Finding Zen

Finding Zen under the waterfall

Let’s be real here –  given the whole pandemic thing going on top of life’s default challenges – it’s far from fun. If you’re anything like me, the one who  finds  comfort in nature and travelling, I understand it’s not  easy to deal with everything that’s going on.  Then again, it doesn’t mean you can’t make an amazing travel bucket list for 2021. Finding Zen

Something to look forward to is always a good thing, even science says so 😉 Finding Zen

Having that in mind, last summer I’ve figured it’d be good idea to explore some not – so- touristy places and hidden gems  here in Croatia.   The choice was easy –  the waterfalls of Rastoke were my favorite stop while on my way to the seaside, so I thought it might be great to spend more time there.


Not at all.

Found my zen?

Heck yes.

Finding zen under the waterfall,
Photo credit: Ivana Vezmarovic, private collection. ©August 2020, All rights reserved.

For instance, this is one of my favourite places among 23 waterfalls you can find there. Do you see those trees on the left? Perfect spot to hang the hammock, take a nap or grab a book. J. Finding Zen.

Some fun facts about the place:

Rastoke is small  watermill village ( cca 30 households) situated in the town of Slunj, where the blue-green waters of river Slunjcica flow into the Korana river. On it’s “poured off” (in Croatian we call it “rastocen”) terrain,  where the waters of river Slunjcica pour off in several backwaters are formed small elevations. That is where people built a village at the end of the 19th century and named it Rastoke. Finding Zen.

finding your zen,
Photo credit: Ivana Vezmarovic, private collection. ©August 2020, All rights reserved.

Except for countless waterfalls, the village is known for its water – powered mechanical mills and – something I found super interesting – there you can also find a traditional form of washing machine that has been used for washing clothes. I’ve learned that people of Rastoke used the same technological principle of today’s washing machines: The clothes were washed in a rotating barrel with holes that was geared by the water flow.  Also, many of the traditional crafts are still alive there: manufacturing woolen clothes, wooden toys and dishes, and  weaving of flax and hemp. Finding Zen.

Photo credit: Ivana Vezmarovic, private collection. ©August 2020, All rights reserved
finding my zen
Photo credit: Ivana Vezmarovic, private collection. ©August 2020, All rights reserved.

Most importantly, it’s a great spot if you like trying out the local food. Nice cafes and restaurants are everywhere around the place witha  wide range of menus – from local cuisine such as trout and bear stew or good ol’ pizza – it’s illegal to stay hungry there. Read History Of Croatia

After you eat the bear, how about some adrenaline sports? On river Korana you can go canoeing, rafting or fishing. For or those who like staying on the ground, myself included, there are organized hunting sprees , mountain biking, hiking, riding, and spelunking in Barac Caves.  I’m more of „lay in  the hammock and take a nap“ type so while I was there I spent a lot of time near the waterfalls but rafting sounds like something fun to try out. Maybe this year, who knows. Finding Zen.

finding your zen meaning,
Photo credit: Ivana Vezmarovic, private collection. ©August 2020, All rights reserved.

I’ve stayed in Rastoke for five days, and it’s safe to say it’s one of my favourite hidden spots to hang out during summer.  I loved the calm vibe oft he village and locals who are super friendly, talkative and overall helpful. For example, when I got there, I managed to get lost on my way to the guest house where I stayed. For some reason, Google Maps lead me to the opposite part of the village and when I called my host  I’ll be late due to getting lost she arranged to pick me up. At last, but not the least, the food and weather were great in the mid-August so it turned out to be the perfect vacation. 10/10 would recommend. Read Top Ten Oldest Languages


Ivana Vezmarovic
Copywriter | Digital Marketing Specialist | Social media manager | SEO Witter | Analytics spec
Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Ivana Vezmarovic
, Finding Zen.
Ivana Vezmarovic

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