Cycling The Forest Trails of Gorski Kotar

By , 15 Jun 2016, 06:56 AM Cycle Routes
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Gorski Kotar is a green oasis in the heart of the Kvarner Region of Croatia. It's a landscape which is blanketed with forests, sunny meadows, rolling hills, steep mountains, and crystal clear lakes, streams, and rivers. This region is a great example of how man and nature can coexist.

If you'd like to immerse yourself in nature and explore Gorski Kotar by bicycle, there are several exceptionally good cycle trails that run through the region, which will give you an up-close and personal experience with nature, Gorski Kotar's charming villages, and historical sights. 

We have selected one of the routes to give you a taste of them. You can get more on all of the cycling trails of Gorski Kotar here

Risnjak National Park Surroundings

This 60km round trip is a mix of asphalt and gravel and will take you around Risnjak National Park, where you'll explore one of Croatia's oldest national parks and the only park in Croatia where the European wolf, bear and lynx live side by side. Be sure to bring your camera along, you never know what you'll come across.

This cycle route begins in Crni Lug, where you ride through the village and head for Gornje Jelenje along a windy road and you'll come to the lakes of Mrzle Vodice. The lakes were created when a dam was built which interestingly submerged the old Luiziana route, which was the primary road from Karlovac to Rijeka 200 years ago. 

View to the Schlosser lodge from the Veliki Risnjak.jpg
By Luka JačovCC BY-SA 3.0

Keep an eye out for the "Emporers Bridge" a stone bridge which is the only visible remnant of the old route. From here it's a climb to Osoj where you get striking views out over Risnjak and the surrounding countryside. From here you take a gravel path and head for Risnjak and onto Gornje Jelenje, Platak and then Vilje where you'll be rewarded with fabulous view of the Risnjak peak. Keep riding as you reach the highest point of the route at

Keep riding as you reach the highest point of the route at Cajtig as you reach the Lazac meadow. If you need a rest there is a mountain hut and rest area here.

After you're rested up you'll be cycling through Veliki Cirkul to Lividraga where there is a hunting lodge with wonderful accommodation and facilities where Tito spent some of his free time. From here is basically downhill as you head for Gerovo. On the way down you get breathtaking views of the Kupa valley as you wind your way down the mountain.

Those cyclists looking for a longer cycling adventure may be interested in taking the marathon seven stage Cycling Trail of Gorski Kotar, a 260km seven stage trail, which if you take some of the branch trails can be extended to 400km. This route takes you along the little-used forest trails and is designed for those that want a taste of untouched nature.

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