Usually with couple of my friends I go to Croatia at the end of the summer. I have no clue for how many years we are doing it. This year was a bit different. My girlfriend didn`t want to spend all the time on the beach, so we planned hiking trip to the Dinara – highest summit in Croatia (1 831 m / ). Because of the Dinara, we were looking for accommodation around Sibenik city. At the end we spend couple of days in Primosten village.
I know that descent to Dinara is not a big deal, it is more hill than a summit but I never ever hiked in Croatia. On top of that I expect a really hot weather. Having this in mind. I have planned the trip as following. Wake up at 3:00 am. In half an hour we should be leaving beach house and heading to Dinara. From 5:00 am we will be hiking. It should take not more than 4 hours. At 9 we will take picture at the highest point of Croatia and in 3,5 hours we should be back. At lunch time we are back in the car and in the afternoon we are laying on the beach.
Hardest part of the plane is to wake up at 3:00 am. Besides me and Lucka, one of my friend is willing to join us. First question which he asked is, if I will be mad at him, if he is not going. I told him I have no problem with that. Immediately after my answer he is back to bad. Me and Lucka shortly after 3:30 leaving apartment and heading towards Dinara.
As I expected it took us about 1,5 hour to reach the parking place near Glavas. Be careful when you are going there because my GPS navigation took me thru unpaved road. Anyway at the end it was easy to find parking place as it is marked well. You do not need to park at the end of asphalt road. You can go few more meters until you reach Glavas hut under Dinara.
From parking place we have to walk. It is still dark night and we have to use head lamps. After couple of minutes walking we are passing Glavas castle ruins. In the dark we are only able to see silhouette of it. It is already warm and shorts and t-shirt are just enough. My girlfriend goes up in mountaineering shoes, I have just running shoes.
Whole path is so far not steep and it goes thru small woods. I am sure those will be valuable on the way back, cause we can get at least bit of shade. Path gets steep after we reach water spring. From this point path gets steep, however this part is not too long. We have reached meadows. Part of them already covered by sun.
We have to walk couple of more minutes, until we see the sun. It is time to have a break an grab something small to eat. The break is really short. Both of us wants to be on the summit as soon as possible in order to avoid hot weather which comes for sure.
Hike it self is really easy, nothing technical. Close to the summit you are walking partially on the rocks but I manage it easily in running shoes. As we are gaining altitude, every tree we see on the way is worth to remember. This is the place where we will stop on the way down. It is not 8:00 am and it is terribly hot and humid already.
As we are closer and closer to the summit, we start guessing where we are actually going. We have to pass one lovely canyon go up for few minutes and can see summit cross. Last couple of meters I have feeling like hiking in High Tatras. Lots of scrubs, hard to see something thru them.
At the summit we can not decide which of two hills is actually Dinara summit. One have the cross on it, by the way it is not nice one. On the other is concrete pillar with red text Dinara on it. We spend here couple of minutes. Mainly because I am searching for geocache hidden somewhere here. In the meantime two other hikers are coming to summit from the same direction. Both of them are Slovaks.
It took us about 3,5 hours to reach the Dinara summit from Glavas parking space, after 30 minutes on the summit it is time to descent. Before descent we put lot of sun cream on. I am glad that in my small back pack I take lot of water. For sure I will need it.
We are descending same way as we have ascent. We know where we are so can estimate how long it will take. My estimate is that we should be in car in less than 3 hours. We are quick, but the sun is killing us. It is too hot to do some activity. Best place to stop is the shade, but it is hard to find one.
As we are closer and closer to the car it is hotter and hotter. Sometimes I need to stop because I want to get off the sun, I am totally sweaty and out of energy. Both of us hate sun. Near the castle ruins we stop for a second or two. Just take a picture of it and go down. In the morning I though I will go to see castle ruins, but I don`t want to.
At the parking place both of us are totally exhausted. We are happy to sit down in shade and do nothing for a while. Just drink a lot of water. My car says that the temperature is 34°C / 93°F. My car was park in shade. I can not imagine how much was on the sun.
In the car I don`t feel OK. On the way home we stop in Knin city to see one waterfall, but it was not there at all. Once we were back in Primosten, we thought it is time to enjoy the see a bit, but I was too exhausted and went to bed for 2 hours or so.
Visit of Dinara, highest summit of Croatia, which is in mountain range with the same name, is worth of visit. Countryside is totally different than in Alps or other Central European mountains. However, be very careful with the planning. I am more than sure that sun could kill you :).