Kvarner is the region where Croatian culture was born. However, this is also one of my favorite places to completely unwind and reconnect. You know, one of those experiences which we all thrive towards during these unprecedented pandemic days. Whether you are a passionate hiker or simply love wandering around mesmerizing nature, Kvarner will have something suitable to offer. So, grab your most comfy shoes and start planning your trip today.
Reaching the Top
Kvarner provides home to the region’s greatest natural park: Učka. This is the place where you need to be if you are looking to find your inner self again. Spectacular natural sceneries, amazing views from the top, and infinite chances of spotting some of the most beautiful flora and fauna which Croatia has to offer. And what is there better to visit other than its very top point? Oh yes, you certainly do not want to miss Vojak.
Vojak is Istria’s highest peak, yet you can easily reach is starting from the Kvarner area. For instance, you could take the path beginning in Lovranska Draga and leading you all the way up through an amazing natural environment. So, what makes Vojak such a special place? First of all, the view. And indeed, once you manage to reach its highest point, ˝wow˝ is the least that you will have to say. Fantastic islands from one side and picturesque villages from the other are certainly worth the hike. And then there is the famous stone tower. Not a large monument, but big enough for allowing its visitors to climb the stairs which lead to its top. You know, just to get an even better view and that perfect selfie shot.
The path leading to Vojak is steep, so please keep that in mind before taking on this adventure. If starting from Kvarner, it should take you around 4 hours to reach the top, but it certainly is worth all the trouble (if we can call this a trouble in the first place). And if you are not really eager to hiking, here is a small tip, but do not tell anyone you got it from me: Vojak can be reached by car, too.
Keeping it Low
If you are not a fan of heights, narrow paths and steep terrain, please do not panic. There is plenty for you to visit on the ground. The source of Kupa river is one of those magical adventures which do not take too much energy to be experienced yet will leave you with a memory for life.
The path is mostly straight, quite easy to walk through and it only takes you less than 2 hours to complete the circle. Along the way, you can encounter both the source of the river as well as a pristine turquoise lake. Talking about reconnecting with nature? This is what I have in mind when promising you a fully authentic and traffic-free environment. And the best part is that this is just a tiny portion of what Risnjak National Park has to provide its visitors with.
Moreover, there are endless routes you can take here, with some being less demanding than others. Whatever your choice of the day may be, you can expect to spot at least a few of Croatia’s most precious animal species. And you may even observe a national treasure in the form of the edelweiss flower. This snowy white plant is special to Croatian people, as it represents pure beauty as well as the possibility of growing literally anywhere (even on rocks!). it is protected though, so please make sure to simply adore its beauty but not to pick it up. There are several other plant species which you can choose for your vase.
Hidden Trails to Explore
A bit further towards the coast, the area of Crikvenica awaits you. Depending on the recreational intensity you are willing to go through, as well as on your preferences towards the inner land or the crystal blue sea, you can basically choose between 7 main trails. These are as it follows:
- The Waves Trail
- The Karst and Sage Trail
- The Cliffs Trail
- The Green Trail
- The Heavenly Trail
- The Roman Trail
- The Degenia Trail.
These trails do not only feature inviting names, but they also provide their hikers with mesmerizing sceneries all the way. For instance, the Waves Trail is one of the longest options available with around 30 kilometers of walking distance. What a walk, right? But several relations will actually lead you through inhabited areas, leaving you with the opportunity of taking a well-deserved rest within civilization. You can refresh yourself, have a pleasant lunch, fill your water bottles up and continue your walk as it had just started.
As opposed to that, the Heavenly Trail is concentrated around the highest peaks of the area. And, as its name suggests itself, you certainly may feel as being in heaven. The trail is extremely long but you do not have to take it entirely at once. Simply choose your favorite peak to conquer and let the hiking games begin.
Last but not least, let me briefly return to Kvarner being the cultural birthplace of Croatia. If you wish to experience at least some part of its rich heritage and actually combine it with a fun walking tour, you should definitely not miss the Roman Trail. Why Roman? Because you would be basically walking onto what once upon a time was a road, built by the Romans and used for many years as a connecting line between Trsat and Senj. Here, you can encounter ancient ruins of churches and chapels, but not only. The fort of Drivenik is a must-see, as it offers both a magical ambience as well as stunning views of the Kvarner coast.
Yes, I may have written about hiking and walking Kvarner, but Kvarner is also loving. It is a full experience both for families and couples. Or even for single souls, looking to get away from the city bustle and simply unwind.