The best of Via Dinarica’s Mediterranean & Inland Route:
Eight-day Hiking Adventure Through Croatia & Bosnia and Herzegovina

Explore the Via Dinarica through Croatia and Bosnia, an area that is largely 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, the 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 a fascinating mix of European and Eastern culture; and hike Bjelasnica, one of four mountains around city that hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics.

Quotes from Travelers

I don’t often write reviews but this time I felt the need to!! This was the best holiday I’ve been on in a while, I loved every minute of it and I could have stayed longer.

Excellent trip. Varied walks and lovely scenery-very caring guides.

A brilliant holiday that surpassed my expectations. Bosnia is a hidden gem, with amazing mountain scenery, beautiful towns and cities and some fascinating recent history. Seeing different faiths and their shared existence was particularly interesting.

Trip Highlights

  • Hike in the great limestone Dinaric Alps – undiscovered by tourists
  • Enjoy the crystal-blue Adriatic Sea
  • Visit traditional villages in Bosnia, where residents still live “the old way”
  • Explore Mostar and Sarajevo, the crossroads of ancient civilizations

Itinerary – 8 Days

Day 1 – Arrival: Split
Day 2 – Hike to Kula (Imber) peak (863m) at Omiska Dinara
Day 3 – Hike to Vosac peak (1,422m), Biokovo Nature Park
Day 4 – Hike at Biokovo Mountain, central massif & transfer to Mostar
Day 5 – Blidinje Nature Park and Hike to Vilinac peak (2,118m)
Day 6 – Hajducka vrata Hike with descent to Diva Grabovica valley
Day 7 – Umoljani to Lukomir Highland Villages circular hike
Day 8 – Sarajevo Departure, transfer to Sarajevo International Airport

Detailed Description

Day 1 – Arrival: Split

Arrival to Split airport and transfer to the small and pleasant Mediterranean town of Makarska at the foot of the Biokovo Massif, where we stay for the next two nights. 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 / Hotel Biokovo, Makarska, Croatia

Day 2 – Hike to Kula (Imber) peak (863m) at Omiska Dinara

In the morning, we’ll transfer and start the walk from Omis, over the Omis fortress towards the highest peak of Omiska Dinara: Kula (or Imber), at 863m. Picnic at the top. After enjoying the stunning view to the Central Dalmatian islands, the hinterlands of Dalmatia and view to Bosnia’s Cvrsnica 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 / Hotel Biokovo, Makarska, Croatia

Day 3 – Hike to Vosac peak (1,422m), Biokovo Nature Park

Today we start our “real mountain adventure.“ In the morning, transfer to village of Makar, at about 200m altitude, and start to climb towards Vosac peak. We climb gradually for about 1,000m 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 Vosac with a view to the Biokovo central massif and the peak of Sv. Jure (1,762m), the second highest peak of Croatia). Picnic during the day.

Arrival to Vosac 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 and hikers are invited to participate.

Note: In the morning, each passenger should take their backpack with necessities for a two-day hike and sleepover in Vosac mountain hut. The rest of the luggage will be stored in Makarska.

– Challenging walk / 6-7hrs walk / 1200Δh / 11Km
– Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Mountain Hut Vosac, 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 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 / 1400Δh / 11Km
– Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Hotel Almira, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Day 5 Blidinje Nature Park and Hike to Vilinac peak (2,118m)

We start our Bosnian Via Dinarica adventure with a transfer to Blidinje Nature Park, from where we will start hiking over Cvrsnica mountain. Today’s goal is Veliki Vilinac peak (2,118m). The first bit of trail takes us through beech forests and a gentle ascent. As the elevation rises we come above the tree line and the “sleepy giant”: Cvrsnica 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, Cvrsnica mountain, Bosnia

Day 6 Hajducka 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 (2,038m) and Hajducka vrata. Hajducka vrata is a natural arch more than four meters wide. This natural phenomenon is very typical for karst 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 1,500m down, into the valley of Diva Grabovica. At the end of the day, we’ll be transferred to Umoljani village at Bjelasnica Mountain, for a well-deserved homemade dinner.

– Challenging walk / 5-6hrs walk / 1800Δh / 12Km
– Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Pension Umoljani, Bjelasnica Mountain, Bosnia

Day 7 – Umoljani to Lukomir Highland Villages circular hike

This will be a full day walk on the Bjelašnica Massif (home of the 1984 winter Olympics). We will visit Lukomir, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s highest village (1,469m). 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 Kasici 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 great views and cool breezes coming off of Visocica and Treskavica.

Lukomir is Bosnia’s highest village at 1,469 meters, with its ancient stecci (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 Visocica. You have arrived to the end of the world.

We return via Dugo Polje, a long field flanked by Bjelasnica 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. 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.

– Breakfast

Trip Cost 2016

4 – 7 members: 875 EUR
8 – 14 members: 715 EUR

Single supplement: 110 EUR

-Price is per person, double occupancy
-Single rooms are available on a request basis at certain places
-All travelers will be paired with a same gender roommate when a roommate is available
-If a roommate is not available, a 110EUR forced single supplement will be charged

Related Trips

About Via Dinarica Adventures

Via Dinarica Adventures are unique, active itineraries for intrepid travelers that combine spectacular places, cultural interaction, and physical challenges. These expeditions are organized by some of the best Outdoor Adventure Companies in the Western Balkans.
You’ll explore fascinating, off-the-beaten-path places with top guides.

What is Included

– Transportation during entire trip with 8+1 MiniVan or 20+1 MiniBus (including Airport transfers)
– Fully equipped English speaking Tour Leader/Guide
– Accommodation: 5 nights in Twin/Double room with ensuite bathroom; 2 nights in shared accommodation with shared facilities at Vošac and Vilinac Mountain Huts
– Meals specified in itinerary
– All fees and taxes for Omis fortress, Biokovo and Blidinje Nature Parks & VAT

What’s not

– Flights to Split, Croatia & from Sarajevo, Bosnia
– Meals not specified in itinerary
– International Travel insurance
– Optional tipping to leader, guides and local staff
– Souvenirs and items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)
– Any items not specifically mentioned in the programme

Air Travel

Airfare is not included in the land cost of our trips. For air reservations, we recommend you contact VMD Adventure Travel directly, either by phone or the Internet.

Payment & Cancellation Policy

Payment of 10% deposit after booking confirmation. The rest of the amount is due four weeks before the trip date.

Cancellation policy:
– Up to four weeks before startdate – loss of deposit
– Up to two weeks before start date – loss of 50% of total price
– Two weeks or less – loss of 100% of price

Then Leave the Rest to Us

Before you go, we provide you with extensive pre-departure information, including clothing recommendations, suggested reading lists, up-to-date health advice and other details.

References

Don’t take our word for how great our trips are. We’ll be happy to provide you with references of satisfied past travelers.

Questions?

Feel free to call us on Skype, or use the form here to contact us if you still have any questions or concerns. We’re here to help you.

Note on Itinerary

Although we will do our very best to adhere to the itinerary schedule as listed, it is subject to change for numerous reasons, including weather, beyond our control.

Note on Services

To comply with regional laws and regulations, we sometimes use local suppliers, who provide services that may include transportation, equipment, logistic support, and other services (hotels, restaurants, etc.). We work with service providers, who share our commitment to safety and quality, and work closely with them to develop itineraries unique to the Via Dinarica.

ABOUT YOUR TRAVEL IN CROATIA AND BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA (BiH)

Accommodations

Hotel Biokovo is a mid-sized hotel that offers a central location in the small and vivid Mediterranean town of Makarska. On both sides of the hotel we have nice views, of the sunny coast and the rocky Biokovo mountain. The hotel has an enjoyable terrace, where you will be able to enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine, while feeling the fresh air breeze from Biokovo.

After spending two nights in a four-star hotel, we go back to nature and get a chance for a night high up in the mountains, staying in the very simple and small Mountain Hut Vosac, in shared rooms and with limited facilities, but rewarded with a stunning view to the coastal line, more than 1,400m below.

