Explore Karlovac: Gateway to Croatia’s Natural Beauty

Karlovac, nestled in the heart of Lika-Karlovac County, Croatia, is a city rich in history and natural beauty. Known as the “city of four rivers,” Karlovac offers a unique blend of cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and outdoor activities. Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or just looking for a peaceful getaway, Karlovac has something to offer.

Karlovac - Lika-Karlovac - Croatia

Historical Overview

Founded in 1579 as a fortress to defend against Ottoman invasions, Karlovac’s star-shaped layout is a testament to its Renaissance origins. The city’s old town, with its geometrical streets and historic buildings, reflects its strategic and architectural significance. The Dubovac Castle, dating back to the 13th century, is a must-visit, offering panoramic views of the city and surrounding areas.

Top Attractions

Dubovac Castle

Dubovac Castle is one of Karlovac’s oldest and most prominent landmarks. The castle, perched on a hill overlooking the Kupa River, provides visitors with a glimpse into the region’s medieval past. The castle hosts various cultural events and exhibitions throughout the year.

Aquatika – Freshwater Aquarium Karlovac

Aquatika is Croatia’s first and only freshwater aquarium, showcasing the rich biodiversity of the country’s rivers and lakes. The aquarium is designed to mimic the course of a typical Croatian karst river, offering an educational and immersive experience for visitors of all ages.

Foginovo Beach

Located on the Korana River, Foginovo Beach is a popular spot for swimming and relaxation. Known for its clean, refreshing waters, the beach is equipped with diving boards, watersports facilities, and a café-bar, making it a perfect summer destination.

Outdoor Activities

Rafting and Kayaking

With four rivers – Kupa, Korana, Mrežnica, and Dobra – converging in Karlovac, the city is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Rafting and kayaking are popular activities, offering thrilling experiences amidst scenic landscapes.

Hiking and Cycling

Karlovac and its surrounding areas are ideal for hiking and cycling. The nearby Žumberak Nature Park and the picturesque paths along the Mrežnica River offer serene and beautiful trails for all levels of hikers and cyclists.

Day Trips from Karlovac

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Just 78 kilometers south of Karlovac, Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its stunning lakes and waterfalls. The park’s extensive network of trails and boardwalks allows visitors to explore its natural beauty up close.


A short 56-kilometer drive from Karlovac, Zagreb is Croatia’s vibrant capital city. Known for its historical sites, museums, and lively street culture, Zagreb is a perfect day-trip destination for those looking to experience urban Croatian life.

Practical Information

Getting There

Karlovac is well-connected by road and rail, lying at the crossroads of major routes between Zagreb, Rijeka, and Split. The nearest airport is Zagreb Airport, approximately 62 kilometers away.


Visitors to Karlovac can choose from a variety of accommodations, including hotels, private apartments, and campsites. Options range from budget-friendly rooms to more luxurious stays, catering to all types of travelers.


Q: What is the best time to visit Karlovac? A: The best time to visit Karlovac is during the spring and summer months (May to September) when the weather is warm and ideal for outdoor activities.

Q: Are there any annual events in Karlovac? A: Yes, Karlovac hosts several annual events, including the Karlovac Beer Festival (Dani Piva) and various cultural festivals showcasing local traditions, music, and cuisine.

Q: How can I explore the rivers in Karlovac? A: You can explore the rivers in Karlovac through guided rafting and kayaking tours available from local adventure companies.

Karlovac, with its rich history, beautiful natural surroundings, and plethora of activities, is a hidden gem in Croatia. Whether you’re exploring ancient castles, enjoying water sports, or simply relaxing by the river, Karlovac offers a memorable and enriching travel experience.

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