Lika, Senj and Karlovac
In the whole area of the region, diverse green shades of forests and meadows alternate, ennobled by the play of stone and water, complemented by speleological structures. This is a land of wolves and bears, the homeland of fairy tales, regions of the greenery of mountains and the turquoise of rivers. Simply, Lika is a magic of nature.
The mystical nature of Lika is the birthplace of one of the greatest world inventors and genius, Nikola Tesla. Visit Smiljan, Tesla’s birth house, where a memorial centre to his honour grew, and feel the untameable power of natural energy, which Tesla directed for the benefit of mankind. This invaluable world scientist, mesmerised by thunderstorms, is the proprietor of over 700 patents and a nickname of “Mister lightning”. This is a place where you can personally experience several million volts and examine the tape of time of Nikola Tesla’s life.
The second inevitable stop in Lika is a magic piece of land, where the clarity of water has deposited limestone all over moss for centuries, descending in cascades and spilling over along the narrows in smooth lines or gracious waterfalls. Your stop is the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Take a walk along wooden paths which will lead you underneath limestone forming waterfalls and, at every moment, you will be surrounded by the forest, fragrance and freshness of water. The water of sixteen cascading lakes spill one into another, in order to all combine in the end and, with the 78 metre high Big Waterfall, together create the Korana River. Each season tells its own story. Spring boasts its floral wealth there, summer creates a perfect refreshing destination with its plush greenery and autumn intersperses all with green, yellow and red shades of leaves, while winter drapes itself in ice, frost and a snowy blanket. Whichever season you choose, you will not be wrong; each one of them is a new and enchanting experience.
Below Velebit stands Senj, a town surrounded by the sea on one, and protected by a mountain on the other side. It is significant for its glorious history, cultural heritage and tradition, where you will be able to witness the courageous and proud past of this thousand year old town. For thousands of years, this town has listened to the whistling of powerful wind, for which is by far best known – the bora wind, of which the gusts can reach as much as 250 km per hour, although, in the summer months, it is extremely rare. As soon as you walk into Senj, you will realise that you are in an open air gallery and that, at every step, you are becoming a witness to the rich Senj culture, tradition and history, which you can explore and meet, starting from the Nehaj Fortress. The fortress was built by a turncoat general in 1458, in order to protect the town from the Venetians and Turks. Wishing to pursue your travel through history, head for the first Glagolitic printing works, which were established in Senj itself and where numerous Glagolitic books were printed. At the entrance to the town, stop halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, at the 45th parallel, to the honour of which an interesting sculpture, the Sun-wheel, is mounted. Do not miss the unique blend of the sea and the mountains and save your bora of experiences and memories, acquired exactly here, in Senj.
Visit the Velebit Nature Park, the biggest Croatian mountain, which is also protected by UNESCO and on which there are two national parks – the North Velebit and Paklenica. This magnificent mountain has two faces – vast forests on its continental side and barrev karst on the coastal side. Descending towards Senj, you can enjoy the golden dusk, which, in combination with clean mountain air, is an experience that must be seen personally.
Follow the Korana River flow and it will take you due north, to the town of Karlovac, where the Korana River crosses another three rivers – Kupa, Mrežnica and Dobra. At any time, the confluence of the rivers gives a different feeling. Built in accordance with the concept of a true Renaissance town, in the form of a six-pointed star, throughout history, Karlovac has been the most important traffic centre. The ideal time for a visit to Karlovac are Days of Beer, held at the end of August, when yet another, the fifth, river, flows through the town – the river of beer!
A landscape of the magic of karst and water. A mosaic of natural jewels. The power of mother nature. The rhythm of pulsation of the green heart of Croatia. It is a unique beauty, which spills over the legends of history with the waterfalls of past and present, giving you a perfect feeling of connection with nature. A miraculous feeling, isn’t it?