Gorski Kotar is the mountainous region of central continental part of Croatia, located between Karlovac and Rijeka. The area borders with Lika and Kvarner regions. Gorski Kotar means “mountain district” as a large part of its territory is densely forested.
The highest point is Bjelolasica at 1534 m followed by Risnjak at 1528 m. To the north, the Kupa river is the border between Gorski Kotar and Slovenia’s Bela Krajina region. It is surrounded by mountains Kapela, Klek, Risnjak, Sneznik, Bjelolasica, and rivers Kupa, Cabranka and Dobra.
Forests in Gorski Kotar provide habitat for a vast variety of fauna and flora including some rare mammal species extinct in most other parts of the world.
In Gorski Kotar, it is still possible to see wolves, brown bear, wild boar and lynx roaming freely. Due to its thick forests and inaccessibility, Gorski Kotar, in general, stayed uninhabited for a long time. The majority of its settlements were mentioned for the first time only in the 15th century. More intensive development of region begins with the construction of the Louisiana road, the main traffic route from Karlovac to Rijeka.
Gorski Kotar includes cities of Ogulin, Delnice, Cabar, Tršce Vrbovsko; Ravna Gora, and the municipalities of Mrkopalj, Ravna Gora, Skrad, Brod na Kupi, Fužine and Lokve. Most of the inhabitants live in cities Delnice, Vrbovsko, Ogulin, Cabar and Mrkopalj.
Whether you are a winter sports enthusiast, hunter, fisherman, hiker, canoeist, birdwatcher or simply a nature lover – Gorski Kotar has something for everyone!
Accommodation in Gorski Kotar:
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- Planinarski Centar Petehovac
Surrounded by a forest close to Delnice in the mountain region of Gorski Kotar, Planinarski Centar Petehovac offers ensuite rooms with free Wi-Fi and free parking. Prices from €61.00 – Number of rooms: 12 – Check Planinarski Centar Petehovac, Delnice availability
- Hotel Risnjak
The newly renovated Hotel Risnjak can be found close to the Delnice exit of the A6 / E65 motorway and offers you tasty regional cuisine, free parking and free Wi-fi in all rooms. A large fitness hall can be found on site as well. Prices from €49.00 – Number of rooms: 21 – Check Hotel Risnjak, Delnice availability
- Gina B&B
Featuring cabin-style rooms with wooden walls, Gina B&B features a restaurant serving homemade meals and a terrace. The owners have a snow cannon in case there is not enough natural snow. Prices from €60.00 – Number of rooms: 5 – Check Gina B&B, Kupjak availability
- Hotel Bitoraj “Hotel Bitoraj enjoys a picturesque location in the centre of Fuzine, surrounded by an ageless forest in the green heart of Croatia, a stone drop away from the Adriatic Sea and with excellent traffic connections.” Prices from €45 – Number of rooms: 20 – Check Hotel Bitoraj, Fužine availability
- Guesthouse Arnika “Arnika is a private guesthouse situated amidst wooded countryside in the small picturesque village of Fuzine in Gorski Kotar. In close proximity to all public amenities and transport, yet sufficiently remote to ensure tranquillity.” Prices from €31 – Number of rooms: 15 – Check Guesthouse Arnika, Fužine availability
- Planinski Raj Rooms
Located in the Begovo Razdolje ski resort, Planinski Raj Rooms offers a traditional restaurant and its own ski school. Wi-Fi is available free of charge. All rooms have an en suite bathroom with a shower or bathtub. Prices from €48.00 – Number of rooms: 6 – Check Planinski Raj Rooms, Mrkopalj availability
- Agrotourism Japodi
Situated at 820 metres above sea level in the mountain region of Gorski Kotar, Agroturism Japodi is a wooden guesthouse with handmade furniture in the village of Sunger. The Japodi features a spacious lounge area with a fireplace and a veranda. Prices from €42.00 – Number of rooms: 6 – Check Agrotourism Japodi, Mrkopalj availability
- Private Accommodation: Sobol household is located in the amazing valley of butterflies – a valley of Kupa river in Gorski Kotar, in the village Kocicin, 7 km from Brod na Kupi…more info and booking
When talking about Gorski Kotar, it always comes in handy to remember a little joke that says that this region is probably one of just a few places that allow you to go skiing in the morning, and swim in the sea in the afternoon. This joke has become a certain slogan of the county, and why shouldn’t it? It is true after all.
Gorski Kotar is the part of Primorsko-Goranska County in the northwest of Croatia. It is a mountainous area, which consists mainly of karst fields. The cave of Bukovac indicates that this area was inhabited even in the Paleolithic age. This region, due to its inaccessibility, was overstepped in the ancient times and medieval period. However, in the 18th century, the area started its new life when Karolinska road was opened which had the ambition to connect this part with the rest of the country. The feat was not successful, yet it opened new horizons for authorities, who saw the potential of Gorski Kotar, and decided to build new roads and tracks, thus making the area of Gorski Kotar an important traffic site which connects Croatia and Hungary with Rijeka and cities nearby.
