northwest Karlovačka county
along the lower flow of the river Kupa
The town of Ozalj is situated in the north-west part of the Karlovac County, and it occupies an area of 179.4 square kilometres where numerous picturesque villages and hamlets are located, home to 6,837 inhabitants (2011 census).
The Ozalj area is located along the lower course of the Kupa River and its right confluent, the Dobra River. It is characterized by an interesting geographical diversity – picturesque regions of south spurs of Žumberak mountains, smooth hills of the Vivodina-Vrhovac vineyards, wide and fertile plains near the Kupa River and 9 Šljuncara lakes full of fish. The highest peaks in the area are Vodenica (537m) and Sveta Gera (1 178 m).
Just like a wide open history book, the Ozalj area is still an uncut tourist jewel. It abounds in natural beauty, as well as cultural-historical monuments, and it is an ideal place for field trips, since it is 18 km far from Karlovac, 50 km from Zagreb and 120 km from Rijeka. It is mostly known for its Old Town of Ozalj – the town of Zrinski and Frankopan families – which is surrounded by many less known, but still valuable sights that complete the Ozalj magic, waiting to be discovered by a curious visitor. These include a methodically built medieval village Trg which cultivates the traditional crafts such as lace tatting and jalba making (caps for ladies), then Vrhovac, a village where each house carries the name of the trade it used to practise; Vivodina which will remind you of Tuscany with its picturesque vineyards and wine-cellars; beauty of the Žumberak nature park; feudal estates in Jaškovo, Zorkovac, Grdun, Hrašce, Vrhovac (Plepelic-castle),Trešcerovac and Gornje Pokupje , as well as many others.
The area of the town of Ozalj covers 179.32 square kilometres, making it the largest among the middle-sized local municipalities in the Karlovac County, by occupying 4.95% of the total county size.
The region of the town of Ozalj is not as isolated as it might seem when first glancing when at the map of Croatia. It is located in a frontier region, not far from main traffic roads on the rim of the Karlovac County and Central Croatia. This region is connected to Bela Krajina in the Republic of Slovenia and Bosnian Krajina in Bosnia and Herzegovina through the main traffic junction point in the city of Karlovac, the most important centre of this part of Central Croatia.
In the Ozalj region roads are mostly of regional-county and local significance and used to connect individual parts with their immediate surroundings.
Due to its position, the town centre is not far from certain villages in its catchment,1-20 km, whereas the distance from other surrounding local centres is 10-20 km (Krašic 9 km, Kostanjevac 18 km, Draganic 15 km, Žakanje 15 km, Ribnik 20 km and Netretic 20 km), i.e. from other city centres 18-65 km (Karlovac 18 km, Jastrebarsko 35 km and Zagreb 65 km), and from local centres in the Republic of Slovenia 15-45 km (Metlika 15 km, Crnomelj 30 km and Novo Mesto 45 km).
The region of the town of Ozalj is situated in the far north of the Karlovac County, where it borders Žakanje and Ribnik municipalities in the west, Netretic municipality in the south-west and the city of Karlovac in the south-east. In the north-east it borders Žumberak (Kostanjevac) and Krašic municipalities and the town of Jastrebarsko from the Zagreb County, whereas in the far north and north-west it borders the Republic of Slovenia, thus making it a frontier region.
This area includes the international border crossing Jurovski Brod (outside the region of Ozalj) on the international main road Karlovac-Metlika, state border crossing Krmacina on the regional road Krašic-Vivodina-Metlika and border crossings Brašljevica, Ostriž, Liješce and Brezovica Žumberacka on local roads in the Žumberak region.
The highest peaks in the Ozalj area are Vodenica, 537 m, and Sveta Gera, 1178 m. As a semi-circle, Vivodina, Vrhovac and Zorkovacki bregi open into the Kupa plain through which, passing the last hydro plant dam, the Kupa River slowly flows. On the other side, from Vodenica to Sveticko Hrašce and Erjavac, the arc is closed, after which the rich and cool Dobra River slowly flows.