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Via Dinarica in Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina  The Natural Adventure Company

Via Dinarica in Croatia and Bosnia

Overview

Discover the Balkans off the beaten track on the scenic trails of the Via Dinarica Trail. This itinerary combines the best Via Dinarica trails of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which will let you immerse yourself in pristine wilderness and authentic local culture. You will explore spectacular limestone peaks and the beautiful Adriatic coast, taking in glacial lakes, amazing views, colourful wildflowers, medieval villages, and a gracious culture and people.

Starting in Croatia, you will hike through the less known part of this otherwise popular holiday destination. In Bosnia, you will have the chance to visit Sarajevo, with its fascinating mix of European and Ottoman culture, and Bjelašnica, one of four mountains around the city that hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics.

This is a small group tour, on which you will share the experience with other passionate travellers and will be accompanied by a local guide who will give you the best insights into the places you visit. As you will be exploring some remote mountain areas, mind that two of the nights are spent in mountain huts, in dorm rooms with shared facilities.

Highlights

  • Hike in the great limestone Dinaric Alps
  • Climb the highest peak of Croatia, Sinjal (1831 m)
  • Visit authentic villages in Bosnia, where residents still live “the old way”
  • Explore Mostar and Sarajevo, cities full of culture and history

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Split/Skradin

Arrival at Split airport and transfer to the small and pleasant town of Skradin, on the banks of river Krka. In the evening, while enjoying a drink at one of the town’s terraces, you can often feel the fresh breeze coming down from the mountains in the inner lands. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 2: Canyon of Krupa River | 9 km

Morning transfer to the area of river Krupa. The hike starts from the village of Ravni Golubic into the scenic river canyon, where you will be enjoying views to its emerald waters as well as the intense green banks of the river. We will also get a chance to admire Kudin most, a 109 m long stone bridge connecting the banks of Krupa river. We’ll have a picnic lunch and the possibility of a refreshing swim in the river. Hike back to Ravni Golubic on a different trail and transfer back to Skradin. Dinner at the hotel.

  • Walking for the day: 3-4 hours, 9 km, ↑300 m
  • Hotel Skradinski Buk or similar (Skradin, Croatia)
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Badanj Peak and Brezovac Mountain Hut | 8 km

Transfer to Guge village and Mirkovici plain, below Badanj peak. Start of our 2-day hiking adventure on Dinara. Dinara is the highest mountain in Croatia. Although it doesn’t boast with remarkable height – it does not exceed 2000m, its shape and length make it one of the most impressive mountains in Croatia.

Today we ascend to the minor but equally interesting Badanj peak 1281m, for some nice views of the Dinara mountain and the valleys below. In the afternoon we arrive at the Brezovac mountain hut, where we will spend the night enjoying the fresh air and silence of the mountain, accompanied by some local products which we will have for dinner. Overnight in dorm rooms, with shared facilities.

  • Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, 8 km, ↑550 m
  • Accommodation: Mountain Hut Brezovac (Dinara Mountain, Croatia)
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

As the overnight will be in a hut that is not accessible by cars, mind that you will have to carry a backpack with what you will need for the evening and for tomorrow’s hike.

Day 4: Sinjal Peak and Drive to Mostar | 14 km

In the morning we start our ascent to the highest peak of Croatia – Sinjal peak (or Dinara, 1831m). The first part of the ascent follows an old military gravel road climbing up the mountain. We then move away from the road and start ascending towards the peak on a rocky and relatively steep path. At the top, we can enjoy some beautiful views to Perucko lake basin, Troglav mountain on the border with Bosnia and the mountains of Sibenik and Knin region. After the peak, we start our descent towards Glavas village on the eastern slopes of Dinara mountain. On the way down we enjoy passing over Levurdovac pasture and Podcrvkica plateau, further down to the huge amphitheatre of Pekasova Draga valley, passing an old fort that used to guard the eastern access to Dinara mountain, in the time of Ottoman conquests. The hike ends in Glavas village, where we are picked up by our bus and transferred to Mostar, in Bosnia & Herzegovina, where we continue with the second part of our Via Dinarica Croatia and Bosnia program. Dinner and overnight in Mostar.

  • Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, 14 km, ↑800 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Almira (Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Blidinje Nature Park and Vilinac Peak | 10 km

We start the Bosnian part of our Via Dinarica adventure with a transfer to Blidinje Nature Park, from where we will start hiking over Čvrsnica mountain. Today’s goal is Vilinac peak (2118 m). The first bit of the trail takes us through a beech forest and has a gentle ascent. As the elevation rises we come above the tree line. From the top of Vilinac, we will see the surrounding peaks enjoying a 360-degree panorama. The hut where we spend our first night in the Bosnian mountains is located 15 minutes away.

