ZavižanHike from Vratnik is quite OK with nice views. We looked forward to Jadiceva plan, but there is nothing special about this top - no views because of the trees. We came to closed mountain hut Oltari, took a good break and decided to continue to Zavižan. As we were approaching National Park, I was hoping for a good trail - and it was. Zavižan was busy and there was no place for us - fortunately they allowed us to sleep in the dining room as even tenting is forbidden (you are in National Park). Don't count with food there, you have to order it in advance. So we were left only with looking and smelling other people eating. Our polenta was delicious.
The closer to Zavižan the better trail
After morning climb to peak Zavižan, we started hiking Premužićeva staza, 57 km masterpiece of trail building. Inaccessible parts of rugged Velebit connected by easy, almost flat hike. You can imagine how we were looking forward to this, after hard time in Gorski kotar. And it was spectacular. That's also reason for many people on the trail, but this time, at hut Alan we were lucky and slept in bunk beds. Again, no food for us, but we could use their stove for cooking. Very nice atmosphere.
Zavižan hut from Zavižan peak
Comfortable hiking not only in rocks, also in forest
Cooking dinner at Alan
From Alan we continued into Central Velebit. It was bit windy, again wonderful views. After water refill at Skorpovac hut we decided to continue. We already hiked quite few kms on Premužićeva staza and were looking forward to some ridge walking. Budakovo brdo was great and as it was getting late there was no point in trying to hike Bačić kuk (also, it is demanding and in strong wind not best idea). So instead of road we opted for Prikinuto brdo and Visibaba. We were not sure if there is any proper trail nor markings, but it looked gorgeous. Great hike with views. Then steep descend to the road and hike to hut Ravni Dabar. It was Saturday and hut was busy (otherwise it is closed). They served us tasty soup full of meat and vegetable and found us bunks for sleeping. It is an old school building, very difficult to imagine children walking there from their houses. Now everything is empty. As we were told, everyone lives in Zagreb, mountains are now only visited in free time. Long time ago they were full of people living there. Now they moved to the seaside and/or Zagreb.
Premužičeva staza continued
Hiking with views, loving it
Impressive road, probably you can get to Plitvice lakes, who knows? ;)
We were tempted by trail over Kukovi (rocky ridge) instead of comfortable hike on Premužićeva staza. It was nice adventure, but bura (strong wind) changed our plans in the middle. Peak Kiza will have to wait for our next visit. In Baške Oštarije we met 2 Germans (we already saw them at Skorpovac hut) and they recommended food there. Our first eating out - delicious meat, potatoes, vegetables and kajmak.
Our "Kukovi" variant, we had to return to the valley soon because of the wind
Safely on the trail, Kiza will have to wait for us
Karlobag - resupply and rest days
Finally, our first hitch (or when you ask someone at the parking place, it is very difficult to refuse, especially when we are almost same nationality - Czech and Slovak). Karlobag is very small and nice town, ideal for rest day or holiday. There are 2 shops, again, need to be creative, but we are getting better and better. This time we had to buy food for 7 days - Southern Velebit plus Crnopac. Mission accomplished. We stayed 3 nights, more than usual, "thanks" to upset stomach of one of us. That meant another day of swimming for the rest. Yes!
Enjoying few days off in Karlobag, finally holidays!
Blue line - official Via Dinarica gps
Red points - places where we slept
Written by Lenka Syrovatkova