Published: 13.04.2013.

Modified: 13.04.2013.

Starigrad - Paklenica - On the traces of Winnetou

“On the traces of Winnetou” is not the title of a western
film but a cultural-tourist event that will be held at the end
of May and the beginning of June 2010. in the area
covering the National Parks of Paklenica, Krka, Plitvica
Lakes, Velebit Nature Park, the canyon of river Zrmanja
and other places in Croatia. More than forty years ago a
feature film was made based on an adventure story about
the Indian chief Winnetou that was written by the German
author Karl May. The wonderful places where it was filmed
have still managed to keep their beauty today, which enables
the many fans of Karl May who continue to love the films
to relax in the adventure and go on the traces of Winnetou.
Touching upon this interest, two years ago the tourist board
of the Municipality of Starigrad in collaboration with Jadran
films organised the first ever meeting for fans of Karl May
in Croatia in Starigrad-Paklenica. The event gathered a large
number of fans Winnetou, members of the film crew (actors,
stuntmen, script writers), the authors of the book “On the
traces of Winnetou in Croatia” and others, and the meeting
was held in the original locations where the film was made.
This event developed into the tourist project “On the traces
of Winnetou” where explanatory signs started to be put up
in the places where the film was made, a tourist map was
made that offered a description of the places where it was
recorded, an info point was built in Starigrad-Paklenica
with a documentary exhibition and the same named event
continued to be held. At the event, a tour in the company of
an expert guide was organised that involved visiting the sites
where the films about Winnetou were made between 1962
and 1968. This was followed by meetings with individual
members of the film crew, film screenings and literary
evenings, horse riding and shooting with bows and arrows,
a country style entertainment program, an evening in the
open air beside a camp fire with country music, and an
opportunity for the participants to get to know more about
Croatia’s cultural heritage.
Out of a total of the 10 films that were made in Croatia
on the basis of May’s books, half were filmed in the area
of the National Parks of Paklenica, Krka, Plitvica Lakes,
Velebit Nature Park and the river Zrmanja. During this
period, members of the film crew stayed in the old motel
of Alan. It is because of this that today the hotel is a not
to be missed stop for fans of Winnetou who was played
by Pierre Brice. The idea of creating a new tourist product
called “On the trace of Winnetou” occurred after it was
noticed that a large number of Winnetou fans visited the
Starigrad area wanting to see the places where the film was
made. Luckily, the area has been preserved in all its beauty,
which is the reason why it was chosen over Spain and
Portugal and a number of other European countries. The
revival of the stories about the legendary Indian chief means
that younger generations can get to know about this part
of Croatian film history, that visitors can see the beauty of
the natural surroundings in an alternative way, and above
all else guests can be offered a unique experience.

As a result of the combination of the sea and mountains,
the area covering the Municipality of Starigrad offers
excellent conditions for the development of particular forms
of tourism, especially active holidays. In addition to the
already existing hiking, climbing, cycling and canoeing, as
a result of the project of “On the traces of Winnetou” horse
riding and archery have started to be developed. They are
an integral part of these events and also help to extend the
tourist season. Consequently, the book and film legend –
the Indian chief Winnetou – has become a promoter of
Croatian tourism.


Croatia National tourist board