Karlovac is not only famous for its parks and rivers, but also for its rich sports tradition that exists for 200 years. As you walk through the city, you will often see people running on banks and biking, which is quite common.
Namely, the sport is so popular in Karlovac that almost every empty surface has basketball and football courts, or the increasingly popular outdoor training grounds – the so-called street workout.
Regardless of whether you are visiting Karlovacas a tourist or you are just a day passer or maybe you live in it and you want to try some sport activity to improve your health, everyone in Karlovac will find something for themselves and the offer of activities is colorful and versatile.
Karlovac offers absolutely everything, from gyms, football pitches (indoor and outdoor), handball courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts, water jumps, swimming pools for everyone who loves water sports, athletic running tracks, baseball courts, winter skating rinks, hiking and biking trails, and also boats and canoes.
Using a bicycle as a means of transportation is quite a common thing, and a bicycle is considered to be the primary means of moving around the city. If you are looking for cycling trails and routes, you will be delighted that Karlovac has a lot of them – both shorter and longer routes. The culture of cycling around the city of Karlovac originated in the 19th century and has continued to this day.
For lovers of adrenaline fun, Karlovac is a great location. In some of its beautiful forests, you can have fun with your friends playing paintball or airsoft or go exploring the surroundings on a quad or ATV vehicles.
However, if you like a more peaceful form of entertainment, try bow-and-arrow or air rifle shooting, and if you are not comfortable shooting you can try fishing on one of the Karlovac rivers.
If you do not feel like doing a sport that requires too much physical activity, a stroll through the city and its beautiful parks and gardens is a great choice to spend the day, and you can also visit some of the most famous tourist attractions. For a full day of nature enjoyment, have a picnic on one of the four rivers of Karlovac and enjoy the shade and beautiful natural surroundings.
Recreation in Karlovac
If you are a fan of bodybuilding, professional or amateur or just want to carve your body before going to the seaside, there are several gyms and fitness centers available in Karlovac that will allow you to devote yourself to your favorite recreation in top-quality rooms, all accompanied and supervised by professional trainers.
If you prefer to spend the day outdoors and weight lifting is not appealing to you, take advantage of the outdoor Street workout parks located at almost every corner and in every block. Street workout is a way of exercising using only your body weight, which has become very popular in the last few years, and Karlovac has not bypassed this popularity.
Among the more famous gyms in Karlovac, we will mention the KinesisLab Fitness Center and the Grabrik Fitness Center, which has been operating in the Grabrik city district for over 10 years. There are also the Blue gym and the Fitness Of Karlovac gyms.
In Karlovac, as well as in the rest of Croatia, football has always been a popular sport, so there are several football fields in the city where you can have fun with your team. You can play football in the indoor or outdoor soccer fields.
In Vunsko Polje, in the immediate vicinity of the school sports hall, there is an outdoor sports and recreation center on a large green area where you can play handball and football on artificial turf fields, as well as an artificial basketball court, two volleyball courts, in-line hockey and roller skating and paved running and walking tracks.
For all fans of 1 on 1 sport, tennis at Karlovac tennis courts is a great choice. Behind the school sports hall, you can find as many as three tennis courts with top-notch surfaces and lighting that can even be played in the wintertime when a balloon is placed on two tennis courts.
Bowling, which is one of the most popular forms of entertainment in America, has not bypassed Croatia. In the last few years, bowling has also become an interesting way of recreation and entertainment in Karlovac, so there are several bowling alleys available for all bowling fans.
The Lana Bowling Center at Petar Zrinski 10 Ban Square offers to all lovers of bowling sports four bowling and classic bowling lanes, and also entertainment as convenient lighting, music, and a cafe. Also, within the bowling alley, there is a children’s playroom for all those who plan to bring their children. There are two more bowling alleys in Karlovac: the bowling alley in the Željezničar bowling club on the coast of Ivan Trnski 20 and the bowling alley Lana on the Korana promenade 6.
As Karlovac is a city on four rivers, swimming and bathing are one of the most popular and favorite ways of summer fun. Namely, Karlovac County is a true little paradise for all swimmers who prefer fresh water, and the city and its surroundings are crowded with swimming places. The bathing season in Karlovac begins in May for all the courageous, and in the middle of summer thousands of swimmers gather in Karlovac baths. Most visitor baths also have a catering facility and a variety of activities and sports fields.
The most beautiful beaches on the blue-green beauty river Mrežnica are the Mrežnicki brig baths, Galović selo bath, Donji Zvečaj, Osor village, Generalski Stol bath, Mala Švarča, Mihalić selo, Duga Resa town bath, Primišljaj bath and Korana bath in Barilović. Among the baths on the Korana River, the most popular is the City bath in Karlovac, the City bath Slunj, the Korana bath in Rakovica and the Korana bath in Barilović.
We must by no means forget the Fogin baths located on the Korana promenade, which represent the beginnings of the bathing tourism in Karlovac. In the vicinity of Karlovac, there is also the Lešće spa, which is one of the most beautiful thermal springs in Croatia and is located right by the river Dobra. The Lešće spa was visited back in Roman times and gained its status as a health resort in the 19th century. The Lešće spa has an outdoor pool of 28-30 degrees Celsius and an indoor pool of 34 degrees Celsius.
For all fans of social adrenaline sports and activities, a great choice is paintball, for which demand is growing year by year. Due to its richness of forests and untouched nature, Karlovac is an excellent location for all paintball fans, and the best paintball courts can be found on the slopes of Vodenica near the Kupa, along the forests and clearings around Korana and Slunjčica, along Barac’s Caves and in the Mrežnica valley. Paintball in Karlovac is also a great option for team building, which contributes to the development of community, trust, and connection among professional teams.
Horseback riding in Karlovac is a very popular way of fun and relaxation, and if you want to try horseback riding, be sure to visit the equestrian clubs in Karlovac County that will teach you all about these beautiful animals and provide you with an unforgettable pastime for you and your little ones. The Karlovac Equestrian Club along the Korana river was founded in 1967. and provides recreational and therapeutic horseback riding services to visitors of all ages.
At the Fanny Equestrian Club, in Vukmanički Cerovac you can have fun riding, carpooling or tasting some of the local dishes prepared for you by the hosts. EquusIgni ranch is also very popular, where you can attend horseback riding school or if you are already experienced you can go on excursions, trekking tours and field riding along the very edge of the Plitvice Lakes and with the guidance of experienced guides.
If you want to explore the city and its surroundings on four wheels, a quad is a right choice. It will give you complete freedom and an unforgettable off-road ride through the forests, and you can also refresh by swimming in the Korana River.
Cycling trails in Karlovac
Cycling has always been a popular way of recreation in Karlovac, but few know the fact that Karlovac County is full of cycle paths for road and mountain biking.
Moreover, there are as many as seven cycling routes in Karlovac County, which are 150 km long in total, and if you decide on this form of recreation the roads will take you through some of the most beautiful small towns and villages in the Karlovac County. If you decide to take a bike ride through the city and its wider surroundings, do not miss any of these cycling routes: The cycling route “Via the roads of the Frankopans” is 27 km long. It starts at the New center of Karlovac, where it also ends, and it will take you through places and villages such as the Old Town of Dubovac, Kalvarija, Vučjak, Tropčić, Katušin, Čohani, Babići, Skupica, Župčići, Old Town Novigrad, Kipljanci and Kozjača.
If you are near Mrežnica, a great cycling route is “Along the travertine waterfalls”, which is the starting point for the excursion in Mrežnički Brig with the Slapić campsite. If you enjoy beautiful nature and scenery with unforgettable views, the cycling route “From the Heart of Nature” will take you through the villages of Piščetke, Kolenovac, and Mali Modruš.
If you want to combine recreational cycling and swimming, choose the “Along the Mrežnica River” cycling route that starts at the Slapić picnic area in Mrežnički Brig. The “Between the Green Rivers” route is a circular cycling route and will take you through the beautiful forests, meadows, and valleys between the rivers Mrežnica and Dobra, and it is similar to the slightly shorter route “Through Meadows and Orchards” that extends from the village of Gršćaki to Duga Resa. The winding “Louisiana” cycling route will take you in part along this old historic road, extending from Netretić to Novigrad on Dobra.
