Yog@neta river adventure in Croatia
• Yoga, roasting chesnuts, hiking,cycling,rafting, cascading Plitvice lakes and the healing colours and sounds of Mreznica river
17.-20. October 2013
October.........the wine is young and the chestnuts are ready for picking and roasting....a perfect combination for a bit of autumn romance with the sound of the rustling leaves under your feet
But that's just the beginning.....
Experience the pristine natural beauty of scarlet green Mrežnica River and its canyon. It is 63 kilometres long and its basin covers an area of 64 square kilometres. Mrežnica is considered special due to its large number of waterfalls, totalling 93.
Have you heard about Plitvice lakes?! Plitvice Lakes National Park is the oldest national park in Southeast Europe and the largest national park in Croatia.The waters flowing over the limestone and chalk have, over thousands of years, deposited travertine barriers, creating natural dams which in turn have created a series of beautiful lakes, caves and waterfalls. These geological processes continue today. The forests in the park are home to bears, wolves and many rare bird species.
Rastoke - waterfall village placed at branching of two rivers. Rivers branch into numerous waterfalls. Historically, the place was well famous for its mills and flower production. Today you can still see well preserved mills, but mostly they have been turned into residential objects, small restaurants and other mainly touristic objects
With so much more to do and see and no short supply of delicious food and rich culture along the way, there is little doubt that you will ever find yourself struggling for something to do ..
“Less than 20 years ago, the fledgling nation of Croatia was in the throes of the bitter Croatian War of Independence as it declared sovereignty from Yugoslavia. Front lines were drawn, road and railway connections were cut by the fighting, and tourism was dead.
In the years since the war ended in the late 1990s, Croatia’s coastline and its 1,244 largely unspoilt islands have emerged as one of Europe’s top tourist hotspots. The likes of Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Rovinj have added a new range of hotels and restaurants to their already attractive Venetian- and Roman-era architecture, and the Adriatic waters are now alive with yachts.
But Croatia’s interior, where the war began and hit hardest, has been largely left behind, and swathes of the Lika and Karlovac regions -which lie between the capital of Zagreb and the coast - remain devoid of visitors.
In the city of Karlovac, the capital of the Karlovac region and the former front line of the war, many of the buildings remain pockmarked by bullets, and the damage intensifies as you reach the outlying villages that had been taken by Serbian forces.
Today, however, a range of newly popular active sports are reinvigorating the former battlefields, as travellers discover a world of ice-blue rivers, rugged hills and thick forests, which unfurls south from Karlovac to meet the vertiginous Velebit mountains that rise up towards the coast. This may be Europe and a country that joined the EU this year, but it is also a remote escape where wolves and bears still roam wild.
Given the undulating and unspoilt local terrain, hiking is an obvious attraction, and hundreds of kilometres of trails cover the Lika and Karlovac regions. In the last few years, local tourist authorities have started to promote tourism to the area through the creation of trail maps and improved trail markings. Many of the region’s trails are also suitable for mountain bikers, including a 51km circular route from the town of Generalski Stol and a 26km route along the Mrežnica river from Juzbašići village. ...”
Join our trip and spend 4 days/3 nights in the stunning north Croatian countryside with its picturesqe towns and villages,emerald clear rivers....
TO CONFIRM YOUR PLACE:
1) Please RSVP & pay the initial £10 deposit
2)Please transfer the remaining £369 to the following account details within 3 days:
Account Name: Petra Bosnjak
Bank: Lloyds tsb
Transaction Ref: 'Yoganeta trip'
• Day 1 THURSDAY arrival
arrival with Easyjet flight 6:35-9:50 / transfer to Mreznica (1.5h) for lunch and start of the cycling
sleep in Mreznica lodge
A true Croatian adventure can start!
We rest for the next funfilled day! Our accomodation is something special. Ecotourism Mrežnica is located in the village Mrežnica which is situated on the hill above the mouth of the river Tounčica into Mreznica, or above the waterfall Sastavci. Sourranded by the unspoiled nature, almost the only inhabitants are deers and rabbits, and other wild animals that you can spot from the terrace.
