If you are looking for a realm of peace and quiet, fresh air away from the hot asphalt and city bustle and a place of incredible natural beauty - you will find it at the source of Kupa, a place full of secrets that you discover with every step while walking along the marked paths - and only when you get to the source itself does the right follow reward…
If it sounds too demanding to hike to the source itself - we will direct you to two different trails, so depending on your preferences, choose the easiest one for you.
Izvor Kupa: One of the strongest and deepest Croatian springs
The source of the Kupa River is still partly a mysterious secret karst and one of the deepest and most widespread Croatian springs. At an altitude of 321 meters, it is shaped enchantingly turquoise-blue lake which provides indescribable peace just by looking at its unusual, fascinating colors that leave us questioning - how is it possible that Mother Nature created something so magical?
The area has been declared protected December 12, 1963 on an area of 10 hectares.
The source itself is within the boundaries Risnjak National Park and is located under hundreds of meters of high vertical rocks. It has the appearance of a small oval lake, about 200 meters long and about 50 meters wide.
Namely, Kupa springs from a still unknown depth, although it has been established that the water springs from two mutually separated channels that resemble vertical wells. The low and constant water temperature of 5 to 6 degrees Celsius makes it impossible to dive into cold deep waters, but a depth of over 80 meters has been established in the deeper and narrower channel, and 57 meters in the wider one.
Also, let us point out that the underground connection of the Malenc sinkhole, as well as the sinkhole of the Velika Voda stream near Crni Lug with the source of Kupa, has been proven by coloring the water. The average outflow capacity of the spring is about 1200 liters per second, while the maximum amount of water is not measurable.
Miraculous valley of butterflies
The northern part of the upper course of the Kupa, or the Kupa valley, is also called i Through the wonderful valley of butterflies - this area is home to almost 500 species of butterflies, which is about 60% of the entire Croatian butterfly fauna.
Namely, this area is a canyon with small basin extensions, and the climate there is much milder and warmer than the colder rest of Gorski kotar, because the area is lower and deeply cut. The largest inhabited place in the Kupa Valley is Brod na Kupa, which is also the starting point for getting to know all the charms of the Kupa River and its valley.
How to get to the source of Kupa? Choose one of two paths
1. Razloge trail – the source of Kupa
The first option is the trail that starts from Razloge village to the source of Kupa. The village of Razloge is located on the slopes above the source of the Kupa, and you will reach it on the road Crni Lug - Gerovo, from which you should turn right after Mali Selo and drive 8 kilometers on a narrow asphalt road to Razloge.
You'll know you've arrived when you see a large parking lot and an info point, and the path to the spring starts a little further, right next to the visitor center. Goran's house of knowledge.
The road to the source of Kupa begins gently, then descends steeply and at the bottom crosses the Krašićevica canyon, which is passable most of the year, but during heavy rains and in spring, due to melting snow and large amounts of water, it swells and becomes an obstacle when visiting the source of Kupa, which is only five minute.
The pleasant path through the beech forest lasts about half an hour, and you only need to be a little careful on the steeper places so as not to slip on the wet leaves. In more exposed places, a wooden fence was installed and a sidewalk was arranged.
- Starting point height: 550 meters
- Destination height: 321 meters
- Height difference: -229 meters
- Total length: 1820 meters
2. Hrvatsko trail - source of Kupa
It is a Croatian village on the border with Slovenia, which can be reached by road from the direction of Delnice and Brod na Kupi, from the direction of Gerovo - Zamost and from the direction of Čabra. You will easily recognize the beginning of the trail by its well-maintained location on the left bank of the river.
You will start your hiking adventure with the Fishing Trail that leads to the village of Kupari, following the course of the river all the way and has several rest stops. A macadam road leads from Kupari, passing further through the hamlets of Kupari Srednji and Gornji. The path continues through a meadow at the end of which it crosses the Sušica canyon (also occasionally swollen), and then after a pedestrian bridge it crosses over to the right bank of the Kupa river. To the end, the trail ascends and descends through the canyon to the very source of the Kupa River. This walk to the spring will take you approx an hour and a half, but due to its configuration it is not demanding.
- Starting point height: 295 meters
- Destination height: 321 meters
- Height difference: -26 meters
- Total length: 4850 meters
Kupa – the only Croatian river that has its birthplace
If you decide on the first promenade - from Razlog, you will see the village of Gornji Kupari Birthplace of the Kupa River, opened in 2015. There you can learn about the natural and cultural values in the area of the source of the Kupa River, and as we mentioned earlier the "valley of butterflies", everyone who is interested in the story of these beautiful creatures can learn in the house in a specially designed educational hall with an exhibition about butterflies.
If you don't want to return home empty-handed, you can make your loved ones happy with a gift from the souvenir shop located within the center.
Goranska kuća znjana - get to know the Goran region in an educational and interesting way
The Goran House of Knowledge is located in the village of Razloge, more precisely in the old village school, and preserves the tradition, history and memories of the village and its descendants.
There you will discover the story of the shingle; building material characteristic of Gorski Kotar, which today is mainly made by retired foresters, you will hear a lot about the rural architecture of the Goran settlement, about handicrafts and weaving, pastures and beekeeping...
You will also learn something about the lynx, the largest European cat and the symbol of the Risnjak National Park, about wolves and the huge recluse bear.
And finally, useful hints before you go on a trip to the source of Kupa
- When it comes to equipment, comfortable sneakers will suffice
- Izvor Kupa is one of the most popular excursion destinations and is suitable for almost all visitors, and children and pets can also access it without hindrance.
- The trail is well marked, so you don't have to worry about getting lost
- Before departure, check the amount of precipitation, because it is possible that a part of the trail will not be passable due to a large amount of precipitation
- Take a sufficient amount of liquid with you
Last weekend we also visited the most widespread Croatian spring, and watch our short story from the spring itself on the video.
We started from the TO Tratinčica house, where you are offered a refreshing cold drink and delicious food in a homely atmosphere. You can reach this facility by car, and it takes an hour and ten minutes to walk to the source.
See the entire photo gallery HERE.