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Photo 1. The overlook on the slopes of Drgomalj affords a view of the Kupa River valley and Kuželjska Stijena (Photo by M. Randić)

Green panoramas

 The booklet Zeleni vidici Primorsko-goranske županije: vidikovci na području sliva rijeke Kupe (Green Panoramas in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County: Scenic Overlooks in the Kupa River Basin) was conceived as the first in a series of publications of similar content with descriptions of natural assets, primarily targeting tourists and visitors to Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. It is seen as a kind of (self-)guide book to help people “independently discover the natural beauty and interesting features that are in abundance in our mountain area, but are all too often little known and sometimes completely neglected”. Providing a selection of 13 attractive scenic overlooks in the Kupa River Basin within the County borders, the booklet aims to encourage visitors to set out and explore, each according to their individual capabilities and preferences, the locations they find most interesting. Of course, the region has many more spots with prominent and appealing panoramas than could be “squeezed” between the covers of the booklet. Mention has been made of some of these spots in the text; such are, for example, “overlook-peaks” of which there are many in Gorski Kotar. We believe that some of the excellent photographs (taken by Marko Matešić, Ivana Rogić, Patrik Krstinić and Marko Randić) featured in the booklet are sure to play an important role in “(self-)guiding” visitors to interesting locations.

The overlooks selected and described in the booklet are presented from a number of perspectives. From Severin na Kupi and the overlook in the park of the old castle, from where we gain our first impression of Kupa River, the booklet takes us upstream along the river’s canyon, gradually expanding our understanding and view of the landscape, all the way up to a karst spring near the hamlet of Razloge in Risnjak National Park, where several other, attractive overlooks can be found around the edge of the valley. To ensure visitors have a full experience of the panoramas we recommend, we also selected several prominent and beautiful overlooks above the valleys of Kupa River’s tributaries. These are the overlook near Skrad (above Vražji Prolaz /Devil’s Passage/), the overlook on the slopes of Kupjački Vrh, and the overlook at the Petehovac Mountain Centre (the Delnice Creek basin, a tributary of Kupa River). The booklet tells visitors the easiest way to reach each of the overlooks, which are classified according to ease of access. Geographical coordinates of the overlooks are also listed to facilitate reaching them. The main characteristics of the surrounding flora and fauna are described as we experienced them during our hikes. Of course, everyone will experience, in their own way, the natural features and beauty seen from the overlooks, because impressions greatly depend upon good (and bad) weather conditions; the animals, plants and fungi likely to be found; the time of day; the season of the year…

The booklet was created at the incentive of, and through the joint efforts of, the employees of PI Priroda and Emil Crnković, MSc, a true expert on Gorki Kotar, who co-authored the texts together with Ivana Rogić and Marko Randić, MSc. When dealing with the individual parts of the Kupa River basin, we enlisted the help of expert consultants and other connoisseurs of local conditions, primarily Dragan Turk, MSc. for Risnjak National Park, Emil Tušek for the Brod Moravice region, Ruben Knežević and the Skrad Tourist Board for the overlooks at Skrad, and Franjo Mance for the Kupjački Vrh area. Language editing was done by Adverbum d.d. of Opatija and graphic design by Mladen Stipanović. The booklet was printed in 5,000 copies by Printera grupa.

 M. R.