• Day 2 FRIDAY
after morning yoga and breakfast we have the whole day to explore the surrounding trails and hidden cascades on foot and by rafting on Mreznica !
sleep in Mreznica lodge
Mreznica, one of Croatia's finest and clearest rivers, ideal for rafting, kayaking and canoeing. This typical ‘karst’ river with numerous travertine waterfalls interspersed with calm water can reach 27 degrees Celsius in the summer! Due to its biological diversity and variety of habitats, the Mreznica area will soon be categorized as a Croatian Nature Park.The main characteristic of the region is that is covered with forests, and rivers Mrežnica and Korana run through it. Nature is still extremely preserved. There is no industry, roads and polution in the vicinity. The region is sparsely populated. Currently there is only one family in the village Mrežnica living as permanent resident.
• Day 3 SATURDAY
after early breakfast transfer to Plitvice lakes where we have the day to discover the most beautiful national park and its waterfalls
on our return we stop in village of Rastoke where we have dinner-the local specialty is trout (dinner not included)
We head towards the Samobor Nature Park (2h) where we spend the night in a mountain pension
After first making your tummy happy, and packing your lunch-we will head towards the most famous Croatian national park- Plitvice lakes!
We will have a day of hiking/walking through the park and embracing it's spectacular beauty...
The Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia's most popular tourist attraction, was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1979. Located roughly halfway between capital city Zagreb and Zadar on the coast, the lakes are a definitely must-see. (As confirmed by the many emails we've received!)
The beauty of the National Park lies in its sixteen lakes, inter-connected by a series of waterfalls, and set in deep woodland populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and rare bird species.The National Park covers a total area of 300 square kilometres, whilst the lakes join together over a distance of eight kilometres.
There's also quite an altitude difference - the highest point is at 1,280m, the lowest at 380m - although the total height difference between the lakes themselves is only 135m. (Veliki Slap, the largest waterfall, is 70m tall.) If you're undecided about whether or not to visit Plitvice Lakes, take a look at any photo album of the Park and that will surely sway you! The official Plitvice Lakes website has a fantastic photo album.
There really is nothing better than to walk (or hike) through the Park, taking in the beautiful surroundings and admiring the lakes, waterfalls, nature and wildlife. The Park prints out maps for a number of different walks, of varying lengths, that can be undertaken starting from either entrance - who's tough enough for the 8 hour sightseeing walk?!:) There is also an electric boat that takes you from one side of the largest lake to the other. This boat runs all year round, more frequently during summer.A "panoramic train" ( shuttle bus) also runs within a particular route in the park. You can walk part of the way through the park and then hop on the shuttle bus to take you back to one of the entrances.Best of all, Plitvice Lakes isn't just for summer. It's a stunning place to visit any time of year as the different seasons sea the Park take on different hues. Even in winter - Plitvice is also amazing to see in the snow.
Halfway between Plitvice and Mreznica we will stop in the village of Rastoke for dinner.
A watermill village situated where the blue-green waters of river Slunjčica flows into the Korana river.
Most of the houses were built at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Because of its extraordinary natural beauties and historical tradition, in 1962 Rastoke village fell under the protection of the State Directorate for cultural and historical heritage. Many ancient civilizations, as well as contemporary urban environments whitness that the water has always attracted people to come to its banks and settle there.
For thousands of years, the waters of Korana and Slunjčica, and their flora and fauna, fought the laws of nature, and as a result of this struggle in the limestone plateau, a remarkable canyon was carved in for us to take pleasure in.
Seeing this natural phenomenon, this "poured off" ("rastočen") terrain, a place where the waters of river Slunjčica pour off in several backwaters, leaving behind small elevations which then form watercourses and waterfalls, people built a village and named it RASTOKE.
Here, they found everything they needed and stayed here, forever bound with nature.
Rastoke is a village of ambiance value and authentic heritage when it comes to architecture, and according to some records, it was built in the 17th century, possibly even earlier.
Most of the houses were built at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
People have always lived in Rastoke. Grain from nearby villages was constantly being milled here, and since its location is by the main road – which connects southern and northern part of Croatia – it became the intersection of various buyers, dealers and live stock traders.
This rich village constantly suffered war damages and other social-caused troubles that destroyed it and set its development back to the beginning.
