Zagreb is very well-connected with the rest of Croatia, making it easy for visitors to venture on exciting excursions and single-day trips. Towns of Karlovac and Ozalj, together with their wider areas, are perfect locations for such occasion, and you certainly won’t leave their premises disappointed. Here are just five reasons why you should keep them on your tourist radar.
The Magnificent Dubovac
Four rivers are going through Karlovac, providing locals with exciting opportunities for fishing and rafting sessions. However, history fans can find enjoyment in the old keep of Dubovac. Founded as early as 13th century, this romantic structure was passed down by Croatian nobleman from one generation to the other. It was even used as a wedding gift to Countess Katarina Frankopan in 16th century. Today, it is perceived as one of the most preserved locations of the kind in Croatia.
The Caverns of Barac
Croatia is a great destination for aspiring speleologists, and settlement of Rakovica should have a special place on their map. Located in the southeast regions of Karlovac County, it features the gorgeous underground realm known as the Caverns of Barac. It is a site where mysterious hand-made bracelet was found, dating from 7th century B.C. A lot of folktales circulate about these caverns, one including a heroic Croatian knight who single-handedly managed to defeat an Ottoman giant in their depths. The locality has secured passages and electrical illumination, so you don’t have to be a professional climber to meet its impressive interior.
The Steampunk Hydroplant
Situated on the banks of Kupa River, the little hydro-plant of Ozalj is over one hundred years old. Initially, it was used to power up the streetlights of Karlovac. The service was completely free of charge at that time. Later in 20th century, the plant played an important part in the regional development, and is still operational even today. Designed by renowned architect Herman Bolle, the hydro-plant didn’t change much of its outdoor looks, prompting younger generations to describe it as being ‘steampunk’ in design.
The Wine Roads of Karlovac and Ozalj
The slopes of Zumberak Hills have always been highly regarded by grape harvesters, so it is not surprising that the region has a very distinctive wine road on its soil. The long tradition and expertise in wine making will surely draw a lot of visitors to local villages, known for their picturesque beauty and history dating back to medieval times. Settlements of Vivodina and Vrhovac are especially notable points of interest for dedicated wine lovers, and their Grasevina, Chardonnay, Zweigelt and Pinot nectars will leave a lasting impression on every person’s taste buds.
The Beehives of Ilovac
It is a well-known fact that the world’s ecosystem would collapse without bees. Yet, in order to harvest these fascinating creatures, one has to be very educated, hardworking and passionate. Members of Krnic family have these traits, and their organic honey can literally be described as pure natural gold. On their estate in Ozalj’s Ilovac neighborhood, one can taste their traditional honey-based products, including popular medenjaci cookies. Lovro Krnic is also very keen to provide you with a tour of his beehives, which will introduce you to enigmatic behavior of these animals, and explain their distinctive role in the nature’s world.
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Feature Photo: Robert Fajt / CROPIX