Lika - Karlovac
A romantic union with nature
With its rivers, springs, mountains, woods and untouched forests, and not to mention lakes, pools, gorges and caves, the inland region of Lika-Karlovac has Croatia’s highest concentration of national and natural parks.
The most iconic of all is Plitvice Lakes National Park, that captivates visitors with its wild beauty, 16 shimmering lakes and 129 bird species, placing it firmly on the must see list for any nature enthusiast.
Where to go
Routes following Natural Wonders
Start from Karlovac and venture into the sources of nature. It is not long before the low-lying landscapes are replaced by forested hills and mountains criss-crossed with the abundant springs of the cleanest European waters that quench the thirst of people across the oceans. Cross the winding bridge of the town of Slunj over the river Korana slowly, as beneath the bridge, between the waterfalls, the unique watermill village of Rastoke is situated. The multitude of sparkling waterfalls hint at route of natural wonders which reveal themselves in all their glory at the Plitvice Lakes. The beauty and freshness of this part of the world’s natural heritage, combined with traditional cuisine, are excellent reasons to take a break here. The area around the town of Josipdol is a rich game reserve. Experienced skiers will head towards Ogulin whilst beginners head towards Brinje. For those looking to directly encounter quiet and calming nature, Otočac and the Gacka river valley, rich in trout, are the right choice. At only 45 minutes’ drive from Gospić, you can take a swim in Karlobag, where the sea is continuously chilled as the water flows in abundance from the subterranean layers of the mountain.
This National Park has found its place on the UNESCO World Heritage List, blessed as it is with the special natural beauty of a string of lakes and waterfalls. The opportunity to experience a unique moment in these natural galleries should not be missed.
Krasno is the larges settlement on Velebit located 714 m above the sea level. North Velebit was declared a national park because of its various karst phenomena, rich wildlife and exceptional natural beauties on a relatively small area.
The Lun area has about 80,000 olive trees, and the ones that stand out in particular are the 1500 trees of ‘Oblica’ sort. It is believed that some of the wild old olive trees in Lun are more than a thousand years old.
The town of Ogulin is located in an area teeming with legends and folk traditions that developed amid a strikingly beautiful natural and historically challenging environment.
The town of Karlovac, located on four rivers, was built in the sixteenth century with a unique town centre in the shape of a six-pointed star and an exact geometrical network of streets, town quarters and the central square.
Zrće beach, located to the southeast of Novalja, is a special story, it is the most beautiful and most attractive of Novalja’s beaches. Its coastal part is a spacious pebbly area which at the height of the season can accommodate many thousands of bathers.
Nikola Tesla, scientist and inventor in the field of electricity, was born and spent his youth there. The modern museum, housed in his birthplace, and the nearby theme park preserve the memories of Tesla’s scientific path.
While in ancient times this was the land of the Illyrians (Yapodes), today the green and undisturbed, almost mythical nature of Lika offers sanctuary to endangered rare bird species, bears and wolves as well as endemic plant species such as the Degenia velebitica. The epic nature of Lika is also the birthplace of one of the greatest inventors the world has ever seen: Nikola Tesla, whose museum was opened in Smiljan, his birthplace, on the 150th anniversary of his birth.
Built after the concept of a true renaissance ideal city, in the form of a six-pointed star, Karlovac is known as the bulwark city, resisting the attacks of the ancient Turks. With a rich historical heritage, the waters of four rivers and the forested hills of Velika Kapela and Mala Kapela, the city of Karlovac and its surroundings are an ideal destination for fresh water swimming, rowing, fishing, rafting, canoeing, quad riding along the beautiful forest paths, cycling along the 11 county routes and horseback-riding. This beautiful pearl of the continent, developed from a medieval fortress intended for the defence of central Europe from the attacks of the Turks, today is one of the biggest Croatian transport nodes, which, in spite of its transit position is becoming an increasingly popular destination for visitors searching for various forms of recreation.
Ogulin is certainly a true city of fairy tales , sprung in the valley of the rivers Zagorska Mrežnica and Dobra, crowned with the Frankopan castle above the Đulin abyss and the giant Klek mountain, known as the cradle of Croatian mountain climbing. The treasury of tales, the Klek witches, the name of the Đulin abyss, Klek and the Klek cave, fairy water – proves the strong impact of their native land on the inhabitants, and on Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić, the famous Ogulin-born, and the most translated writer of Croatian children’s literature. You can feel the fairy tales on the fairytale route that unifies the beauty of the nature, rich history, and fairy tales. Feelings are stronger if you are in the company of the characters from Mažuranić’s ‘Tales of Long Ago’.