Visiting Lika – Croatia

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If visiting Lika, 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 of European waters that are now quenching 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 proclaim the Routes of the Sources of Nature, 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 and further towards the Bjelolasica mountain, and beginners towards Brinje. For those looking for a direct encounter with the quiet and calming nature, Otočac and the River Gacka valley, rich in trout, are the right choice. At only 45 minutes’ drive from Gospić, you can 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 and Northern Velebit National Parks, Velebit Nature Park, The strictly- regulated reservation of Rožanski and Hajdučki Kukovi, park-forests of Jasikovac and Vujnović Brdo (Gospić), the magic landscape around the River Slunjčica, the geo-morphological monument of nature – Cerovačke Pećine (Cerovec Caves, Gračac). Architectural sights The only remaining Turkish tower in Lika, dating from the 15th century (Perušić), the old bridge over the River Korana (Slunj), old stone bridges (on the Dobra River – Novigrad, Kosinj), and the two-storey stone bridge (Tounj).

Gastronomy – A soft cheese known as ‘škripavac’ or ‘creaker’, the Lika potato, Lika lamb, products made from the fruits of the forest and old varieties of apples and pears, medicinal herbs, plum and pear brandies, bread baked under a ‘peka’ lid, sauerkraut, beans, sour milk, ‘cicvara’ – a dish made from corn flour, milk, butter and sour cream, game delicacies, river fish specialities (zander, trout).

Cycling trails – trails along the Mrežnica River (Duga Resa), and along the Dobra and Kupa rivers towards the town of Ozalj. Among numerous trails in the Ogulin area the trail around the Sabljaci Lake is especially attractive, and the trail on the territory of the town of Slunj are connected to the trails of the Rakovica municipality where they link to the trails on the territory of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, and go along the Gacka River valley and the villages beneath Velebit (Otočac).

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The trails of the Velebit Nature Park are also very attractive, as well as the trails in the area of the town of Gospić. Hiking trails and the trail for Nordic walking: in the suburbs of Duga Resa and along the Mrežnica River, and in the area of the mill village Rastoke in Slunj and Rakovica, where along the trail one can see the old town of Drežnik, the educational trail, the mill, Korana river canyon, waterfalls and a horse ranch Mountain trails: Ogulin-Bijelsko-Klek, Baške Oštarije-Zavižan (The Premužić Trail), Krasno-Zavižan, Krasno- Begovača, the ‘Marković Rudine’ mountain trail – Otočac, Dubovac mountain trail, Karlovac bypass.