Coffee Breaks at Rastoke

One of my favourite weekend stops is the little mill village of Rastoke. A thirty minute drive from Zagreb, it stands between the city and the Plitvice Lakes National Park

Rastoke

Rastoke sits along the waterfalls at the confluence of the Korana and Slunjčica rivers. It often answers to the moniker of ‘Small Plitivice’ and like the Lakes it too is built on a limestone barrier. 

The village is known for its 18th century flour mills, traditional homes, cafes and quaint restaurants. It offers visitors simple delights like a pleasant walk around the village, a biking trail, and coffee by the waterfall. Everywhere you go the soft, rhythmic murmur of flowing water follows. It has an incredibly relaxing effect on the mind.  

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The walkways and wooden bridges around Rastoke lead up to old, but functional, mills; you can buy fresh corn bread and flour even today. The rich, warm aromas from the mills waft around the village and entice you into a healthy appetite. For this I recommend heading to the picnic tables and ordering a plate of the succulent pork chops on offer.  

The homes here are constructed based on traditional designs. They are built on two levels – the ground level is constructed from stone, to protect the house from water and the upper floors are built from wood; the construction here is more intricate, allowing for artistic flair.  Some these homes double up as guest houses. 

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It’s hard to believe now but during the Balkan war, Rastoke sustained great damage. The area was under attack. The waterfalls were loaded with explosives and the homes were burnt down. Since then the area has undergone a successful restoration program. 

The village enjoy great natural advantage: two swirling rivers, waterfalls and the greenery ensure that bikers, hikers, anglers and rafter all find a corner here, as do coffee drinkers like me.

More Tips for Things to Do in Croatia

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