Kozarčeva 22, 10000 Zagreb, Hrvatska/Croatia   |   e-mail: hps@hps.hr   |   tel: 01/4823-624, tel/fax: 01/4824-142





Velebit hiking trail

A 9-day trek crossing the most beautiful Croatian mountain

Velebit

Velebit belongs to the Dinaride mountain range, and it is its longest mountain. At the same time, Velebit is the most interesting and the richest natural landscape in Croatia. In order to protect it, the whole mountain was declared a nature park, and its most precious landscapes are protected as national parks, strict nature reserves and nature monuments. In 1978 the whole mountain was included into the list of biosphere reserves within the network of the UNESCO programme "Man and the Biosphere".

What is the Velebit hiking trail

Slika.The Velebit hiking trail (Velebitski planinarski put, VPP) is a mountain trail through the most interesting landscapes of Velebit. The trail starts on Zavižan - the shortest approaches are from Oltari and Krasno (3-4 h). Some hikers tend to divide the trip into two parts, with a break at Baške Oštarije. The trail ends at Starigrad Paklenica on the Adriatic state road. The Velebit hiking trail is around 100 km in total, and it is marked with the usual red-and-white mountaineer markings.

It will take 9 days of walking to pass the entire route of VPP. The trek is divided into 9 parts of equal length, depending on possibilities for spending the night. In addition to VPP, there are also numerous other marked mountain paths on Velebit, so shorter trips are also possible. The most beautiful parts of the Velebit hiking trail are the area between Zavižan and Alan (Northern Velebit) and National Park Paklenica in Southern Velebit. The Croatian Mountaineering Association (Hrvatski planinarski savez, www.hps.hr / hps@hps.hr) takes care about Velebit hiking trail.

Notes for trekkers

  • Due to limited capacity of mountain and hiking huts and shelters, the recommended group size is up to eight people. A sleeping bag and a mat are necessary for staying in hiking huts and shelters.
  • Trekkers need to take their own food, because there are no supply possibilities; some meals can be obtained in permanently open mountain huts. You can get water from cisterns/tanks along the trail, but it should be purified by appropriate pills or cooked before use. Always carry enough liquids (two to three litres daily)!
  • The best period for a visit is the summer season, due to more-or-less stable weather. In summer, the ascents from the coastal side must be avoided, especially during the day, because the bare and rocky hill-sides are exposed to sunshine, and the heat can get unendurable. Sudden weather changes are very likely even in the summer, so you should always carry clothes protecting from the wind, rain and cold.
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Approaching the first section

The Zavižan mountain hut, which is the start of Velebit hiking trail, can be reached from either Oltari or Krasno (both 3-4 h of walk, through the woods). A bus drives from Senj over Oltari to Krasno twice a day. An overnight stay is possible in the Oltari hiking hut.

Slika. HIKING HUT OLTARI (940 m) is situated directly on the Sv. Juraj (St. George) - Krasno road, in the Oltari village. There are three rooms on the first floor, above the closed inn.
INFO - Open: by arrangement - Supplied: not supplied - Capacity: 22 (+ 1 in winter room) – Management: HPD Sisak, Sisak - Information: Ljubica Matijašević +385 91/56-32-075; Miroslavka Kalezić +385 99/19-16-097

The trail from Oltari to the Zavižan mountain hut rises 600 m in altitude, but is pleasant because it is not too steep, mostly staying in the forest shade. This is the shortest and most suitable hiking approach to Zavižan. Around half way, there is a forest hut, Babić Siča, where you need to pay the entrance ticket to the North Velebit National Park. Zavižan can also be approached from Oltari by car (road, 17 km). Right before Zavižan there is a large parking place, and although the road continues further, traffic is not permitted. Right above the parking place is the Zavižan mountain hut.

