Fužine is a destination with its own unique charm, offering a winter wonderland experience unlike much of Croatia. Nestled in the Gorski Kotar region, it stands apart from regions like Dalmatia and Istria by virtue of its rigorous winters. It’s not the easiest place to call home year-round, but it makes for an exceptional two-week getaway.
Yes, the winters here can be quite intense. However, if you stick around till the end of this article, you’ll discover why Fužine is just as enchanting as the rest of Croatia.
What sets this place apart from the coastal regions is that tourists often flock to Gorski Kotar’s hotels during the winter months, particularly for the holidays. And here’s the kicker for Fužine: it’s blanketed in snow during the winter season, yet in the summer, you get pleasantly mild temperatures, all within a 45-minute drive of the sea. You might even find yourself reaching for a blanket in July or August before drifting off to sleep.
Now, if you’ve never experienced a Fužine summer, picture this: You spend your day driving down to Crikvenica or Novi Vinodolski (a 45-minute drive), where you practically sizzle at a scorching 40°C (104°F). You take a refreshing dip in the sea, maybe rent a boat, and so on. Then, as the day winds down, you make the 45-minute return trip and, relish in the natural coolness, the scent of pine trees, and settle into a comfortable 22°C (71.6°F) for the night.
When you wake up, you might just find yourself enjoying your morning coffee outdoors, donning a long-sleeved shirt. Intrigued yet?
Fužine during winter, Fužine during summer
Two contrasting facets, each offering a unique balm for the soul and a means of rejuvenation. It truly boils down to what you’re seeking. Let’s dive into it.
Winter bestows upon Fužine an enchanting ambiance. Picture a snug couch nestled by the crackling fireplace, infused with the distinctive aroma of chestnuts, or a steaming cup of tea. Precisely what the doctor ordered for a recharge. Whether it’s immersing yourself in a captivating book after a day on the sled or crafting a snowman with your loved ones, mark my words; your vacation will seem to whisk by in a flash!
Spring heralds the arrival of the first sunbeams, inviting you to explore the myriad hiking trails. It’s time to swap out skis for a bike and ensure your camera is ready for those panoramic vistas.
Come summer, you have the option to enjoy a brisk dip in the lake or embark on an extensive hike in the nearby mountains. Snježnik and Risnjak are a mere stone’s throw away, but for a more abbreviated jaunt, consider a trek towards Mahavica (boasting spectacular views of the Crikvenica Riviera), Potkobiljak, or Viševica. Can’t make up your mind? Just tackle the entire 27-mile circuit around the Fužine area.
Along the way, you’ll assuredly encounter an abundance of medicinal herbs such as yarrow, lavender, thyme, and St. John’s wort.
Autumn, I have to admit, might just be the prime season for a visit to Fužine. Especially for the outdoorsy types, as there’s still plenty of opportunity for a bike ride, a scenic run around Lake Bajer, or even a shot at angling in Lepenica Lake. Unlike other times of the year, the forest is teeming with nature’s bounty—mushrooms, apples, plums, and hazelnuts. It’s advisable to tote along a basket when heading to your nearest forest! However, do remain vigilant for the occasional bear, fox, or wild boar, and make sure to return to your accommodation before nightfall!
Not up for fishing? Opt for a kayak or paragliding adventure instead.
Let’s not forget autumn presents an excellent window to explore one of the select eateries specializing in domestic and game cuisine, featuring forest-reared wild animals. And if you’ve secured accommodation with a sauna, (included in Fužine’s only hotel Bitoraj), you’re practically guaranteed a successful autumn getaway.
When Fužine comes to mind, it evokes images of pristine lakes, dense woodlands, and unspoiled wilderness. The invigorating air, winter’s snowy embrace, and the availability of hearty local fare combine to offer a sanctuary from the bustling city.
If you’re keen on staying near the picturesque Bajer Lake showcased above, let’s take a peek at eHotel.hr‘s usual suspects. We’ll scope out potential hotels, dining spots, and more. Let’s get started!
Fužine primarily offers private accommodations and a hostel. However, there is one hotel available for those seeking that option.
- Hotel Bitoraj (four stars – * * * *)
We’ll save the discussion about hotels in the neighboring towns of Gorski Kotar, such as Delnice, Ravna Gora, Mrkopalj, and others, for another occasion.
We’ll reserve a dedicated article to delve into the finer details of Hotel Bitoraj. However, it’s worth noting that this establishment is perfectly situated in the heart of Fužine. This places the stunning Bajer Lake, along with its picturesque natural walkway, just a mere 200 meters away, making it incredibly accessible for guests.
Fužine cave – Vrelo
I can’t believe I still have mentioned the Vrelo cave.
We are well into the article, and it’s about time I mention another perk that Fužine has to offer, unlike most destinations in Croatia. According to ShowCaves.com, there are around 60 caves you can visit in entire Croatia. This one is located a mere 3km from Hotel Bitoraj.
With that being said, you can reach it via a nice walkway by the lake (45 minutes one-way, 3 kilometers). And reserve around 20 minutes for walking in the cave itself. Perfect for a boring autumn afternoon or post-lunch break. Speaking of lunch, where can you find something tasty?
Upon closer examination of the aerial photo of Fužine, it becomes evident that it is indeed a quaint town. Despite its size, it boasts several restaurants that excel in offering fine cuisine. An excellent strategy to keep in mind is aligning your visit with the seasons when particular “forest gifts” are at their peak. Mushrooms and wild berries, in particular, take the spotlight!
While it’s true that mushrooms can be enjoyed year-round, paying a visit to Fužine in September promises a particularly delightful treat for your taste buds!
- Bitoraj (Game, steak, meat, vegeterian – Fužine)
- Konoba Volta (Meat, gnocchi – Fužine)
- Lovački dom Arnika (Game, meat, vegeterian – Fužine)
- Pizzeria Furman (Pizza, meat – Vrata)
- Fast food “Royal Food” (Fast food – Fužine)
- Planinarski dom Vagabundina koliba (Game, vegeterian – Forrest 14km away from Fužine)
One note when it comes to these restaurants. Compared to Bol or Rab (destination mentioned on eHotel.hr) the competition is not as near as fierce. Just a heads up that you shouldn’t expect 50 other restaurants (like in Rab or Bol). In Fužine, this is pretty much it. On the other hand, one of these locations will surely satisfy even those that demand a certain level of standards.
In the end…
There are a couple of noteworthy mentions we’d like to add, such as Fužine’s unique New Year celebration at noon—an initiative that has been adopted by other towns in Croatia. Additionally, there’s the intriguing Cowboy village of Roswell.
As I highlighted in my initial article about Rab, our website has just taken off. This implies that we’ll revisit and enhance this article at a later date, incorporating more details and enriching the content. So, stay tuned for even more exciting updates!