Gorski Kotar, located at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, the inland Pannonian Basin and the gorgeous mountainous area, has been known throughout history for its stimulating and mild stimulating climate. Winters are mostly harsh and long, and well-suited for enjoying the winter wonderland and winter sports. Spring will make up for its late arrival to Gorski Kotar with an amazing sight of nature awakening from its long winter slumber, a unique spectacle that you would not want to miss.
The pleasant daily temperatures and cool nights during the summer will ensure you get a good night’s sleep and shelter from the intense summer heat. The autumn fruit picking will enchant you with a wholly inspiring colour palette. The picturesque rural settlements act as mountain climatic resorts where you will benefit from the excellent therapeutic effects of mountain air that will help you relax and regenerate.
Gorski Kotar is the green oasis of Europe and Croatia where at every turn you can notice the harmonious co-existence of man and nature. With its clear lakes, sunny meadows, numerous water sources, streams, rivers, and wondrous hills and mountains, Gorski Kotar is an ideal destination for different types of excursions or a pleasant holiday.
If you are looking for almost meditative tranquillity or an activity holiday, an unforgettable adventure or cosy winter nights by the fireplace, you needn’t look any further. If you want to explore a rich cultural heritage and an authentic natural landscape, Gorski Kotar is sure to amaze you. As it connects Continental and Mediterranean Croatia and borders the neighbouring Slovenia, Gorski Kotar has a rich and diverse tradition and cultural values running through every facet of this destination, from gastronomy to the magnificent architecture provided by nature.
Feel the adrenaline of an activity holiday at any time of the year and enjoy a rich Gorski Kotar feast, of local specialities prepared from ingredients sourced from the highlands or venison specialities. Surrender yourself to the majestic power of Mother Nature and its healing properties on the human body.
Here you will find unspoilt nature that hides a unique beauty and tranquillity, as well as green landscapes where you can fall asleep to the gentle murmur of the forest. The warmth of the picturesque villages of Gorski Kotar and its inhabitants will stir your soul, and the hospitality of the locals will find a way to your heart.
The centre of Gorski Kotar is the town of Delnice, with some of the larger settlements including Fužine, Ravna Gora, Vrbovsko, Mrkopalj, Čabar, Lokve, Brad Moravice and Skrad. Every micro-location provides an authentic offer, from rich traditional heritage to a modern tourist offer. What all of them have in common is the tradition of Gorski Kotar, untouched nature and hospitable locals.
Forget all about stress and enjoy the nicer side of life.
Gorski Kotar is situated in the western part of Croatia, between Lika and Slovenia. Its northern border starts at the source of the river Čabranka and runs along the Čabranka and Kupa rivers to the village of Zdihovo Bosiljevsko. This is also the historical national and political border with Slovenia. In the north-east, the border stretches from the source of the river Čabranka via Prezid, Čabarska Polica and the western slopes of Mount Obruč to Klana. This is a historical, natural and geographical, and ethnic border.
As early as the 4th century a Roman defensive wall (limes) stood here, which featured forts and towers. It ran from Rijeka to Prezid and was built by the Romans for protection against raids by the Illyrian tribe of Iapydes. It divides the Croatian mountainous region from the Slovenian massif Snježnik.
To the south-west, the border passes over the slope of Mount Obruč above Grobničko polje and over Kamenjak, Hum, Draževski vrh, and then over Vinodolska udolina, Pleteno, Luka Krmpotska, Alan and Krivi Put, always at about 700 meters above sea level.
The border clearly is marked by the transition between the barren littoral landscape and the wooded mountainous area. To the east, the border of Gorski Kotar runs beside the valley of Ogulin-Plašće from Severin na Kupi to Krpelj, past the plain of Ogulinsko polje to the village of Ogulinski Hreljin, and then continues along the slopes of Klek and Modruško zagorje to the village of Modruš.
The south-eastern border is a wide transitional zone. It encompasses the area between the Rudolfina and Jozefina roads, known as the Drežnica or Kapela regions. The main feature of this zone is its karst terrain overgrown with tall forests.
Gorski Kotar covers an area of 1270 km2, more than 80% of which are forests. Although Gorski Kotar is a unique geographical area, it can be divided into three different regions that have left a lasting mark on their inhabitants. The west part of Gorski Kotar has always gravitated towards Rijeka and the Croatian Littoral, and the east towards Karlovac and Zagreb. Because of its poor traffic connections, the north has developed in a characteristic way, influenced by Slovenia’s craft and timber industries, and small home craft businesses. The west part of Gorski Kotar is influenced more by traffic, water resources, trade and crafts, whereas the east part by the industries, and by agriculture, today to a lesser extent.
The regions of Gorski Kotar above 1,200 metres above sea level belong to the sub-arctic, snowy forest climate zone, while the lower areas belong to the warm to moderate rainy climate zone.
Short and fresh summers and long and harsh winters with a lot of snow are typical of the harsh mountainous climate. This part of Croatia is distinguished by heavy precipitation, which is reflected in its lush vegetation. This is the result of the proximity of the Adriatic Sea and the influence of the high terrain. Gorski Kotar follows the weather forecast carefully as the life of the local population is dictated by nature.
