Gorski Kotar in Autumn

Date 4. September 2023.

Trips to mountainous regions are always very popular in the summer when numerous hikers and excursionists seek refuge from the summer heat in forests and at higher altitudes. However, the beauty and popularity of these regions do not diminish in autumn; on the contrary, during this season, mountainous areas may be at their most attractive. The colorful autumn leaves paint a breathtaking backdrop for walks and photography, and there are also forest treasures – mushrooms, berries, chestnuts – that add a new dimension to autumn outings, providing enjoyment and fun for the whole family.

Last month, we began introducing some of the numerous hiking trails in the enchanting Gorski Kotar region. This month, for active vacation enthusiasts, we continue by presenting some of the better-known hiking destinations in this mountainous region of Croatia.

Risnjak National Park: Source of the River Kupa The source of the River Kupa is located within the boundaries of Risnjak National Park, and there are several trails leading to it, varying in length and difficulty. The choice of trail should be adapted to your capabilities. However, each of them will take you to the enchanting source of the River Kupa with its magical green-blue tones. Besides the stunning scenery, scents, and sounds that will relax and rejuvenate you, here you also have the opportunity to learn. Right by the river in Gornji Kupari, you’ll find the Birthplace of the River Kupa, a visitor center with information about the natural richness of this river.

Vražji Prolaz (Devil’s Passage) and Zeleni Vir (Green Whirlpool) Near the town of Skrad, there are attractions in Gorski Kotar that have been declared a special geomorphological reserve and significant landscape due to their natural importance – Vražji Prolaz (Devil’s Passage) and Zeleni Vir (Green Whirlpool). Vražji Prolaz is a canyon formed by millennia of water action, through which the Jasle stream flows. At the end of the canyon, you’ll find the Muževa Hiša cave, known as the home of protected bats, and perhaps a few olms (cave salamanders). Nearby, there is a stunning rock from which a stream flows, creating a waterfall worthy of Plitvice Lakes. The stream then falls in front of a cave from which another stream springs – Curak, and its underground source in the cave is named Zeleni Vir (Green Whirlpool) due to its emerald color. This symphony of stone and water attracts thousands of hikers annually and is an essential point for getting to know the beauty of Gorski Kotar.

Snježnik Mountain Snježnik is a mountain in the hinterland of Rijeka, and it’s also the name of the highest peak of the mountain at 1506 meters above sea level, considered one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Croatia. The easiest way to reach the summit of Snježnik is to start from Platak, where two trails lead – Preko Grebena (Over the Ridge) and Kroz Grlo (Through the Throat), with the latter being slightly more challenging. However, whichever path you choose, an incredible reward awaits you at the end: a view of the surrounding mountains of Slovenia, Istria, and Gorski Kotar, which leaves you breathless at any time of the year, especially in autumn when the warm tones of red, yellow, purple, brown, and orange envelop the mountain slopes. There is also an equally captivating view of the Kvarner Bay with its islands. And since you’re already on Snježnik, why not make a detour to the neighboring peak of Guslica (1490 m). The route from Snježnik to Guslica mostly traverses a grassy ridge rather than a forest, giving hikers the opportunity for prolonged enjoyment of the enchanting view. From Guslica, you can also return to Platak, where you started your trip.

Excursions into nature, as regenerating as they may be for a person, also physically exhaust them. Therefore, after a long day of hiking, rest in accommodations that you can find on the Molo Longo agency’s website.


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