The Učka Nature Park includes the homonymous mountain and a part of the hilly plateau Ćićarija, and is located along the north Adriatic coast on one of the northest points of the Mediterranean, connecting the Istrian peninsula and the continental part of Croatia.
The values upon which the Učka Nature Park was constituted are know for a long time, they lie in its relief and the closeness of the sea, which created the conditions for the development of a specific climate and a lush forest vegatation. To this must be added other rich habitats such as meadows and other anthropogenic ones inhabitat by a vast number of endemic, endangered and protected plant and animal species.
The beauty of the mountains of Učka and Ćićarija has always attracted plenty of attention from day-trippers and visitors for whom these green oases of peace represent a refuge to escape the bustle and crowds of the city. Being well located near so many major urban centres, Mount Učka has always been a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers.
After Mount Učka and part of the Ćićarija mountain range were declared the Učka Nature Park, preconditions were established for better and more organised development of tourism in the area. However, there is one very specific thing to bear in mind when speaking about tourism in protected areas: visiting these areas must not in any way degrade the natural or human-made features for which the protection was declared in the first place.
Setting up tables at the entrances to the park, brown signs on the roads, signposts at the crossings of the main hiking routes, and boards explaining the rules of behaviour, were the first steps to creating the necessary tourist infrastructure and organising a system for visitors. This was an indispensable priority for a systematic and well-organised development of the park. Many efforts have been made to provide a better infrastructure, essential for creating a more compelling tourism offer aimed at presenting the beautiful nature of the area at its best and making each visit to Učka and Ćićarija an unforgettable experience.
THE UČKA NATURE PARK “ID”:
- AREA: The massif of Učka and a part of Ćićarija
- SIZE: 160 km2
- HIGHEST PEAKS: Vojak 1401 m, Veli Planik 1272 m
- YEAR OF ESTABLISHING: 1999
- COUNTIES: Istrian, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County
- CITIES: Opatija
- TOWNS: Kršan, Lanišće, Lovran, Lupoglav, Matulji, Mošćenička Draga
What’s the definition of ‘nature park’?
A ‘nature park’ is a wide natural or partly cultivated area of land and/or sea rich in biodiversity and/or geodiversity, with valuable ecological features, underlined landscape and cultural-historical values. The ‘nature park’ purposes are scientific, cultural, educational and recreational, while economic activities are allowed under the conditions to not threaten the core values of the area.