LENGTH: 39 km
TYPE: CIRCULAR ROUTE
Recommended direction: Žakanje – Svetičko Hrašće – Jaškovo – Mali Erajavac – Slapno – Ozalj – Brlog Ozaljsko – Kamanje – Donji Bukovac Žakanjski – Žakanje
Another long-distance route, with slightly more pronounced height differences and more demanding climbs, will mostly take you along the winding forest paths with marked cycling trails. This 39 km circular route connects the municipalities of Žakanje and Kamanje, as well as the town of Ozalj, with its surroundings. The starting point is situated on the right bank of the Kupa river, in Žakanje, along the Karlovac–Netretić–Metlika road. This is the area where the strong mountainous Kupa river turns into a wider and quieter river, with some picturesque waterfalls and developed beaches. Some locations still have the original watermills, and apart from swimming in the river, visitors can enjoy picnicking and angling. On the site of an older ecclesiastical building, typical of the Zrinski-Frankopan areas, in an elevated part of the village, you’ll find the graceful Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, built in 1896, with historicist features. In the nearby village of Sela Žakanjska, from the Blessed Mother the Queen of May chapel, you’ll have a beautiful view of the numerous vineyards and the neighboring valley. After Žakanje, prepare for a more demanding ascent along a forest trail to Breznik Žakanjski, and then to Jugovac and Martinski Vrh, where you can follow a marked detour to Ribnik and the connection to the Karlovac Route 3. After that you can relax, since the most exhausting climb is now behind you and very soon you’ll be able to cruise to Svetičko Hrašće and Jaškovo.
At Jaškovo, you’ll turn left and cycle along the eponymous street to Mali Erjavec, continuing among the fields to Ozalj. The middle-point of the route is near Slapno, and from there, the road to Ozalj is full of cafés and restaurants, so you can always stop for some refreshments. The main street will take you along the beautiful Kupa river, to the Zrinski-Frankopan castle above the river, which is the symbol of Ozalj and also its historic center. Inside its walls, as well as in the town’s surroundings, a number of prehistoric, ancient Roman and mediaeval archaeological discoveries have been made, but the first written record of the town dates from 1244. From the main street, you’ll turn to the right, along the Nikola Šubić Zrinski street, and continue along the winding roads and trails through densely green forests, through Brlog Ozaljski, to the neighboring Kamensko municipality. Not far from there, you can visit an interesting cave, Vrlovka, a protected natural site thanks to its geomorphological features and its historical significance. With its magnificent stone formations and pristine underground ponds, it is a true gem among this area’s attractions.
The archaeological research in the cave ash have shown that people lived there in continuity from the Neolithic times, through the Roman period, until the Middle Ages. At the very end of the route, after returning to the Žakanje area, you can briefly visit Donji Bukovac, settled when the population came back down from the more secure surrounding hills during the Turkish invasions. If you still have some strength left, visit some of the numerous panoramic spots and take a photo of some of the beautiful landscapes along the Kupa and the surrounding hills.