A charming retreat
At the heart of Gorski Kotar is a true paradise on Earth. Unique in its offerings, it is the perfect destination for hikers, cyclists, and anyone looking for a way to escape to nature. Mountain cottage Agroturizam Japodi has welcomed guests for almost a decade, inviting people to relax and rest away from the bustle of life, yet remain close to everything they could need, making it an ideal vacation spot for both winter and summertime. We can modestly say that this family-business endeavour carries the name of Japodi, Lika’s ancient crafters and traders, for good reason! Allow us to explain.
The dream that became true
Married couple Jagoda Vukušić and Roberto Spišić had a wonderful dream come true. In the village Sunger, away from urban life, but still close enough to reach it, they built a charming cottage. When they decided to embark on this journey, the Ministry of Tourism was offering partial funding which was used to complete the house.
The cottage is located just 10 min drive from the highway and only 45 min drive from the first beach. It was the ideal location for the project Jagoda and Roberto planned out.
The estate is not large, but it offers everything needed for a complete immersion into nature while enjoying maximum comfort. Life here is fully connected with nature.
Their goal was to create a charming, cozy, home-away-from-home kind of guest house that would be a great vacation spot for families looking for a peaceful zone to relax, but still be close to amenities and attractive locations.
The cottage is surrounded by mesmerising lavender fields and a garden with the fresh produce available to house guests. Jagoda and Roberto wanted to make their guests feel at home by providing a friendly and cozy atmosphere, starting with the highest level of hospitality.
Wait, what does Japodi stand for?
Around the 11th century BC, a Pannonian tribe arrived at the Lika area with a specific custom of burning deceased and burying their remains in stone urns. Whether the tribe belonged to Illyrians, science has not yet figured out. The indigenous population remained in the majority, and the new Pannonian tribe brought with it more advanced metalworking techniques.
By the 8th century BC, these two groups merged into one, called the Japods (Croatian: Japodi).
The rulers of the Velebit and Kapela traded extensively and shared knowledge and ideas. The Japods were on the border of the Mediterranean and continental influence, which is evident in their specific and recognisable artistic expression, including the use of amber.
We highly recommend a visit to local museums if you are in the area, as Roman and Greek records and historians talk a lot about these well-organised people (recommendations below).
Returning to our charming cottage, the interior is all wood following a standard mountain house design. The wood provides a much-needed feeling of warmth, both literally and figuratively, as, in Gorski Kotar, keeping the house warm is needed through out most of the year. When designing the interior, the owners wanted to be unique in design, so they opted for hand-made custom furniture used on both floors, except for the fireplace.
The layout of the house makes it perfect for family vacations. The cottage has two floors; visitors can relax in a library and a common area on the ground floor, as well as a kitchen, dining, and living room.
The kitchen is a centrepiece where tasty regional dishes come to life and where the magic happens! Owners are always ready to show their food preparation skills and showcase meals of Gorski Kotar, always catered to their guests’ wishes.
They work closely with farms in the surrounding area, using fresh produce from their garden in front of the house and make sure that guests always eat healthy, homemade food.
The upper floor has a total of six rooms with custom furniture. Two of them are family rooms with an extra bed, and each room has an en-suite bathroom.
Visiting Agroturizam Japodi is all about feeling relaxed and finding balance. To give guests an even greater opportunity to relax after a long day of exploring nature, a sauna and hydromassage tub were recently added to the house.
Your next destination
In Mrkopalj, known for mountain tourism, the Agroturizam Japodi cottage stands out as a special and truly different experience. With its remote location, it is the perfect retreat sitting in the green heart of Croatia. It is ideal for those seeking an active vacation, with a range of activities available nearby.
The owners will go that extra mile to ensure your vacation is perfect, and as they love to say: everyone arrives as a guest but leaves as a friend.