Osorščica, named after the once rich town of Osor, was one of the first mountain of the Adriatic islands to attract tourists, a company being set up for that purpose in Mali Lošinj in 1886. Their cause was significantly aided the following year when they guided Rudolf Habsburg, Crown Prince of Austria, to the top. During the years that followed hiking trails were built to Sv. Mikula and across the island.
My visit came many decades later. Having delivered my family to the beach at Čikat, I drove the 30 mins to the start of my route by the D100 as it bypasses Nerezine, parking on a rough verge up a side road a few hundred metres further on. It was a hot day, 34° had been forecast and this proved to be true according to the mercury at Planinarski Dom Sveti Gaudent (Mountain Hut Saint Gaudent). But that would be jumping ahead.
Unlike the bare karst wasteland of Obzova on neighbouring Krk Island, the Osorščica remains forested, the shade cast by the trees was much appreciated as was the breeze that blew in off the sea. Yet the limestone underneath still comes to the surface in many places, the ridge south of St. Mikula is a fine example. Once reached from Nerezine, there are frequent scrambles, easy enough to navigate and climb, but interesting nethertheless and at all times rewarding one with a fantastic view south towards Mali Lošinj.
Having reached Sv. Mikula, explored the tiny chapel of St. Nicolas that crowns it's summit, and stamped my HPO pass-book, I descend via the path that leads behind the chapel, first to a junction were a more direct route leads down to Nerezine, then on beneath the telecommunications mast to the island's high point Televrina. The concrete triangulation pillar will seem comfortingly familiar to British hikers. I still had not seen another person all day.
With most of the height of the day now climbed I descended, following the path with it's red and white markers northwards towards a promised cold beer at Planinarski Dom Sveti Gaudent. A short downhill scramble protected by an iron rope offered additional interest as the views changed. Ahead, over the Adriatic the was the mainland, Istria with the Učka massif, Vojak standing proud in the far distance. To the right lay the island of Cres with Velebit range running north south beyond.
Planinarski Dom Sveti Gaudent is operated by Planinarski klub Osoršćica Mali Lošinj. They open the hut during the summer months serving drinks and snacks to the occasional hikers that wander through. One Coke and a lemon flavoured beer later and I was off again, following the small path through the shrubbery down to Osor.
Looking south down the spine of the Osorščica ridge.
The photos for the tour were taken on a Ricoh Theata S 360 camera in summer 2016.