Calling hikers, ramblers, and cyclists: if you love spending time in nature then a trip to Gorski Kotar is a destination you should know about.
Somehow this gorgeous area with its unique character has been overlooked by travellers and remains untouched by mass tourism.
Yet Gorski Kotar is a lush, mountainous region in western Croatia and nestles between Karlovac and Rijeka. It is made up of expansive forests and wide lakes covering a staggering 63 percent of the landscape that make the region perfect for outdoor life.
That’s why Gorski Kotar has been dubbed the Green Heart of Croatia, and some even call it Croatian Switzerland. It’s a veritable wonderland both in the summer and winter, all the while overlooked by the mighty mountains of Risnjak and Klek.
The waterfalls and Lakes of Gorski Kotar
They say: ” If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water’. In Gorski Kotar there are cascading waterfalls, as well as the power of water in Vražji Prolaz and Kamačnik canyons. Gorski Kotar has beautiful lakes, such as Lokve Lake and Bajer Lake much loved by hikers.
Lokve Lake stretches up to the foot of Risnjak mountain creating one of the most amazing picture-perfect postcard visions in Gorski Kotar. The lake, actually a reservoir with a maximum depth of 40 metres, was created in 1954 when a damn was built to stop the flow of the river Lokvarka.
Fuzine Lake was constructed in the attractive valley of the river Licanka, in the 1950s. With an average depth from 2 to 7 meters its volume is approximately one million cubic metres of water makes it suitable for water sports, such as boat rides, canoeing, and kayaking. It is ideal for wind surfing too thanks to constant air currents.
There are plenty of easy circular hiking trails around these lakes.
The gastronomy of Gorski Kotar
Carnivors would be in their element in Gorski Kotar. Dishes are mostly lamb, beef and pork, cooked with pickled cabbage and beans or perhaps roasted or smoke-dried and usually served with potatoes (ličke pole). Venison or boar are often used to make sausages, bear leek pesto, Hunter’s goulash with polenta, homemade bread or potato dumplings. For desert you will find blackberry or apple strudels and homemade cow’s milk cheese.
The locals in Gorski Kotar are generous hosts, who love to have a heart-to-heart over a glass of one of the many quality rakija – Croatia’s national drink akin to brandy. This alcoholic number can reach 50% abv is produced using the fruit of the area’s fertile lowlands using locally grown apples, blueberries or peach.
Gorski Kotar a wonderland in all seasons
Delight yourself by its beauty under the snow cover, while it is illuminated by spring and summer rays of the sun or while it is covered with yellow autumn leaves.
Package tour of Groski Kotar:
Smart Travel have a 7-day tour of Groski Kotar taking in Fuzine, National Park Risnjak, Vražji prolaz and Zeleni vir, the town of Delnice and Japlenški vrh – a protected national park – the fairytale-like Ogulin and mountain Klek and Golubinjak forest park.
You will spend an active holiday far from the city crowd and noise, enjoy a walk in the woods, protected areas and national park; enjoy the legends that will narrated by the guides and treat your taste to indigenous local products and the famous cuisine of this area.
During the trip you will discover the green heart of Croatia, its landscape, tradition and lifestyle; enjoy the taste of famous and delicious specialties from Gorski Kotar, its most hidden gems, meet local people and feel their hospitality, it is the best way to round off a true experience of Gorski Kotar!