  • Walking for the day: 5 hours, 10 km, ↑600 m
  • Accommodation: Mountain Hut Vilinac (Čvrsnica mountain, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

As the overnight will be in a hut, mind that you will have to carry a backpack with what you will need for the evening.

Day 6: Hajdučka Vrata and Diva Grabovica Valley | 11 km

After breakfast, we will hike east to Drinaca peak (2038 m) and Hajdučka Vrata, a natural arch more than four meters wide. There are many natural arches of this kind in this area, but this one is the biggest. From here we will start our descent, more than 1500 m down, into the valley of Diva Grabovica. At the end of the day, we’ll be transferred to Umoljani village at Bjelašnica Mountain, for a well-deserved homemade dinner.

  • Walking for the day: 5-6 hours, 11 km  ↓1800 m
  • Accommodation: Pension Umoljani (Bjelašnica Mountain, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Highland Villages of Umoljani and Lukomir/Sarajevo | 16 km

Full day walk on the Bjelašnica Massif (home of the 1984 winter Olympics). From the traditional style Bosnian Mosque in the village of Umoljani, we’ll walk to the seven water mills and the beautiful water source used for centuries for grinding wheat into flour. We follow the ridge until Rakitnica opens up. After 5-10 minutes, we reach the Cascades of Studeni Potok. Here we’ll have a view of Obalj and the long flat valley of Studeni Fields. En route, we’ll find quite a few sources where we can refill our bottles. From the Studeni Fields, we hike along Obalj’s side, you will be treated by sweet views and cool breezes coming off of Visočica and Treskavica.

We soon reach Lukomir, Bosnia’s highest village at 1469 meters, known for the ancient stećci (medieval tombstones) and the authentic lifestyle of the locals. Traditional dress, the occasional turban, and fez are still worn and go hand in hand with the more contemporary rhythm of everyday life: electricity and running water. On the edge of the village, you will be treated by a rare view of Rakitnica, Obalj, and Visočica. You have arrived at the end of the world. We return via Dugo Polje, a long field flanked by Bjelašnica and Obalj. The trail is well maintained by people from the various villages around. Winding our way through Crveni Klanac we arrive at Gradina, a summer village just above Umoljani. From the village, we walk down to Umoljani from where we’ll be transferred to Sarajevo for our final evening of this journey.

  • Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, 16 km ↑350 m
  • Accommodation: Pension Kandilj (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Departure from Sarajevo

Depending on your departure time, you will have some time for some gift shops and quick sightseeing, before being transferred to Sarajevo Airport.

  • Included meals: Breakfast

What to Expect

Accommodation

Most accommodations are small family-run hotels with en-suite facilities. Two nights are spent in huts in dorm rooms with shared facilities (no need to bring a sleeping bag or sheets). We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view our default hotels for this trip

Please mind that the default accommodations are subject to availability. In case a hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a property of equal standard. We will provide full accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

The tour package includes full-board meal plan: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches (mostly picnics), and 7 dinners (as listed in the itinerary).

Difficulty & terrain

You should be in good physical shape and be able to walk for 6-7 hours per day to fully enjoy this tour (read more about difficulty grades).

When to go

Departures for this trip are available in May, June, July and September. During the hiking season, the weather is normally pleasant and sunny. More rain is expected at the beginning and the end of the season, and it gets warmer during July and August. However, short cold waves and even snow during the summer is not unusual in the Dinaric Alps.

Getting there

View country info and up-to-date travel advice, here for Croatia, and here for Bosnia & Herzegovina

By Plane

Recommended arrival airport: Split
Recommended departure airport: Sarajevo

Included

Included

  • Transportation during the entire trip with 8+1 minivan or 20+1 minibus (including airport transfers)
  • English speaking tour leader/guide
  • 5 nights in twin/double rooms with ensuite facilities
  • 2 nights in dorm rooms with shared facilities at Brezovac and Vilinac Mountain Huts
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • All fees and taxes for Dinara and Blidinje Nature Parks

Excluded

  • Airfare
  • Meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Tips for the tour leader and local staff
  • Personal expenses
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • Single room supplement for members of a group (not possible in the mountain huts)
  • Extra nights in Split and Sarajevo

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