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Find out a bit about our bold step toward achieving a necessary paradigm shift, a fundamental change of outdated values and ideologies that have done significant harm to people's lives and the environment.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 that delivers accountability, contributes to the overall sustainability of local communities, fosters pride in cultural and natural heritage, and enhances prospects for lasting peace and cooperation. In our case, a responsible approach to further tourism development plays a major role in achieving these goals.
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.
Any change, small or big, must start from the individual. 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 socially responsible development.
We have also become 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 and cooperation in times when the nature of this message is so greatly 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: Rakovica, Donji Lapac, and Udbina.
Cross-Border Partnership and Cooperation Agreement
04. 04. 2014.
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!
≈ Responsible ≈ Sustainable ≈ Transparent ≈ Ethical ≈ Cooperative ≈ Collaborative ≈ Creative ≈ Persevering ≈
- To strongly contribute to the revitalization of our various rural communities, and socially responsible and prosperous development of our region in general.
- To educate and help raise awareness of the importance of active citizen participation in decisions that affect public welfare, and the preservation of natural and cultural heritage.
- To enhance ecological sustainability and raise local living standards by creating a meaningful partnership 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 local people and our guests.
We grow and strengthen by changing our consciousness - we create a sustainable destination that empowers and brings people together to learn, create new opportunities, and pave the way for fundamental changes and a prosperous future in lasting peace in a healthy environment.
- Underground Air Base Zeljava - once one of the largest underground military air bases in Europe, in the 21st century Zeljava has a chance to become a significant contributor to achieving sustainability goals and socially responsible development of our region - for the benefit of all. Find out 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 religious devotees. Learn more about the pilgrimage route under Explore Local.
- Hike & Bike With Neighbors - 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 healthy environment.
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 in the natural setting 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, magic forests, plateaus & peaks with beautiful views, and much more.
Even though turbulent historical circumstances did not allow quality preservation of the local cultural heritage, especially local architecture, the remaining sights like the remnants of forts, towers, and castles, will attract your attention. Check our Experiences, Events & Activities, and Explore Local for inspiration, and start planning your next cultural tour or any other tour based on your preferences, budget, and style!
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.
We invite to explore us in an environmentally friendly way - walk, jog, cycle, or hop on a local bus to reach our 2Parks or to explore 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 centers who will offer you unforgettable guided tours with high standards of safety in hiking, biking, rafting, horseback riding, kayaking and more.
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 defese 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
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 travelers' 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 that have additional detrimental effects on already (too) sluggish national economies.
Changes start with our awareness of the problem - and continue with changes in our thinking patterns, and the level of consciousness that pave the way for the creation of a new economic paradigm in which nature is not a commodity but a common good we conscientiously and jointly care for, and in which human work is highly appreciated and adequately compensated. With this level of consciousness, we create a society that is just, responsible and ethical, in both personal life and in business, and in our case this includes a new approach to tourism development and the quality of host-guest interactions, which we have all woven into our 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 active tourists, researchers, 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.
For the time being, green 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. However, besides a green network, there are many marked trails to choose from in our destination. Trails are maintained by the local hiking or biking associations, or national parks services.
For important and helpful tips and phone numbers please see our Helpful Tips!
Parts of the green network 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.
History of the Main GWT2P Recreational Trail
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 Air Base, a future tourist hot spot.
Find more interesting facts about the remarkable Licka Pljesivica Mountain, and our Zeljava Air Base under Explore Local.
Help Rural Thrive
Let's help rural communities grow!! 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.
That's why we are dedicated to helping our rural communities thrive through a shared vision that empowers people, brings us together to learn, 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.
Let's Support Local
Buying local has benefits that exceed mere convenience. When we support small, locally-owned businesses and farmers, at home or abroad:
- we get a better level of service;
- we get healthy local or regionally grown fruits and vegetables at the peak of freshness;
- we 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, we help preservation of unique products and one-of-a-kind business that we can’t find anywhere else;
- we help make a community a better and vital place to live, linking neighbours in a new web of socio-economic relations;
- when we buy from small, locally-owned businesses and farmers, significantly more of that money stays in that community;
- so we directly support community development, job creation, and stimulate local healthy economic growth.
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!
Welcome to GWT2P Destination of Great Diversity!