Cave park Grabovača
Sport and outdoor - Cave park Grabovača
Cave park Grabovača, located in Perušić, is the only cave park in Europe which allows visitors to experience the past, thousands of years back.
On a relatively small area (1,5km2) you can find 8 different caves and one pit. They represent diverse and valuable cave stone and crystal formations – 25% of all protected caves in Croatia are located here, with cave Samograd as the most famous location in the park. There are four types of habitat which are endangered in EU, with a large variety of protected species: 9 plant (orchids) and 39 animal species (eurasian brown bear, eurasian wolf). On the slopes of Grabovača you can find four freshwater springs, or swim in the river Lika flowing through the western edge of the park.
Archaeological sites located in Perušić area testify of a human activity for more than 2000 years. Potery found in cave Samograd is older than Roman times. Most famous reminders of the power of this region through history are the Old town Perušić (11th century AD) and The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (13th century AD).
Landscape diversity offers a variety of activities: hiking, trailing and trekking, swimming, canoeing or cycling (more than 240km of cycling routes – city, forest or combined).
The local water, enriched with dissolved carbon dioxide, has used its mechanic and chemical properties to dissolve and render the carbonate rocks on the relief’s surface and in the depths of Grabovača’s underground. Thus there are many karrens and sinkholes on the surface, and caves and pits in the underground. The Cave Park Grabovača is located 2,5 km from the center of Perušić. The Grabovača area is characterizes by a great diversity of ecosystems and habitats, as well as many speleological objects.
The entrance of the cave resembles a cathedral, and the whole surface of the cave is covered in stairs, which have been manually carved into the dripstone. Some ceramic pots and bones from the late Bronze Age and the Iron Age were found inside the cave. The Samograd Cave was the first cave to be the subject of a newspaper article in 1889. The border areas of the Park are framed by the karst beauty – the Lika river, the greatest subterranean river of Croatia (length of 78 km).
This area has been a scene of intense and continued human activity throughout history; from the Prehistoric Period up to this day. The Park is abundant with cultural and historical heritage. The area of the Park includes the Old town of Perušić, whose locality was mentioned in the Buška Parish in 1071 AD under the name Vrhovina.
The Cave Park Grabovača gives the visitors the opportunity to go a thousand years back in history. There are many different contents for visitors to explore: from educational trails and programs, walking, hiking and cycling trails, rafting on Lika, kayaking, and different sport fields, to the touristic attractions such as the Samograd Cave, the “Ploče” lookout, the mediaeval locality of the Old town of Perušić, and the Gothic Church of the St Cross.