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1st Section: Zavižan – Alan 6 h

Slika. MOUNTAIN HUT ZAVIŽAN (1594 m) is on the southern slope of Vučjak peak (1645 m) above steep meadows, with a view of the sea, the Zavižan valley, Veliki Zavižan and Hajdučki kukovi. This is a one-floor house with two dining rooms, a kitchen and sanitary facilities. The hut also serves as the highest meteorological station in Croatia, with regular hourly measurements. Meteorological instruments are placed in an enclosed area next to the hut, and the housekeepers are are also meteorologists (the Vukušić family).
INFO - Open: permanently - Supplied: food and drinks - Capacity: 28 – Management: Croatian Mountaineering Association, Zagreb - Information: tel. in hut +385 53/614 209, e-mail: dom.zavizan@hps.hr

Starting from the Zavižan mountain hut, there are nice excursions to the peaks of the Zavižan group: to rocky Vučjak (1644 m), grassy Zavižanska kosa (1622 m), steep Balinovac (1601 m), Veliki Zavižan with a nice view (1676 m) and Zavižanski Pivčevac (1676 m) as well as the highest peak of North Velebit, Mali Rajinac (1699 m).

VELEBIT BOTANICAL GARDEN (1480 m) is situated on a wider area called Modrić dolac, surrounded by steep, wooded slopes of Balinovac and Zavižan and grassy brows of Zavižanska kosa. The garden was founded by a mountaineer and botanist from Zagreb, prof. Fran Kušan. A circular pathway around the valley begins at a small wooden house and enables the visitor to see hundreds of plants - Velebit endemic plants among others - in a 2-hour walk. There are two extensions from the path, to Balinovac and Veliki Zavižan.

Starting from the mountain hut, one should go down towards the Zavižan road in the valley and continue for 2 km until the Premužić trail rolls out to the right, towards Rožanski kukovi. The Premužić trail runs through woods at first, and then enters the rocky area of Rožanski kukovi.

PREMUŽIĆ'S TRAIL is a longitudinal trail stretching from Zavižan to Baške Oštarije, 57 km long, running through the most beautiful and the most inaccessible parts of Velebit with no big ascents and descents. The trail was built from 1931 to 1933, following an idea and under the management of the forestry engineer Ante Premužić. The section of the Premužić trail going through the otherwise quite inaccessible karst of Rožanski kukovi is especially impressive.

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The path passes below the Gromovača peak (possible ascent, 20 min to the peak).

Slika.GROMOVAČA (1676 m) is the highest peak of Rožanski kukovi and the best lookout for this breathtaking rocky labyrinth. The view to the sea is also exceptional, and the Zavižan hut can also be seen from the peak.

The next point on the Premužić trail is the Rossi shelter.

Slika. THE ROSSI SHELTER (1580 m) is situated in the heart of Rožanski kukovi, just beneath the cliff of Pasarićev kuk. It was built in 1929 and named after an explorer of Velebit flora.
INFO - Open: permanently - Supplied: not supplied - Capacity: overnight stay not possible (except in need) – Management: PD Kailaš, Zagreb - Information: Andrej Đapić +385 98/18-35-580, +385 51/648-347; Nikola Hapač +385 92/26-65-369, +385 1/33-96-669

From the Rossi shelter, the Premužić trail continues through what was once the most impassable part of Rožanski kukovi, towards the Crikvena peak (1641 m). After Crikvena the the enters the woods, and then near Seravski vrh gets out to the meadows. There is 6 h of walking from Zavižan to the Alan hut.

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Slika. ALAN HIKING HUT (1340 m) is placed close to the transversal Velebit road that passes Mrkvište north of Štirovača, connecting Krasno and Jablanac. This is a wooden hiking hut open during the summer. Water is supplied from a cistern, but there are no sanitary facilities. Because of a view to the sea, numerous hikers walk from the hut to the edge of the Mirevo meadow (with the remains of a former cargo cableway), and to grassy peak Buljma (1451 m). Alan hiking hut is a convenient base for trips to the outstanding peak Zečjak (1622 m) and to Kita, Veliki Golić, Golubić, Alančić, V. Kozjak (1629 m), as well as trips along the Premužić trail.
INFO - Open: the hut is open during the summer, managed by members of PK Sljeme, and during the winter a winter shelter can be used - Supplied: drinks and food by arrangement - Capacity: 40 (+ 7 in winter room) – Management: PD Sljeme, Zagreb - Information: Irena Pavlić +385 98/17 95 214, Ivan Hapač +385 99/51-54-999, Krešimir Bartaković +385 98/90-15-742, Marino Rabak +385 91/20-16-785

2nd Section Alan – Skorpovac 4 h

The trek along Mid Velebit and further on follows the Premužić trail to the south. The path towards the Zečjak peak (1 h ascent) rolls out from the trail.

