Motorcycle touring Croatia Gorski Kotar
Continental route, our grand inland route lies in the triangle of three capital cities – Zagreb and Ljubljana as Croatia’s and Slovenia’s capitals and Split as the Mediterranean capital of Croatia. The route starts from Rent-GS headquarters in central Split location and leads you through curvy inland roads to capital destinations.
Where do you go after you rent a motorcycle in Croatia?
As they say “journey is not the destination, it is the road itself”. Well, local roads through inland Croatia in Velebit and Gorski Kotar regions are scenic enough, while the route is one of the most visit worthy where local food tasting is a must and hiking is strongly suggested. Perfect region to rent a motorcycle and cruise with nature around you.
We told you about Croatia’s national parks worth visiting in our Continental route blog, this chapter however, will be about Gorski Kotar. Region mountainous, forested and uncut you’ll feel your lungs filling with brisk air while you glide on one of our motorcycle rentals.
Because motorcycle touring is about scenic views, but also about local people, food and experiences we’ll mention some of Gorski Kotar gems. It’s that feeling of air through your cheeks while riding a motorcycle through a wooded area that will stay most memorable and taste of homemade blueberry pie. You don’t want to miss home-made pies, so black you might think you’re eating Darth Vaders favourite dessert.
Things to do on your mototrip?
Second step – your way up North will take you either through Šibenik and Zadar, a more seaside route or more inland through Gračac and Gospić (try to pronounce their names). However it might be, after visiting Velebit and Plitvička jezera national parks you’ll end up in Gorski Kotar.
Here we recommend resting your rental motorcycles and hiring a tour guide. You can book a guide and take an individual or a group tour in both cases Gorski Kotar has some of the best guides avid hikers, trampers and a fellow free spirits. Not necessarily with motorcycles on two wheels.
Our guide for this occasion was a foxian avatar of Delnice, Jelena Holenko known as Lynx and Fox. Hiking tour guide with local knowledge.
Rent-a GS did one of the most popular tours, a day tour in which we visited Zeleni Vir with start Delnice. This lovely easy hike gets you an opportunity to visit Vražji prolaz (Devils passage) and “Muževa hišica” cave, located at the exit of the Devil’s passage canyon. Even guessing by its name, The Devils passage is a source of many interesting local tales and stories. Most of them are traditional old stories kept by generations.
“Zeleni vir and Vražji prolaz can be best described as small version of Gorksi kotar. Our most visited destination is so varied and filled with activities that you can get the scope of Gorski Kotar through all natural beauties existing on such a small area.” – says Jelena.
So besides various pies, we ate something called “Mountain Stuffing” or belly – a local culinary specialty. Traditionally it is prepared for Easter, if you’re lucky maybe you could find it in other seasons. Belly you wonder – stuffing is made from eggs, ham, bacon, spices and some dry bread, but is inserted into a dried pork stomach and cooked for 3 to 4 hours. Croatia is rich in traditional meals cooked for several hours. For carnivores out there it’s mostly meat, but also a spoon dish like goulash is very common. In case of Gorski Kotar it would be a venison goulash. Try it!
This is a perfect place to make a stop and continue your motorcycle touring journey the next day. The route takes you to Kamačnik and Fužine.
Kamačnik – is a waterway of impressive beauty that has carved a canyon throughout the years into the surrounding Jurassic limestone. It’s rather small, just 3 kilometers from the springhead to the estuary with the path that leads through wooden bridges and rock edges to the small, but deep well
We recommend spending at least a couple of hours if you have the time.
Fužine – small village municipality situated 730m above sea-level, surrounded by what else than mountains and woods so evergreen the sight will take your breath away. Lakes Bajer, Lepenica and Potkos are a great source of water for all the area, but also a great location to rest and enjoy the nature.
This green and mountainous region owes its development to the convenient and favourable location near, what used to be, a very traffic route which used to connect inland with harbour in Rijeka with the railroad.
Other locations we suggest visiting are Golubnjak and springhead of the river Kupa. 200 meters long and 30 meters wide on average, the origin of this springhead is quite a mystery still today. It’s one of the deepest and widest Croatian wells.
“Golubnjak is Tolkenesque area where you can get lost in the shade of centennial woods. I’m confident that Lord of the rings crew would have found a perfect scenography here among these trees and white rock. There is a beautiful walk along the path with roots intertwined and moss and lichen so soft you would be surprised” – says Jelena.
Visit to Kuterevo bear sanctuary up in the north Velebit can be cuteness overload. Founded in 2002. when a couple of bear cubs found their space of peace. This international sanctuary is first of its kind and currently only one in the world taking care of bears who, for various reasons, have been forced out their natural habitat. Their residents are predominantly bear cubs and young bears who need support while entering their adult bear life. Sanctuary is open to visits.
Here we said goodbye to Gorski Kotar and decided to take a quick motorcycle ride to Rijeka. It’s only 35km ride from Fužine. We felt chill enough to spend a night there. Depending on how much time you will have available, you can go straight to border with Slovenia and continue to Ljubljana.
As we said, motorcycle touring is about the road and experience. We say, prolong your motorcycle vacation!
Roads taken – Croatian road assistance interactive map
Highways – Autocesta Split Zagreb A1, Autocesta Rijeka Zagreb A6
Split – Knin – Gračac – Karlovac – Zagreb – DC1, E71 – A1 Autocesta Split Zagreb
Split – Šibenik – Zadar – DC8 – DC54 to Gračac – DC50 Otočac Brinje – DC23 Ogulin – DC42Vrbosko – A6 Rijeka or DC3
Gorski Kotar or Croatian Highlands is the mountainous region in Croatia between Karlovac and Rijeka. It is the most wooded and green region in Croatia, so Tolkenesque it’s inhabitants call it little Switzerland. Region is connected to European route E65, which passes through Budapest, Zagreb and Rijeka.