A tour around Čepić Field completes the story of the former lake and citadels that testify to a turbulent past. Until 1932, Čepić Field was a lake rich in freshwater fish and bird species. The rivulet Boljunčica turned the field into a shallow lake, clogging its natural sink with sediments. It was only by digging the canal and tunnel to Plomin Bay during the Italian rule that the lake was drained and turned into a fertile field.
The route stretches along the western border of Čepić Field, around the fortifications on the shores of the former lake. You start from Kršan citadel, a town with a rich Glagolitic history, built on a rocky hill. Take a tour of the stone fortress of the former seat of prominent nobles, surrounded by protective walls. A transcript of the Istrian Demarcation was found in the citadel, which is a valuable Glagolitic monument to the literacy of the Istrian and Croatian people. A bit further, in the small village of Kloštar near Polje Čepić, there is the former Pauline Monastery of the Blessed Virgin Mary, one of the oldest monasteries in Croatia.
After that, the road’s ascent becomes steeper and leads to the small village of Brdo, which features an imposing 35-metre-high bell tower. In the 15th century, the area was inhabited by the Vlach population, which has preserved its specific Istro-Romanian language to this day.
What follows is the descent through the picturesque landscape to the small village of Letaj, which hides the unique cheese-making story of the Fajman family, who started the production of home-made cheeses in the 1980s. Stop and refresh yourselves with delicious dairy products and cheeses. In addition, you can buy home-made curd cottage cheese (skuta) or škripavac cheese as the best edible souvenir.
Along the northern border of Čepić Field you will reach Šušnjevica, where you will learn more about the history and traditional culture of this area in the interpretation centre of the Ecomuseum Vlaški Puti (Vlach Paths). Search regional materials and publications in the Vlach and Žejanski languages.
The rest of the route stretches along a paved asphalt road through rural settlements at the foot of Učka, characterized by livestock and agriculture. On the way from Kožljak to Kršan, stop at the northern tunnel portal through which Lake Čepić was emptied in 1932. Return to the medieval Kršan citadel, relax and reflect with a view of the fertile Čepić Field and the green slopes of Učka.