The Via Adriatica Trail is the first Croatian long-distance trail. It winds through 1.100 kilometers of the mountainous part of the Adriatic coast, from cape Kamenjak near Pula in the northwest to cape Oštro near Prevlaka in the southeast.
The trail covers 14 mountains, 12 rivers, 3 national parks, 3 nature parks, 1 strict reserve, 2 lakes, and 18 protected areas and passes through 7 Croatian counties and 52 municipalities. To guarantee plenty of alone time in nature and wilderness, the trail was built to purposely avoid populated areas.
In this post, we cover:
- Via Adriatica basics
- Who is Via Adriatica for
- Highlights of the trail
- Where to stay
- Stages of the trail
- Natural wonders
- Protected areas
- Other resources
The facts are these…
The Via Adriatica Trail project was launched by members of the adventure-environmental organization AktivNatura. They spend a lot of time in nature walking, hiking, and cycling and got the idea to build the trail while on one of their trips. The project started in 2017.
The idea behind this project was to connect the mountains with the Adriatic coast. The result is a combination of numerous marked hiking trails, forest and field roads, and some local roads with infrequent traffic.
Via Adriatica starts at cape Kamenjak in Istria in the northwest and finishes at cape Oštro in Prevlaka in the southeast near the border with Montenegro. If coming from abroad, Pula and Dubrovnik both have international airports.
Hiking all 1.100 kilometers of the trail will take approximately 70 days. If there is bad weather, it could delay the hike up to 20 days. If you are lucky enough to experience pristine weather during your trek, the trail could take as little as 50 days.
- Length: 1.100 kilometers
- Countries covered: Croatia
- Highest elevation: Sinjal (Dinara) – 1.831 m
- Skill level: Middle
- Starting point: Cape Kamenjak (Pula)
- Ending point: Cape Oštra (Prevlaka)
The trail is broken up into stages, representing a variety of skill levels. If you are a novice hiker and want an easy hike, there are parts of the trail where you can jump on and jump off.
If you are an experienced hiker, blazing the entire trail could be your next summit. Via Adriatica includes 13 stages of the trail, so you can pick only one or several of them to hike.
Day trips to the trail’s highest mountain peaks are a low-impact option, good for beginners and experts alike.
Here are some of the most interesting spots on the trail:
- Bunari na Rajčici – 10 Roman water wells in Dalmatinska zagora (near Klis)
- Napoleonova cesta (Napoleon road), at the entrance to Ston
- Majstorska cesta – First modern Croatian road from 1832 which connects northern and southern Croatia (Obrovac and Sveti Rok)
- Pastirski stanovi (shepherd’s huts) within Northern Velebit National Park
- Vojak (Učka) – Tower from the Austro-Hungarian era
There are many mountain huts and private accommodations available along the trail route. You can find the available options for each stage at the links in the next section.
Via Adriatica Trail has 13 stages which may be hiked continuously or separately.
Below is a list of the trail stages, beginning in the northwest and ending in the southeast. At the provided links, you can get more information on each stage including:
- Video tour of the stage
- Elevation of the stage
- Mountain lodges
- Apartment accommodation
- Available tour guides
Currently, this information is only available in Croatian. When Via Adriatica launches its English resources, we will update the below links accordingly.
- Stage 1: Istra (Kamenjak-Poklon)
- Stage 2: Gorski kotar (Poklon-Plase)
- Stage 3: Vinodolsko i Senjsko zaleđe (Plase-Oltari)
- Stage 4: Sjeverni i srednji Velebit (Oltari-Baške Oštarije)
- Stage 5: Južni Velebit I (Baške Oštarije-Prezid)
- Stage 6: Južni Velebit II (Prezid-Knin)
- Stage 7: Dinara (Knin-Peruća)
- Stage 8: Zagora (Peruća-Malačka)
- Stage 9: Kozjak, Perun i Omiška Dinara (Malačka-Brela)
- Stage 10: Biokovo (Brela-Ploče)
- Stage 11: Pelješac (Ploče-Ston)
- Stage 12: Dubrovačko primorje (Ston-Srđ)
- Stage 13: Konavle (Srđ-Prevlaka)
Via Adriatica trail includes these mountains:
- Grobničke Alpe
- Mountain mass of Vinodol and Senj hinterland
- Omiška Dinara
- Poljička planina
- Zmijsko brdo (Monte Vipera)
Here are the highest peaks of the Via Adriatica higher that 1.000 meters:
- Budakovo brdo (Middle Velebit) – 1.317 m
- Obruč (Grobnik Alps) – 1.376 m
- Prikinuto brdo (Middle Velebit) – 1.264 m
- Risnjak (Goran plateau) – 1.528 m
- Šćirovac (Biokovo) – 1.619 m
- Sinjal (Dinara) – 1.831 m
- Snježnik (Goran plateau) – 1.505 m
- Sveti Ilija (Biokovo) – 1.642 m
- Sveti Ilija (Sniježnica) – 1.234 m
- Sveti Jure (Biokovo) – 1.762 m
- Sveto brdo (Southern Velebit) – 1.751 m
- Svilaja – peak (Svilaja) – 1.508 m
- Tuhobić (Goran plateau) – 1.109 m
- Tulove grede (Southern Velebit) – 1.120 m
- Vaganski vrh (Southern Velebit) – 1.757 m
- Velika Duvjakuša (Dinara – Troglav group) – 1.708 m
- Veliki Rujnik (Vinodol hinterland) – 1.042 m
- Visibaba (Middle Velebit) – 1.078 m
- Visočica (Middle Velebit) – 1.616 m
- Vojak (Učka) – 1.393 m
- Vošac (Biokovo) – 1.421 m
- Vučjak (Northern Velebit) – 1.644 m
- Zagradski vrh (Vinodol hinterland) – 1.187 m
Via Adriatica Trail includes these rivers:
Two lakes are situated within the Via Adriatica Trail:
- Baćinska jezera (Bacinska lakes)
- Peručko jezero (Perucko lake)
Via Adriatica includes 3 Croatian national parks:
Parks of nature
Via Adriatica includes 3 Croatian nature parks:
- Nature Park Biokovo
- Nature Park Učka
- Nature Park Velebit
Other protected areas
There are many more beautiful protected areas across the trail including:
- Nature Monument Cetina-Vrela
- Park architecture monument Dvije platane in Trsteno
- Park forest Trsteno-Brsečine
- Special geomorphological-hydrological reserve Krčić
- Significant landscape Brela
- Significant landscape Cetina canyon
- Significant landscape Donji Kamenjak
- Significant landscape Labin-Rabac-Prtlog
- Significant landscape Rijeka Dubrovačka
- Special reserve – Jadro
- Special reserve – Mali Ston bay
- Strict reserve – Hajdučki i Rožanski kukovi
Guides for certain stages of Via Adriatica Trail are available here.
If you want to join the Via Adriatica team, donate to the project or help it some other way, read this information.
View our other hiking posts
- 5 hiking trails on Učka mountain
- Croatia’s mountain shelters of modern architecture (within Velebit Nature Park)
- Peaks of the Balkans
- Premužićeva staza: A diverse and unique hiking trail on Velebit Mountain
- Via Dinarica Mega Trail
- Visiting Northern Velebit National Park
Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. It is important to understand that Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change and each personal case is individual and different rules may apply. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant. We can recommend one if you contact us.