Risnjak National Park

Nature Reserve in Risnjak National Park

Just 32km northeast of Rijeka, Risnjak National Park occupies 63 sq km of thickly forested mountainscape, the highest peak being Veliki Risnjak (1528m). Linking the Alps and the Balkan mountains, these cool peaks provide respite from the sweltering heat, humidity and crowds of the coast. There are only a few villages within the park, which means limited accommodation and food. Those who do make it to these parts often visit on day trips from Rijeka.

Most visitors come here to hike, with the easy Leska Path of most appeal to day visitors – the trail can get busy on summer weekends in particular. To hike further in to scale the minor summits of Risnjak or Snježnik, contact the Park Information Office for advice. Trekking to the aquamarine Kupa Spring is another highlight.

Sport fishing and mountain biking are also possible.

The park is home to three charismatic mammal species: the brown bear, wolf and Eurasian lynx. The park is considered one of the last refuges in the country for the latter. All three animals are difficult to see and you'll need to visit with a guide or camp overnight over a number of days to stand any chance. At last count, 114 bird species have been recorded in Risnjak; birders get particularly excited about the capercaillie, peregrine falcon, pygmy owl, Ural owl, tawny owl, white-backed woodpecker and three-toed woodpecker.