Gorski kotar - a mountainous area in Kvarner's hinterland, lies some 20 km from the sea, and is known for its wooded mountains up to 1500 m high, meadows, caves, endemic plants and rarely seen animals. In our feature, read about where to go and what to do in Gorski Kotar. GORSKI KOTAR - a mountainous area in Kvarner's hinterland, also known as "Croatia's Wooded Area", lies some 20 km from the sea, and is known for its wooded mountains up to 1500 m high, meadows, caves, endemic plants and rarely seen animals. Here you could find wolves, boars, deer, bears, chamois, bobcats and other game rarely encountered elsewhere. Rivers with numerous brooks and tributaries form magnificent shapes in the beds and canyons of this Karst mountainous area. There are many attractive locations for alpinists such as Velika Kapela, Bjelolasica, Risnjak, Snjeznik and Kolovratske stijene.
Several protected areas such as Zeleni Vir, Vrazji prolaz, Lokvarka Cave, Bijele stijene, Samarske stijene, Golubinjak Woods and Risnjak National Park are located in Gorski Kotar. This area, known for deciduous and coniferous forests, has many green and flowery meadows in the summer and plenty of snow in the winter. Therefore, it is ideal for hunting, excursions, sporting activities and agrotourism. We recommend the ski centers Delnice, Mrkopalj, Bjelolasica, Platak and Trsce to winter sports enthusiasts, while cyclists and hikers can enjoy many well-maintained cycling and hiking trails in the surroundings of Lokve and Fuzine.

On the Zagreb-Rijeka highway, by the town of Skrad, you can find one of Gorski Kotar's natural phenomena - the Zeleni vir hydro morphological reserve. The 400 m deep canyon is surrounded by steep cliffs. It takes 20 minutes to get to the canyon's lowest point, where you can find a cave with a greenish-blue lake - Zeleni vir's source. Alpinists enjoy climbing the 70 m high waterfall that completely freezes over in the winter.

Vrazji prolaz (Devil's Pass) - a canyon given a frightening name due to its magnificent wilderness, is one of the most beautiful canyons in Croatia. The brook Jasle flows though the narrow pass, surrounded by steep cliffs up to 100 m high placed tightly together. There is a path over an iron construction just above the fast flowing brook. The pass rarely receives any sun, while the brook water has formed smooth and unusual shapes in the rocks that are in total contrast to the surrounding steep cliffs. The canyon was proclaimed a hydro morphological reserve and it takes about an hour to get to the top.

The Nature Reserve Lokvarka Cave lies close to the place Lokve by the town of Skrad and is one of Croatia's most beautiful caves that can accept visitors. 3 chambers have been explored so far and are open to visitors who will descend 150 meters to enjoy the cave. The cave is richly decorated with century old stalagmites and stalactites.

Golubinjak Woods, situated some 50 meters from Lokvarka Cave, is known for its giant trees, mostly fir-trees. The oldest among them, considered to be over 500 years old, so-called Kraljica Jela (Queen Fir-Tree), is a giant tree with a wide trunk. Golubinjak Woods is well maintained, has benches and other tourist facilities including a children's playground located in a spacious meadow at the entrance to the protected area.

The nature reserves Bijele stijene and Samarske stijene, 1335 and 1294 meters high respectively, offer breathtaking landscapes. Giant, steep rocks, some over 50 meters high, form amazing shapes that resemble towers, pyramids, domes and obelisks, and are separated by numerous cracks, crevices and clefts often covered with snow all year round. Bijele stijene is separated by a steep and impassable chasm, while there are many deep, wooded valleys in the northern part of Samarske stijene. Therefore, this area is almost impassable and appropriate only for experienced mountain climbers and alpinists. Getting from Bijele stijene to Samarske stijene that are only 2,2 km apart takes several hours on foot.

The National Park consists of the massifs of the two mountains Snjeznik and Risnjak whose highest peak is at 1528 meters, as well as the source area of the River Kupa. There are 30 different plants, 51 species of birds and many animal species in this area. The best known among them is the bobcat (ris) - the species the park was named after and nearly extinct in other countries. For the above mentioned reasons, the whole area was proclaimed a national park.
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