In south-eastern Europe, from Slovenia, all the way to Albania following Adriatic coast and going deep into inland stretches mountain range of Dinaric Alps or Dinarides which lures trekkers, climbers and all nature lovers with its beauty and wilderness.
This whole area is still quite undiscovered, so if you choose to come here don’t be surprised if during the entire hike you meet just a few hikers or nobody.
The new project called Via Dinarica is promoting Dinaric Alps in best possible way. This is a mega-hiking trail which connects all the hidden gems and various nature-based activities and promotes local products of this extraordinary mountain range. In Croatia, in the central part of Dalmatia region, rises 864 m above the sea a mountain called Omiska Dinara. It extends from Omis town, where is divided from Poljica and Mosor mountains with river Cetina, and then it follows the Adriatic coast for 16 km to the Dubci mountain pass, which connects it with Biokovo mountain.
On the highest peak called Kula or Imber (864 m A.S.L.) welcomes you breath-taking view over picturesque high cliffs of the mouth of river Cetina into the Adriatic Sea. On the other bank of river stretches Poljica mountain. In the distant geological past, it used to be connected with Omiska Dinara.
Land of the Medieval Poljicka Republic
Together with hinterland valleys, this region was a land of the famous Poljica republic. It stretched from the mouth of Cetina to the small settlement of Stobrec, which is today a suburb of Split, second biggest town in Croatia.
In this medieval autonomous and democratic republic, nobody paid any taxes. All legislative, administrative and executive bodies were elected by the inhabitants. Therefore, it is said it was a great inspiration for Thomas More, English lawyer, philosopher, journalist, and Saint to write his famous ‘Utopia’.
During history, from the time of Illyrians to the Austro-Hungarians, Omis had a very important strategic position due to its artificial and natural fortifications – fortresses and mountain. Starigrad Fortress or Fortica, courageously watches over this small town, even today, high from the hill above the city.
To get to Fortica we walked from Omis uphill through the dense pine forest. The path is steep and a mixture of gravel and soil, which makes it quite slippery if you decide to go back the same way. So, it is important to wear good sturdy shoes or preferably walking boots.
Stunning View from Starigrad Fortress and top of Omiska Dinara
From Omis, we ascended to Fortica and to the highest peak of Kula. Such a magnificent view, full of diversity – roughness and tenderness at the same time.
We could see how river Cetina flows into the Adriatic Sea and clear line where river water meets with the salty sea. There is something peaceful in watching the calm, dark blue sea and wind playing with the surface scattering it back and front.
I was impressed with the view from Omiska Dinara. I didn’t expect to be so good! One one side Adriatic Sea and Brac Island. Behind us the high cliffs of Mosor mountain and long fields stretching to Bosnia’s mountains Cvrsnica and Prenj. But, the cliffs of Dubci mountain pass and Bikovo, that rise like a huge wall between sea and Dalmatian’s inner lands, definitely took my breath away. I felt like I’m on the top of a very high mountain, not on 863 metres a.s.l. Even though, that day wasn’t so clear I saw quite far away.
Beautiful Mountain But Rough Terrain
Like every other mountain, Omiška Dinara also knows how to challenge its visitors. The rocky landscape and non-existence of any spring during hike will make it harder for your feet and back, considering you need to carry a lot of water uphill. This is especially important during quite hot summer days.
In the lower southern areas there are small groves of cypress and pine trees, mostly Aleppo (Pinus halepensis), and on the higher altitude, a scanty rocky terrain is a home to numerous mountain herbs and bush-like and semi-bush species. That means not that much shade during the hike.
But, don’t be discouraged. You will experience roughness, but also peacefulness and beauty of this mountain. If you feel tired just stop, look to the sea or close your eyes and take a deep breath of the smell of see. John Muir, my favorite writer, once wrote ‘In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks’, and indeed that is true. We discover and learn a lot about ourselves. We are becoming better persons.
After we enjoyed in the stunning view from the highest peak of Omiška Dinara, we descended towards Dubci mountain pass and turned to Podaspilje village, situated on the other side of the mountain. We had such a beautiful and relaxing walk through the dense pine forest. This way we walked the entire ridge of Omiska Dinara. Extraordinary!
So much variety and beauty in just one day, during just one hike, will leave you speechless and feed your soul.
- Don’t go on a hike without a lot of water (twice as much you usually drink on hikes), sun cream, sun hat, good hiking boots, and poles and enough food.
- Be careful, watch your steps, not to get bitten by the nose-horned viper (Vipera ammodytes), which is a poisonous snake.
- Best time to hike Omiska Dinara: June and September.