Papuk Travel Guide

Discover the hidden gem of Papuk, Croatia with this comprehensive travel guide. From culturally significant museums and historical places to scenic natural attractions, learn all about the best things to do, where to stay, and how to get around in Papuk.

Your Ultimate Travel Guide to Papuk, Croatia

Located in Slavonia, in Croatia, in the Balkans, Papuk is a stunning and unique destination that offers spectacular views and renowned experiences. The mountainous terrain of Papuk meets forests, streams, caves, and waterfalls. It’s an excellent destination for nature lovers, history enthusiasts, and adventurers alike.

Introduction to Papuk

Papuk is situated in eastern Croatia and is known for its diverse wildlife, rich ancient history, and unique geological features. It’s a protected area that is home to over 100 plant and animal species, and several natural landmarks. The mountain range is also home to several rivers and streams.

The UNESCO-protected Papuk Geopark is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia. The park boasts of 30 unique geographic entities, including the Jankovac Forest Reservation, Kaptol’s old town center, and the Velika rock.

List of Places to Visit in Papuk

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  1. Papuk Nature Park: This UNESCO-protected nature park provides an opportunity to explore Papuk’s biodiversity and history.

  2. Papuk Geopark: An extraordinary site recognized by UNESCO, where you can have an immersive experience in nature.

  3. Jankovac Forest Park: A favorite picnic spot that offers hiking, biking, and nature trails. The park is home to mountain lodges and a monastery.

  4. Velika: A town with a rich history that dates back to the 11th century, characterized by thick walls and a magnificent view of the surrounding countryside.

  5. Ethno Village Markovac: A village converted into a tourist hotspot through a restoration project that has revitalized the village’s traditional life.

Natural Attractions of Papuk: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  1. Lapjak: This waterfall is located near the village of Donji Gradac, which is ideal for adventurous hikers.

  2. Papuk Mountain: A paradise for hikers, it offers fantastic views of the surrounding areas. You’ll have a chance to see wildflowers, various birds, and other wildlife.

  3. Zvečevo: A beautiful site with nine small waterfalls, an excellent destination for nature lovers and photographers.

  4. Rupnica: A site that reveals the geological history of the area, with landscapes and caves that are 10 million years old.

  5. Veličanka: A scenic dam located on the Papuk Mountain that boasts of beautiful landscapes and offers visitors an opportunity to explore the wildness of Papuk.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Papuk

Papuk is a paradise for hikers and bikers. The park has several well-maintained trails that lead you through the forest, past waterfalls, and up some excellent viewing points. The Papuk Mountain is a great location to start your expeditions.

There are several routes, such as the Jankovac trail, which leads you through lush foliage and stunning views of the park. Another trail is the Lapjak trail, located near the village of Donji Gradac, which is ideal for adventurous hikers.

Best Things to Do in Papuk: Activities and Tours

  1. Visit the Papuk Nature Park: This park is the best place to explore nature, history, and wildlife in Papuk. There are several well-maintained hiking and biking trails to explore the park’s diversity.

  2. Explore the Papuk Geopark: Discover the park’s unique geological formations, including the UNESCO-recognized Velika rock.

  3. Experience the Jankovac Forest Park: A favorite picnic spot that offers hiking, biking, and nature trails

  4. Take a Guided Tour: Learn more about the park’s landmarks, including the Ethno Village Markovac, Velika, and Rupnica.

  5. Attend a Local Event: Experience the area’s culture and traditions by attending a local event such as the Papuk Trekking Festival or Papuk Rakijada.

Week-Long Itinerary for Papuk

  • Day 1-2: Explore the Papuk Mountain and its trails, including the Jankovac Trail, and visit the Papuk Nature Park and Geopark.

  • Day 3-4: Head to Velika, explore the town’s ancient history and take a guided tour through its old streets.

  • Day 5-6: Take a scenic drive to the Zvečevo waterfalls and enjoy its beauty, then hike the Lapjak trail in the village of Donji Gradac.

