Gorski Kotar or So-Called “Lungs of Croatia”
Mountain Croatia occupies the mountainous area of the central part of Croatia and consists of Gorski Kotar – a large mountainous and rocky region and Lika with, even, 3 National Parks.
The uniqueness of the Croatian highlands lies in the fact that in a small geographical area are the most diverse natural beauty but also at the relatively short distance you can find beautiful waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes, and further to the northwest the wild peaks of Risnjak.
Everywhere grow blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, mushrooms, and it is highly likely that you will during your walking in the forest encounter deer or bear. Yeah, bear!
Forests are what makes this region special and locals really know how to enjoy them.
The door of mountains Croatia opens the city with four rivers – Karlovac – proving that the sea is not the only wealth of Croatia. On the contrary, one of the natural resources is certainly well-preserved lowland rivers, a favorite spot for many swimmers, and rowers amateurs who discovered Croatian waters long time ago and looking for privacy, peace and preserved nature.
4 Rivers of Karlovac
The four Karlovac Rivers: Korana, Mreznica, Dobra and Kupa spill between the hillsides on a cliff-covered terrain covered by reddish green vegetation and attract the visitor and the walker.
About an hour downstream from Karlovac you can follow the connection of the Korana River with the Slunjcica River, where the beautiful watermills settlement Rastoke is located. Rastoke is a game of nature and it is special because of the richness of greenery on the islets and rocks and three hundred years old mulch mills.
The Rastoke are doors of the Plitvice Lakes, so they are called small Plitvice. It is the area of the rugged karst, the dark and rocky underworld and the beautiful rivers that connect all of it.
The connection of the underworld, water and forests is united in Plitvice Lakes, a national park that has been listed on the list of the most beautiful places in the world, and are among the most beautiful European national parks!
The Plitvice Lakes are also listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979, among the first in the world.
Their specific beauty is a refuge for nature lovers and inspiration to artists. The complex of Plitvice Lakes is a wooded mountainous area with 16 small and larger lakes of crystal blue-green color, which gradually descend and descend to each other in a series of 5460 meters of an airline. The water comes from numerous small rivers and streams, and are interconnected by cascades and waterfalls. The lakes are separated by barriers and create beautiful waterfalls and flowing lakes, thus completely overlapping the landscape.
In Delnice you can visit the old house Racki and the Popovic mill, and from Delnice you can go for a walk into forest park Japlenski peak. The climb to Petehovac and Polana plateau are also in the offer of alternative destinations.
Skrad – Zeleni Vir – Vrazji Prolaz – Lokvarsko Lake
By leaving Delnice, you are approaching Skrad. Skrad is a small place with unique natural charms that you definitely have to experience personally.
There are two pearls of nature whose charm you must surely experience. The first is Zeleni Vir (Green Stream) – a strong spring at the bottom of a shallow spacious cave over whose entrance perpendicular cliffs which overlooking at the 70 meters waterfall and creating a magic water curtain.
Zeleni Vir (the green stream) was named after the greenish color of the water in the lake in the cave. There are several pedestrian and mountain trails in this area.
One of them leads to Vraziji Prolaz (a devil’s passage), an 800-meter long canyon created by crushing the mountain crib Jasle through a narrow passage between the rocks high over hundred meters. This passage is astonishing because of the strength of the water rays and the wildness of rocks. Above it, on metal carriers in the rock, the small bridges and stairs were made.
Weekend to Lokvarsko Lake is one of the best anti-stress therapy, especially if you use a raft for the boating over the lake as an attraction, which allows you to enjoy the magical landscape of the Lokve area. If you stroll along the lake or swimming in the summer, or fishing (all year round), this is an experience that you will surely remember.
In Fuzine you will be surrounded by picturesque mountains, the silence of the centuries-old coniferous forest and the beauty of the Fuzine lakes. Unspoiled nature of the beautiful highland town that meets the sea further enhance excellent restaurants offering specialties venison, mushrooms, trout or desserts from the forest fruit. You can find summer refreshment in lakes, fishing, boating or you can opt for attractive hiking, biking, and hiking trails; horseback riding, carriage ride or landscape tourist train tour.
In case that you prefer a more active vacation, the Premuzic path is a good choice. This is a mountain route that goes through the national park Velebit. Since this trail does not have great climbs, those who are not in the best shape, or people who are not actively hiking also could hike. So you’ll enjoy this trail passing by delightful serpentines; retaining walls, semi tunnels and bridges passing through the wildest and least accessible Velebit karst.
The picturesque places of Croatian Highlands offer something for everyone, just need to dare and go.
Gorski Kotar and Velebit are destinations with huge potential and natural resources. I’m certainly going back…