Although people were forced to move away, the nature always stayed and defied the odds with its distinctiveness.Because of its extraordinary natural beauties and historical tradition, in 1962 the Rastoke village fell under the protection of the State Directorate for cultural and historical heritage.
During the Homeland War in the 1990's, the village was completely destroyed. It was renovated with the help of Croatian Ministry of Development and Reconstruction.
Today, there are about 30 households in Rastoke, and their wish is to renew the water mills and start running businesses.
After tasting the trout- the local delicacies in the village of Rastoke, we will be taking a road through Gorski kotar towards the wine region of Plesivica -peaceful, idyllic hills and vineyard terraces stretching as far as eye can see, cellars full of wine and bermet, while heading to a special little village in the hills of Samobor and Zumberak nature park.
• Day 4 SUNDAY
After opening our eyes to the colours of the autum, and morning meditation with Yoganeta,we will please our taste buds with yummy breakfast and then head on foot towards Samobor,a charming medieval town where you will have free time to walk around and refresh with famous custard slice or do a short hike up to the medieval castle ruins and a viewpoint tower.
With covered bridges, a trickling brook stocked with trout and two-storey red-roofed houses, Samobor looks almost unreal. Just walking around soothes the spirit. Only 20km from Zagreb, it seems to be worlds away from Croatia's busy capital and has a beautifully preserved medieval ambience. Samobor is also the place to head for Carnival; it's famous throughout Croatia.
One of the best things to do in Samobor is eating! One simply must try Rudorska greblica(a special cheesecake prepared according to an age-old recipe),Samoborske kremsnite (cake of custard and flaky pastry) along with a glass of Samobor's famous aperitif, Bermet .This picturesque town with its preserved city centre has a long excursion and tourist tradition and is the cradle of mountaineering in Croatia.
After lunch and saying goodbye ,you will be transferred to Zagreb airport for Easyjet flight departing 16:50
PRICE of 379,00 £ INCLUDES:
return transport from/to Zagreb Airport
3xbreakfast,4xlunch,2xdinner (dinner in the village of Rastoke not included)
2x wooden cottage accommodation
1x mountain pension accommodation
CYCLING tour and bicycle rental
YOGA with Yoganeta
2 local guides
honey tasting and beekeeping lesson
chesnut roasting night :)
surprise welcome gift
flights (currently 100£ with Easyjet return)
travel insurance( mandatory)
Plitvice national park entrance
Rastoke dinner (Menu http://www.petro-rastoke.com/wpimages/petro%20jelovnik_web.pdf)
*please note, we reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary, depending on wind and weather conditions or organizational requirements and group fitness level
you will need to have travel insurance and provide details before travel. Croatia is in the EU but not is Schengen area,so please check with the Croatian Embassy if you need a visa to travel here. It is your responsibility to obtain all necessary travel documents, including visas.
Book flights early,while they are cheap! If you are arriving earlier,the meeting point is at Zagreb Airport ,thursday morning 9:50 as we leave straight from the airport towards the river.
Food is locally grown and mostly organic,please let us know is you have any special dietary requests or food allergies.
Special diet products are sometimes hard to find and expensive in Croatia, therefore you might need to bring some with you or pay a food supplement.
Rastoke village is famous for its fish and other delicacies , and we can treat ourselves with dinner in a local “konoba” - restaurant (not included).
The green part of continental Croatia, located on four rivers is a pure and healthy environment, with fresh air and the scent of nature.A combination of continental and Mediterranean climate.Rivers, small lakes, streams and waterfalls are interlaced with groves, meadows and forests rich with mushrooms, chestnut-trees and unexplored caves. Particularly interesting are freshwater fish from the natural wealth of rivers and fish-ponds. A tradition of hunting is carefully nourished in that area as well, thus the smell of tempting dishes made from game and mushrooms is a frequent and welcome experience.
Chestnuts, like hazelnuts and almonds, etc., are free in gluten and stand out from other nuts and seeds for their distinct nutrition profile. They are exceptionally rich in vitamin-C and an excellent source of minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc, besides providing a very good amount of potassium Wild mushrooms provide the best non-animal source of vitamin D.
