Kvarner newsletter / no 25

Mountain climbing with the rangers

An excursion to the mountain Učka, wherefrom a marvelous view extends to the entire Kvarner region and Istra and in days of fair weather even to neighbouring Italy, is an interesting trip through the richness of its landscape and its numerous attractions. Don't worry, specially trained rangers will take care of your safety…

One of the obligatory destinations in getting to know the natural attractions of the Kvarner region is Učka, a mountain towering above Kvarner and Istra. Besides being attractive by itself, Učka is also entirely protected as Nature Park and can be visited with the professional guidance of trained rangers.

On the Park area alone there are 150 kilometres of marked hiking trails and in total eight mountain biking paths so that in warm weather Učka can be explored also by bike, and it is also possible to take wing from it because on the peaks Brgud and Vojak there are arranged run-ways for the so called hang-gliders.
However, simply walking has its charm, too. You can start your excursion in Vela Draga, for example, a valley where besides the instructive paths there is also a climbing area with over 60 directions where numerous climbers used to practise rock-climbing skills as far back as in the thirties of the past century. The way will lead you to the belvedere with a view on the long interrupted railway line and the unutilized tunnel Vranja, now planned to be placed in function of tourism again.
The next station is the Water of Joseph II’s fountain dating from the end of the 18th century, where local inhabitants liked to come to fetch water which, reportedly, is exceptionally tasty and soft.
The way proceeds to Vojak, the highest Učka peak, 1401 meters above sea level that offers a magnificent view of the entire Kvarner Bay, Istra, the islands and even the Italian coast. On top stands the attractive stone tower Vojak that members of Austro-Hungarian nobility, that lived in Opatija at the time, got constructed in 1911. Today the tower is arranged as an information point, a souvenir shop and belvedere with telescopes that enable a detailed view of the amazing environment.
Below Vojak lies the instructive path Plas along which a whole series of rest areas and belvederes has been developed. There are three other instructive paths in the vicinity – the geological educational path Vela Draga, the educational path Slap and the mythical-historic path Trebišće – Perun on which the mythological battle between Perun and Veles (Slav mythological creatures) is explained.
The highest peak can also be reached through the area known as Poklon, with a climbers' lodging, and you can also walk towards the public building of the NP Učka. In addition to the mentioned paths, Učka conceals also numerous other surprises – attractive cascades, stone bridges, numerous protected plants and animal species.