In Mostar and Sarajevo, we stay at friendly family-run Pensions, Almira & Kandilj. Both places are newly built family-run guesthouse, fully adapted to the modern way of life while allowing guests to experience traditional Bosnian atmosphere. All rooms are air-conditioned, equipped with TV, direct phone line, broadband internet, bathroom and toilet.

Mountain Huts in Bosnia (similar as in Croatia) are usually quite basic with shared sleeping rooms. They are generally well-kept, clean and heated; some even have electricity and hot water, but they are still mountain huts offering no luxury and little privacy. You’ll sleep in shared rooms with bunk beds that you may be forced to share. But in this wild natural environment, the mountain huts will seem like a four-star hotels!

Meals

We provide breakfast on all days except day 1.

A picnic lunch is included on days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7. Lunches during the hikes will be picnic style, including bread, cheese, sausage, meat and vegetarian pate, salad, chocolate bars, cookies, trail mix, and coffee/tea. Lunches in Sarajevo and Mostar are in local restaurants offering a wide range of traditional and western dishes.

Dinners in Makarska, Mostar & Sarajevo are in local restaurants known for their good food and great location. Dinner is a la carte, but does not include beverages.
At Umoljani village we’ll have opportunity to try village cuisine with various homemade meals. At mountain huts, dinners will be prepared by your own guides, but every member of the group can participate in meal preparation.

Vegetarian and special diets will be catered to, but options are limited throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina – please inform us of any specific requirements upon booking.

Transportation

We use comfortable Opel Vivaro (8+1) or IVECO / VW Minivans (20+1) with A/C, depending on the size of the group.

Isn’t There a War in Bosnia?

No. Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) has recently celebrated 20 years of peace. The disintegration of the old Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia led to armed conflict in the region. On November 20, 1995, peace was signed between the various parties involved, and fighting ceased. Since then, the countries infrastructure has been largely reconstructed and tourists are returning to the country in ever-increasing numbers, making tourism the fastest growing economic sector.

Is Bosnia Safe?

Despite the memory of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s violent past, BiH is actually one of the safest places in Europe. Violent crime is virtually non-existent. Walking the streets of any town or city at any time of day or night is a relatively safe bet. For women, it is not unsafe to walk at night, even late, on your own.

Most of BiH’s roads are double lane and quite curvy due to the mountainous terrain. Road maintenance is getting better, but don’t let a pot-hole surprise you.

The main concerns for travelers in BiH are pick-pockets on tramways in Sarajevo. The pick-pockets can be avoided with simple precautions and awareness. On trams in Sarajevo, keep your purse close to you, and carry your wallet in your front pocket.

Activity Levels

Easy

Trips rated EASY typically have 1-3 hours of activity per day, with hikes/walks less than five kilometers on mostly flat terrain at altitudes of up to 900 meters.

Easy to Moderate

Trips rated as EASY to MODERATE are designed for travelers seeking both EASY and MODERATE trip activity levels. Trips rated EASY to MODERATE typically have easier rated walks/hikes with options for more moderate activity levels on some days.

Moderate
Trips rated MODERATE typically have 3-6 hours of activity per day, with hikes up to 15 kilometers on rolling or mountainous terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails at altitudes of up to 1,900 meters.

Moderate to Challenging
Trips rated as MODERATE to CHALLENGING are designed for travelers seeking both MODERATE and CHALLENGING trip activity levels. Trips rated MODERATE to CHALLENGING typically have moderate rated walks/hikes with options for more strenuous activity levels on some days.

Challenging
Trips rated CHALLENGING typically have 5-8 hours of activity per day, with hikes up to 15-20 kilometers on mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails at altitudes of up to 2,700 meters.

Ultimate Challenge
Designed for very fit and experienced hikers. Trips rated ULTIMATE CHALLENGE typically have 10 or more hours of activity per day, hiking 20 or more kilometers on remote, mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents, and uneven trails at altitudes of up to 2,700 meters.

Via Dinarica Alliance Partners
Green Visions
VMD Adventure Travel

Group size
4 - 14
4 - 7 members
875 EUR
8 - 14 members
715 EUR
Single supplement
110 EUR
Moderate to Challenging