We present to you an unforgettable regional tourist destination with two national parks, diverse local communities, and a plethora of joyful and memorable sporting and intercultural experiences!
We would also like to introduce to you our Green Mission and an ongoing effort common to all tourist sites and protected areas around the world - to turn traveling into a highly fulfilling, environmentally responsible, and heritage sensitive experience.
New Consciousness - New Vision
Find out a bit about our bold steps toward achieving the necessary changes of old paradigms, outdated values and ideologies that have done great harm to people's lives and the environment. At the same time, and with your understanding and support, we want to build of a new system of values and ethics which strongly contributes to social, economic, and environmental sustainability of local communities, which fosters pride in cultural and natural heritage, and enhances prospects for lasting peace and cooperation. In our case, responsible tourism plays a major role in achieving these goals.
Path From Competitors to Partners
The most difficult and demanding path in times when unity is just declarative and rivalry so prevalent and desirable. It takes a lot of time and effort for us people to even recognize the need for change, let alone to lead and mobilize for transformative changes that will bring about real, tangible improvements in people's lives.
And every change starts with us as individuals. There is no other way. Only when we make a radical change in our thinking and behavioral patterns, only then we can make a positive change in the society around us. Without doubt this is a time-consuming and not an easy process to go through, but at some point we have to start with this demanding task and work on it with determination and dedication.
GWT2P main partners, two cross-border national parks and two local communities, have recognized the importance of mutual cooperation, active citizen involvement, and joint actions to strongly contribute to the preservation of natural and cultural heritage, rural revitalization, and inclusive green growth of our region.
We are also becoming increasingly aware that this kind of cooperation, the first of its kind signed between two neighboring national parks and local communities, in markedly multinational and multiconfessional region, will be giving out to the world a very strong message of peace in times when the nature of this message is so highly needed.
Plitvice Lakes NP, HR - Una NP, BA
Municipality of Plitvice Lakes, HR - Town of Bihać, BA
GWT2P is proud to be endorsed by two Presidents of the Republic of Croatia and The Ministry of Environment and Energy of the Republic of Croatia.
A further three local communities from the Republic of Croatia had joined the signing of the Cross-Border Partnership and Cooperation Agreement: the Municipality of Rakovica, the Municipality of Donji Lapac and the Municipality of Udbina.
Cross-Border Partnership and Cooperation Agreement
A Milestone Day when the idea of cooperation and ethical public work overpowered the urge for competition, power, and personal gain - on April 4, 2014, the partners signed the GreenWay Tour 2Parks Partnership and Cooperation Agreement!
Regenerative - Ecological - Proactive - Cooperative - Civic Active - Critical - Local Democratic - Relocalized - Sustainable
We are committed to meet our responsibility to strongly contribute to rural revitalization and inclusive green growth of our local communities and the region in general.
We strive to educate and help raise awareness of the importance of civil society participation in the preservation of natural and cultural heritage and the protection of endangered plant and animal species.
We seek to enhance ecological sustainability and raise local living standards by creating meaningful partnerships between our national parks and local communities and by promoting and supporting our local entrepreneurs, their produce and product-based companies, and various services both enjoyable and healthy for you and aligned with your values.
A regenerative, sustainable, and inclusive life in lasting peace, prosperity, and a healthy and safe environment.
- Abadoned Military Airbase Zeljava - once one of the largest underground military airbases in Europe, in the 21st century Zeljava has a chance to become a significant contributor to achieving sustainability goals and inclusive green growth of our region, for the benefit of all. Learn more about the base, our visionary plans, and activities you can already enjoy in the immediate vicinity under Explore Local.
- Ancient Pilgrimage Route Plitvice Lakes-Krasno - our initiative is to bring this ancient and almost forgotten tradition back to life. The old way of travelling to a holy place is today almost forgotten, but walking offers a kind of spiritual journey that is often life changing - and not just for believers. Learn more interesting historical facts and useful info under Explore Local.
- Hike & Bike With Neighbours - future annual recreational and entertaining event for domestic and foreign guests aims to promote environmentally conscious tourist offer along the green trails and the consumption of local eco products as well as to raise awareness of the importance of living a healthy lifestyle in a clean and preserved environment.
The Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia and the Una National Park in Bosnia and Herzegovina welcome you to our multicultural and multi-activity destination of abundant diversity!
