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.

Luka Esenko

Welcome to the landscape of dreams

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.

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Plitvice Lakes

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.

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Velebit

The uniqueness of karstic forms, landscapes and the living world are the reasons why UNESCO issued a Declaration that the entire Velebit Nature Park is a world biosphere reservation.

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Krasno and National park North Velebit

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.

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Lun – Olive groves leave you breathless

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.

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Medieval town of Ogulin

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.

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Nehaj Fortress

The fortress represents a unique and exceptional example of fortification architecture from the transition from the middle ages to the Renaissance.

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Ozalj

The ancient town of Ozalj, built on a gorge overlooking the river Kupa where it transforms from a flat to a hilly course, is nestled between forested hills and emerald river.

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Rastoke – Millers’ Village

The village of Rastoke grew out of the harmonious marriage of man and nature that reaches back over 300 years.

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Zrće Beach

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.

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“Nikola Tesla” Memorial Centre, Smiljan

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.

Aleksandar Gospić
Before you, beautiful green expanses are laid out, only around 10 km from the sea, in the hinterlands known for their exceptional ecological value and high concentration of protected nature parks, representing true oases of peace and tranquillity; a Croatian tourist region attracting an ever increasing number of visitors.

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.

Aleksandar Gospić

Waterfalls of the past and present

This is also the magical part of the country where the most famous, oldest and most visited of the eight national parks is situated - the Plitvice Lakes. Most known for its travertine waterfalls and 16 cascading lakes, the image of which is breathtaking, the Plitvice lakes offer other attractions as well, such as various interesting geomorphologic forms, habitat forests and grasslands, flora and fauna and a host of interesting tourist programs. The lakes are also the only natural monument in Croatia to be put on the unesco World Heritage list, back in 1979, among the first ones in the entire world. The Plitvice lakes are truly an unmatched masterpiece of nature.

If you would like to find out more about the legendary outlaws (‘hajduci’), take a tour of the city of Senj and the Nehaj fortress, the Renaissance 16th century fortress, today a unique museum devoted to the Senj pirates.
Aleksandar Gospić
Also, do not miss the opportunity to get to know the island of Pag, with the famous holiday destination Novalja and the popular party beach Zrće on its northern shore, which belong to the Lika-Senj County (as opposed to the southern part of the island which belongs to the Zadar County). Often hailed as the island of stone and salt, Pag is a destination that, with its 20 km pebble stone beaches, represents the crown of this region of pronounced contrasts.

The Renaissance Ideal City of Karlovac

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.

Zoran Jelača
Apart from being a well-known hunting destination in the woods from Draganić to Klek and Modruš, and a destination for winter sports lovers on the slopes of Bjelolasica, the Karlovac Region has a handful of unpretentious cultural heritage monuments, from charming ancient towns and castles, like Dubovac, Ozalj, Ogulin, Bosiljevo, to Franciscan, Pauline and Dominican monasteries emerging from the greenness of the countryside.

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’.

An unspoilt paradise of relaxing silence