Attractions › Winnetou


Throughout the 1960's (1963-1968), legendary movies about the adventures of the Indian Apache chief Winnetou, based on Karl May's novels, were filmed in Croatia.

Karl Friedrich May (1842.-1912.) was a German writer of adventure novels, remembered by millions of readers. His travelogues were translated into three dozen foreign languages and printed in millions of copies. The Winnetou films, originating in a coproduction of Rialto Film from Berlin and Jadran Film from Zagreb, are considered as the most popular films of all time in Germany.

Among many potential locations worldwide, numerous Croatian areas were finally chosen for the filming: National Park Paklenica, National Park Plitvicka jezera, National Park Krka, the canyon of River Zrmanja, Nature Park Velebit(Tulove grede ridge, Prezid pass), Nature Park Vransko jezero, sites Modric, Rovanjska, Jasenice, Rastevic, Omis, then river Cetina, Grobnicko polje, Platak and others.

As many as 7 out of 11 Winnetou films were shot close to Starigrad-Paklenica which subsequently became a favourite destination of fans of Karl May's novels and Winnetou films, and the beautiful filming locations are perfectly preserved in all their glory.


Some of the most beautiful natural areas in Croatia were selected as filming locations for Karl May's novels. Both national and nature parks were used, and touring them is an unforgettable experience.

Strolling along the mountain paths of Paklenica, going on photo safari on the slopes of Velebit, cruising down the emerald-green river Zrmanja, taking in the breathtaking view from Parizevacka glavica, enjoying the exuberant beauty of Plitvica lakes, and revelling in the romantic Krka waterfalls – this is all just a part of the experience awaiting you during your tour of the Winnetou film locations in Croatia.

For an independent tour of film locations a tourist map is available in info centres of Starigrad-Paklenica.

Personalized organized tours of film locations are available upon request in travel agencies or as a part of organized tours in Starigrad-Paklenica, such as a river cruise on Zrmanja or a photo safari on Velebit.


Traveling along the Winnetou trail wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Winnetou commemoration site in Starigrad-Paklenica with its permanent film exhibit. The exhibit is set up in an authentic spirit of the original space of Bluesun hotel Alan in Starigrad-Paklenica (Motel Paklenica). This space was used by the film crew during filming, and it’s possible to see, along with many film props, photographs and other documentary materials, original rooms from that time.


Starigrad-Paklenica was the host of the first Karl May fan convention in Croatia, set on original filming locations. This was the „Winnetou Convention“held in May of 2007. The meeting was initiated by Jadran Film Ltd. and it attracted numerous fans from Germany, Austria, The Czech Republic, Netherlands and other countries.

During their stay on the Paklenica Riviera, the fans mingled with the actors and stuntmen as well as the Jadran Film production designer Vladimir Tadej. On that occasion Vladimir Tadej and co-author Damir Gablenica held a promotion of their book „Down the paths of Winnetou in Croatia“.
From that year forward, a Karl May and Winnetou fan convention is held in Starigrad-Paklenica every year. Programme 2021


Pierre Brice, the French actor who embodied the character of the legendary Indian chief Winnetou, revisted Starigrad-Paklenica in 2007, more than 40 years after finishing filming the epic Winnetou series.

The reason for his visit was the making of a documentary for the Movieman TV station from Munich. The documentary premiered in 2008 on the TV Arte channel, and then on NDR and France 3 channels.

Pierre Brice returned to Starigrad-Paklenica again in 2012, this time as the guest of honour of a special commemorative Karl May convention dedicated to important anniversaries – 170 years of birth and 100 years of Karl May’s death, and the 50th anniversary of the first film, „Treasure of Silver Lake.“

That was his last visit to Croatia. Pierre Brice died in June of 2015 in Germany.


The legendary Apache chief rode along the beautiful Croatian landscapes in 2015!

Namely, the German Rat Pack Production in collaboration with the Croatian Alex Production made three sequels about the Apache chief created by the German writer Karl May. Philipp Stölzl directed all three of the sequels (Winnetou and His Old Friend Shatterhand, Winnetou and the Treasure of the Silver Lake and Winnetou's Death), the production designer is Jan Berger, and Christian Becker produced the films. The young actor Nik Xhelilaj interpreted Winnetou, while the famous German actor Wotan Wilke Möhring was chosen for the role of Old Shatterhand.

Along with the already known locations such as Velebit, Krka and Zrmanja, this time Winnetou rode along undiscovered areas of Istra and Gorski Kotar, Veliko Rujno on Velebit, and so on.