Lika – Karlovac Region
Lika – Karlovac Region
Along rivers and lakes, caves and karst fields, down historical roads to the sea
Through Croatia’s largest highland there lead numerous cycling routes which mainly follow the route of less congested and safer, yet landscape-wise extremely beautiful and interesting local roads, touching upon the valuable cultural-historical and natural heritage in combination with the occasional hospitality offer and quality family hotels, hostels, campsites, apartments and rooms to stay at along the way.
When and why did this development of the roads which today we ride down as historical roads begin? It was at the beginning of the 18th century with the development of trade and transport as the main drivers of the economy between Pannonia and the transport-significant Adriatic Sea when in this region many exceptionally important and from an engineering point of view very valuable roads were built, today roads of architectural heritage. Amongst the more important ones are the Carolina, Josephina, Louisiana, Rudolfina and the Master’s Road over Mali Alan (1,044 m above sea level) on Velebit, opened in 1832. The Louisana was finished in 1811 and was one of the most beautiful roads in Europe of that time. If you start by bicycle from Zagreb and the interior towards the sea through Karlovac, Duga Resa, Novigrad, Bosiljevo and Ogulin or Brinje, and Gospić and Lovinac towards Jasenice, Senj and Karlobag, one of these roads is an indispensable link.
Apart from the highland areas, the region also has valuable city attractions, which can be visited via the NextBike public bike system introduced in Karlovac, Gospić and Brinje. Particularly interesting is thehistorical heart of Karlovac with its new Aquatika freshwater aquarium and the green parks which adorn its renaissance fortification system characterised by the six-pointed star shape of the city. Also, next to Gospić in Smiljan is the Nikola Tesla Memorial Centre in the hometown of the great world-known inventor and physicist.
In passing through this region the numerous picturesque mediaeval forts and castles often draw attention from the road: Dubovac, Novigrad na Dobri, Ozalj, Ribnik, Bosiljevo, Tounj, Modruš, Ogulin, Slunj, Drežnik, Cetingrad, Sokolac and Senj, as well as the many churches and chapels scattered around.
And when one finally crosses over the mountains to the sea by road, there remains the exploration of the nothing less than enchanting Podvelebit riviera with its pearls of protected nature such as the cove of Zavratnica and the only island of the region – Pag, an island of stripped, moon landscapes, with the oldest olive groves in the world in Lun and labyrinths of drystone walls, the witnesses to the ingenuity and skills of the island tradition of building with stone.
Everyone will find a route suitable for their motivation, interest and condition, and also their favourite kind of bike.
Lika Active and River Adventure are two offers of such abundant natural beauty, so the decision of where to start will be quite difficult!
Links to information about the cycling routes and tourist attractions along the routes:
Karlovac County Cycling Adventure
The cycling trails of Lika-Senj County
Hospitality offer of Lika-Senj County
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Northern Velebit National Park
Velebit Nature Park
Grabovača Cave Park near Perušić
Barać Caves, Rakovica
Cycling offer of Karlovac
Cycling routes of Senj
Cycling routes of Novalja
Cycling routes of Gospić
Cycling routes of Otočac and B.K Barkan
Cycling routes of Lovinac
Aquatika freshwater aquarium, Karlovac
Ivana’s House of Fairy Tales, Ogulin
Nikola Tesla Memorial Centre: Smiljan