In many ways unique and incredibly scenic, the GWT2P regional destination enjoys abundant natural and cultural diversity. This historic region was once an important economic zone and the accepted boundary between the two empires and two cultures.
Although burdened by the great historical turbulence, this region is now awakening to a new consciousness and presenting its true values - preserved nature, caring people, and a centuries-long coexistence of different religions, nations, and traditions which was periodically brought into question solely under the influence of foreign powers and their interests.
Today, we are happy to invite you to explore our 2Parks and our local communities by recreating (walking, biking, hiking, climbing, skiing, rafting, diving,..) in our beautiful natural areas of outstanding beauty and biodiversity!
Our regional destination offers lots to see, do, and experience for visitors of all ages. The area around 2Parks is filled with attractive natural sites waiting to be explored: rivers, lakes, waterfalls, Una and Korana canyons, caves, streams, rich springs, virgin forests, plateaus & peaks with beautiful views, a pit with eternal snow, and much more.
Although turbulent historical circumstances did not allow preservation of our cultural heritage, the remaining sights like the remnants of forts, towers, and castles, will attract your attention.
Among other sites, walking or biking around here will take you to:
- the very old town whose name was mentioned for the first time back in 1260 in the charter of the Croatian - Hungarian king Bela IV - the historical town of Bihac; find a bit more about the history of this old town under Explore Local;
- and Korenica - a settlement whose name was first mentioned back in 1468. Under more humane and favorable historical circumstances, Korenica could have welcomed you today with one of the most important medieval fortifications of the Krbava diocese - Mrsinj. Learn a little more about their fate and the historical circumstances of the time under Explore Local.
There are numerous interesting sites for you to explore! Get inspired with our Experiences, Events & Activities; check out our Explore Local, and Helpful Tips and start planning your tour based on your preferences, budget, and style - before you leave!
GWT2P destination is ideal for an eco, active, and rural vacation with an excellent terrain and an array of sports activities suitable for all ages and all levels of physical fitness.
Explore us in an eco-friendly way: walk, jog, cycle, ride or hop on a local bus to reach our 2Parks and discover hidden wonders of our local communities!
Meet the locals and explore region's exceptional natural and multicultural heritage. Our green recreational trails will enable you to experience the beauty of our region & our people on both sides of the border.
- Once you are here, you can enjoy self-guided tours with easy-to-follow routes as well as descriptions of various tourist attractions along the way. Cherish your freedom, choose your own pace, and enjoy the beauty of two national parks and equally beautiful local communities;
- Or you can rely on a great number of highly professional and experienced guides and multi-sport centres who will offer you unforgettable guided tours with high standards of safety in hiking, biking, rafting, horseback riding, kayaking and more.
Self-guided or guided, longer or shorter distance tours, one sport or multi-sport, gastronomy, culture and its many expressive forms or health and well-being services - the choice will be yours; just one important Must-Do before coming to the protected areas - plan everything in advance.
Protected areas are the last important sites for wildlife and the last lines of defence for the increasingly threatened world's biodiversity, therefore, many parks have started introducing stricter protective measures, including limiting the number of visitors - double-check everything before you leave!
Our Green Mission
Unfortunately, we have all become increasingly aware of the fact that global mass tourism represents the most serious threat to host communities, including their economies, the environment, and cultural identities.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) states that tourism growth is not without its impacts:
- environmental: uncontrolled construction of new hotels, apartments, swimming pools, and other facilities on mountaintops, along coastlines, rivers, and lakes, or in remote forest areas, often irreversibly destroys these important ecosystems;
- economic: on average, between 40% - 50% of gross tourism earnings in developing countries go to foreign airlines, hotels and other international companies (who often have their headquarters in the travellers' home countries) and not to local businesses... (UNCTAD document, page 9);
- socio-cultural: serious change or loss of local identity and values.
Rapidly growing and uncontrolled mass tourism has especially devastating consequences in countries where tourist industry represents the main, if not the only, source of income and employment. Such service-led economies so highly reliant on tourism for GDP are by themselves unsustainable. Furthermore, they provide a fertile base for corruption and other economic and financial crimes which have additional detrimental effects on already (too) sluggish national economies.
Changes start with our awareness - and continue with reappraising economic sectors, with developing new technologies, with fostering citizens' trust and social consensus on zero-tolerance for corruption, and finaly with adopting sustainable lifestyles and business practices!
