The Ćićarija mountainous plateau of white limestone cliffs covered in greenery rises on the northern part of Istria, stretching from the hinterland of Trieste and Koper all the way to Rijeka and Opatija. Its northern, smaller part extends through Slovenia, whilst its larger, southern part covers Croatia. This mountain crown is 45 kilometres long and 15 kilometres wide, with some points being 10 kilometres wide, and 700 to 800 meters high. The morphological characteristic of the area is the mountain range of elevations and valleys located in the direction of Dinara, which is why Ćićarija has a specific laminate structure.
Plain terraces form the valleys with pastures and forest cover, while the raised parts of the tops of limestone deposits are bare. The main part is shaped like a series of parallel reefs with valleys and terraces among them, where small fields can be found. The highest peak of Ćićarija is Veliki Planik, which reaches 1,272 meters, providing a breath taking panoramic view that rarely leaves anyone indifferent. There is also the 1,138 meter high Županj peak, which is much more accessible to visitors, unlike the Brajkov peak, which is placed within the very slopes of the rock. We should not forget to mention the grassy 1,106 meter high Orljak located in the north-western part of Ćićarija and overlooking the Opatija Riviera.
This Istrian mountain camouflages its protected nature with chestnuts and maruni (a large variegated variety of sweet chestnut), although Oriental hornbeam and downy oak are less represented. And when it comes to a protected flora, it is certainly worth mentioning the bellflower and orange lily, the primrose as well as many different kind of orchids.
The best way to explore the natural beauty of Ćićarija are marked mountain trails