The coldest month is January, and the warmest is July. The cloudiest month is September, and fog is most frequent in November and December. The most clear days are in August, whilst the wettest months are November and December. The least precipitation is in July and August. The months of January and February see the most snowfall. The average temperature ranges from -1.2 °C in January to 16.8 °C in July. The annual average precipitation in the mountains measures 2486 mm, and on Mount Risnjak 3579 mm.
Bukovac Cave, a site located in the area of the municipality of Lokve, attests to human presence in Gorski Kotar already in the early Upper Palaeolithic. The exploration of the cave uncovered traces of prehistoric man, as well as various remains of animals that used to roam this area, such as the cave bear and leopard.
In antiquity, the main routes avoided the barely accessible, wooded hills of the area. During Roman rule, the most important roads from northern Italy bypassed today’s Gorski Kotar from the north or from the south. As a result, it found itself between the Roman provinces of Pannonia and Dalmatia, remaining outside the main commercial routes and activities of the time. Significant changes began in the Migration Period with barbarian invasions from the far east and north, especially in the 4th century, and the strong Gothic invasions of the Roman state. The remains of the "Liburnian limes" bear witness to this period – a wall stretching from Tarsatica (today's Rijeka) on the coast via the plain of Grobničko polje to Prezid in Gorski Kotar. The fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century resulted in constant changes of rulers in Gorski Kotar: from the Lombards and Franks to the Byzantines. The first Croats came to this area in the 7th century.
A more intensive and, to a certain extent, politically and economically planned settlement of Gorski Kotar only began in the second half of the 13th century. After the Ottoman invasions at the end of the 15th century, the Frankopan family started a more intense colonisation of the area with refugees from the south fleeing Ottoman troops.
The Counts of Krk, and later the Frankopans, expanded their estates up to the border with Carniola, boosting commercial and cultural activities in the area. The first settlements in today’s Gorski Kotar were mentioned as early as 1481, when the Royal Court in Zagreb requested that Count Stjepan Frankopan respect the privileges of merchants from Zagreb trading in Lukovdol, Brod, Moravice, Vrbovsko, Delnice, Lokve and other places in the area. Due to its favourable location near the crossing of the river Kupa, Brod over time became the centre of a large estate.
In the 16th century, the Frankopans were succeeded by the Zrinski family, who established strong commercial links through Vinodol with other parts of Croatia, and even with Slovenia and Hungary. This was when Čabar began to emerge as an important centre which eventually became an individual estate. Gorski Kotar remained in the possession of the Zrinski family until their downfall in 1670. After this, several rulers continued to wilfully and ruthlessly rule over Gorski Kotar and increase feudal exploitation of the area until the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy took possession of it.
There are two important historical dates in the history of Gorski Kotar that certainly stand out – the establishment of Processus Montanus or Gorski Kotar by the decision of 7 November 1777 of Empress Maria Theresa, who was persuaded by her son, Emperor Joseph II, to unify the area into one administrative region. The other important date was 10 November 1777 when the meeting of the Assembly of Severin County held in Mrkopalj established a new administrative territorial division and Brodski Kotar was founded. In any case, the administrative history of Gorski Kotar goes back almost two and a half centuries.
The most important period in the economic development of Gorski Kotar was the beginning of road construction. When the construction of the so-called Karolina road began in 1726, it determined the future not only of the local area but also the whole of Croatia. The Karolina road, which was named after Charles III, ran through barely passable uninhabited terrain, deserted canyons and valleys, and up high mountains and passes characterised by long and harsh winters. Such a road was impossible to maintain. However, although the Karolina road failed to fulfil its main purpose, it nevertheless brought about a new impulse for the economic revitalisation of Gorski Kotar, gradually transforming the area into one of the most important transport areas of Croatia. In 1803, the construction of the road locally known as the Lujzijana road began. This road still to this day connects places from Karlovac to Rijeka without major changes to its route. In the past, it was of vital importance to Gorski Kotar and the Croatian Littoral.
In the mid-19th century, a railway through Gorski Kotar was built to connect Rijeka with Budapest. This created more favourable conditions for the further development of Gorski Kotar. However, it was insufficient for a more intense demographic, spatial and economic development of the area. The consequences of this could be felt throughout the 20th century. In more recent times, new opportunities for economic development were created for Gorski Kotar after the construction of the modern Rijeka – Zagreb motorway.
Državnom auto cestom D3 Rijeka – Zagreb, a izlazi do glavnih naselja Gorskog kotara su Ravna Gora, Delnice, Vrata i Vrbovsko.
Avionske destinacije su zračne luke u Zagrebu, Dr. Franjo Tuđman, u Rijeci, točnije na otoku Krku te nešto udaljenija zračna luka u Puli.
Umreženost željezničkog prometa omogućuje jedinstven doživljaj destinacije i kvalitetan pristup svim većim mjestima u Gorskom kotaru. Glavne željezničke postaje su Delnice, Fužine, Kupjak, Vrbovsko… (dodati molim)