Zeleni Vir & Vrajži prolaz – special geomorphological reserve

The area of Vrajži prolaz (the name in Croatian means “devil’s gate”) and Zeleni Vir (=“green vortex”) were for the first time properly explored and described by Croatian natural scientist and researcher Dragutin Hirc in 1880. Vrajži prolaz and Zeleni Vir nowadays is much friendlier than in Hirc’s time, but it’s still a spectacular breathtaking landscape characterized by a great force of water, magnificent rocks and lush vegetation.

As you stay in Doluš, the nearest acess point from the cottage to the Vrajži prolaz and Zeleni Vir site is in about 12 km. If you want to explore all three walking trails in that interesting site, you’ll have to prepare yourself to spend there at least four hours. Equip yourself with comfortable footwear and appropriate (layered) clothing. Even the hottest summer days in the area of Vrajži prolaz canyon could be very fresh and cool.

From Brod na Kupi you’ll go in the direction of Delnice, driving along the Kupica flow. On the left side of the road you’ll notice a big guidepost pointing to the left. By following that direction you’ll pass over a small bridge. You can make a small pause here; kids enjoy throwing leaves, flowers and branches into the water, watching how fast it flows below the bridge. At this point there is an estuary formed from the meeting of the river Kupica and the Iševnica creek.

After that, drive on following the road that leads you along the course of the Iševnica creek, through the village of Iševnica towards Donji Ložac. You’ll have to pass a crossroad for Ložac village, continuing your drive a bit further in the same direction (passing under power lines). Soon after that you’ll reach a small crossroad on which (if you want to enter Vrajži prolaz & Zeleni vir by foot) you’ll have to turn right to the macadam road. That road ends after few hundred of meters in the woods. From there you can walk following a nice and romantic walking trail along the creek. The walking path is about 1800 meters long, easy and beautiful, suitable for kids and senior walkers. For me it is the best access route to Vrajži prolaz and Zeleni Vir.

If you don’t want to walk so much, you’ll keep driving uphill the asphalt road in order to reach the restaurant in the middle of the site by car. You’ll go towards villages of Zakrajc Brodski and Gorica. This road will take you through the woods and by the nice meadows of the Skrad’s plateau. On the crossroad just before the Gorica village there is a small chapel. At that point you’ll have to turn right. By a steep and narrow road you’ll start to descend through the forest. If you’re a biologist, botanist or a forester – you’ll notice it is a nice beech forest with hop hornbeam… But at this part of the way it’s better for you to be concentrated to the road, your car brakes and driving skills. The road is narrow and without railings. It’s possible to bypass vehicles from the opposite direction only on bypass shoulders built every few hundred meters along the road. At the end of that downhill drive you’ll find yourself at the parking lot just in front of the restaurant.

You should buy tickets at the restaurant. People who have tried, said that food and accommodation is very good there. Blueberry “štrudla” cake and/or blueberry pancakes are known as a must try!

Now you can decide wich direction of the site will you explore first – Vrajži prolaz or Zeleni vir.

Vrajži prolaz is an impressive canyon, very narrow, carved by water into steep carbonate rocks. Water makes interesting panoramas, small swirly “pots” and waterfalls. All that quantities of water originate from the plateau of Skrad and Kupjak, trickling over watertight rocks down to the canyon merging into the creek called Jasle.

The Vrajži prolaz walking trail leads from the restaurant, along the canyon, slightly uphill. It is partly carved into the rocks, and partly built as bridge constructions over the creek. Along the path there are educational boards set, on which you can read basic information about Vrajži prolaz flora. Finally the 40 minute walk ends with a small cave called Muževa hišica. After Muževa hišica cave the trail continues uphill to the Skrad’s railway station.

Another part of educational trail wil lead you from the restaurant along the Curak creek. At the beginning of the walk you’ll see a small hydropower plant called „munjara“. This one was a first hydroelectric plant in Gorski kotar, started its work in 1922 – now considered as a technical culture monument. Munjara operates even today, with the power of 2×0,8 MW. Accumulation water basin for the power plant is fenced by concrete barriers. It is fed by a water spring Zeleni Vir situated in a small cave. The rock above that cave is extraordinary and interesting.  You can approach the cave only through the curtain of water drops made by waterfall that crashes down the cliff beside the cave.

Closely to the Munjara power plant, the Curak creek from Zeleni Vir and the Jasle creek from Vrajži prolaz merge themselves into a small river of Iševnica. Iševnica creek flows to the northwest, to the estuary with the Kupica River from where you’ve begun your today’s trip.

HERE I’ve found a helpful map that will show you all three Zeleni Vir and Vrajži Prolaz access trails and parking places.