Visit Risnjak National Park if you love the great outdoors and want to breathe in some fresh mountain air on your trip.
The wildlife and the world-class hiking trails offer the traveler an experience you can't get anywhere else in the world.
Risnjak National Park is located in the highlands near Gorski Kotar - a thick forested area on a plateau that eventually rises to sharp peaks.
The main Zagreb-Rijeka road is nearby, which makes the park easily accessible for visitors coming here for walking, climbing, and hiking excursions. Risnjak covers 30 square kilometers and rises to a peak of 1,528 m.
The park is home to more than 4,000 plant species due to the variable weather and climate - the sea from the southwest combined with the Dinaric Mountains in the southeast, the continent in the northeast, and the Alps in the northwest have contributed to the unique conditions in the area.
The wildlife here is amazing – over 100 brown bears roam the park, as well as lynx, wolves, wild cats, wild boar, deer, and 500 different species of butterfly.
The park is named after the lynx population ("ris" in Croatian means "lynx".)
Several natural attractions are located just outside the park. Lokvarska is one of the many caves open in the summer to visitors.
This cave spans a length of 1,000 m and drops 140 m down - contained within the cave are stalactites and stalagmites, and the 90 m Zeleni vir waterfall.
In the west are the Cicarija Mountains that stretch for 40 km, creating a natural wall between Istria and the rest of Croatia. The mountain range peaks at Platnik at a height of 1,273 m. Because the mountains are situated near the ocean, the weather is milder here than in the park, but there is snow on the peaks in May.
If you love to walk, you're in luck. Four major long-distance trails wind through the area around the park - perfect for hikers wanting to see Croatia's natural wilderness. The Rijeka mountain traverse takes six to seven days to complete on foot, and the views are spectacular. This walk shows you all the best peaks.
The trail begins near the Cicarija Mountains in the west and passes through Risnjak, turning south over Velika Kapela completing the circuit at Crikvenica on the coast.
Every path is marked clearly and there are mountain huts along the way for overnight camping. Most visitors hire an experienced guide to lead them through the mountain range for safety reasons.
Risnjak National Park is a wonderful way to see the beauty and splendor of Croatia up close. The cities and beaches are fun places to visit, but if you really want to experience the best of what this country has to offer the world traveler, hiking through the mountains and enjoying the natural scenery of this park is the only way to get a feel for what makes Croatia so special.
When you book your next trip to Croatia, don't forget to schedule in a visit to this amazing destination.
Get ready to plunge yourself in a fulfilling travel experience!