This trip was made in October 2020 where autumn turns out to be an overwhelming experience, due to the beauty and the brilliance of the colors everywhere in the forest that surrounds you, as it was giving you a warm hug.
With moderate temperatures, the weather was very nice and made it very bearable to discover places for one of our future destinations.
We left from our base, an excellent B&B Merlo y Olivo in Krasic, whose owner and guide Franz, aboard an invincible Land Rover, started our travel towards the southeast of Istria.
We soon left the main roads to start traveling very beautiful and well-kept dirt roads, which we followed up to Livade, town known as the city of truffles in Croatia.
There are some shops that sell this exquisite product in various forms and confections, and other delicacies which we could not avoid pick up some for our scouting trip.
We left in the direction of Buzet and after passing this city, we left the main route and began to dance at the roads rythm. Sometimes roads became into paths and even choppy, through the mountains heading NorthEast, approaching Strana, Gorjna Nula, Klenosvac, and Lanisce.
We alternately traveled country roads, with more or less width in a mountainous terrain but friendly for our buggies. We found roads with traffic restrictions due to forest maintenance works, where loggers and machines ensure the healthy development of native species, but after a short wait for the passage to be released, we were able to advance and twisted decidedly south to the outskirts of Rijeka, for a bite.
Then again we approached the mountains heading north, where we went slowly but continuously from 200 up to 1200 meters, very close to the border with Slovenia, which we continued for about 10/15 kilometers zigzagging in a lush forest with upholstered paths with leaves so colorful that they seemed shiny. Then we entered the Risnjak National Park where the Kupa River born and then flows into the Adriatic.
The path then crossed the spine of the Dinaric Alps which are in turn the division between the Adriatic and Black Sea watersheds. Here the roads became wider, winding alternately very green valleys with the sides of the mountains, but with many sections with good visibility of the road that allowed us to accelerate the pace and enjoy a little more the power of our vehicles on these dirt, friendly and well maintained roads.
We passed through many road crossings, where each one appeared more attractive than the other, and anyone could probably spend a whole day following each one to see where they lead you. Eventually the day started giving way to night, and we began the descent towards Fuzine, where we spent the night in a very nice and comfortable hotel, and tasted some typical foods of the Croatian culture.
The next day we set off early and immediately head NortheEast direction, then turned decidedly South and let the path take us from Brestova Draga to Zabukovac passing near Breze, and descending towards the Adriatic Sea, advancing along the crest of this section with the Sea accompanying us on our right. On this radiant day the whole island of Krk could be seen in its entirety.
We followed thru slightly narrower roads that linked different agricultural farms, small towns and wind farms here and there.
We then reached a plateau where roads widen again, where pace can be speeded up and we spend some time moving on different roads to finally turn West to go down to Senj and stop for lunch.
Nice and quiet port on the Adriatic for medium-sized boats, very pleasant, it was the turning point in the direction of the route. Then we head North all by asphalt road which was a very beautiful promenade, which connects the entire coast from north to South of this beautiful country. We passed through the port of Rijeka before turning West again and enter the Istrian peninsula to return to our base, and take the plane very early next morning.
The result is that we left with the firm conviction that a trip through these places, at any time of the year, but mainly in spring or autumn, is a gift for the eyes and the senses, and its mountainous roads, agile and not very complicated, will allow us to live intense adventures. We will have to expand the trip further south, because there is more, much more to know about this part of the world …