathon will be a special event for all avid runners who attend it.

Whether you are a seasoned runner looking for a new challenge or a recreationist pushing his boundaries and running for the experience, this is the right race for you! You can choose your challenge: Rocky, a 4-kilometer track, Stone, a 15-kilometer, or Rockwill, a 42-kilometer run.

The entry fee ranges between 23 Euros and 42 Euros, depending on the type of the trail and the date you purchase your ticket.

10. Valamar Trail

Numerous recreational and professional runners attend Valamar Trail in September. It is one of the most beautiful trails in this part of Europe. The city of Rabac welcomes everyone with enough strength and endurance on three different trails: Green (11 kilometers), Blue (35 kilometers) and Red (61 kilometers). 

Moreover, nice, sunny weather and a pleasant temperature gather many fans who greet the runners with applause on all parts of the trail.

The entry fee ranges from 30 to 50 Euros, depending on the trail type. 

Bonus: Krka Half Marathon

Krka Half Marathon is on its 3rd year (in 2020) and runners will be able to run in the scenic Krka National Park.

It’s held in September, which makes the weather slightly more comfortable than earlier in the year.

Are You Ready to Attend One of the Croatia Marathon Races We Mentioned?

If you’re a sports enthusiast, make sure to attend one of the Croatia marathon or half marathon races we mentioned. Not only will you get the most out of the gorgeous nature, but stay active during your vacation.