Nature, Biodiversity & People
Along with facing possible dire consequences of uncontrolled mass tourism, we also share common concern over the increasingly dramatic state of numerous ecosystems and significant negative effects of extreme events on global environment, health, agriculture, and economy.
The First World Climate Conference took place in Geneva in 1979 and warned the world of worrying pollution trends and ruthless exploitation of natural resources, but hardly anyone paid attention. It took us 36 years to reach the world’s First Climate Agreement in Paris in 2015 and yet again nothing positive happened or changed, therefore, today’s dramatic increase in alarming reports should not come as a surprise.
The last report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBS) was publicly presented on May 6, 2019. A new thorough global synthesis of the state of nature, is the first inter-governmental and the first such report since the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment - and to say that the report is alarming would be an understatement.
We have reached the edge we've never reached before. Only radical, transformative changes of all systems and the full and effective participation of us all can stop the terrifying process of accelerated collapse of nature's ecosystems - and without them, there is no us! More under our Green Mission, join us!
From Linear to Circular
The EU Circular Economy Package (CEP) became legally binding form July 4, 2018 for all Member States, and sets high standards for nature protection. Currently, over a quarter of municipal waste in EU is still landfilled and less than half of municipal waste is recycled or composted. The CEP shared goals, among other conditions, include:
- a target for municipal waste landfill: not more than 10% by 2035.,
- a target for recycling of municipal waste: 55% by 2025, 60% by 2030, and 65% by 2035.,
- a target for recycling of packaging waste: 65% by 2025, and 70% by 2030.,
- a target for separate collection of biodegradable waste, textiles, and hazardous waste: 100% by 2024 and/or 2025.,
- a target for reduction of food waste: 30% by 2025, and a 50% by 2030.
Link: EU Circular Economy
The principles that define circular economy are fundamentally different from the devastating paradigm of the current linear economy:
- In circular, waste is a resource: the main feature, all biodegradable material returns to the nature, and the non-biodegradable is reused or converted into clean, cost-efficient power sources.
- In circular, resources are regenerative: renewable, reusable, non-toxic resources are utilized as materials and energy in an efficient way. The use of non-renewable resources is gradually reduced and eliminated.
- In circular, already made is preserved and extended: the products are maintained, repaired and upgraded to maximize their lifetime and secure a second life. Certain products or parts of those products that still work are reused to create new artifacts.
- In circular, we collaborate to create joint value: we work together throughout the business and production chain, internally within organizations and with the public sector to increase transparency and create joint value.
All past and current contracts and contractual relationships (whether local, regional, national or international), that are of public interest must be respected, openly communicated with the public, and the implementation process itself accessible for public careful examination and control.
And there is still a lot of work to be done at EU level. Currently, we lack quality strategic guidelines on how to implement this concept in different industries, as well as measurement tools or internationally recognized standardization with regards to the circular economy process. At the same time, important data on what and how much we really recycle is still not publicly available - recycling is not exporting waste to another member state or to third countries.
For people and nature - GWT2P Green Mission!
Our green network consists of the GWT2P aorta, the main recreational green trail that connects our 2Parks, and arteries which will take you further through our local rural and urban communities. The use of human body related words is not accidental here because our vision is that these paths eventually become pulsating blood vessels for researchers, active tourists, adventurers, athletes, recreationists, and all other lovers and admirers of nature.
The GWT2P regional area has an old and dense network of public footpaths; sadly the green network is now mostly overgrown due to the gradual depopulation of rural areas and inevitable loss of local agricultural and livestock activities. Our revitalization process started slowly with a plan for the green network to grow and include more of the old trails.
In this phase, due to the size of the region and a difficult economic situation in our communities, trails are marked with basic hiking red and white signs. In the future, and in accordance with our planned development, we aim to further expand the green network to include more of our rural communities, rural artisans and entrepreneurs, and also to additionally equip the trails with the most specialized and detailed information boards.
For important and helpful tips and phone numbers please see our Helpful Tips!
Parts under construction are marked on a map that you can also download on your devices. Generally, these sections can be easily bypassed; the trails are wide and clear, stretching from village to village where you can expect warm welcome from friendly locals who will gladly show you around and offer useful advice or assistance.
Interesting Historical Facts
A substantial section of the GWT2P main recreational trail was once a part of the important 114.9 kilometers long rustic road "Kordunska cesta". The construction of the generally gravel surfaced road with a few strong stone arch bridges started in 1874!