Ecovillage Mreznica-wooden cottage
In the beautiful countryside, on a hill above the river is Ecotourism Mrežnica. Accommodation capacities are 4 wooden houses. The ground floor of each house is the kitchen, living room and terrace, and upstairs are 3 bedrooms with 6 +4 persons. There is a barbecue and a large rotisseries. Guests can enjoy a walk along the river or ride bikes around the woods, fishing, kayaking or sail in a wooden boat.
Surrounded by the unspoiled nature, almost the only inhabitants are deers and rabbits, and other wild animals that you can spot from the terrace.Village Mreznica is located in the parish of Karlovac, district Barilovic. The closest villages/little towns are Perjasice which is 10 km away, and Generalski Stol which is 17 km away.Barilovic.Mrežnica village can be reached by gravel road.It is surrounded by birch and oak forest and it's completely separated from other houses in the village which makes is ideal for our Yoganeta practices and meditation.
Mountain pension “Gogo”
We will be staying at a family owned mountain pension.There are 2 twin, 1 triple,2 double rooms at our disposal.
This is a peaceful place full of nature and flowers, and numerous mountain paths. It is situated on the slopes of the Samobor mountains Natural Park in a little village,Slani Dol, which is 7 km from Samobor (nearest town), and from the capital Zagreb 25 miles. There is also a rustic restaurant with a cozy atmosphere and you will taste homemade dishes prepared by the pension owners, Goran and Zeljka with the produce from their garden in a traditional way. One of the specialties is trout from the mountain streams, locally picked wild mushroom soup ,homemade nettle and corn bread, apple strudel,cheesecake...etc.There is a large terrace for our morning yoga sessions, with the extended view of the mountains to fully awaken our spirits!Accommodation is simple, but clean and offers a comfortable sleep and rest outside of the bustling city.There is Tv and Wi-Fi,but we wont need it....
Authentic and organic taste of the pristine nature
No previous rafting experience is needed.
Professional rafting boats are used for max 8 persons, with one trained guide in each boat. You will get a helmet, a life jacket, a paddle and one waterproof container per boat for personal items (camera, drinks, etc.). Shorts or bathing suit, T-shirt and sandals (or sport shoes) is all you need to wear on the river. In case of colder weather bring a long-sleeved shirt. Don't forget your towel, sun cream and water.
Requirements (Level 1-2)
The bike route is approx 20 km and requires a basic level of fitness, which you should have acquired by occasional or daily cycling.It covers hilly terrain but can be completed without time constraints.The roads are mostly gravel and there is barely any traffic since this is quite a remote area.Helmet Use
is mandatory. You are strongly encouraged to bring your own well-fitted helmet. Rental helmets are available for free but in limited number (reservation requested).
yoga will be led by Aneta http://www.yoganeta.com/
Make sure you bring your mats and suitable yoga clothes!
OUR LOCAL GUIDES will be Petra and Zeljko, a young Croatian couple who would love to share their passion for nature and outdoors. Zeljko is 33 and he is and engineer. Petra is 28 and a cycling tour guide in the summer on the Croatian islands.
They both enjoy beekeeping, owning 18 beehives in the mountains and 2 in their lovely organic garden.They will be happy to tell us everything about it and give us a taste of this natural healthy treat that those hardworking little buzzing animals produce by processing flower nectar.Honey has a long history of human consumption, and is used in various foods and beverages as a sweetener and flavouring. It also has a role in religion and symbolism.It is also used in various medicinal traditions to treat ailments.
Petra is passionate about herbal medicines,the knowledge that she inherited from her grandma.Herbal medicines ( plants and teas) are widely used throughout the country.
Springtime and autumn are the times when they both enjoy getting lost in woods with their friends and finding mushrooms,berries, chestnuts....
WHAT TO BRING?
you will receive a pack list via separate email
INFO AND PHOTOS:
EASY JET , CROATIAAIRLINES AND BRITISH AIRWAYS all fly to Zagreb Pleso airport.
Suggested flight is Easyjet flight at 06:35 from Gatwick, arriving to Zagreb 09:50.
Flight prices are currently from 100 Gbp, return per person so book early!
If someone wants to make an arrangement to arrive earlier than scheduled,please contact for more info.