Ogulin is located in the very heart of Croatia, halfway between Zagreb and Rijeka, in the valley of the Zagorska Mrežnica and Dobra rivers, beneath the mythical Klek mountain. Here’s why Ogulin is a great place to visit on your gap year.
For centuries, legends and fairy tales have been a component part of the life of the region. In the heart of the Frankopan fortress in the very centre of the city, above the deep canyon where the river Dobra descends into the depths of Đulin ponor, you will find Ivana’s Fairy Tale House, a multimedia interactive centre dedicated to the imagination of this famous author.
Why is Ogulin the homeland of fairy tales?
Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić whilst still a young girl experienced the fairy tales of the town where she was born, which she would write about in her autobiography. Her fairy tales today are extremely valuable and a unique cultural resource which surpass their local significance and represent a wider regional, European and even global value. According to them, Ogulin has become a homeland of fairy tales in which every year, in June, an international festival of Ogulin fairytales (OGFB) is held; as well as various creative workshops and storytelling throughout the year which draw visitors to the unique fairy tale route encouraging curiosity and playfulness!
Fairy tale nature
You can explore Ogulin and the surrounding area by bicycle. For cycling-lovers and those who wish to explore and enjoy our area independently, two regional routes have been signposted totalling 131 km. Almost 100 km of the trails are connected locally and provide a chance to get to know the Ogulin region completely. At your disposal is the Ribarići Bike Park. Mountain biking-lovers can enjoy the cycling trails located on the forest roads in the wider Ogulin area.
Klek is on the northwestern ridge of Velika Kapela and is 1,181 metres high. It dominates the valley in which Ogulin lies (323 metres above sea level). With its miraculous shape and intimidating beauty, Klek is known to many alpinists, mountaineers, botanists, travel writers and nature-lovers. In clear weather, you can see its unusual shape even from Zagreb, while the attractive surroundings, which spread for a hundred kilometres around Klek, can be seen from its highest peak.
Its 200-metre high vertical rock face is the cradle of Croatian mountaineering and alpine climbing. In 1874, the idea of founding a mountaineering society here was proposed in Ogulin.
The oldest written document on climbing Klek dates from 1838, when Croatian Ban Josip Jelačić, accompanied by the Saxon King Frederick Augustus II, a well-known amateur botanist, reached the top of Klek.
This lake is a real pearl of the region. It’s a reservoir created from the flow of the Zagorska Mrežnica. This is the eleventh largest lake in Croatia and it looks like a huge sea bay.
With its variety of fish, from local trout, to grass carp, to chub and tench, it’s a real temptation for fishermen, but it also offers various possibilities for recreation: swimming, rowing, sailing, windsurfing, pleasant walking, cycling and rowing regattas.
In the Ogulin area you can try traditional meals with game, fish, mushrooms, and a wide range of homemade products that the citizens of Ogulin offer: honey and honey products, pine brandy, apple cider vinegar, cheeses…
‘Ogulinsko kiselo zelje’ is well-known all over the world — this is an autochthonous sort of cabbage that is very suitable for pickling and has a specific taste. Healthy food is being produced more and more in this region.
We definitely recommend that you don’t miss the traditional pie of Ogulin, Ogulinska masnica, which even Napoleon himself couldn’t resist.
This article was in partnership with Ogulin Tourist Board
Featured image: Zdravko Spehar