  • Day 7: Experience Papuk’s local events and festivals before leaving.

Food and Drink Scene of Papuk

Papuk’s food scene is unique and distinguished by traditional dishes and local ingredients. Here are some must-try dishes and drinks.

Must-Try Dishes

  1. Roštilj: A mixed grill of meat, usually served with vegetables.

  2. Krvavice: A cooked sausage made with pork meat and bacon fat, spiced with pepper, and served with bread.

  3. Čobanac: A traditional Stew made with three types of meat (usually pork, beef, and game), peppers, and paprika.

Local Beverages

  1. Rakija: A traditional Croatian spirit, made using plums, grapes, or honey.

  2. Šljivovica: A type of Rakija made with plums.

  3. Vino: Croatian Wine that is famous for its quality and unique character.

Where to Stay in Papuk: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

There are several accommodation options to choose from in Papuk. From cozy guesthouses to hotels and hostels, there’s something for everyone.

  1. Jankovac Mountain Lodge: A cabin with an excellent location, offering views of Papuk Mountain and Jankovac.

  2. Pansion “Dravska priča”: An ideal place for those who want to relax and enjoy the traditional cuisine of the region.

  3. Hotel Garten: A modern hotel that offers comfortable rooms and free Wi-Fi. Located near the center of Požega, the largest nearby town.

What to Buy in Papuk: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Handmade Crafts: Find locally-made decorative items, including wooden souvenirs, ceramics, and textiles.

  • Honey: Papuk is well-known for its organic honey, offering some of the best quality products in the country.

  • Wine and Spirits: Take home a bottle of Rakija to enjoy a taste of Croatia back home.

Local Culture and Customs of Papuk

Papuk locals take immense pride in their region and its cultural heritage. The area is renowned for its traditional food and drink, as well as its skillful artisanal work.

The Papuk Mountain is the subject of many folk tales and stories, and locals believe that the area has healing powers. Respect for nature and its significance is central to the region’s culture and traditions.

Best Time to Visit Papuk

The best time to visit Papuk is between May and September, when the weather is warm and the nature is in full bloom. The area gets a fair amount of rain all year round, especially in the mountainous regions.

Do’s and Don’ts of Papuk


  • Respect the natural surroundings.
  • Try the traditional local food and drinks.
  • Take a guided tour of the area to understand the region’s history and culture.


  • Litter, and always leave the area cleaner than you found it.
  • Disturb the wildlife or local flora.
  • Ignore the safety guidelines.

Safety and Health

Safety in Papuk

Papuk is relatively safe for visitors, with a low crime rate. Still, be cautious while hiking or biking the mountain trails, especially if you’re not experienced with the terrain.

Health in Papuk

The region has a fair share of mosquitoes, so using repellents is advisable, especially if venturing into the forest or the waterfalls. Dehydration is also a possible health issue, so carrying enough water is recommended.

Getting to Papuk: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Papuk

Papuk is located near several airports, with the Osijek Airport being the nearest.

Bus Stations Near Papuk

There are several bus stations connecting the area to other major Croatian cities.

Other Options

Renting a car is the most convenient way to reach Papuk and explore the surrounding areas.

How to Get Around in Papuk

The best way to get around in Papuk is by car. There are several rental agencies in the area, and the roads starting from the mountain are well-maintained.

Where to Go Next from Papuk: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Požega: A city with a rich cultural heritage, located at the foot of Papuk Mountain.

  • Osijek: One of the largest cities in Croatia, with a rich cultural and political heritage.

  • Đakovo: Home to the magnificent Đakovo Cathedral and the Lipizzaner center.


Papuk is a hidden gem in Eastern Europe, providing breathtaking landscapes, culture, and experiences that are unparalleled. Its unique features, such as the UNESCO Geopark, Papuk Mountain, and nature parks, make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers, historians, and adventurers alike. With this travel guide, visitors can make the most of their trip to Papuk, Croatia.