Slika.ZEČJAK (1622 m) together with Šatorina, are the highest peaks in Mid Velebit, sharing the same height. It is a very appreciative viewpoint, due to its location and grassy slopes along which theres is path to the peak. The views from the top spread include the Adriatic sea from Učka to Ravni kotari near Zadar, the peaks of North and Mid Velebit and far to the east towards Lika.

The Premužić trail continues at more or less the same altitude along the coastal hill-side, alternately through meadows and forests - 2.30 h to a place in the forest where a path to the left leads to Šatorina, past Ograđenica (1 h). On this path, 20 min above the Premužić trail, is a simple hiking shelter Ograđenica. The Premužić trail continues down from the path crossing under Ograđenica, past the upper edge of the karstic plain Mlinište, till the water-source Gornja korita - a second, steeper but shorter path to the peak Šatorina rolls out left from here. The trail reaches the upper edge of the large plain called Radlovac and goes further to the hiking shelter Skorpovac, next to the path.

Slika.ŠATORINA (1622 m) has an easily detectable appearance that attracts looks from a distance. The peak offers a comprehensive view of the sea and of Velebit, particularly V. Kozjak and Bačić kuk peaks.

Slika. HIKING SHELTER SKORPOVAC (958 m) is placed near the Premužić trail, in an abandoned mountain village Skorpovac. The shelter has an oven and simple beds.
INFO - Open: permanently - Supplied: not supplied - Capacity: 10 – Management: HPD Sveti Šimun, Zagreb - Information: Nenad Sitar +385 98/98-12-249

3rd Section: Skorpovac – Ravni dabar 6 h

A path rolls out from Skorpovac to Budakovo brdo, and the Premužić trail continues straight ahead through forested terrain, 1:30 h to the foothill of Visibaba peak. It is recommended to leave the Premužić trail and climb onto Budakovo brdo.

Slika.BUDAKOVO BRDO (1317 m) is a scenic grassy hill. Due to its location and height, it offers views to both sides of Velebit, coastal and continental. On the broad area of Budakovo brdo you can find one of four known biotopes of Degenia Velebitica.

The path goes down 45 min to the path crossing beneath Bačić kuk. To the left there is a path onto the rocky Bačić kuk (40 min), and straight ahead is a path towards the mountain hut Ravni dabar. The ascent to the peak of Bačić kuk is difficult, and it is not recommended to hikers with no climbing experience.

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Slika.BAČIĆ KUK (1304 m) is the northern-most and the most scenic rocky peak in the Dabarski kukovi group. The peak has the shape of a small, elongated, stony ridge, and offers an unsurpassed view of the Dabarski kukovi group, which protrudes like wall from the forests, extending to all the way to Baške Oštarije.

From the path crossing beneath Bačić kuk you should continue to the south, towards Bačić duliba and Ravni dabar. Below Korita the path goes down 40 min to Bačić duliba, where it crosses the road.

BAČIĆ DULIBA (860 m) consists of several beautiful meadows surrounded by forested hills on three sides, while the west is dominated by the impressive wall of Bačić kuk. There are two mountain huts in this area, Ana and Kata, both of which are managed by HPD Bačić duliba from Karlobag.

Slika. HIKING HUT ANA (862 m) is located in Bačić duliba, on the foothill of Bačić kuk. In the ground floor there is a kitchen, a living room, a bathroom and sanitary facilities, as well as a covered terrace, and on the first floor there are sleeping rooms. The house has water-supply from a cistern. Hiking huts Ana and Kata are considered to be a single accomodation unit.
INFO - Open: during summer, otherwise by arrangement - Supplied: drinks, food by arrangement - Capacity: 12 – Management: HPD Bačić duliba, Karlobag - Information: Ana Došen +385 91/54-94-922, Stipan Došen (householder) +385 91/15-00-330, Srđan Kuruc +385 95/90-76-114

The trail continues further across the Došen dabar valley to the Ravni dabar valley, with another mountain hut.

RAVNI DABAR (715 m) is a large karstic hollow with a flat base, almost like a proper bowl. It is surrounded by the rocky Butinovača, Visibaba and Čelinac. Only a school building, now adapted to a mountain hut, remained from what was once a whole village.

MOUNTAIN HUT RAVNI DABAR (723 m) is located beneath huge, rocky Čelinac. The hut is an excellent base for trips around the Dabarski kukovi group. It has water supply from a cistern. The whole attic is arranged as a collective sleeping room.
INFO - Open: on week-ends – Supplied: drinks and food - Capacity: 50 – Management: PD Industrogradnja, Zagreb - Information: Mile Prpić (housekeeper) +385 53/633 +385 16, +385 99/79-88-363; Vlado Fabijanić +385 91/51 97 789, +385 1/39 03 226

4th Section: Ravni dabar - Baške Oštarije 3 h

Starting from the mountain hut, you should go steeply uphill, through the forest for 40 min, up to Dabarska kosa, where the Premužić trail runs. From Dabarska kosa the path descends down to Karlobag on the other side (3 h). The Velebit hiking trail continues left from Dabarska kosa, taking the the Premužić trail towards Baške Oštarije.

BAŠKE OŠTARIJE (927 m) is a Velebit village consisting of several hamlets scattered on the Oštarije plain, between Mid and South Velebit. The term Oštarije is reminiscent onf former inns (‘osteria’ in Italian), along the way from Lika to Primorje (the coast). The central point is Hotel Velebno with a restaurant. There is also a church, a hiking hut (Vila Velebita) and small private auto-camp. The village Oštarije is easily by the Gospić – Karlobag road. There are buses from Karlobag and Gospić twice a day. Because of all this Baške Oštarije is the starting point and ending of hiking tours and trips.

Slika. HIKING HUT VILA VELEBITA (920 m) is a one-floor building on the Karlobag – Gospić road, 100 m east from the church. The hut is open during the summer. There are marked paths to Ljubičko brdo (1320 m) – 2 h, and to Metla (1288 m) – 2:30 h, beginning at the hut.
INFO – Open: from 1. 6. to 1. 9. - Supplied: by arrangement - Capacity: 32 – Managing: PD Željezničar, Gospić - Information: Eduard Fajdić +385 91/76 31 817; Tomislav Čanić +385 98/96 10 +385 42, +385 53/574 +385 65

Baške Oštarije are at the halfway point of VPP and therefore - and owing to good traffic connections - the place where most trekkers break or start the VPP trail, thus dividing the trail into two parts.

5th Section: Baške Oštarije – Šugarska duliba 6-7 h

The marked trail leaves the road at the former school building in Oštarije and enters the forest, ascending onto the stony ridge of Sladovačko brdo and descending to the meadow Sladovača. The path continues mainly through the forest, going further towards the south. There aren’t many attractions on this part of the trail, but there is plenty of mountain peace and quiet. There’s also an important crossing called Piskovita kosica. We continue straight ahead until we reach the hiking shelter Šugarska duliba.

ŠUGARSKA DULIBA is a large karstic valley behind the first chain of coastal peaks. The broad area of Šugarska duliba, especially its narrow part, is one of four known biotopes of Degenia Velebitica.

Slika. HIKING HUT ŠUGARSKA DULIBA (1220 m) is a recently renovated, modern hut that serves as an open hiking shelter. Near the shelter, at the ruins of a forest house, the cistern with drinking water remained intact. A marked trail from the hiking shelter in Šugarska duliba leads to the Veliki Stolac peak(1406 m), reachable in 45 min. The ascent is very steep at the end. The view from the peak is extraordinary.
INFO – Open: permanently - Supplied: not supplied - Capacity: 11 – Management: PD Naftaplin, Zagreb - Information: Antun Odicki +385 91/56 29 763, +385 1/37 73 974

6th Section: Šugarska duliba – Stap 5 h

From the shelter and cistern in Šugarska duliba one should go straight ahead through the forest and across the meadows towards the Panos peak. We do not go onto this peak (there are abandoned military facilities), but follow mountaineering markings and descend to remains of a forest house in Jelova ruja (it is possible to go along the road, but this takes a little longer).

JELOVA RUJA (950 m) is a forested, deep and long transversal valley, surrounded on all sides by a wall of high peaks. Here, close to forest road from Rizvanuša, are the (useless) ruins of a former forest house and cistern. Water from the cistern is not recommended for drink.

From the forest house you should follow the markings uphill, above Jelova ruja. Here you start the ascent, through the forest, to the pass below Debeli kuk near Stap.

Slika.DEBELI KUK (1269 m) is, despite its altitude (modest for Velebit), an exceptionally nice viewpoint with a wide view oriented towards the sea. Apart from the beauty of the view, it is also attractive because of a splendour of meadows that reach to the rocky peak. The trail continues shortly downhill (1 h) to the hiking shelter Tatekova koliba on Stap.

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STAP is a large grassy valley with a flat base, surrounded by scenic limestone rock and forests. The most beautiful view of the whole Stap valley can be seen from the rocky Čučavac and from Debeli kuk.

Slika. HIKING SHELTER TATEKOVA KOLIBA on STAP (860 m) is a nice cottage at the edge of the Stap valley, on the VPP route - an ideal starting point for a number of interesting shorter ascents in near surroundings, but also an important overnight shelter on the longitudinal route from Baške Oštarije to Struge. The name Tatekova koliba (Daddy's cottage) comes from the nickname of Slavko Tomerlin, who built and furnished the hut. Water is supplied from narrow cavern, about 30 m from shelter.
INFO - Open: permanently - Supplied: not supplied - Capacity: 10 – Management: PD Paklenica, Zadar - Informations: PD Paklenica +385 23/301 636

7th Section: Stap – Struge 7-8 h

From the hiking shelter Tatekova koliba the trail leads to the foothill of an attractive 80 m high stone pillar, Stapina.

STAPINA (1124 m) is the biggest and the most imposing rock pillar in southern Velebit. Its smooth, conical shape looks like a milkman's tool (‘stap’ in Croatian). The fact that this huge rock on an outstanding grassy peak with a nice view is well visible from afar contributes to the beauty and attractiveness of Stapina.

The Velebit hiking trail continues towards the south to the Malo Rujno plateau. To the right of Malo Rujno (1 h from the main route) you can find the hiking shelter Zavrata. From Malo Rujno you can reach Veliko Rujno in 2 h. The trail from Malo to Veliko Rujno is mostly in the open, and exposed to sunshine.

VELIKO RUJNO is a large grassy plateau stretching between Bojinac and the ridge of Višerujna. In the middle of Veliko Rujno there is a chapel of Our Lady of Rujno, and next to it there is a cistern with drinking water. The chapel holiday is the day of Assumption of Mary, August 15. A pilgrimage is traditionally organised for this occasion, the same time as the main Croatian mountaineers' pilgrimage.

Starting from the chapel we continue shortly southeast and enter the pine forest. It ascends to the Stražbenica pass (1130 m), around 1:30 h from Veliko Rujno. From there there is a trail to the right, towards the mountain hut in Paklenica (1:30 h), but our route continues 45 min, very steeply to the Buljma pass, reaching the Struge plateau.

Prior to Buljma there is another descent on the right, to the mountain hut in Paklenica, and the main trail soon reaches the hiking hut Struge.

Slika. HIKING SHELTER STRUGE (1400 m) is in the central part of Struge. This is a wooden bungalow arranged for hikers' needs by members of HPD Paklenica from Zadar. Water can be taken from the Marasovac well.
INFO - Open: permanently - Supplied: not supplied - Capacity: 15 – Management: PD Paklenica, Zadar - Information: PD Paklenica +385 23/301 636

8th Section: Struge - Vaganski vrh - Sveto brdo - Ivine vodice 8 h

The zone from Struge, across the Marasovac spring, towards Vaganski vrh and Sveto brdo was a war zone in the 1990s, and trekking is allowed on the marked Velebit hiking trail exclusively, since this trail is considered safe.

From hiking shelter Struge we continue strictly following the trail for 10 min to the Marasovac well, and from there to the right onto Vaganski vrh.

Slika.VAGANSKI VRH (1757 m) is Velebit’s highest peak. Its top is in fact a wide flat ridge, covered by thick grass, so it does not give the impression of the highest peak. The view is oriented towards Lika.

Southeast from Vaganski vrh the trail descends steeply 10 min to flatter terrain, to a junction with the Lipa staza trail (from Paklenica) on the right, and continues straight ahead 15 min to the pass between Segestin (1715 m) and Brundo (1710 m).

On the other side of the pass the trail gradually ascends to the foothill of Malovan (1709 m) and passes below the peak of Malovan following a countour line. Near the path is a memorial to Ozren Lukić, an active Croatian caver who fell as a victim of war. We continue further, crossing to the coastal side, with an extraordinary view of the sea and canyon of Mala Paklenica. The trail descends further along increasingly karstic terrain, until the junction with the path from Ivine vodice (on the right). We continue uphill, across meadows, towards the Sveto brdo peak.

Slika.SVETO BRDO (1751 m)is the last high peak of Velebit, ending the chain of Velebit high peaks. Due to its location, it offers an unhindered view both of Lika and the coastal side. There is a big metal cross on the peak, as well as a table with the Ten Commandments.

From the Sveto brdo peak you should backtrack 30 min, to the small pass where you take a left, downhill towards Vlaški grad. It descends with open views of Mala Paklenica and a well visible crest of Vlaški grad. Next to the trail is a memorial to three hikers from Split who lost their lives in an accident on ice.

Slika. HIKING SHELTER VLAŠKI GRAD (1280 m) is on a small pass below the peak of Vlaški grad. A simple metal shelter, built by members of PD Paklenica, is suitable base for ascents to Sveto brdo. There is a water spring near the shelter.
INFO - Open: permanently - Supplied: not supplied - Capacity: 10 – Management: PD Paklenica, Zadar - Information: PD Paklenica +385 23/301 636

The trail from the Vlaški grad shelter to Ivine vodice goes through a forest, almost on the contour line (one small ascent and descent).

Slika. HIKING SHELTER IVINE VODICE (1250 m) is a ground-floor building with one room and a wooden attic. A mat and a sleeping bag are an absolute must for an overnight stay. There is a cistern with drinking water near the hut. Due to its location half way between Paklenica and Sveto brdo, and convenient accommodation near the water and the forest, the shelter serves as an advisable place for a time-out, water-resupply, or overnight stay for and ascent to the highest Velebit peaks.
INFO - Open: permanently - Supplied: not supplied - Capacity: 10 – Management: PD Babulj, Bibinje - Information: Marin Jukić +385 91/11-22-440, Stjepan Gverić +385 91/45-23-340, PD Paklenica +385 23/301 636

9th Section: Ivine vodice – Velika Paklenica 6 h

From Ivine vodice we continue downhill 45 min until Martinova mirila (914 m). From there a path rolls out to the left, across Velika Močila to Mala Paklenica and to Crni vrh (1110 m); the main trail continues to the right 1:30 h to the Paklenica mountain hut.

