Via Dinarica, a mega trail passing through Croatia

Kamešnica Peak on Via Dinarica Trail
Image by Mountain-Fit

The Balkans (and Croatia) has a lot to offer to every individual adventurer. This region is rich with mountain ranges, lush rolling hills covered in vineyards, glassy lakes, dense forests, winding rivers, scruffy deserts, glittering clear blue seas, and islands of every size, both inhabited and desolate.

If you want to experience all of it in one trail, look no further than the Via Dinarica mega trail that runs through 7 countries, including Croatia. This trail is perfect for hiking, mountain biking, skiing, camping, rafting, and wandering.

The incredible Via Dinarica mega trail is made up of 3 separate trails, all of which are transnational and present their own set of exciting challenges.

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

Via Dinarica, a mega trail passing through Croatia

Via Dinarica’s location in Balkans

Via Dinarica Trail Routes - Blue, White, Green
Image by Bushnuts

Via Dinarica mega trail runs through several Balkan countries (from north to south):

  • Slovenia
  • Croatia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Serbia
  • Montenegro
  • Kosovo
  • Albania

The entire trail is ideal for mountain bikers, hikers, and skiers who want to experience the adventure of a lifetime. The part of the trail in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the most breathtaking due to its mountain ranges.

Via Dinarica also offers exciting rafting on the Neretva, Tara, and Una rivers.

[Read: Delta of the Croatian river Neretva – an agricultural and kitesurfing heaven]

Trebinje is a stunning part of the Bosnia and Herzegovina trail, which will satify even the most demanding adventurers.

Spectacular sites on Via Dinarica in Croatia

Via Dinarica’s highest peaks

The highest peaks of the trail are particularly special, but the whole route has a number of challenging hiking routes.

Here are the highest peaks:

  • Dinara on Dinara, Croatia – 1.913 m
  • Vaganski vrh on Velebit, Croatia – 1.757 m
  • Sveti Jure on Biokovo, Croatia – 1.762 m
  • Lisinj vrh on Lisinj, Montenegro – 1.353 m
  • Korab on Prokletije, Albania – 2.764 m

Croatian national parks on Via Dinarica

Croatian national parks you will come accross from north to south on Via Dinarica are:

  • Risnjak – view a guide here
  • Sjeverni Velebit – view a guide here
  • Paklenica – view a guide here
  • Plitvička jezera – view a guide here
  • Krka – view a guide here
  • Mljet – view a guide here

Croatian parks of nature on Via Dinarica

Croatian parks of nature you will come accross from north to south on Via Dinarica are:

  • Učka – view a guide on Učka trails here
  • Velebit – view a guide on Premužićeva staza trail on Velebit here
  • Vransko jezero (Vrana Lake)
  • Biokovo

Croatian strict nature reserves on Via Dinarica

There are 2 strict nature reserves on Via Dinarica in Croatia:

  • Bijele i Samarske stijene
  • Hajdučki i Rožanski kukovi

[Read: Strict nature reserves of Croatia: Hajdučki i Rožanski kukovi and Bijele i Samarske stijene]

3 separate trails of Via Dinarica

Via Dinarica mega trail includes three separate trails:

  • White trail
  • Blue trail
  • Green trail

#1 White trail, Via Dinarica

Sveto Brodo on Via Dinarica White Trail
Image by Wikiloc

White trail is the primary trail of the Via Dinarica. It follows the natural flow of the highest peaks of the Dinaric Alps. All highest peaks in each respective country are on this trail, including:

  • Troglav, Dinara – 1.913 m
  • Kamešnica, Dinara – 1.809 m
  • Dinara, Dinara – 1.830 m
  • Vaganski vrh, Velebit – 1.757 m
  • Sveto brdo, Velebit – 1.751 m

White trail is primarily for hiking, but it is also good for mountain biking and rafting. It is recommended to experienced and well equipped mountaineers.

White trail basics

  • Countries – Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania
  • Skill level – medium/difficult
  • Start point – Koper, Slovenia
  • End point – Prokletije, Albania
  • Length – 1.300 km
  • Highest elevation – Maja Jezercë, Albania – 2.694 m

White trail highlights

There are endless experiences to be had on the White trail of Via Dinarica. Here are the ones not to be missed:

  • Risnjak national park
  • Bijele i Samarske stijene, Velebit strict nature reserve
  • Northern Velebit – national park (Zavižan – Rožanski kukovi – Alan)
  • Paklenica national park – peaks of Velebit (Struge – Vaganski vrh – Sveto brdo)
  • Dinara (Brezovac – Dinara – Glavaš – source of the Cetina River)
  • Prenj, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Prokletije mountains, Albania

Where to stay

Wild camping is possible on the trail, but there are many mountain shelters and mountain lodges called planinarski dom where you can sleep and get a warm meal.

Here are a few good ones:

White trail stages

White trail is broken down into pieces, making it easy to plan a hike based on what you want to see, where you can get on the trail, how much time you have, and what your skill level is.

Here are the stages:

#2 Blue trail, Via Dinarica

Via Dinarica Blue Trail near Biokovo
Image by Croatia Feeds

Blue Trail veers towards the Croatian coast, close to the Adriatic sea. Blue trail also includes a journey through mountains, though they are smaller than the peaks on the White trail.

The trail is perfumed by Adriatic herbs and the salty, fresh scent of the sea. It covers the best European coastal and hinterland hiking routes.

Blue trail basics

  • Countries – Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania
  • Skill level – easy/medium
  • Start point – Koper, Slovenia
  • End point – near Shkodër, Albania

Blue trail highlights

During your trek on the Blue trail, dedicate some time to these sites:

  • Učka nature park
  • Rab and Pag islands
  • Zrmanja river
  • Krka national park
  • Kozjak and Mosor mountains
  • Biokovo nature park
  • Pelješac peninsula
  • Mljet island
  • Mljet national park

Where to stay

Wild camping is possible during the trail, but if you prefer more comfortable places to stay, you can rent an apartment at its lowest points. You can stay on the Pelješac peninsula or the island of Mljet on the coast.

This trail is ideal to visit in late spring or autumn.

Blue trail stages

Blue trail is broken down into stages by point of interest or region. While some parts of the trail are still forming, here are the current stages:

#3 Green trail, Via Dinarica

Kamačnik on Via Dinarica Green Trail
Image by Foto Skrinja

Green trail drives through conifer forests in the lower mountains of the Dinaric Alps. It is used for two-wheeled trailblazers with hundreds of kilometers of well-maintained mountain bike trails.

The trail is full of wildlife and perfect if you want to go hiking or walking. It isn’t too demanding and is ideal if you are looking for easier hike.

Green trail basics

  • Countries – Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo
  • Skill level – medium
  • Start point – Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • End point – near Zubin Potok, Kosovo

Green trail highlights

When hiking on the Green trail, make sure these highlights are on your itinerary:

  • Iševnica – Vražji prolaz – Skrad
  • Vrbovsko – Kamačnik
  • Klek – Ogulin
  • Plitvice Lakes national park

Where to stay

Wild camping is possible and mountain huts are available on some parts of the trail. Like with the Blue trail, parts of this trail are still in formation and haven’t been strictly defined.

Green trail stages

Green trail is comprised of the following stages:

More resources on Via Dinarica trail

You can find more information on Via Dinarica trail at the official pages here.

Happy hiking!

View our other hiking articles


Source:
Via Dinarica

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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