Visiting Croatia’s Risnjak National Park

meadow and forest
Risnjak National Park

UPDATED: 13.4.2023.

Risnjak National Park is one of 8 national parks in Croatia. It is situated in the most mountainous Croatian region – Gorski kotar, only 15 kilometers north of the Adriatic Sea. Risnjak’s area covers 4.600 hectares. The park includes gorgeous Risnjak, the Snježnik massif, and the beautiful source of the river Kupa.

The park was named after the medium-sized wild animal, the lynx, which is pronounced ris in Croatian. Ris is the rarest, and the most hidden beast in Europe, and only a few hunters and naturalists know how to trace them. Risnjak is full of different types of woods, small grasslands, and rocks, and it is rich with an envious number of plant species.

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

Risnjak – Astonishing National Park in Croatia

Few reasons to visit Risnjak National Park

#1 15 types of forest communities

If you take a walk through the Risnjak area, you will encounter plenty of tree species. Among the most widespread are beech, fir, spruce, black hornbeam, black and white alder, and giant willow forests.

forest and meadow
Forests of Risnjak

#2 Veliki Risnjak mountain peak

Veliki Risnjak is the second tallest mountain peak in Gorski kotar. At 1.528 meters high, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Kvarnerski zaljev, Istria, and the Julian Alps in Slovenia.

mountain lodge
Schlosserov dom mountain lodge between the peaks of Veliki Risnjak and Mali Risnjak

#3 Snježnik mountain peak

Snježnik (1.506 meters) is a gorgeous rocky ridge surrounded by steep meadows. Snježnik was named after large amounts of snow, which persist until the late spring even though the sea is only a few kilometers away.

#4 Source of the Kupa river

When you see the turquoise lake in the spring of the Kupa river, you will be speechless. Due to vibrant flora and fauna, the upper stream of the river is called Čudesna dolina leptira (Wonderful Butterfly Valley). It is one of the deepest Croatian springs, at a depth of more than 154 meters.

river in a forest
River of Risnjak

How to visit the Risnjak National Park

Where it is

Risnjak National Park is located in Gorski kotar, 15 kilometers inland from the Adriatic Sea and near the border with Slovenia.

When to go

You can visit Risnjak any time of the year, but the best time to visit is during sunny weather. The river source is usually inaccessible during heavy rainfall due to flooding.

How to get to Risnjak National Park

hut in a forest
Risnjak forests changing leave colors in autumn

Traveling by car

If you travel from Zagreb or southern Croatia, get off the highway at Ravna Gora. Go towards Delnice, and only 2 kilometers after Delnice, turn towards the village Crni Lug. Crni Lug is situated near the entrance, so just follow the entrance signs.

If you travel from Rijeka, go to Delnice and follow the same instructions.

Traveling by public transport

Here you can see a timetable for buses that drive from Crni Lug to Delnice and Rijeka (under the section “MOST POPULAR LINES”).

hiking labels
Hiking labels on Risnjak trails

Tickets and parking for NP Risnjak

Entrances and parking

There are four entrances to the Risnjak:

  • Bijela Vodica
  • Kupari
  • Razloge
  • Vilje

Parking is available at each entrance. Here is a map of all the entrances to Risnjak National Park.

Risnjak map
Risnjak map at the entrance to the national park

Ticket prices and where to purchase

Tickets can be purchased here:

  • Bijela Vodica – information point
  • Bijela Vodica – restaurant
  • Kupari – information point
  • Razloge – information point
  • Risnjak – mountain lodge
  • Platak – GSC information point
hiking trail
Risnjak hiking trail

Here is a map of places where you can buy the ticket.

The price list is available here.

The price list of bike rentals is available here.

The price of the Chamois observation program is available here.

The cost of a daily fishing ticket is available here.

[Read: Best places to go fishing in Croatia (and the rules you must abide by)]

Mushroom of Risnjak

View our other National Parks posts

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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