Slika. MOUNTAIN HUT PAKLENICA (480 m) is nice a one-floor building with two wings, at the beginning of the Velika Paklenica gorge. There is a large terrace for resting in front of the hut. The Paklenica creek babbles nearby. The house is located at the valley base, where Paklenica and Brezimenjača creeks flow into each other.
INFO - Open: permanently - Supplied: drinks - Capacity: 50 – Management: PD Paklenica, Zadar - Information: Irena Šaran (housekeeper) +385 97/75 57 654; PD Paklenica +385 23/301 636

A wide, built pathway starts at the hut and heads towards Starigrad and the coast. After 10 min it passes by the foresters’ house, crosses the creek and enters the most attractive part of the Paklenica gorge. A zigzag ascent also rolls out to the cave Manita peć (40 min) on the right, and there’s nice view of the Anića kuk impressive north face on the left.

MANITA PEĆ (540 m) is the most beautiful cave in the Paklenica area and one of the most beautiful in Croatia. It is 175 m long and 35 m deep. It consists of only one, vast hall, divided by stalagmites and stalactites into three smaller parts, all full of cave ornaments. The cave can be visited in summer months on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 to 13 h (other days by arrangement with National Park staff). The cave sightseeing lasts half an hour.

Slika.ANIĆA KUK (712 m) is the biggest rock wall on Velebit and the most remarkable rock face in Croatia. An recognizable, overhanging feature protrudes from the middle of the face. The face is more than 300 m high, and especially popular among climbers. At the foothill of Anića kuk is a green meadow called Anića luka with a water spring.

The Velika Paklenica gorge suddenly narrows into a canyon and the path enters its most exciting part. Inside the canyon on the right there is an entrance into former army bunkers.

TUNNEL SHELTER (BUNKERS) is at the narrowest part of the Velika Paklenica canyon. The tunnel system was dug up in the 1950s by the Yugoslav army in top secrecy, and was meant to be used as a nuclear shelter. However, the tunnel entrances were later blocked and the system was never used. The surface of the whole underground complex is 1730 m2, 549 m in length. The tunnel system has been redesigned and refurnished, and now includes a small lecture hall, a couple exhibition points, a souvenir shop and a storage unit for the Croatian Mountain Rescue Team (HGSS).

The marked path leads down the canyon between giant rocks faces, 20 min to the parking place, where the asphalt road begins. About 2 km further is the entrance reception of the national park, where the stamp of the Velebit hiking trail can be found.

The road continues through the Marasovići village and Paklenička street, reaching the Adriatic state road. 250 m to the right is a gas station, Hotel Alan and a bus station. The center of Starigrad Paklenica is about 1 km away (by asphalt road).

An entrance fee is charged for staying in NP Paklenica, bought at entrance reception of national park.

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Some additional information:

  • The hiking trail is preferably done from May to October - it is not recommended in winter months because of harsh weather conditions: a lot of snow, clouds, frequent fog and often very low temperature.
  • It is not necessary to hire a local guide, but if you want to hire a guide it is possible through the Guide Service of Croatian Mountaneering Association, e-mail: vodici@hps.hr.
  • Shelters are permanently open and you can stay there free of charge. You will need your own mat and a sleeping bag.
  • Huts Zavižan, Alan, Ravni dabar, Vila Velebita (at Baške Oštarije) and Paklenica are open permanently during summer months and supplied with food, water and other drinks. The huts are open during summer months, usually during the weekends and holidays - otherwise they are closed. It is recommended to give notice in advance, but even if you do not, you can come and stay overnight. They can also be open in any other time, but you will have to contact the people who manage them.
  • Along the Velebit hiking trail there are some seasonal water springs; the only reliable sources are at Štirovača, Ljubica (at Baške Oštarije) and Paklenica, and they are abundant with water throughout whole summer. All huts and shelters have water cisterns with rain water next to them or nearby.
  • There are no official camping places on Velebit (except at Baške Oštarije), and camping is generally forbidden. Hikers who prefer tents should be aware that tents may be placed only near a hut/shelter.
  • Fire is strictly forbidden, except at arranged fireplaces near huts and shelters. It is possible to cook simple meals inside the huts and shelters.
  • All related maps and information in English can be obtained from the Croatian Mountaneering Association.

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