This region is characterised by the alpine climate with cold winters and cool summers. The big annual rainfall rates cause some of the highest peaks like Snjeznik or Bjelolasica to be perpetually furnished with snow. However, Gorski Kotar is in the near vicinity of the seaside, which makes its location ideal for life of various specimens of flora and fauna, even endemic ones. Thus, one can see deciduous and evergreen forests peacefully co-existing, as reminders of some past epochs. Furthermore. what makes this place interesting is that almost 65% of its territory is covered in forest. The steep mountains ranges were an obstacle in the past, but today they present a haven of unspoiled nature.
Besides being an essential traffic route, the area of Gorski Kotar is renowned for its numerous tourist attractions. It is the home of the Risnjak National Park, one of the most beautiful and most preserved natural parts of Europe. Many are those who come year after year to walk through the famous educational Leska path or try to conquer peaks of Snjeznik and Veliki Risnjak. Also, the mystical beauty of the source of the Kupa river is another must-see for true nature lovers.
Aside from the national park, the region of Gorski Kotar is abundant in caves. First among equals is Lokvarka, one of the biggest caves in Croatia, which is a challenge for both tourists and guides, as many of the underground galleries are yet to be explored. Moreover, the cave of Bukovac presents an essential archaeological site as it contains the remains of early men, as well as the remains of a cave bear.
The area also abounds in cultural monuments, especially when it comes to churches and castles. The presence of many churches, such as Crkva Svetog Jurja or an orthodox church of Gomirje, which were built throughout 16th or 17th century enrich the area. Furthermore, the spirit of ancient times is felt upon seeing numerous castles like Zrinski Castle or Stara Sušica, built by medieval noblemen.
Gorski Kotar indeed presents a fascinating region, where every once in a while, upon seeing its preserved nature, one may think that he wandered into some remote part of history.
Getting to Gorski Kotar:
The main bus hub in the region is Delnice from where you can travel to Zagreb and other parts of Croatia and beyond.
Gorski Kotar Destinations:
Delnice is the largest city in the region and its centre. It has a population of just under 5 thousand inhabitants. Almost a century-old tradition of excursions, health tourism, sports and other forms of tourism, along with natural beauties and climatic features make Delnice the tourist centre of the region of Gorski Kotar. First inns and boarding houses were built along the old Louisian road as early as the end of the 19th century. Since Delnice may be reached in an hour from Rijeka and the nearby resorts on the Kvarner Riviera, it is an ideal place for one-day excursions, short visits to the peaks of Gorski Kotar but also for longer stays.
Begovo Razdolje is the highest town in Croatia, is located in Gorski Kotar at an altitude of 1076 m. It is a popular skiing and hiking destination.
Fužine is a small town situated at 730 meters above sea level, in the southwest of Gorski Kotar region. It is surrounded by picturesque mountains, the silence of centennial forests and magnificent lakes. (Check Fuzine Hotels)
Skrad: Situated in the central highland area, along the Lousiana road which runs through the town, you will find Skrad – a popular vacation spot since the end of the 19th century, primarily because of the climate characteristics of the area.
Tršce is a settlement in Gorski Kotar located some 15 km from the small town of Cabar. It is situated on a plateau, surrounded by dense forests and many fields, and with so peaceful and gentle a surroundings, it is a destination attracting many lovers of the great outdoors.
Bjelolasica is the highest mountain in the Velika Kapela massif, and indeed in the whole of Gorski Kotar. It extends in the form of a simple ridge, 5-6 km in length, with very steep slopes sweeping down from the wide forested plateau between Mrkopaljsko polje (Mrkopalj Range) and Jasenacko polje (Jasenak Range). However, despite the steep slopes, and despite the height and limestone composition, the ridge is neither sharp nor rocky, but its crown is a small, grassy plateau containing rich and varied flora, almost nature’s own botanical garden. The steep slopes are covered in forests interspaced with meadows, each more beautiful than the last. There are no human settlements in the wider area, but there are forest roads which enable one to get beneath the very ridge itself, as well as to enjoy pleasant hikes through the vast forests. Check about Skiing in Croatia
Risnjak National Park – Gorski Kotar: The other side of Kvarner is the highlands on the mainland in Gorski Kotar is a wide, heavily forested, karst plateau rising to jagged peaks. Easily accessible, owing to the proximity of the main Zagreb–Rijeka road, the area is a popular destination with Croats for walking, climbing and …read more