Five Reasons to Visit Lika in Autumn

Lauren Simmonds

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autumn in lika
Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

October the 22nd, 2023 – We’ve already looked into five reasons you should pay a visit to both Dalmatia and Istria outside of the height of the sweltering summer season, but what about heading further inland? Here are five reasons you should head to gorgeous Lika in autumn.

Lika in autumn is a living painting

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

I know, it sounds so cliche it hurts, but in this case – it’s true. If you’re wanting to see some real seasonality in Croatia and not just the pretty standard Dalmatian weather and evergreen cypress trees, then head to Lika. Known as Croatia’s green heart, this part of the country showcases it all when it comes to the four seasons of the year – and autumn in Lika is absolutely no exception. With a lack of evergreen vegetation in comparison to Dalmatia or coastal Istria, Lika stuns those passing through it with its rich palette of colours. Dazzling reds, oranges, yellows and caked in thick fog – Lika looks like something out of a fairy tale when the sun packs its bags. It’s every photographer’s dream, and if you’re a budding artist looking for some inspiration from nature – then look no further than Lika in autumn.

A glorious hike around Plitvice Lakes National Park without the intense heat

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

I don’t know about you, but the sun beating down on you as you wander around the beautiful cascades of Plitvice Lakes National Park takes the shine off it a bit. While the national park has thankfully limited the number of entrance tickets it sells per day throughout the year, those crowds of people stopping every five minutes and dawdling around are just that bit more irritating in the 40 degree heat of a baking August. While Croatia’s oldest national park is always popular, there are generally less people from abroad in Croatia in autumn in general. Owing to that, hiking around kilometres of magical landscapes like Plitvice Lakes National Park when the temperatures drop and the colours of Lika in autumn emerge is a pleasure like few others for nature lovers. You’re also more likely to catch a glimpse of more local wildlife when things quieten down a bit.

There are less bus-loads of people heading to Nikola Tesla’s hometown – Smiljan

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

Croatia-born inventor Nikola Tesla’s hometown is in Lika, in a tiny village called Smiljan not far from Gospic. In the summer months, bus-loads of visitors from abroad visit the Nikola Tesla memorial complex. The centre boasts the restored childhood home of Tesla, as well as a small museum of just some of the genius’ inventions. In autumn, these crowds and buses lessen, and it’s generally less cramped to walk around the small museum and take in what Tesla did.

The Lika in autumn (Jesen u Lici) manifestation

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

Much like in eastern Croatia, people in Lika celebrate autumn as the season in which they reap the rewards of what they’ve sown throughout the year. Lika-Senj County organises a traditional exhibition-fair event each year called Jesen u Lici (Autumn in Lika), held on the first weekend in October in Gospic. Autumn in Lika is the largest exhibition – sales and traditional manifestation in all of Lika-Senj County, as well as in the wider region. Exhibitors present their products, and use the opportunity to exchange their knowledge and experience. The event is also used for contracting mutual cooperation. Many local agricultural, food, utility and decorative products made by small farms dotted all over Lika can be found there. Given Lika’s expanse, those items come from continental, coastal and even the island parts of the wider county. The event seeks to primarily promote the high quality and rich diversity of original and traditional products from Lika-Senj County and allow for their wider marketing.

Cycling in Lika is best in autumn

There are many properly arranged and maintained bike paths across Lika-Senj County, and for lovers of life on two-wheels and of nature, there’s no better time to come and do that than when the leaves begin changing colour. Some paths cross the imposing Velebit mountain, and there are various paths intended for those who are more professional cyclists and those who just fancy engaging in a bit of easy-going recreation. With far less intense heat but still typically a lot of light still to enjoy during the daylight hours, cycling up and down Lika’s rolling hills and taking in the seemingly endless views of unspoiled nature is a way of seeing a typically very overlooked part of this spectacular country.

Fancy visiting Dalmatia and Istria in autumn? Click here and here!


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