Practical Information

Via Dinarica, it’s more than just a trail. There are actually three branded main trails, White, Green and Blue. The White Trail follows the natural flow of the highest peaks of the Dinaric Alps. The green trail meanders a bit more north through the lower mountains and the Blue Trail veers towards the coastline of the Adriatic Sea.

Via Dinarica White Trail

Distance 1260,80 kilometers (for now)

Altitude 51,815 meters up & 51,725 meters down

Best time of year May – November

Maps & navigation On the Via Dinarica you find the complete GPX track of the White Trail, the stage tour descriptions, comments, current conditions and the option to download all the information and maps as a PDF file.

I used the Garmin eTrex 20 and downloaded free openMBTmaps. You can also download OpenStreetMaps or buy even better ones.

There are several hiking maps available, these are the ones I used. Most of them I ordered at www.alternativebalkantourism.nl, others I bought on the spot in mountain huts or National Park offices.

It could be useful to install the Outdooractive App on your Smartphone which gives you the option to use offline maps and if you join the community you can share your information on the platform as well.

Entrance fees Durmitor (6 euro’s for 3 days), Paklenica (100kn for 3 days), Northern Velebit (45kn for 3 days) and Risnjak NP (45kn for 2 days). The tickets can be bought at the Park entrance, at mountain huts or if you bump into a ranger, he or she can sell it to you.

Accommodation Wild camping is not allowed in Slovenia and in the National Parks of Croatia. In Durmitor there is a camping fee (small tent 3 euro per night, big one 5 euro). Information about mountain huts and other accommodations is listed on the Via Dinarica website. Prices vary from 5 euros (households) to 50 euros (hotels) per person per night, but for most mountain huts you pay not more than 10 euros. Discounts are only for members of local mountaineering association, but the skloništa (shelters/refuge or bivouac huts) are free and open for everyone. For many huts (especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina) you need a key, check the link above for phone numbers, conditions and other detail information of the huts.

croatia_velebit_zdrilo_via_dinarica
Bivakhut Ždrilo in Velebit, Croatia

Water Although you have to be careful, there are enough water sources along the way.

In Slovenia and Croatia I did not always follow the original VD track, which made it easier for me to find water, but if you do stay on the official track, check the comments and conditions for those stages.

Note that not all the springs and water sources are ˝working˝, especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina this was a problem. They can dry out during the summer or are a bit of the trail and hard to find. Again, check the comments and conditions per stage on the Via Dinarica website.

The huts and shelters collect rainwater in big cisterns, but it might happen that they are empty or dirty. It is absolutely necessary to bring some kind of water treatment. Often I was too lazy to use my water filter and I survived, but many wells along the trail are not properly covered and sometimes there is only a dirty, swampy lake full of frogs and other smelly creatures… And even if the water looks clean, be aware that there is a lot of cattle on the Via Dinarica as well.

I’m not a gear-freak, but if you search a bit on internet, you’ll find heaps of blog-posts of hikers who give advise (do’s&don’t s, tips&tricks) about what, when and how to use.

Voda
Water!

Resupply On the MAP on my website, you can check the tours I created per day and per country. If you click on them, you can find (and download) the additional way-points and Points of Interest like water sources, accommodations, ATM’s, supermarkets and other facilities that I uploaded so far. If you prefer to go straight to the information I’m talking about, click one of the tours in the sidebar on the right and zoom in on the map.

Border crossing Between Albania and Montenegro you officially have to apply for an approval. The procedure can be difficult and bureaucratic and you have to give the exact date of entering the country at least 15 days ahead. On the Peaks of the Balkans website you can find links to downloadable forms. There are several local tour operators who offer assistance, like Zbulo!

From Montenegro to Bosnia and Herzegovina (or the other way around) there are frequently used hiking paths. As far as I know, there is no official procedure for crossing this border through the mountains.

The other border crossing are at the moment still on the main road. Although Croatia entered the EU, it’s not a Schengen country yet. That’s why the trail makes a detour to the official checkpoints instead of following the most logical route through the mountains.

Money Slovenia – Euro (EUR), Croatia – Kuna (HRK or kn), Bosnia and Herzegovina – Convertible Marka (KM or BAM), Montenegro – Euro (EUR), Albania – Lek (ALL).

Useful links www.viadinarica.com | www.viadinarica.hr | www.dinarskogorje.com | Summitpost | Dinaric Alps

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Stories of other Via Dinarica hikers