BLOG TRAILNOTES Via Dinarica Green Trail from Sarajevo to Višegrad

Jep, I’m hiking again. From Sarajevo I’m heading East on the Jahorina Trailrun Track, my version, or my interpretation of the Via Dinarica Green Trail. This June I’ll be hiking from Sarajevo to Višegrad. Those of you who  follow me on Facebook might have read these notes before, yes I’m a bit lazy. Nevertheless I hope this post is either helpful or inspiring for whoever’s thinking of hitting the trail.

Ivica vrh

Sarajevo – Trebević

From Sarajevo there are several steep roads up to Trebević. I choose a route I didn’t hike before, but if you’re new here, I recommend to take the marked route (#1) via the abandoned bobsled track. On the other hand, I really enjoyed a coffee break at Napredak dom, which is on a different route.

Because of a late start, a thunderstorm and a long coffee break, I only got as far as planinarski dom Trebević. Although it was closed, it was a great place to stay. Crashed on a couch and had a good night sleep.

Leaving the city
Leaving the city
I’m not the only one out here 🙂
Route up Trebević
Planinarski dom bivy view

Trebević – Jahorina – Pale – Jelovci

I’m following the Jahorina Trailrun Track from Trebević to Višegrad which took me to Jahorina on the second day (yesterday). It has been a bit of a search here and there, but the majority of this route is marked. Have to say that I never experienced the ski-magic, but during the summer that magic is definitely absent. The thick fog made it extra sad, haven’t had a single view so far 🙁 BUT at the end of the day I found a great camping spot under a chairlift and had another 12 hour sleep.

Today’s weather is the same, but I can enjoy it in a weird way. Those forests are so super green, full with moss and so muddy that rainy weather seems to be the most suitable weather.

Between Trebević and Jahorina there’s more forest. At one point I had to cross someone’s land across an agressively barking dog. The rain, the mud, the cold and according to the landowner no trail. It was only the second day, it felt like failing to take the road. Didn’t want to, but I did. I don’t like to regret decisions I made, but this road hike was anything but fun. Also I’m still want to connect those two mountains, so I guess I’ll come back another time.

From Pale I hiked up, found a green place to camp and even had a bit of evening sun. Although the days are still rainy, muddy and misty, there is some sun coming through. Especially in the valleys it’s much brighter. That for sure does do me good. Sun makes everything much easier. Even if it’s only for 30 minutes, it does boost my energy.

Via Dinarica mudtrail 😉
The descend from Trebević
Let's call it a day, Jahorina
Let’s call it a day, Jahorina
Camp after Pale

Jelovci – Romanija – Ziličina

By now I think I can say I’m on the Green Trail, even though it’s not officially the Via Dinarica Green Trail, the trail for sure is green.

So, the trail is green. Very very green. Have to admit that I prefer wide views, but these thick conifer forests are something special. A bit spooky and a bit wild, but I like it. After a steep climb on an almost non existing track, most of the trail on Romanija followed forest and makadam roads. I didn’t mind, it’s the combination of complete wilderness and “road” hiking I actually like.

Just like I do enjoy walking on asphalt in rural areas. Walking from village to village between Sokolac and Ziličina was despite the fact that it was on a road, definitely a highlight. I really like this region. It’s so friendly and quiet ánd there are sheep everywhere. Love sheep!

Between Ravna Romanija and Sokolac I took a bus though, hiking on a main road in Bosnia and Herzegovina is something I don’t like and don’t wanna do anymore.

And if you’re looking for a great place to eat, sleep and relaxe, Seoski Turizam Ziličina is the place to be. Happily taking a day off here 🙂

Which way to go?
Camp at Ravna Romanija
Rogatica region
VD signpost!

Ziličina – Višegrad

With the sun on my side I left the lovely Ziličina village behind. From here the trail turned out o be very well marked. Again a combination of makadam roads and forest trails. A bit overgrown here and there, but doable. Although there were even Via Dinarica sign posts, people were surprised (and worried) to see hiker (alone). One man even asked me for my papers, because he had to know who’s crossing his village. Sure.

It’s something that happens more, I’ve been stopped and asked for my papers by the police twice now. Also at the guesthouse where I just checked in (V&P Blagojević – really nice place) my passport has been studied pretty closely. I have nothing to hide, but it does tell me that the border is close. Or that there at least the illegal border crossing is an issue here.

That’s why a friend from Zagreb wrote a letter to police for me. In Višegrad I explained in my best Croatian (Bosnian/Serbian) that I had a question and that letter would explain. In the letter I asked for permission to cross the border through the mountains. First it looked hopeful. I expected an immediate NO, but the police was friendly, they took me very seriously and had me transferred to the border police, a but further in town. There I did get the no, but also an explanation in English. Seriously it was a pleasant conversation and since I never really expected a yes, it was totally fine. I just wanted to try. And I don’t want to do anything illegal here. Don’t know, it just feels different then on the Put Oluje.

Three guys accompanied me on my walk back to the centre. Funnily they had no clue about the route I planned to hike, had never been on those mountains. From that perspective I guess I didn’t had to worry to much bumping into them, but they also told me that their job is waiting in the bushes until they can catch someone. Painfully said if you ask me. Not because of what the do, but because of the fact that this is real. That the borders have to be checked.

Anyways, I had a lovely hike from Sarajevo to Višegrad. The first part is done, now I’m figuring out what to do next. Follow the road to the border or make a detour through the mountains via Planinarski Dom Gostilja and then down to the monastery at Dobrun. Not sure yet. First coffee 🙂

Ziličina, I’m in love with this place
Ivica Vrh
Bridge on the Drina, Višegrad
Bridge on the Drina, Višegrad

Via Dinarica Green Trail from Sarajevo to Višegrad on the MAP

Later I’ll post my route on Outdooractive, but for now I’ll add the links to the tracks I used for this hike:

Jahorina Midi Trail 2016

Jahorina Ultra Trail 2015

Jahorina Ultra Trail 2016

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