I’m Eva, a woman from Amsterdam who loves mountains, walking barefoot, being inspired and sharing what inspires me. I write about what I think and feel, my passions and adventures. During the summer of 2016 I hiked the Via Dinarica Trail from Albania to Slovenia. Hiking the Via Dinarica was more than a beautiful trekking or an awesome solo-hike. It was a journey of a lifetime.
And I’m not done yet. Not done hiking. Not done with the Balkans. Those mountains, the people and the nature, I still feel extremely attracted to them. That’s why I went back. In 2017 I walked from Amsterdam to Sarajevo, 4000 kilometres on foot. Once I got back, I knew I would stay. I gave up my apartment in Amsterdam and signed up for a language course in Zagreb.
In June 2018 I continued my Via Dinarica journey from Sarajevo, aiming to explore the Green Trail, the Blue Trail and the unofficial Via Dinarica extensions in Kosovo and North Macedonia. It became my mission to connect the three trails and to inspire future Via Dinarica hikers by sharing my experience through stories, videos, trail thougts and interactive hiking maps.
With my stories, I hope to take you to the Balkans, to the mountains and to a trail which is so much more than just a trail.
My happiness project?
Is this another happiness project of someone who is looking, searching, finding oneself? Who is that person and whose project is it? Of a naive dreamer who wants to for fill her ideals without being judged? A typical successful thirty-er who wonders: is this it? Is this the life I’m going to live the upcoming years? Of a woman who has seen the light and finally decides to choose for herself? Of an adventurer, a tough chick who is going to stir things up and chooses the exit “freedom”?
Maybe, maybe it’s a little bit of all. Maybe I AM a little bit of all. But this project isn’t all about me; Eva. It’s also about you; other dreamers, other thirty-er, other men and women, other tough chicks and all the male versions of them. Other adventurers, hikers, bikers, runners, nature lovers and mountaineers. It’s about everyone who is looking for something and everybody who is not.
It would be awesome if I manage to inspire others. I imagine inspiration to be something that makes you move, bubble, burn, desire, strive, believe and connect. I’m trying to share a little of all those things; my inspirations. I share what inspires me and sure enough it will lead to something new.
The art of life
Therefore, it’s a personal project as well. I believe I should do this in a personal way, because I am more than a “persona”. Yes I am wondering who I am and what to do with my life, what moves me. Of course, I am trying to find answers and solutions for my doubts, my ‘Yeahh-but, what ifs’. I am asking myself a lot of questions. What kind of creature am I? What have I done so far, in the only life I have got? In what kind of world do I live? But by approaching it positively, I can enjoy this process.
It is absolutely great I’ve got time to think about those things and to me, it’s worth a lot that I am becoming more aware and conscious. Things are good, and I feel safe – even though I’m afraid, insecure and having doubts – I do feel a strength and an unexplainable trust in that strength. My personal way means that I’m being vulnerable, open and honest. I want to be genuine. I no longer just want to show my tough and strong outside, I want to embrace what’s inside as well.
All of this is the EVAdinarica Project, perhaps my happiness project indeed!
And yes, I love coffee! I’m a bit of an addict, but it’s not just about the coffee. Every country seems to have its own coffee culture, it’s part of their identity. By sitting down and drink a cup of coffee, I’ll be able to take part of the local coffee culture and connect with other coffee lovers/addicts :).
Hi Eva, we found your blog and read some of your adventures already. Respect for you spirit and courage! Now that I read you’re a coffee fan, I feel sorry we coyld only offer you Nescafe in the Donja Bara hut… Safe travels! Richard & the other 4 of the ‘mannengroep’
Hi Richard, the Nescafe totally suited the situation! It was great meeting you, I hope you had a good time, going out in that terrible weather!! Btw the English Donje Bare story will follow soon 🙂 Grtz, Eva
First of all, I want to thank you and congratulate you for your project and for sharing information and promoting hiking in the balkans.
Your articles give a lot of inspiration for a “dreamer thirty-er” like me.
I would like to cross the balkans from slovenia to serbia and connect as many forests as possible, in particular the primary forests.
I am really interested in the information you can give me on the forester part of the via dinarica. What do you think about your experiences?
Thanks in advance for your answer, good continuation.
Thank you for the nice comment, great to hear you want to hike the forest sections. There’s many beautiful parts to connect. I think it will be best to combine the Green and the White Trail, you don’t want to miss Sutjeska and Zelengora (BiH white trail), but Kamačnik and the Gorski Kotar part of the Green Trail in Croatia are better hikable then the Gorski Kotar sections of the White Trail. Unless you like a little bushwhack challenge, then the first few sections Croatian White trail is the place to be. But I would for sure not skip Velebit. Perhaps you could also have a look at the Via Adriatica, because they have a better way to connect Paklenica and Crnopac with Knin. Then from Dinara you could keep on following the White Trail or see to find a way to the green. The thing with the green trail is that there are many unpaved roads and when I was there not so many hiking trails. You can do your research, because there are more options, but be aware that often you cannot leave the path because of mines. Then for Serbia, yes Tara NP is nice, great forest, but also you should hike your own route here if you want to avoid muddy forest roads. I think I would recommend to get into Montenegro instead.
Good luck and have fun planning!
Dear Eva, I appreciate your knowledge of the Dinarica area. I have a personal projet for a journey: to trek on the Dalmatian large islands. I’d like to cross by foot Vis, Lastovo, Brac, Mljet, hopping from island to island with local ferries. In your site I’ve seen it’s possible to walk the lenght of Mljet. What about the other large souuthern islands? I hope it’s possible…
thenks for rvery information!
Dear Valentina, what an awesome plan! I have never been on Vis, Lastovo or Brač, but maybe you can find more information if you look for local mountaineering clubs (planinarsko Društvo + name of island or mountain or town on the island – be creative) on Facebook (they often mark the trails) and are usually active on Facebook. On Mljet the name of the trail is the MPO if I remember it right. Good luck!
First of all, I want to say that you are an inspiration. Reading what you wrote make me think that “this is a woman that lives, and not just passes by life”, so congratulations.
In second I would like to ask for an opinion. I am thinking in making a trekking In Slovenia or Croatia, or maybe both. I already have some information about the Triglav mountains treks in Slovenia, and also about the Croatia Long Distance Trail, in special the “C sections”, but I would like to know your opinion about the best choice for a 10-13 day trek in mountains, out of pavement roads, in those regions.
I think the CLDT – C section will be fantastic. That’s the part with Velebit & Dinara if I’m not mistaken? Go for it! Julian Alps, Triglav is also very beautiful, but there are way more people there and for a longer trekking it is a bit small. I mean, you can spend months in Triglav NP, but for long distance hiking I recommend Croatia.
Dear Eva! By coincidence (while searching the „perfect“ route to go from Mostar to Gacko/Sutjeska Nationalpark by bike) I found the link to your webpage. As everybody always looks with big eyes at me when I‘m telling theme that yes, I‘m a woman and yes, I‘m travelling alone trough the Balkan, I sometimes started to think that maybe I am indeed a little crazy to do that. But when I found your stories, it was like: okay, maybe I AM crazy, but at least I’‘ not the only one! I made my way untill now from Switzerland trough the Dolomites, Slovenia, Croatia and will soon cross the border to Bosnia & Herzegovina.
I‘m very much looking forward to that, knowing, that it will not always be easy.
Well, I‘ve just written this message for saying thank you that you make me feel that I definitively made the right decision with just following my dreams..
Best regards from Plitvička Jezera
PS. Oh, and if you are just feeling like join me for a bit – feel free!☺️
Reaching out for guest post
I hope you had an amazing weekend.
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Thanks and Regards,”
Hiya, I’ve learned so much from reading your blog, thank you so much for sharing so many photos, so much info and advice – really inspirational!
I’m looking to cycle the green route from Bihac to Sarajevo. I know the green route was originally designed for a bike, but do you think it would be possible? I would love to chat! I went to Kljuc and the surrounding area as a news reporter during the conflict in the 1990s and am planning to return next year for the first time next year xx
Wij zijn van plan om 1 maand een deel van de Via Dinarica te gaan lopen en kwamen zo op jouw website terecht, wat geweldig veel informatie geef je hier en wat een gave verhalen, bedankt daarvoor!
Wij zijn nu aan het kijken welk deel van de route we willen gaan lopen en vroegen ons af of jij ons iets kan aanraden.
We hebben nooit eerder een hele lange wandeltocht gelopen maar zijn wel sportief en hebben wat ervaring met alpinisme.
Welk deel van de route is voor beginners leuk? Is er een deel waar je je niet te veel zorgen hoeft te maken over waterbronnen en voedsel bevoorrading?
Met gps hebben we ook geen ervaring, is een gps noodzakelijk of zouden we ook met de offlinekaarten en bewegwijzering een heel eind kunnen komen?
Verder willen we ook gaan wildkamperen, weet jij in welke landen dat mag?
We kijken heel erg uit naar je antwoord!
Stella en Femke
Hi Stella en Femke,
Sorry, ik ben een beetje laat met mijn antwoord, misschien hebben jullie de wandeltocht al gemaakt.
Ik raad aan sowieso met GPS op pad te gaan, dan gaat je telefoon niet zo snel leeg, maar je kan natuurlijk ook een powerbank meenemen. Wildkamperen mag officieel niet overal, maar in de bergen is het meestal geen probleem. Gewoon doen. Als er huizen in de buurt zijn, kan je altijd vragen of je je tent mag opzetten, dat werkt nagenoeg overal. Ook in het westen van Europa.
