Best Excursion Sites in Croatia

Best Excursion Sites in Croatia

No doubt there is no better way to spend one’s free time than in nature. In that aspect, Croatia is a veritable mine of jewels, because as soon as you leave the city you’ll find an interesting excursion site on every corner, ideal for walking, enjoyment and relaxation.

Glagolitic Alley

Aleja glagoljaša
Alan Čaplar

Glagolitic Alley (Aleja glagoljaša), located between Roč and Hum in Istria, is a place where you can take a leisurely stroll alongside the Glagolitic script and Croatian culture. These two towns are inextricably linked by a narrow and picturesque road winding its way through the scenic landscape of the area surrounding Hum, a living monument and reminder of a time long gone. Getting around the smallest town in the world will not take up much of your time, but the memories you make will last a life time.

 

 

Red Lake

Crveno jezero
Alan Čaplar

The Red Lake (Crveno jezero) near Imotski is the largest natural sinkhole in Europe and one of the five largest sinkholes in the world. The curious visitor can only see the upper part of this natural well, located above the lake, with a diameter of 200 meters and a depth of over 500 meters. The lake shore cannot be accessed, but those wanting to take a walk can enjoy going to the accessible and equally stunning Blue Lake (Modro jezero).

 

 

Golubinjak

Golubinjak
Alan Čaplar

Golubinjak in Gorski kotar is a unique forest park with numerous interesting natural phenomena occurring in a small area. Vertical cliffs lie in between the giant coniferous trees that reach dozens of meters in height, beneath which dark but easily accessible caves are hidden, and one natural pass known by its intimidating name as the Gates of Hell. The first neighbour of Golubinjak is the cave Lokvarka, a system of six richly decorated underground chambers and one of the most beautiful caves in Croatia.

 

 

Jankovac

Jankovac
Alan Čaplar

Jankovac on Papuk is the most beautiful valley in the Slavonian mountains. In a small area you can find beautiful meadows, two artificial lakes, a strong river source in the mountain and a rock above it with two very interesting caves, and a meadow beneath it with a 30 m tall waterfall. The fairytale-like valley got its name after the nobleman Josip Janković from Voćin who left his lavish lifestyle in Vienna in the mid-19th century and, drawn by his love of the wild, moved to the hidden areas of Papuk.

 

 

Kalnik

Kalnik
Alan Čaplar

Kalnik is an impressive rocky mountain on the border between the geographical regions of Prigorje and Zagorje. Underneath the picturesque peak of Vranilac lies the easily accessible mountain lodge and a whole network of marked educational and hiking trails. The impressive old fort Veliki Kalnik, built vertically on the rock, gives it an ancient feel. This used to be the imperial palace of King Bela IV who found refuge inside. Since then, the residents of Kalnik have been called plum dealers because, according to the legend, they saved Bela IV and his royal retinue with local plums from Kalnik.

 

 

Kamačnik

Kamačnik
Alan Čaplar

Kamačnik near Vrbovsko is the most picturesque green canyon in Croatia. The river that springs from the deep karst well runs a smooth course and has several smaller tributaries before making its way through a deep and narrow canyon, creating crashing waterfalls and swirling through the rocks before flowing into the river Dobra after just three kilometres. 

 

 

Trakošćan

Trakošćan
Alan Čaplar

Trakošćan lies in the most northern part of Hrvatsko zagorje and is the ideal combination of culture and nature. There is no castle in all of Croatia that fits so well in the gentle hilly environment and offers such a fairytale view like Trakošćan. The image of this castle with its slender tower and flag on top can be found on many postcards, complete with a background of spacious green forests of Zagorje, a big lake in front of the castle and the vertical rocky mountain Ravna gora in the background.

 

 

Vela draga

Vela draga, Učka
Alan Čaplar

Vela draga, the most interesting phenomenon of the Istrian peninsula, is readily available to every traveller who comes to Istria. This impressive canyon with steep sides is around three and a half kilometres long, and it begins with rocks near the Istrian entrance into the Učka tunnel which leads to Boljunsko Polje. Perpendicular rocky towers inspire the awe and respect of every observer, and climbers have an ideal climbing challenge ahead of them.

 


Vražji prolaz

Vražji prolaz
Alan Čaplar

Vražji prolaz (Devil's pass) near Skrad was described by poets as Dante’s road to hell, but despite the mention of the Devil in the name of this narrow pass, it is a picturesque garden that looks more like a place created by fairies. There are many phenomena, starting with the waterfall of the stream Curka which plunges down before the entrance to the cave Zeleni vir. Following the narrow passage through the steep cliffs, you can easily arrive to the cave of Muževe hižice.

 

 

Zavižan

Zavižan, botanički vrt
Alan Čaplar

Zavižan on northern Velebit is the highest weather station in Croatia and the starting point for many mountain treks to the picturesque peaks of Velebit. Particularly awe-inspiring is the bird’s eye view of Adriatic islands and numerous peaks of Velebit. After you visit the Velebit Botanical Garden make sure to take the trail Premužićeva staza which leads into the karst wonderland of Rožanski kukovi, the rocky but accessible heart of Velebit.