- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Risnjak National Park
Risnjak National Park Review
The northern outpost of the forested and karst-peaked Gorski kotar region, Veliki Risnjak is the major peak in this national park, peering over Rijeka from 5,013 feet. The thick pine-forest meadows that are stuffed with wild flowers in the spring, and limestone peaks, crevices, and caves cover around 30 square km (12 square mi).
In winter you'll find a healthy contingent of skiers desperately trying to avoid a trip up to Austria to sample the real thing. In summer, however, as the sun and the tourists beat down upon the coast, this is perhaps the best place to be. The cooling mountain air—the average temperature in these heights in July is around 12°C (53°F)—is a bonus to Risnjak's virtually deserted landscape.
You'll be free to commune with the locals, which include deer, bear, wildcat, and lynx (ris), from which the park takes its name. Geologic and botanical features are occasionally explained by English-language information points over which you may stumble on one of the more popular walking routes. Marked trails can occupy you for an hour's evening stroll to a full seven-day trek on the monstrous Rijeka Mountain Transversal from one side of Gorski kotar to the other. Hiking huts are strung across the peaks to accommodate such ambitious expeditions. More information regarding these multiday hiking trips is available from the Kvarner County Mountaineering Association. For those of a gentler disposition, there's a month-long dandelion-picking contest in May.
The park information office is in the village of Crni lug, at the eastern entrance to the park; in the off-season, from October through April, you can pick up information at the reception desk of the Motel Risnjak (open 7 am-10 pm). You can easily explore the gentler trails on day trips from either Rijeka or Delnice. Paths from the villages of Razloge and Kupari lead up to the source of the wild Kupa River, which can then be followed down the slopes through the "Valley of the Butterflies."
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- 4-Star BEST WESTERN Jadran Fr $114+/Nt Hotels.com
- $117 & Up: Continental 3-Star Hotel in Rijeka Expedia
- Save Big This May! Book 3 Nts at Neboder Fr $102+/Nt — $102 Expedia
- $117 & Up: Continental 3-Star Hotel in Rijeka — $117 Expedia
- 4-Star BEST WESTERN Jadran Fr $114+/Nt — $114 Hotels.com
My wife and I are not the type to tag along with groups on organized trips. Read more
When the subject arose of where we might venture for spring school holiday, Berlin and "someplace else" were the top contenders. Read more
Hi - we are looking to travel to Slovenia/northern Croatia in mid-August. Read more
· News & Features
Croatia, with stunning scenery and a still-off-the-beaten-track vibe, is set to join the EU this summer,... Read more
What could be better than a few days spent playing in the waves?... Read more
Fall is the time for savvy travels, with slashed prices, fewer crowds, and cooler temps.... Read more