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Via Dinarica Mega Trail

Kamešnica Peak on Via Dinarica Trail
Image by Mountain-Fit

The Balkans 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.

The Via Dinarica trail is perfect for hiking, mountain biking, skiing, camping, rafting, and wandering. This mega trail is actually made up of 3 separate trails, all of which are transnational and present their own set of exciting challenges. In this post, we will dig deep into each of the three sub-trails on the incredible Via Dinarica.

Via Dinarica Mega Trail

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

The Via Dinarica Trail is a mega trail that runs through several Balkan countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Albania. The highest peaks are particularly special, but the whole route has a number of challenging hiking routes.

Highest peaks of the Via Dinarica

  • Dinara on the Dinara mountain (Croatia) – 1913 meters
  • Vaganski vrh on the Velebit mountain (Croatia) – 1757 meters
  • Sveti Jure on the Biokovo mountain (Croatia) – 1762 meters
  • Lisinj vrh on the Lisinj mountain (Montenegro) – 1353 meters
  • Korab on the Prokletije mountain (Albania) – 2764 meters

Croatian national parks of the Via Dinarica

Croatian parks of nature on the trails

  • Učka
  • Velebit
  • Vransko jezero (Vrana Lake)
  • Biokovo

Croatian nature reserves on the trails

  • Bijele i Samarske stijene
  • Hajdučki i Rožanski kukovi

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

The entire trail is ideal for mountain bikers, hikers, and skiers who want to experience the adventure of a lifetime.

The Via Dinarica mega trail includes three separate trails:

1. The White Trail

Sveto Brodo on Via Dinarica White Trail
Image by Wikiloc

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

  • Troglav (1.913 meters)
  • Kamešnica (1.809)
  • Dinara (1.830 meters)
  • Vaganski vrh (1.757 meters)
  • Sveto brdo (1.751 meters)

The White Trail is primarily for hiking, but it is also good for mountain biking and rafting. The White Trail runs through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Albania. The trail is recommended to experienced and well equipped mountaineers.

White Trail Basics

  • Length – 1.300 kilometers
  • Countries covered – Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Albania
  • Highest elevation – Maja Jezercë, Albania (2.694)
  • Skill level – Medium to Difficult
  • Starting point – Koper, Slovenia
  • Ending point – Prokletije, Albania

Highlights of the White Trail

There are endless experiences to be had on the White Trail of Via Dinarica, but these 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 during the trail, but there are many mountain shelters and mountain lodges (planinarski dom) where you can sleep and get a warm meal. Here are a few good ones:

Stages of the White Trail

The 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. There is more information on each stage at each link below.

2. The Blue Trail

Via Dinarica Blue Trail near Biokovo
Image by Croatia Feeds

The Blue Trail veers towards the Croatian coast, close to the Adriatic sea. The 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. The trail covers the best European coastal and hinterland hiking routes. The Blue Trail runs through Slovenia, Croatia, a tiny part of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the south, Montenegro, and then ends in Albania.

Blue Trail Basics

  • Countries covered – Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Albania
  • Skill level – easy to medium
  • Starting point – Koper (Slovenia)
  • Ending point – near Shkodër (Albania)

Highlights of the Blue Trail

During your trek on the Blue Trail, these are the sites you dedicate some time to:

  • Učka Nature Park
  • Islands Rab and Pag
  • Zrmanja River
  • Krka National Park
  • Mountains of Kozjak and Mosor
  • Biokovo Nature Park
  • Pelješac peninsula
  • The island of Mljet and 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.

For example, 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.

Stages of the Blue Trail

The Blue Trail is broken down into stages by point of interest or region. While some of the Blue Trail is still forming, below are the current stages of the trail. You can find more information on the corresponding links.

3. The Green Trail

Kamačnik on Via Dinarica Green Trail
Image by Foto Skrinja

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

It is full of wildlife and perfect if you want to go hiking or walking as well. This trail isn’t too demanding and it is ideal if you are looking for an easier hike. The Green Trail starts in Slovenia and goes through Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo.

Green Trail Basics

  • Countries covered – Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo
  • Skill level – Medium
  • Starting point – Ljubljana (Slovenia)
  • Ending point – near Zubin Potok (Kosovo)

Highlights of The Green Trail

When planning your hike on the Green Trail, make sure these highlights are on your itinerary:

Where to stay

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

Stages of the Green Trail

The Green Trail is comprised of 8 stages. Click below for more information on each stage:

More Via Dinarica Resources

A list of mountain huts can be found here and other accommodation can be found here.

Sports, food and drinks, and other offers can be found here.

Happy hiking!

If you’re in to hiking in Croatia, check out our other posts on hiking and national parks.

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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