Centuries-old paths that have been walked by the ‘dairy-women’ will take you from Opatija to the hinterland.
Centuries-old paths that have been walked by the ‘dairy-women’ will take you from Opatija to the hinterland, where you can explore the Učka slopes and taste all the delicious fruit of this region - honey, sweet chestnuts or ‘maruni, wine and olive oil.
The centuries-old paths that connect locations on the Učka slopes with the centre of Opatija were paved by dairy-women - women who brought products from their households to the town market, such as cheeses, wine, milk, eggs or vegetables - to sell to Opatija's residents and wealthy guests. The Učka Safari will take you in the opposite direction, from the coast towards the top of Učka, to get to know not only the natural beauty but also the excellent local products that are made according to tradition, dating back to the times of the dairy-women.
First stop: Perišić family estate
The starting point is at Slatina, Opatija, just above the beach. From there, the hiking trail ascends to the Vrutki spring, well worth the attention of passers-by; on the opposite side of the famous Carmen Sylva forest promenade, it forks off towards the picturesque Poljane. If you stop in Poljane for a short break, visit the Perisić family estate, taste the olive oil and feed the fish in the small family lake.
Second stop: Taste the honey produced by the Depoli family
Before continuing the climb, get a strong boost from the honey of the Depoli family, at whose estate you can "mingle" with the bees and book an appointment to hang out in a very special tavern. In the autumn, this will be an opportunity to taste freshly picked sweet chestnuts or maruni, a "speciality" from the Učka forests that grows only in this area.
Final stop: An excellent gastronomic experience at the Učka boarding house
Following refreshments, you will encounter the most demanding part of the road - the ascent to the Poklon pass, where you can have an excellent gastronomic experience at the Učka boarding house, or continue on to the highest Istrian peak of Vojak, which offers an amazing view of the entire Kvarner Bay, Rijeka, Istria and the islands.
Returning on foot will not be a problem during the summer, but due to the shorter days in winter, late autumn and early spring, it is recommended that you arrange in advance your return by car or bus from Poklon.
Before setting off on the Učka safari, you can find out more information about the highest Istrian mountain at the Tourist Information Centre in Slatina, near the departure point. Be sure to start your hike well-equipped: you will need quality shoes and comfortable multi-layered clothing due to the significant difference in temperature between land at sea level and on the mountain top. Don’t forget to bring enough water and, depending on the season and weather conditions, a cap, windbreaker and raincoat, or sunglasses and sunscreen for the face.