Climb Croatia's highest mountain.
Before you start : Visit the Virtual Shop and collect an Smand map of the area to take with you on your adventure.
Let’s go : Float cursor over picture button below to view start location, allowing time for Google Map to update. Click picture button to begin tour. Good Luck.
More : I hope you enjoy this virtual mountain experience. I created the panoramas using Smokey City's Panorama Factory V5, from photos taken during a single trip in August 2010. On this occasion I was staying near Rijeka in the north of Croatia, leaving around 5am, I arrived after a draining drive at Glavaš at 10:50am, and began walking, hoping that I had enough daylight for the day's exploration. I met very few on the mountain; a group of three Hungarian hikers above the Martinova Košara shelter, and a friendly Spanish / Basque couple at the summit. The sun shone, but a strong breeze kept me cool all day, and the other dangers Rijekan’s warned me of, snakes and mines, never appeared. In fact, my research back at home had told me that there was actually no mine risk on the route.
That route was extremely well marked, the correct path (often narrow) was clear to read on the ground. From Glavaš the path passed the Planinski Kuci Glavaš, a shipping container like construction painted blue, and with windows, to act as a mountain hut for a specific club. From the hut, the path leads past the ruined castle of Stari Grad, and up into the Pekasova Valley. Climbing out of the valley, one enters a beautiful landscape of karst limestone and leafy meadows. Climbing steadily, one ascends to the ridge which is followed for the most part, to Dinara's highest peak, Sinjal. This is the red route on the map above.
Want to go for real : Dinara is not an easy place to get to. I drove down in a hire car, parking near the bus shelter at Glavaš. The existence of the bus shelter suggests that this starting place can also be reached by public transport, most likely from the nearby city of Knin.
There are in fact two other routes. The first of these is the Brezovac Route (highlighted in blue above). Take a wide dirt track from the village of Guge near Knin to the plateau called Suvo Polje (not to be confused with Suho Polje). Normal cars should be left here, off road vehicles can go as far as the Brezovac Mountain Hut itself. On foot, follow the track for 1½ to 2 hours to the Brezovac hut, from which it is a further 2 hours to the summit.
Dinara's third route (highlighted in purple) begins at Suho Polje. This 4/5 hour route tackles Dinara in a steep ascent up the mountain’s impressive southern face and involves the highest climb of all three routes. Whilst the Croatian mountaineering society has informed me the first two routes are mine free, they have not clarified the status of the Suho Polje route.
Whichever route you take, it is worth purchasing the Smand 1:30,000 map of the area. The positions of the paths have changed slightly since it was published, but it will allow you to plan your trip with greater confidence.