Croatia has so many mountains and hilly landscapes that hikers can never get bored. For the overnight hikers, there are numerous mountain houses, huts, and shelters scattered throughout the country where you can find a protective roof and catch a rest.
Some of these huts are free of charge and for some you must pay a small fee. Members of any Croatian mountaineering association can even get a discount.
Some of Croatia’s most special mountain shelters are nestled within Velebit nature park. They were built by modern Croatian architects and you can sleep there free of charge.
In this post, we cover:
- “Miroslav Hirtz” modern mountain shelter
- “Šugarska duliba” modern mountain shelter
- “Vlaški grad” modern mountain shelter
- “Ždrilo” modern mountain shelter
Hiking is always a superb solution for both your body and soul. Let’s get started…
Mountain shelter Miroslav Hirtz is situated at Bijele stijene strict nature reserve in the Velebit nature park. It is located 1.280 meters above the sea level. This wooded mountain shelter offers the option to spend the night even when it’s not open. There is a small terrace in front of the shelter, so you can sleep outside during warm summer nights.
Miroslav Hirtz doesn’t have its own water tank, but there is a water tank nearby. It is located in front of the mountain house Dragutin Hirc which is only 50 meters away from the shelter. The capacity of the shelter is 30 people which means that 30 people can stay overnight there at any given time.
This shelter was named after Miroslav Hirtz who was a prominent mountaineer and councilor of the HPD – Hrvatsko planinarsko društvo (Croatian Mountaineering Society) in the early 20th century. The shelter was restored in 2020 according to the project of the architect Ivan Juretić.
Šugarska duliba is a mountain shelter located at Velebit nature park, surrounded by mountain ranges. It is located 1.210 meters above sea level. The shelter was built by an architect Ivan Juretić. It was renewed in 2017 and is constantly open to the public.
Šugarska duliba has the capacity to house 10 people. Its interior is very simply designed and it has a furnace, lighting, USB sockets, a table, small sink, and beds. There is also a water tank nearby to shelter. Be careful while looking for the water tank because 70 meters before the water tank, there is a huge abyss whose bottom isn’t visible.
This is the only shelter in this part of Velebit where you can take a rest or sleep. The most special part of this shelter is the 2 floor to ceiling glass windows that offer an incredible view of the mountains and immersive experience of sleeping in nature. There are also 4 hammocks that can be stretched as needed.
Vlaški grad is a mountain shelter located on the mountain of Velebit itself, just below the mountain top of Vlaški grad, 1.280 meters above sea level. It is on the way to Sveto brdo, which is the 2nd highest mountain top on Velebit.
This shelter was built out of stone and wood by architect Domagoj Diklić. It is constantly open. It can hold up to 20 people, but only up to 10 people can sleep there at once. The mountain shelter has an USB charger where you can charge your mobile phone. There is a spring nearby where you can refill your bottles with water.
Vlaški grad has one of the most amazing mountain views I’ve ever seen. Its terrace is built at the edge of a cliff overlooking Velebit’s endless forests. I was there in the early autumn and recommend a long rest on the terrace. The view is meditative, so you could fly away.
Ždrilo is another mountain shelter located on the mountain of Velebit. It is 1.100 meters above sea level, near Piskova kosica. It is a modern shelter with only one room that includes a table, benches, and a furnace. The shelter also has beds for overnight stay. Ždrilo is constantly open.
It is a quite small shelter with a capacity of only 6 people, but it is one of the most unique mountain shelters in Croatia. Don’t forget to bring your own food and water because this shelter doesn’t have a water tank.
Ždrilo was built in 2015 by architect Ivan Juretić. Juretić mainly built it all by himself, but his friends occasionally joined him to help out. He was there alone in a tent for 21 days during construction. The result is a one-of-a-kind shelter that we can enjoy for free.