Nature Park Učka covers the eponymous mountain and part of Ćićarija area. It is located along the northern Adriatic coast on one of the northernmost points of the Mediterranean, binding Istria and the continental part of the Croatia. Surface of the Nature Park is 160 km2.
The values for which the Učka was declared a nature park in 1999 have been known for a long time, and they lie in its relief and closeness to the sea, resulting in the development of specific climate and lush forest vegetation.
The area of the Nature Park Učka is rich in plant and animal life. Indented relief, diversity of soil, climate, and human activity favoured the development of numerous and various types and forms of flora and fauna. In the Nature Park Učka over 1,200 plant species is distributed, some of which have special natural-historic meaning of endemic species like stenoendemics Učka bellflower, which grows only on Učka. Within the borders of the Park there are about 150 species of birds, out of which over 70 nest here. For bird lovers a unique experience is watching the flight of the griffon vulture or the golden eagle.
A special place among the attractive sites of the Park, as geomorphologic natural monument, occupies the canyon Vela draga, which with its attractive few dozen meters high limestone towers for decades attracts fans of free climbing and mountaineering.
Karst areas like Učka and Ćićarija are particularly valuable and interesting for their subterranean fauna, which is predominantly endemic and protected by law. At the area of the Nature Park Učka approximately 200 speleological objects are registered, among which sinkholes are predominant.
In addition to the natural values in the Nature Park Učka there is a rich and interesting cultural heritage which includes the traditionally built houses, numerous dry stone walls and shepherd huts, as well as various religious buildings.
In the Park many educational and hiking trails are arranged. Vojak, the highest peak of Učka (1401 m), leads in respect of the wealth of alpine vegetation. On Vojak the tower - lookout was built in 1911, which is now some sort of a symbol of the park, and the magnificent view of 360 degrees, which spreads from Vojak on Istria, Kvarner islands, Velebit, Gorski Kotar and the Alps, makes it one of the most beautiful lookouts in Croatia. Nature Park Učka offers a unique experience of natural resources through presently increasingly popular outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, climbing, free flying and others. "Učka Outdoor" combines 50 marked hiking trails, 8 trails for mountain biking, some 60 landscaped climbing routes, and arranged take offs on Brgud and Vojak for gliders and paraglide flying.
A special experience represents ethno-gastro event "Učka Fair" which is held every year on the first Sunday in September.
There, in addition to the good vibrations, you can enjoy the culinary delicacies such as sheep milk cheese, homemade brandy and wine, ham and other traditional local dishes.
The area of the Park is well connected with the Istrian peninsula and the Kvarner area. The "Istarski ipsilon” (Istrian Y) road should be emphasized which by the tunnel through Učka connects Istria to a network of Croatian highways, Adriatic highway along the coast, and the "old" county road over Učka which leads the visitors from Istria and Kvarner to the pass Poklon (922 m), right in the middle of the Park. From the urban centres the closest are Opatija 25 km and Rijeka 32 km.
The vicinity of the two international airports, Rijeka (32km) and Pula, as well as of the sea ports, completes the good connection of the Park with Croatia and Europe.
PUBLIC INSTITUTION "NATURE PARK UČKA"
Liganj 42, 51415 Lovran
Tel. switchboard: 00385 (0)51/293-753
Tel/fax: 00385 (0)51/293-751