Rafting in Karlovac
Rafting is an adrenaline adventure that attracts more and more visitors from all over Croatia year after year, and most of them are larger or smaller groups who participate in team building.
Kupa, Korana, Mrežnica, and Dobra are ideal for this kind of fun and their 200 km course will give you a real challenge. Rafting in Karlovac is an experience and an adventure you will remember, and if you choose to do this activity, good fun and a day spent in beautiful nature are guaranteed. The most exciting rafting in Croatia will be provided by the river Dobra, which is the longest Croatian subterranean river and characterized by underground and above-ground flows. Rafting on the Korana is most exciting in the early spring or autumn when the river is richest in water, and the tour will take you from Rastoke in Slunj to Veljun where the Korana River flows through the picturesque valley and where the waters are a bit calmer.
Rafting on the Mrežnica, characterized by its blue-green color, is a great choice if you want to complete the rafting adventure with swimming on some of the most beautiful retina waterfalls and backwaters. River Kupa is the longest river in Karlovac, which is great for several days of rafting and camping in nature, and will guide you through the wild and gentle downhill slopes.
The Kupa River is fast and cold in Gorski Kotar, and downstream near Ozalj, it turns into a calmer river. The price of rafting in Karlovac is very reasonable, and for 4-5 hours of this adrenaline fun, you will spend from 150 Kunas per person, which includes a professional skipper and all the necessary equipment.
Besides rafting, canoeing and kayaking are also very popular ways of outdoor recreation in the Karlovac rivers, which can also be found at low and affordable prices.
Fishing in Karlovac
Fishing is a very popular activity and a way to relax and unwind in nature. If you like fishing, Karlovac has a lot of great sites, and the fact is that it is one of the most attractive destinations for fishing tourism in Croatia.
The Karlovac rivers and lakes for fishing are rich with fish of different species, and you will also be able to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings. Some of the oldest fishing associations in Croatia have been established in and around Karlovac.
Some of them are “Ogulin” Sports Fishing Society, founded in 1921. Karlovac’s Sport Fishermen’s Club “Korana” founded in 1923. and Sports Fishing Club “Mrežnica” from Duga Resa founded in 1934. Their members take care of the protection of Karlovac’s waters and fish species.
Some of the most popular fishing locations in the Karlovac area are Šumbar, where carp, catfish, amur, and perch are fished, and the Kupa and Dobra rivers are excellent, with white waterfalls. Also, you can go fishing on the Mrežnica and Korana, which are abundant with tench and barbel.
In the vicinity of Karlovac, Draganić and Ozalj there are several larger lakes, ponds and gravel ponds, the largest of which are Draganić ponds, and a little further in the Ogulin area fishing is very popular on Dobra, the retina of Zagorje and Sabljaci lake.
One-day excursions are an excellent activity for all those who love to spend the day in nature, to travel and learn about the unknown history and facts of the Karlovac area.
Karlovac has a great location as a starting point, and in whatever direction you go, you will find an interesting place that will tell you a story through its architecture, nature, and inhabitants.
Some of the places that are great for weekend excursions and which are definitely worth a visit are of course the Croatian capital Zagreb, Duga Resa which is located on Mrežnica and which is rich in bathing areas such as Mrežnički brig, Otok ljubavi (Island of Love) and Vesela livada (Merry Meadow), which is a cultural heritage monument.
Ogulin, located just an hour’s drive from Karlovac, is a place that preserves interesting history and beautiful architecture. Ogulin was founded in 1500. above the abyss of the river Dobra, nowadays called Đulin ponor. It was founded by Bernardin Frankopan.
Another interesting place is Ozalj, which is the hometown of the famous painter Slava Raškaj and once an unofficial city of Croatia during the reign of Petar Zrinski, and the interesting place in Ozalj is the Vrlovka Cave.
Do not miss the Rastoke in Slunj, on Korana, Rakovica and the Plitvice Lakes National Park, which have been declared a World Natural Heritage Site and included in the UNESCO list.