From Zagreb to Učka Mountain on Foot: Active Holidays, the Croatian Way

May 7, 2018 - If you think the best way to explore a country is to hike your way around, you'll be happy to hear about Croatian Way

A man from Delnice named Saša Kajfeš came up with an exceptional project: a three-week walking tour with a route spanning from Zagreb to the top of Učka mountain. The project aims to offer lovers of active holidays an opportunity to explore all the wonders of four counties and several regions, all mutually different and unique in their own way.

Reporters of Novi list caught up with the merry crew in Delnice, thirteen days into their walking tour of Croatia. To be more precise, the tour doesn't come down to getting around on foot - there are bicycles, motorbikes and canoes involved as well. The first leg, starting from the Croatian capital, saw some twenty participants; others have been joining the team as they went along. After Zagreb, they passed through Samobor, Japetić, Jastrebarsko, Ozalj, Karlovac, Netretić, Bosiljevo, Severin na Kupi, Brod Moravice, Brod na Kupi and Delnice. Quite a lot to see in thirteen days, especially when you consider the fact the listed cities are all home to outstanding cultural heritage - castles, palaces, fortresses, all surrounded by pristine nature.


They're now headed for Lokve, Mrzla Vodica, Risnjak, Platak, Hahlić, the river Rječina, Trsat castle and Rijeka, followed by a boat trip to Lovran and then crowned with the final leg - an ascent to the top of Učka mountain.

This particular route is part of a larger project named Croatian Way, a concept that might very well become a popular tourism product devised for those who prefer active holidays over lying on the beach with a cocktail in hand. Judging by the impressions the participants shared so far, things are looking up for Croatian Way: all the foreign visitors who have joined the tour have nothing but words of praise. James William Pierce from Ireland said his impressions could be summed up in a single word: crystal. "Everything is crystal here - water, air, the sea... I'm especially blown away by the rivers and lakes which look naturally pristine and clear", said Pierce, cracking a joke about the water in Ireland being as dark and murky as Tomislav, a popular Croatian dark lager. Pierce is otherwise the owner of a hostel situated in a national park in Ireland, so he's not exactly unfamiliar with natural wonders, the fact only adding to the compliments he showered Croatia with. 


Another tourist, Joshua Murphy from Wisconsin, US said he accepted Saša's invitation to this hiking tour after meeting him in Ireland last year. He agreed to help document the trip, as he's a professional photographer and videomaker. Murphy hasn't even seen the entire route, he said, and he already thinks it one of the most beautiful hiking tours in the world. And it's not his first rodeo, considering he's already filmed his way through Ireland and Ecuador. "Alongside the gorgeous scenery, what impresses me most are the people who are incredibly friendly; we've had a warm welcome in every place we visited, including fantastic drinks and even better homemade food. I believe Saša's project will make it as it offers a completely authentic experience", said Murphy. Tourists are usually met with locations prepared in advance, a sort of a candy-coated reality; instead, what they've seen on this tour comes off as honest and authentic, and is sure to win over everyone who decides to join, Murphy explained.

Saša and his team have quite a summer planned: they'll first set off on a multi-day cycling tour from Zagreb to Pula, followed by a similar tour devised for bikers. They'll end the summer with a canoe trip from the source of Kupa river to Karlovac. They'll be filming promotional materials as they go along - all things considered, there's no doubt they have a successful product on their hands. Bravo!


Photo credit: Romulić and Stojčić