JANKOVAC - protected forest park that hides a perfect balance of Five Elements
There’s a Nature Park. And then, there’s a protected area within that park with accommodation and trekking tracks in the middle of it. A hidden paradise built by God himself and polished by count Josip Janković who wasn’t the count at all but merely a rich landlord and a visionary on the mission to build the most beautiful place on the planet. If you ask any of us who spent a couple of days on Jankovac, he succeeded.
What makes Jankovac different from other European protected forests and natural havens?
The forests are protected because they are the only remaining primordial, virgin forests in this part of Europe. We are talking about specimens that almost predate the discovery of America. But that’s just the part of an elaborate equation that makes Jankovac so special.
The reason visitors “feel” Jankovac is an unlikely balance of all five elements:
Long story short, according to Wu Xing, Chinese Theory of Five Elements, when these five are in perfect balance, your body reaches the absolute nirvana. In other words, your neuronal network is in perfect resonance which has a long-term positive effect on your physical and mental health.
You don’t get a chance to spend a few days on literally the perfect spot on the planet.
Jankovac, a natural valley on the north slope of Papuk mountain in Slavonia, offers accommodation in the mountain hut where they, quite expectedly, serve exceptional venison among other tasty dishes. And since there’s an abundance of fresh air and water, you don’t have to worry about ending up hungry or thirsty.
In fact, one of the best times of the year to visit Jankovac is the middle of the summer when coastal and continental temperatures regularly breach 30°C. Getting away in a refreshing shade of age-old forest that surrounds lakes and waterfalls is perhaps a better option than lying around under the scorching sun on beaches.
But how exactly do you get to Jankovac?
Here’s somewhat creative route plan…
Say you, somehow, found yourself in Zagreb. From there, you’ll hit the A3 motorway to the east (that’s E70, Bregana-Zagreb-Lipovac motorway, by the way).
It will take a little over an hour to reach the targeted exit. So, arm yourself with refreshing beverages and have your middle finger on standby if you drive slow in the fast lane.
Take Exit 12, Nova Gradiška, and head toward Požega (some 18 miles of comfortable and stress-free ride give or take, through woods and across fertile plains).
At Požega’s entrance, you’ll stumble upon a roundabout. Follow the sign that says, “Velika” and keep following the main route until you reach the 3rd traffic lights. Turn left there. Then make another (next) left turn and drive straight ahead for 10 or so miles.
You’ll find yourself in this beautiful little place called Velika where you might consider taking the right turn at the first major crossroad to end up in one of the oldest wine cellars of Europe, Kutjevo. Just a friendly tip, that’s all. I mean, why not making a quick pit-stop and tasting some of the finest wines in the world…
Go back to Velika if you are not wasted beyond recognition in which case, spend the night in Kutjevo.
Turn right on the crossroads and continue driving straight forward. When you reach the church, and you won’t be able to miss it, believe you me, turn left. There’s a sign with JANKOVAC written all over it. Follow it.
Now would be a good time to mention that the road to Jankovac is not entirely “modern” sort of speak. The biggest chunk of it is gravel so if you’re about to rent a car, rent an SUV or all-terrain. If you have a fancy limousine fresh-outta-car-wash, make your piece with the thick layer of dust all over the freakin’ vehicle. Sadly, you can’t avoid that shit.
If all this driving is just too much hustle for you; then we are sorry to be the ones who will break it to you that you’re gonna miss probably the best R & R of the lifetime and fail to reward your palates with exceptional collection of the world-famous and gold-metal-awarded winter harvest wines we’re talking about in our next blog. Your loss.
Give us a call. We’ll prep everything for you or, at the very least, provide you with more details.
CTC Team, I.K.