National Park Risnjak – Must Visit While in Croatia

Risnjak is a National Park located in the Gorski Kotar region, the most mountainous and forested area in Croatia. The park is loved by many nature enthusiasts as it has diverse and rich flora and fauna. The highest peak Risnjak offers an impressive view of the Adriatic sea and surrounding mountains. You can even see Slovenia from there as it's close to the border.
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Arijana & Matej
Arijana & Matej

Croatian-Slovenian full-time travel duo, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists for over 4 years. We write in-depth travel guides about destinations we have personally visited, providing practical travel tips and recommendations.

Why visit National Park Risnjak?

Risnjak National Park is known for its rich flora and fauna. Although the area it covers is relatively small, it marks the point where coastal and continental vegetation zones meet, which results in a highly diverse flora. The park is also home to many animals of which the most famous are brown bears, wolves, and lynx. Fun fact, lynx is locally called ‘ris’ (hence the name Risnjak). But let’s not forget birds. Risnjak is also known as birdwatching heaven as it has many different species, including some rare ones.

As forests cover two-thirds of the park, it’s perfect for hiking, especially on summer days, as they offer ideal refreshment. The most famous and highest hiking spot is the Risnjak peak, which is 1528 meters high. It’s only reachable by foot, which makes it a great place to enjoy nature without distractions. And trust me, if you visit the park, you don’t want to miss the view from up there.

Top of Risnjak peak

How to reach the Risnjak peak?

Different routes lead to the top. I recommend checking all of them on the official web page and choosing the one that suits you the best. It takes from one to three hours to reach the top, depending on which route you take.

The routes aren’t demanding at all, and they are suitable for everyone. After you reach the mountain hut, “Dr. Josip Schlosser Klekovski,” you still have around 20 minutes to reach the top. That part can be a bit more demanding, but it’s still manageable even for kids.

Few tips:

  • Don’t rest for too long at the mountain hut before reaching the top. It will be much harder to continue (talking from personal experience).
  • Take a proper jacket. Even if you’re visiting in summer, it can be windy at the top.
  • Try some of the delicious food at the mountain hut.

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What to do in Risnjak National Park?

1. Don’t miss Leska Educational path

Leska Educational path is one of the first facilities of its kind in Croatia. It’s 4.2 km long, and it contains 23 information tables where you can learn more about the natural and cultural heritage of the park. The path is easily accessible from the direction of Crni Lug. You can walk through it by yourself, or you can take a guide, whichever you prefer.

2. Source of river Kupa – a gem of the Risnjak National Park

The Source of river Kupa is one of the most powerful and deepest Croatian wellsprings. It’s located 321 meters above sea level and shaped into turquoise green and blue lake. I had to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming when I was there. The whole place looked so unreal.

Source of river Kupa in Croatia

The interesting fact is that no one knows how deep it actually is. Many cave divers come here to complete the challenge but still, no one had luck. Italian diver, Luigi Casati, went the deepest – 154 meters. But as he said, that’s still not the end.

You can reach the source from a few directions, but it takes just 30 minutes from the village of Razloge.

3. Enchanted butterfly valley

The upper flow of the Kupa river is also known as the Enchanted butterfly valley. There are around 70 different species of butterflies, some of which are endangered. That’s why you need to visit this valley too, as it’s incredible to see so many of these beautiful creatures flying around.

Hike at National Park Risnjak


Plitvice lakes Croatia from above

Plitvice Lakes National Park (Travel Guide)

What about the entrance fee?

As this is a National Park, you need to buy a ticket. All the tickets are valid for two days, and you should always have them with you.

The entrance ticket for adults is 45 HRK (~6 €) and 25 HRK (3,36 €) for students. Kids under the age of seven get a free pass, and a family ticket is 100 HRK (13,5 €).

Where to stay in Risnjak National Park?

There are many amazing accommodations where you can stay around this area, and there are options for both budget travelers and the ones who want something more luxurious.

We stayed at Kozji Vrh Holiday Home & Spa if you want to check it out. It’s great for a bigger group of people, and the hosts are super kind.

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Arijana & Matej
Arijana & Matej

Full-time travelers, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists.

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We're Arijana and Matej, a couple and travel blogging duo from Croatia and Slovenia who thrive while slow-traveling. And we have been doing it for over 4 years.

During and after our travels, we love publishing in-depth, researched and above-all, useful travel guides, full of personal first-hand information on the places we personally visited.

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing this article! I’ve had trouble finding more information about Risnjak and your article was a very helpful overview! We hope to visit this summer with our 12 and 7 yo. I’m saving so I can come back to this and may even impose with a few questions 🙂

    1. Hi Jude!

      We’re happy you liked this article. Although it’s one of our first ones before we even knew what a blog should look like! 😅

      By summer, we will likely update it with more information, so definitely check back before your visit. 🙂

      Warm regards from Thailand,
      Arijana & Matej

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