LENGTH: 31 km
SURFACE: 100% PAVED
TYPE: CIRCULAR ROUTE
Recommended direction: Karlovac – Borlin – Donja Jelsa – Donje Pokuplje – Mahično – Gornje Pokuplje – Jaškovo – Grdun – Zadobarje – Gornje Stative – Zagrad – Karlovac
The route starts in the center of Karlovac, named after its founder, Charles II the Archduke of Austria. Most of the route comprises the level terrain, except near the Dubovac castle, with a not too demanding climbing stretch. The route is 31 km long and mostly follows the Kupa river, taking you through some idyllic natural surroundings. The trail will take you through suburbs and nearby villages along the Kupa bank, which can be especially enjoyable for all nature lovers. The old town of Karlovac was built according to an ideal Renaissance town plan, as a six-point star fortress, with a central square and a grid street plan. The central square, the Ban Josip Jelačić Square, is your starting point for this interesting route. Along the most well-known Karlovac street, the Radić street, you’ll get to the Matija Gubec Square, and a narrow road along the very bank of the Kupa river, taking you to Dubovac. This neighborhood was named after the eponymous castle, on of the most beautiful and preserved examples of feudal architecture in Croatia. It is situated on a hill above the Kupa, and has historically been an important strategic point in the defense against the Turks. Today, its tower is Karlovac’s best panoramic vantage point, while the castle also hosts various exhibitions and tourist events organized by the town museum. A forest road will take you under the A1 highway, through Mala Jelsa and then you’ll continue along the Dobra river to Zadobarje, with the St. Anthony the Hermit chapel, complete with the frescoes complementing the religious heritage of the former Zrinski-Frankopan estates. Following the Dobra, you’ll cross it over a small bridge and then reach the Papalina restaurant, where you’ll see a marked forest trail connecting this route to the Karlovac Route 3. The trail will take you through Jaškovo, to the wooden bridge over the Kupa, with the Turk-Mažuranić castle in close proximity.
This used to be a country house and estate of the French Marshal Marmont, who governed Napoleon’s Illyrian Provinces. After that, you’ll arrive to Mahično with its parish church, built in 1770. The ornate Tyrolean-style frescoes were painted in the 20th century. After Mahično, you’ll come to another bridge over the Kupa river, cross to the other side and your way back to Karlovac. Again, you’ll go under the A1 highway and follow the Kupa, on the opposite side of Drežnik, and arrive at the starting point of this route.