Vranjska or Vela Draga, the vast valley at the foot of Učka's north-western slopes is well known to mountaineers and nature lovers, although it still remains distant and unknown to many.
The canyon starts on the altitude of some 700m at the very entrance to Učka Tunnel, descending down to Boljunsko polje (plane) on 200m.
Vranjska Draga (Vela Draga) canyon
The lower part of Vranjska Draga canyon
Vranjska Draga is dominated by high and sheer rocks which are creating a unique and characteristic karst phenomenon in Istria.
The most attractive and amazing cliff is the 100 mtrs high Great Tower (Veliki Toranj), a natural phenomenon that will surely impress even those who are not so enthusiastic about rock-climbing.
Some rock formations are difficult to access, so Vela Draga canyon provides perfect habitat for numerous protected animal and plant species.
In the year 2004. was created a geological nature trail at the edge of this stunning canyon, with numerous panels along the marked path that provides usefull information about the valley.
Total path lenght is about 600 mtrs and you will need some 30-45 min to make complete round trip.
The canyon is also a part of Učka Nature Park.
Entrance into Vela Draga
From Rijeka city drive in direction to Pazin/Buzet in Istria. After 25 kn you will drive through the Tunnel of Učka. Turn right just after the tunnel and then turn left at the T-junction. Park on the left side of the road after some 200 mtrs on the small parking lot where you will notice the first Vela Draga instructive panel and first markings.
If you are coming from Istria inland than you have drive towards the Učka tunnel and just before entering you have to turn right (near the gas station) towards the local road and than on the crossroads left.
Climbing at Vranjska Draga canyon
After the beginning of the twentieth century, when its "towers" were discovered by mountaineers from Trieste (famous rock climber Emilio Comici), Vranjska Draga becomes a place of training and an inevitable location for all free climbing enthusiast.
Today Vela Draga canyon offers more than 60 well equipped climbing routes.
Optimal season for climbing is autumn and spring. It is also pleasant in winter time if there is no wind. Very hot in summer.
Canyon climbing routes (all below mentioned routes are protected by bolts):
Vranjska Draga canoyon is protected landscape area and therefore it is protected by the Croatian Low on Nature Protection.
"Protected landscape is a natural or cultivated district of more aesthetic or cultural and historic value, or a landscape characteristic of a particular region. In protected landscapes are not allowed actions that violate the characteristics of
which is declared."
- off-road driving and driving out of the main public roads
- waster dumping
- destruction or removal of cave decorations, fossils and minerals
- destruction of plants, animals or fungi
- making fire
- making noise
Climbing tower at Vela Draga
Entrance tickets: free entrance
Opening Hours: non-stop
Učka Nature Park Public Institution
Address: Liganj 42
Postal Code: HR-51415 Lovran
Phone: + 385 (0)51 293753
Fax: + 385 (0)51 293751
Weather conditions in the area
Informations on weather conditions in the area can be found on
Croatian State Hydro-meteorological Institute site: