The best of Via Dinarica’s Mediterranean & Inland Route: 8-day Hiking Adventure through Croatia & Bosnia and Herzegovina
Explore part of Via Dinarica in Croatia and Bosnia, an area that is yet to be discovered by hikers. If they only knew what was waiting for them! On this adventure, you’ll find a playground for active travelers. Spectacular limestone peaks, beautiful Adriatic coast, glacier lakes, amazing views, colorful wildflowers, medieval villages, and a gracious culture and people.
Come explore Nature Parks Biokovo & Blidinje. Visit Sarajevo, Bosnia’s capital city, and Bjelašnica, one of four mountains around city that hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics. Sarajevo is a fascinating mix of European and Near Eastern culture.
Itinerary – 8 Days
Day 1: Arrival to Split
Arrival to Split airport and transfer to Makarska town, where we stay for the next two nights. Makarska is a small and pleasant Mediterranean town, situated at the foot of the Biokovo Massif. 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 mountain. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Dinner / Pension Dany, Makarska, Croatia
Day 2: Hike to Kula (Imber) peak (863 m) at Omiška Dinara
In the morning, we’ll transfer and start of the walk from Omiš, over Omiš fortress towards the highest peak of Omiška Dinara: Kula (or Imber), at 863 m. Picnic at the top. After enjoying the stunning view to the Central Dalmatian islands, inner lands of Dalmatia and view to Bosnia’s Čvrsnica and Prenj mountains, we descend to the banks of river Cetina. Here, we can have a drink in one of the traditional mills on the river. Return to Makarska, dinner and overnight in hotel.
Moderate walk / 5-6hrs walk / 860Δh / 13km
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Pansion Dany, Makarska, Croatia
Day 3: Hike to Vošac peak (1,422 m), Biokovo Nature Park
Today we start our “real mountain adventure“. In the morning, transfer to village of Makar, at about 200 m altitude, and start to climb towards Vošac peak. We climb gradually for about 1,000 m until we reach the high plateau of Biokovo. During the climb we will enjoy the view of the islands and coastal line. When we reach the high plateau, we have about an hour more to reach the peak of Vošac, during which we will discover the view to the Biokovo central massif and the peak of Sv. Jure (1,762 m) – the second highest peak of Croatia. Picnic during the day.
Arrival to Vošac peak and the small mountain hut, Toni Roso. We stay at 1,422 m above Makarska, with the “wall of Biokovo“ starting its plunge towards the coast just several meters in front of the hut’s terrace. This evening we spend in the “Croatian mountaineer way“: enjoying the stunning view, fresh air, local food and wine of Biokovo region. Dinner is prepared at the hut. Hikers are invited to participate in dinner making.
Challenging walk / 6-7hrs walk / 1,200Δh / 11km
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Mountain Hut Namaste, Biokovo Mountain, Croatia
Day 4: Hike at Biokovo Mountain, central massif & transfer to Mostar
After breakfast with a view to the Central Dalmatian islands and coast, we start our second day of Biokovo adventure. We walk through the central part of Biokovo massif, passing through meadows and rugged terrain until we start our descent towards Veliko Brdo village and Makarska.
On the way, we will enjoy a picnic and some rest in the shade of the evergreen forests on the slopes of the grand Biokovo wall. In afternoon, descend to Makarska, a well-deserved swim or rest in a cafe near the sea. We then pick up the luggage and transfer to Mostar, in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Challenging walk / 5-6hrs walk / 1,400Δh / 11km
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Hotel Almira, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Day 5: Blidinje Nature Park and Hike to Vilinac peak (2,118 m)
We start our Bosnian part of 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 (2,118 m). The first bit of trail takes us through beech forest and a gentle ascent. As the elevation rises we come above the tree line and the “sleepy giant”: Čvrsnica Mountain. From the top of Vilinac we will see the surrounding peaks, a 360-degree panorama. The hut is located 15 minutes away, where we spend our first night in the mountains.
Moderate walk / 4-5hrs walk / 600Δh / 13km
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Mountain Hut Vilinac, Čvrsnica mountain, Bosnia
Day 6: Hajdučka vrata Hike with descent to Diva Grabovica valley
Sunrises are the most beautiful in the mountains, and sunrise from Vilinac Hut is definitely one of the best in Bosnia. After breakfast we will hike east to Drinaca peak (2,038 m) and Hajdučka vrata. Hajdučka vrata is a natural arch more than four meters wide. This natural phenomenon is very typical for carst and limestone. There are many natural arches of this kind in this area, but one is the biggest.
From here we will start our descent, more than 1,500 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.
Challenging walk / 5-6hrs walk / 1,800Δh / 12km
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Pension Umoljani, Bjelašnica Mountain, Bosnia
Day 7: Umoljani to Lukomir Highland Villages circular hike
Full day walk on the Bjelašnica Massif (home of the 1984 winter Olympics). We will visit Lukomir, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s highest village (1,469 m). From the traditional style Bosnian Mosque in the village of Umoljani, we’ll walk to the seven water mills and the beautiful source used for centuries as energy to grind wheat into flour. We hug the ridge until Rakitnica (this is the far north end while Kasići is the far south end) opens up. After 5-10 minutes, we reach the Cascades of Studeni Potok. Here we’ll have a super view of Obalj and the long flat valley of Studeni Fields. En route, we’ll find quite a few sources where we can drink our fill.
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.
Lukomir is Bosnia’s highest village at 1,469 meters, with its ancient stećci (medieval tombstones) and where villagers stick to the “old way” of doing things. 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 to 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. Chances are we will see many villagers around collecting their summer harvest. From the village we walk down to Umoljani from where we’ll be transferred to Sarajevo for our final evening of this journey.
Moderate walk / 6-7hrs walk / 350Δh / 16km
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Pension Kandilj, Sarajevo, Bosnia
Day 8: Sarajevo Departure, transfer to Sarajevo International Airport
Depending on your departure time, you will have some last-minute shopping opportunities. After, you will be transferred to the Sarajevo International Airport.