'Walking the Via Dinarica' expedition climbes on top of Dinara and reaches Paklenica

05 Oct 2013

imageModrič cave near the Paklenica National Park. The cave was discovered in 1980s and was not open for tourist visitors until 2004. Visiting the cave does not fall into the typical touristic tour since it lacks stairs, trails and installed lightning.

The purpose of the field tour of the Dinarides which already crossed half of the planned trip is to map the potential for EU funding.

The successful three-month long expedition, "Walking the Via Dinarica," began in August in Albania and continued over high mountain ranges of the Dinarides, crossed half of the planned route through Croatia, and today continues its journey from National Park Paklenica. Because the expedition is part of a regional project which aims to promote rural development of the Dinarides, it is jointly led by the Adventure Tourism Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ATA BiH), the United Nations Development Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The expedition's implementing partner in Croatia is the Mountain Guide Station Zagreb.

The team is led by the famous alpinist, Kenan Muftić, and a profesional photographer, Elma Okić, who were joined in Croatia by the representatives of the UNDP in Croatia, Guides of the Mounteneering Station, and the Croatian Mounteneering Association.The route included walking thorugh the National Park Plitvice Lakes, Nature Park Biokovo, Mosora, Promine, National Park Krka, and Dinarides thus arriving on Thursday to the Nature Park Paklenica where they continue towards Velebit, Kuterevo, White and Samarske rocks, Risnjak, Snježnik and Platak.


“I can say that our best cooperation was with the National Park Paklenica” stated Anamaria Marović, Head of the Head of the Climbing Commission of the Croatian Mountaineering Association. “Administration of the National Park frequently accommodates our needs regarding seminars, exams, workshops and lets us use their space with the free entrance to the park. They also react promptly and effectively to our proposals related to climbing and climbing directions within the Park. Moreover, we work closely together in organizing the International Climbing Competition, Big wall speed climbing.


Expert for sustainable development and a travel writer, Tim Clancy, also joined the expedition: “For those who believe true Croatian beauty can be found only in the crystal clear sea water, it is time for personal introspection. These hinterland jewels, such as National Park Paklenica confirm Croatia’s position as the new center for world’s natural heritage. It is one of the most popular climbing destinations.” claims Clancy. “However, other jewels exist which are less familiar such as Modric cave in Rovanjska, close to Zadar. That unnoticeable underground room leads you 850 meters into the center of the Earth with a perfectly conserved underground world. And all this is just the tip of the iceberg when we talk about the mountain terrain in Croatia. Via Dinarica aims to throw more light into the less famous Croatian attributes, and focus the attention towards adventure tourism which is in offer.”


The Via Dinarica project was inspired by the success of the Via Alpine project, which through the usage of EU funds and the networking efforts of eight countries, managed to invest significant material means. In order to produce a similarly high-quality project, the organizing team decided that from June to December 2013, they would conduct field research and hold numerous meetings with the representatives of protected areas, local and regional governments, tourist agencies, mountain climbing associations and clubs, and the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service along with the numerous tourism services (eg.outdoor tourist agencies, rural households etc.).


„For the past 20 years, I have been saying that the Dinarides had an enormous potential and how Via Dinarica must be a regional story. Croatian Mountain Rescue Service wants to take part in the project with a basic mission—to make the area more present,” states Vinko Prizmić, Head of the Mountain Rescue Service.


“Project Via Dinarica indicates the region’s potential for development and adventure tourism, as well as for sport and social activities alike in the mountain area,” stated Dorijan Klasnić, Head of the Mountain Guide Service of the Croatian Mountaineering Association. “A realistic picture of the Dinarides can only be obtained by wearing hiking boots and holding a camera in the hand while visiting the people who live with the Croatian Dinarides. This way, their needs are promoted while at the same time people get to know their constantly improved offer and ways in which they conserve the area.”


Croatian journey lasts from 28 September to 10 October 2013, after which the expedition continues its way towards Slovenia.


Our schedule:


28.9. Plitvice lakes National Park
29.9. Transfer to Biokovo Nature Park
30.9. Biokovo Nature Park; transfer to Mosor
1.10. Mosor
2.10. Promina; transfer to Glavaš
3.10. Dinara; transfer to Paklenica National Park
4.10. Cave Modrič; climbing Paklenica National Park
5.10. National Park Paklenica; transfer to Baške Oštarije
6.10. Velebit Nature Park; transfer to Kuterevo
7.10. Kuterevo; North Velebit National Park (Premužić route)
Strict Nature Reserve White rocks (Bijele stijene) and Pack-saddle rocks (Samarske stijene)
9.10. Risnjak National Park (Snježnik and Platak)
10.10. Conclusion and transfer to Slovenia


You can follow the Walking the Via Dinarica expedition on: