BLOG | The Island of Pag, Rab and Učka Nature Park

Bura, Jugo, Bura, Jugo, Bura and there’s the Jugo again. Jugo brings clouds and rain from Italy, Bura blows it with a good dose of freezing cold air all away. In between it’s calm. So serene. Although I’m constantly checking the weather, it’s actually not bad at all. It’s exactly what I wished the winter to be like. Fresh air, clear skies and a whole lot of quietness. I learned that my tent can’t do wind, but even that’s okay. Just have to be a…Continue Reading “Island of Pag and Rab & Učka Nature Park”

BLOG | Krka National Park with Krka river, Croatia

One more mountain to go. One more mountain before the trail would turn flat and take me to Krka National Park, Vransko jezero and eventually back to the coast. Bittersweet. I love those mountains, don’t want them to end. At the same time it’s getting harder and harder, colder and most of all, windier. But okay, that’s the season. I will give my best. And if my best isn’t good enough, I will come back another time. In Klis I camped on the side of…Continue Reading “Kozjak mountain, Krka National Park & the coast”

BLOG | Mostar, Omiška Dinara and Mosor mountain

On Biokovo it suddenly got cold. Cold, but still sunny. “Little Bura is coming” someone said. Bura, wind from the North can be tricky so I decided to go to Mostar to pick up warm clothes and new shoes before heading on to Omiška Dinara. Smart move, because on my way down my sandals ánd my FiveFingers fell apart. Even without Bura it would have been impossible to continue. Time to dust of those thumbs and get myself a ride to town. Mostar from above…Continue Reading “Mostar, Omiška Dinara & Mosor mountain”

BLOG | BIOKOVO Hiking Trail, Sveti Ilija from the other side

There are moments I feel proud and thankful at the same time. Proud of where I am. Thankful that I can be where I am. The Via Dinarica website writes that the Blue Trail after the Baćinska lakes, the most southern part of the Biokovo Hiking Trail, is neglected and therefor not hikable. I had to walk the Jadranska magistrala, the main coastal road. Not my first choice, so I decided to be stubborn and check out the state of the hiking trail. Turned out…Continue Reading “Baćinska jezera, beaches & Biokovo”

BLOG | The area of Dubrovnik, island Mljet and Pelješac peninsula

It’s all about the mindset, but how to set your mind when you’re hiking the last leg of a trail which is still 900 kilometres? It’s not like I’m almost done, while at the same time it’s the last part. Also, the word mindset implies that I’m in control of my mind. I whish. Or maybe not? In reality my mind is influenced by how I feel just as much as the other way around. My solution: try not to think too much, just hike….Continue Reading “The area of Dubrovnik, island Mljet and Pelješac peninsula”

BLOG | Gut feeling, being lucky and the sea

When I camp in front of a church I usually feel comfortable. It can go two ways. The positive scenario is that being around people, near a village for example, gives me the idea to be protected. The other scenario is that people with bad intentions know where to find me. You never know for sure in which scenario you’ll end up in, but I kind of learned to trust my gut feeling. And that got me pretty far. At the same time I often…Continue Reading “Gut feeling, being lucky and the sea”

BLOG | Staring at the Sea

From Vrbanj I went down to the sea. To Herceg Novi. With pain in my heart I skipped Subra’s amphitheatre. Too much wind. A warm wind, but still too windy to go for an exposed klettersteig-hike-climb. At mountain hut Vratlo I was in doubt, maybe I could try to go from there. But no, that wouldn’t be the same. I mean, I could hike to the peak of Subra, but I would still miss the spectacular climb and that’s what this stage is all about….Continue Reading “Staring at the Sea”

BLOG | Primorska Planinarska Transverzala Montenegro

I’m not much of a mile-maker, but last few weeks I’ve been walking in circles, exploring, climbing, bouldering, jeep touring and most of all: I’ve been chilling so much that I’m up for some real long distance hiking again. I want to get back to my hiking rhythm. EAT SLEEP HIKE REPEAT. Also, if I want to finish all Via Dinarica trails this year, I’d better get on moving, because days are rapidly getting shorter. Via Egnatia Thought it would be nice to hike the…Continue Reading “EAT SLEEP HIKE REPEAT”

BLOG | DAY 123: About making miles and killing kilometers

Lately I’ve been reading trail reports of some of this years Via Dinarica hikers. Megan and Brittanie for example. I love to read about their experiences, how they hike it, how they like it – or not – and how they write about it. Both these girls write about how they feel just as much as they write about the trail itself. That’s what I like and probably what I’m trying to do myself. I’m struggling with finding words in English though. My vocabulary is…Continue Reading “DAY 123: About making miles and killing kilometers”

BLOG | On my own again

The last night of our boulder trip we camped near Treskavec monastery, a brilliant place. Actually it was my last night, the rest of the crew stayed, but I felt ready to continue hiking. To be on my own again. From the monastery I followed an easy going hiking trail down to Prilep. I snapped tons of photos, stopped and stared more than I walked. In a way Pelagonija reminded me of Mojave desert, but without Joshua trees. And slightly smaller. Nevertheless, an impressive landscape….Continue Reading “On my own again”

BLOG | My Macedonian Traverse, a mountain pathway

The Macedonian Traverse is a hiking trail through the mountains of Western Macedonia. It runs from mountain hut Ljuboten to Crvena Voda or Ohrid if you don’t mind a road hike at the end. Some see it as an extension of the Via Dinarica or promote it like that, but the Macedonian Traverse has an history of its own. In 1975 a bunch of Macedonian mountaineers set the trail as the “First Macedonian Traverse” or “Prva Makedonska Transverzala”. There’s a documentary of their undertaking where…Continue Reading “The Macedonian Traverse, a mountain pathway”

BLOG | Exploring Sharr Mountain

Sharr mountain (Shara, Šar, Shar, Sharri) has been on my list for years. Ever since I first read about the First Macedonian Transversal (Transferzala), a hiking trail that crosses the entire Sharr mountain range, I had the wish to explore Sharr mountain. I could try to describe what it looks like, but I suck at that. I don’t have the vocabulary and the words I make up probably won’t be much of a help. I’ll stick to sharing my personal experience and add a whole…Continue Reading “Exploring Sharr Mountain”

BLOG | Via Dinarica in Kosovo

The Via Dinarica in Kosovo is an extension of the Via Dinarica White Trail that ends in Valbona, Albania. When I hiked the White Trail two years ago I had no idea about this Kosovo part, maybe it didn’t even exist yet. I don’t know. What I do know now is that it’s a super beautiful route that is definitely worth to include into your Via Dinarica journey. The trail is divided in seven stages. There are heaps of springs, streams and lakes and at…Continue Reading “Via Dinarica in Kosovo”

BLOG | BEARS ON THE ROAD

Close to, or right underneath Rusolia mountain my eye caught two fluffy creatures. I held my breath. Oh my! Bears. I almost bumped into two bears. They were too busy playing with each other to notice me. Quickly I looked around to see where the mother was. Maybe one of them wás the mother, but they both looked small. Slowly I walked a bit backwards, started to talk and made some (not too disturbing) sounds. Nothing happened, they kept on playing. What to do? I…Continue Reading “Bears on the road”

BLOG | Via Dinarica Green Trail in Serbia

The Via Dinarica Green Trail in Serbia goes through the lower mountains north of the White Trail. Those lower mountains often look like hills, peaks aren’t as prominent as in Durmitor for example (or Prokletije!), but on the other hand the route often stays around the 1000 meter above sea level. In those “hills” there are many farms, villages and weekend houses, vikendica. Therefore the Green Trail in a way is much more alive. The rural regions between National Parks sometimes feel like a part…Continue Reading “Via Dinarica Green Trail in Serbia”

BLOG | Connecting the Dots, hiking in Tara National Park

Nobody said it would be easy, but I’m not looking for easy. I wanted to hike from Višegrad to Tara National Park, to the Serbian Via Dinarica Green Trail; Veliki Stolac, without making a detour on the road. Hiking beyond borders is one thing, hiking beyond overgrown border is another. My plan was to find a a route, a green line. I tried my best connecting the dots. Note that you officially have to go to the border-crossing-office, because since there’s no agreement (yet) for…Continue Reading “Crossborder hike from Višegrad to Tara National Park”

BLOG | Worst night ever

I’m in my tent. Camping at a wonderful place next to a church in the middle of a forest. There are picnic tables, there’s water and a lot of grass. In two months there will be a guesthouse as well, but for now that building is an unfinished building. They’re working on it though. I met the guys in charge earlier, they gave me permission to put up my tent here. No idea how long I slept, but it can’t be more than 3 hours….Continue Reading “Worst night ever”

BLOG | Mud and Mist on the Jahorina Trailrun Track | Romanija mountain BOSNIA AND HERZEGONIA

In an optimistic summer-holiday-mood I got off the bus in Sarajevo. Okay, there were some thunderstorms on the road and okay, the weather forecast showed rain, rain and rain, but because of the super sunny summer weather in The Netherlands I simply couldn’t believe it would really get that bad. I had prepared myself for intense heat, packed a thick tube of sunscreen, but instead of a mercilessly fierce shining sun, I got mud and mist on the Jahorina trail run track. Jep, I’m hiking…Continue Reading “Hiking the Jahorina Trail Run Track from Sarajevo to Višegrad”

BLOG | An Indian Summer

“Up and down, hiking in BiH, it’s a rollercoaster of impressions and emotions, I can hardly keep up with them. But when the ride is over, you want to stay for the next round.” I wrote that about a year ago and it is still true. I’m happy to scroll through my photos and see so many nice places I want to share, I can hardly choose. But I would like to show not only the shiny Instagrammable moments, I use Instagram to show my…Continue Reading “From Indian Summer to snowy Sarajevo”

BLOG | Hiking in Una National Park | TRAILNOTES Via Dinarica Green Trail in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Visit When I was hiking in Una National Park (September 2017), the Via Dinarica Green Trail in Bosnia and Herzegovina did not really exist yet. I roughly had an idea of the route I wanted to follow from Bihać to Sarajevo, but couldn’t get much information about an actual trail. When I write this post (May 2019) the Green Trail still isn’t officially there, however, all stages that are completed will be automatically available on trail.viadinarica.com. The Via Dinarica Green Trail is an hiking and/or biking trail in…Continue Reading “Hiking in Una National Park”

BLOG | GREEN trail it is

Super super green hiking trail through Croatia. From the Slovenian border to the Bosnian border. Most well known National Park on the trail is Plitvice, but my favourite part of the trail are the forests of Gorski Kotar. This tour is part of my hike from Amsterdam to Sarajevo in 2017.  Complete list with day stages: Walking from Amsterdam to Sarajevo. Border crossing Croatia. I can’t believe it. I have to say it out loud. “I walked from Amsterdam all the way to Croatia.” And repeat…Continue Reading “GREEN trail it is, crossing Croatia”

BLOG | Hiking Via Dinarica White Trail 2016

Last summer I walked a new long distance trail through the Balkans, the Via Dinarica White Trail. A route that finds its way along countless different mountain ranges, ridges, cliffs, canyons, valleys, rivers, lakes and prominent peaks in the Dinaric Alps, Europe’s largest karst field. Hiking Via Dinarica. A great hike, a beautiful journey and an unforgettable adventure. After one month preparing and acclimatizing in the Balkans, I started my hike in the lovely Valbona River Valley. Officially Albania is the last section of the…Continue Reading “Hiking Via Dinarica, crossing the Balkans on foot”

BLOG | Slovenia's Secrets

After I hiked more than 1200K through 4 different countries and added another 300K in Slovenia. The original Via Dinarica White Trail follows the Javorniki mountain range from Snežnik to Postojna. Although the forest up there is one of a kind, I decided to spend a bit more time in Slovenia, made a detour and set out an more ˝scenic route˝ through the beautiful Green Karst landscape. The last part of my Via Dinarica journey started in Ilirska Bistrica from where I headed back into…Continue Reading “Slovenia’s Secrets”

BLOG | Dormouse for dinner

“Eva, do you want to come to the Polhanje tonight?” Uhhh, for a second I’m confused. Polh, is that the same animal as a puh, a dormouse? “Yes, it is. It’s very important here, we have a tradition of polh hunting.” Is this real, I wonder. Is there really a special polh hunting night, an evening or a whole weekend to celebrate this tradition? In that case, sure I will come! At 7PM it’s completely dark and freezing cold. Literary, it’s October and the temperature drops below…Continue Reading “Dormouse for dinner”

BLOG | Incredible Croatian Karst

The Via Dinarica is a trail that is still in progress, only in Bosnia and Herzegovina the White Trail is officially open. In the other four countries the route is a combination of old existing trails that all together form a corridor through the Dinarides. With a distance of almost 600 kilometres, the Croatian section covers the largest part of the Via Dinarica. An absolutely beautiful stretch through the incredible Croatian karst mountains. Incredible Croatian Karst Although the hiking paths between well-known areas like Dinara,…Continue Reading “Incredible Croatian Karst”