Trip of the Week: Rastoke, Slunj

Total Croatia News

The beauty of Plitvice, without all the crowds.

We all know just how gorgeous Plitvice Lakes are, but we are also aware of just how crowded they can get. Did you know that they have a smaller sibling nearby, and what better day to visit the town where they are located than on its founding day, on August 6?

Located between Karlovac and Plitvice Lakes, some 100 km or a two-hour drive from Zagreb, Slunj is a town with a population of 1,600 and a place where rivers Korana and Slunjčica meet. Slunjčica forms beautiful waterfalls along the way, the most famous of which can be found in Rastoke, sometimes known as “the Small Plitvice Lakes”.


Wikimedia Commons

The beautiful landscape has gone through some turbulent periods in history – the region around Slunj used to be a no man’s land between Europe and the Ottoman Empire, then it was part of the Military Frontier, an Austro-Hungarian Province whose aim was to defend the monarchy against Ottoman attacks, then it became part of the French Illyrian Provinces, and the area was destroyed during the Homeland War (1991 – 1995).

The Napoleon Magazine; Wikimedia Commons

There is also a fortress, Old Town of Slovin, built by the Frankopan family in the 16th c. as part of the defensive system against the Ottoman invasions.

Slunj Tourist Board

The most important sights in Rastoke are its mills – the oldest one dates back to the 17 c., and, at one point, there were 22 of them along Slunjčica.

View of Rastoke
Wikimedia Commons

Every mill normally had two or three millstones and they were used for grinding different types of corn and wheat. The power of water was also used for pounding woollen cloths, and by adding rotating barrels with holes in them, the water was strong enough to be used as a washing machine.

Wikimedia Commons

Thanks to the area’s remarkable natural sights and history, Rastoke was put under national monument protection in 1962.

When you visit, try the bread from Rastoke – made from freshly ground corn, a combination of wheat, maize, barley, rye and millet, kneaded by using the water of the Slunjčica and homemade yeast.

You can reach Rastoke in two hours if you have a car (click here for ViaMichelin map and instructions), and, if you don’t have a car, there are more than 10 daily buses, with prices ranging from HRK 44 to 79. Find out more here.

Slunj Tourist Office can be reached at:

Ulica braće Radić 7
47240 Slunj

Phone: +385 47 777 630, +385 98 460 645

Email: [email protected]

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