Hiking Croatia – Coast
Hiking in Croatia is far from being widely spread as in neighbouring Slovenia. Even less is that the case down south – the people of Dalmatia would joke that you’ll see them running only if their house is on fire.
Yet if we consider that geography and climate also partly shape our mentality, it is no wonder that this is the case. Much less mountainous than it’s northern neighbour, yet blessed with a long coastine and a sea, dotted with islands. The southern you go, the summer sun feels hotter and the high temperatures are forcing you to take things slower. You start to understand the state of mind that is prevailing on the coast and in the islands during hot summers. Its called fijaka. We found it best described on K. Vukovič*, who said: »Fjaka is a sublime state in which a human aspires for nothing. Fjaka is something that can’t be learned; in Dalmatia, it’s considered a gift from God. And one must experience it to awaken its meaning.«
Yet in Croatia, the mountains and sea are never far apart. The latter actually divide the coastal and continental Croatia. They are also one of the reasons for our famous bura wind, which cools down the temperatures, even in summer months. There’s nothing better than a cool breeze during heat and there’s a strong belief, that it lifts our mood. On the contrary, we blame the jugo (the southern wind) for being down :)!
Where to hike in Croatia?
When speaking about hiking in Croatia, the places you’ll probably hear about are Risnjak National Park, Učka Mountain, Northern Velebit and of course Paklenica (a heaven for climbers).
Even though Croatia has lovely places on the mainland, you’ll probably want to hit the coast. It’s no wonder that side of the range steals all the show and is rapidly gaining popularity in the last decade. You might want to hit the beach for a day, but plenty are packed with tourist. The good news is, eating lots of gelato and getting tanned is on a to do list for 90% of the arrivals, which leaves you trails almost to yourself.
Amazing hikes can be found on our islands and the best part is, they will always include vistas of the blue Adriatic sea. Those trails were in use for centuries by islanders, who needed to reach their lavander fields on one side and the town market on the other. But since arrival of the roads and cars (which arrived relatively late) those are almost deserted.
We hike through deserted old villages on island of Hvar, up to the ancient monastery and the famous Stone walls on our Dalmatia explorer tour.
When to go hiking on Croatian coast?
The trails are most wellcoming in May and June, when you can find a lot flowers blossoming. Lavender and rosemary are the scents prevailing through the coastal areas. Early Autum (September and October) have as well milder temperatures. It is also the time when you can taste various fruits –mandarines, pomegranates and figs, which are dried in September.
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