Welk deel van de route ik zou aanraden? In Albanië beginnen, misschien daar een extra dagtocht maken, want het is er heel heel erg mooi! En dan naar Montenegro (veel water) en Bosnië en Herzegovina. In BiH wordt het wat uitdagender, maar je komt echt wel regelmatig lang mini supermarkten of plekken waar je iets kan eten. En water, ja daar moet je gewoon genoeg van meenemen, maar dit wordt pas wat lastiger op Prenj, richting Busko Jezero. Het hangt heel erg van het jaar af. Neem wel een waterfilter mee, want je komt bij de hutten vooral putten en cisterns met regenwater tegen.
Ben benieuwd naar jullie ervaringen!
We are preparing the white trail , living in 3 weeks. Thanks you for your blog is very useful.
We will prepare a blog as well about our travel, with 1 dedicated page to the Via Dinarica;
Would it be ok to put a link to your website as a “very good blog to read”?
How was your White Trail hike? What is your website, I would love to read it.
And yes, of course you can put a link to my website!
Hi Eva, I’ve really enjoyed reading about your adventures, so much so I’m planning on a 6-7 week white trail trek this summer. I’m flying into Zadar and 7 weeks later out of Dubrovnic. The plan is to join the trail slightly north of Zadar and then get as far as we can – hoping to get at least part way through montenegro.
I’ve got a couple of questions that I’m finding it hard to get information on.
1. Is it worth using hiking boots rather than shoes?
2. Do you know if there somewhere close to the boarder crossing between Croatia & Boznia/Herzgrovia I can get some cash? Looks like its a closed currency.
3. How easy is it to wild camp? My preference would be to camp most of the time.
4. Stoves, I assume taking a multi-fuel stove is the best option?
5. Temperture- is it generally hot like 25-30 degrees?
Thank you so much for any info you can provide. I’m so excited!!
I’m sorry I didn’t see your message before! How was your hike?
Geweldig dat je je reisverhalen deelt en de lezers inspireert, mij heb je.
Met jouw kennis zou ik je graag een vraag voorleggen. Stel je hebt nog nooit een meter van de viaDinarica gelopen. Maar dan komt het ervan. Je hebt precies een week inclusief reistijd dus effectief 5 dagen om te hiken.
Wat zou je adviseren, waar te beginnen?
Even over mij, ik heb wat ervaring met hiken en neem graag mijn eigen tent mee.
Alvast ontzettend bedankt voor wat je hebt gedeeld
Ik zou naar Sarajevo gaan en vanuit daar een lift / bus naar Umoljani nemen. Vanaf daar kan je de trail volgen, dan kom je over Bjelašnica en Visočica. Vervolgens ga je verder naar Treskavica. Erg mooi allemaal en goed bereisbaar.
In de voorbereiding van een fietsroute naar Georgie, kwam ik je op outdooractive tegen. Wat maakt dat enthousiast. Wat een prachtige fietsroutes, beschrijvingen op je website. Ineens vallen puzzelstukjes op hun plek en vormen jouw gpx routes verbindingen tussen de routeplannen. Dank dat je dit zo deelt!
Hoe beleefde jij Kosovo?
Wat leuk om te horen!! Ik ben heel erg benieuwd naar jouw route, lijkt me fantastisch om in Georgië te fietsen.
Kosovo vond ik op de fiets niet geweldig, de wegen zijn druk en het was ontzettend heet. Daar moet je echt de bergen in om de schoonheid van het land te ervaren.
Heel veel plezier met je tocht, kan ik je ergens volgen?
Greetings from Valun
If you will come in Cres ,do not hesistate to contact me .
I saw that you not more working in turistic agency
Thanks a lot for the splendid blog and information about your hiking! Especially your description of the Green Via Dinarica makes me plan to hike a part of it myself. May I ask you for a bit of advice? I´d like to go just for ca. 2 weeks in the spring (late April?) with a lighter backpack (bivouacing, but with a possibility to eat locally from time to time, not too many supplies to carry with). Which part would you recomend? Would Bosnia-Herzegovina be safe for a woman hiking alone or should I rather play it safe in Croatia?
I´lll be grateful for any information and advice. Thanks so much!
Hi Lenka, for the green trail I really liked the section from Jajce, Vlašić basically all the way to Sarajevo. Yes, it’s safe for a woman alone. People are somewhat conservative and will tell you it’s dangerous and no good to ve alone, but they are very welcoming and friendly. If you want to combine Croatia and BiH, I really recommend the Put Oluja, Dinara traverse to Buško jezero, but then you need to bring food for a week.