GWT2P section of this old rustic road leads across the fascinating Una-korana plateau and shares an interesting history with other sections of the road, namely, Kordunska road was once a part of the important postal carriage route between Split (a coastal town in Croatia) and Vienna (capital city in Austria).
The Una-korana plateau, located half way between our 2Parks, is one the most impressive Dinaric limestone plateaus. Among other things, in the 18th and 19th century the plateau was a border area between the two empires, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman!
Up on the plateau was an important veterinary-sanitary control station and the medical headquarters between the two empires - the Rastel Complex, located at an altitude of about 430 m, just above the town of Bihac, and at the foot of the magnificent mountain Licka Pljesivica.
Nowadays, our 2Parks multi-use recreation area will be your key to unlocking Nature’s chest of scenic wonders. Unique for its bio diversity and recreational potential suitable for all ages and diverse interests, the main GWT2P green trail will allow you to experience not only our 2Parks, but also the magical Licka Pljesivica Mountain and on the trail itself - the Zeljava Airbase, a future tourist hot spot.
Find more interesting facts about this remarkable mountain, which had been carefully researched by many scientists in the past, and our Zeljava Airbase under Explore Local.
Help Rural Thrive
Help rural communities thrive!! Healthy rural communities benefit all of us; unfortunately we have all too quickly forgotten this fact in the wake of mass food production and consumption of cheap, energy-dense, and nutrient-poor food.
Lively and vital rural areas matter and contribute directly to the overall economic, social, and cultural health of our communities. Nevertheless, many rural areas are facing great challenges, often isolated they have been losing population for decades and are now on the brink of extinction.
Our mission is dedicated to helping our rural communities through a shared vision that empowers people, brings us together to learn, strengthen connections, focus on new opportunities, and move to action collectively toward creating real change for a better future within our region.
Together we can expand opportunities for rural job creation and growth of rural entrepreneurship as either suppliers or consumers of various local products and services. Consumer demand for authentic, local produce boosts local community of small farmers and vendors, which in turn encourages attraction and retention of skilled and professional people, especially young people, to rural areas.
Ecological agriculture and agro-tourism, agro processing, textile industry (spinning, weaving), horticulture, etc., provide ample opportunities for local employment and the survival of rural communities.
Support local economy because supporting and buying local has benefits that exceed mere convenience. When you support small, locally-owned green businesses and farmers, at home or abroad:
- you get a better level of service;
- you get healthy local or regionally grown fruits and vegetables at the peak of freshness;
- you have access to fruits and vegetables that are chemical free, fresh eggs, grass-fed meats, and dairy from farm animals that feast on local green grass;
- in an increasingly homogenized world, you help preservation of unique products and one-of-a-kind business that you can’t find anywhere else;
- you help make a community a better and vital place to live, linking neighbours in a new web of socio-economic relations;
- when you buy from small, locally-owned businesses and farmers, significantly more of that money stays in that community;
- so you directly support community development, job creation, and stimulate local healthy economic growth.
Dear visitors, as initiators and pioneers of green, sustainable tourism, business, and living in our region and beyond, we need you as our vital partners - both you as guests and we as hosts can do a lot / everything to protect the environment and improve the well-being of local people. We value your feedback and travel aspirations, especially if you have suggestions on how entrepreneurs can improve their tourist services and make them greener.
Share your thoughts during travel - a kindly expresssed consumer demand or request for better green practices (or lack thereof) is often the best possible motivation for emerging rural & green entrepreneurs to improve their services and products or create new ones.
It is our firm belief that we can achieve sustainable economic growth in rural areas, improve the quality of life of rural people, and ensure enough healthy food for present and future generations and our dear guests without damaging the environment and jeopardising natural resources.
Real change is difficult at the beginning, but gorgeous at the end! Even small changes can achieve extraordinary results - like small changes in our traveling habits expressed through respect for the destination we visit, including its communities, culture, and environment, as well as the habits of us as hosts expressed through the sense of pride and responsibility towards the natural and cultural heritage that we inherited from the past and must transmit to future generations. Together we can achieve a lot, if not all! Travel! Explore! Enjoy! Respect!
We hope we have awakened your interest to discover new places, beautiful nature, and diverse customs and traditions!
Now build your own personalised GWT2P itinerary and start exploring!
Eco and Active!
Welcome to GWT2P Destination!