Dinara mountain is the highest mountain in Croatia. Not that we care about its height, but we sure do care about the nature it keeps in its embrace. We have been to Dinara mountain on many occasions, and we choose to go with our bikes this time. As my grandpa has an old mountain cottage at the Brezovac plateau, we always have a place to stay.
But even if we don’t, there are always some other options, like sleeping in a tent or a local hiking club’s mountain hut. And let us just say that we have never seen so many stars in our life as we have seen that night on Dinara mountain.
introduction to the highest mountain in croatia
Dinara mountain is situated near the city of Knin from which the main ascent can be made. The whole mountain is soon to be characterized as a nature park – a classification just below the highest one – national park. Dinara mountain range is 100 kilometers long and the highest peak in Croatia is Sinjal with a height of 1831 meters. However, that’s not the highest peak of Dinara. That title belongs to Troglav, 1913 meters high peak situated in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Latin name for Dinara is Adrion oros and the current name is supposed to come from Dindari Illyrian tribe. Below the highest peak Sinjal, there is a monumental cliff a few hundred meters high and it looks amazing from the distance. There is a Via Ferrata trail being made there and soon it will become one of the main attractions of the highest mountain in Croatia.
hiking to dinara mountain
There are numerous ways to climb the highest mountain in Croatia. The main and most used trail starts from the city of Knin. Other trails start from Kijevo and there is one trail called ‘Yogurt trail’ with start in small villages near Knin.
There is even a gravel road almost all the way to the top of the Dinara mountain. We are not fans of the roads in the mountains and if you ask us we would forbid them. However, this road was made during the Croatian war for independence and was used by the Croatian army when liberating the city of Knin. Even today, the army has occasional exercises on the Dinara mountain. All the trails to the highest peak in Croatia are long and expect to walk around 6 hours before you reach Sinjal.
Theoretically, it’s possible to go by car for a long way, and the road has been improved in the last year. But if you are to go up by a car, you could potentially miss the experience of hiking on the highest mountain in Croatia.
first day of our adventure
As we told you earlier, we planned to reach the Brezovac plateau on our bikes. We started our ascent from the city of Knin and we planned to reach Brezovac some 4 hours later. You could reach it in less time, but we always make lots of stops for taking photos and drinking coffee.
When my grandpa was alive, we would often go to Dinara mountain by his Lada Niva. Jeep is the best vehicle to drive on this gravel road we mentioned and you can have some serious off-road experience along the way. We reached Marko’s grave (famous checkpoint and crossing) some 2 hours after we have begun our journey and we had a coffee up there, looking and admiring Dinara mountain in the distance.
At this point, the landscape of the highest mountain in Croatia really starts to dominate and you feel anesthetized by it. All your troubles seem to be left in the valleys and you are ready for the true Dinara mountain experience.
night on dinara mountain
Nights on the highest mountain in Croatia are an experience for itself. Never have I seen so many stars as on Dinara mountain. So we arrived on Brezovac in the late afternoon hours and we started to prepare BBQ for the dinner.
There are 2 cottages that we use while on Dinara. One is old and it dates back to my grandpas of my grandpa. He really loved this mountain and rebuilt one cottage that was destroyed a long time ago. He even made a museum-like environment inside.
We lit up a fire as soon as sun set behind the hills. It’s something we always do when on Dinara mountain. There is something in fire that makes you drift away. And we like to drift away and listen to fire cracking while no other sounds reach us. It’s the experience that should be prescribed as therapy instead of different pills.
the second day of adventure and returning to knin
We woke up early in the morning like we usually do when in the mountains. We had breakfast and enjoyed the silence. You always feel refreshed after sleeping in the mountains, maybe it’s because of the clean air you’re breathing in.
We didn’t go to the highest peak of Dinara mountain this time because we have been up there numerous times. This time we just wanted to relax in the embrace of the highest mountain in Croatia. And that’s all.
But if you are going to Dinara mountain for the first time, then the Sinjal peak is something you need to see. Not the peak itself but rather the view from it. If the day is clear you’ll see a lot, Kornati national park in the distance and a lot of Dalmatian hinterland in front of you. In the distance, you’ll see Biokovo mountain that rules over the Makarska Riviera some 100 kilometers away.
when to visit dinara moutain
Well there is no rule to that. Dinara is beautiful in every season. But since you, who are reading this, are probably coming to Croatia in summer like 99% of others, then the summer is the best time for you. Although, to be honest, summer is the worst season for hiking, simply because of the heat. So if you are going to the highest mountain in Croatia, have in mind to take a lot of water and make sure you have proper equipment. Please don’t go on a hike in a beach clothes and shoes. You’ll end up with a free helicopter ride and in all the newspapers.
what else to see when visiting dinara mountain
If you are staying in the Knin area for a few days, there are some other places to see. Krcic river and waterfall is one of them, although, it’s often dry during the summer. River Krka has a source under the Krcic waterfall and Krka national park is just 1 hour of driving away from Knin.
Cetina river valley and spring are other cool places to witness with the Cetina spring being one of the most famous and photographed fresh water springs in Croatia. Even the popular Cetina water you can buy in shops all over Croatia is bottled near this spring.
The city of Knin is beautiful too with the fortress above the city being its main attraction. We suggest you visit the Knin tourist board official site to get more information about this city and its surroundings.
Enjoy your adventures in the highest mountain in Croatia!