At least not in Croatia! I have been waiting a long time to finally be able to say: yes, I was there, on the rooftop of Croatia, and it is absolutely awesome! Seriously, the situation is kinda like this: if you want to wake up in the morning, look into the mirror with pointing your finger saying that this is the man guilty of everything (bad) that is happening to you BUT also the man who considers himself even slightly a serious mountaineer, you have to visit the highest peak in Croatia.

Did you know that in Slovenia, for example, you are not considered a full-fledged Slovenian if you weren’t on Triglav, highest peak in Slovenia? So, to make things harder on you, if you are unfortunate enough to be born in Croatia and you haven’t felt that good old „Vjetre s Dinare“ (english: wind from Dinara), then you aren’t considered a Croat and please stop voting for the right winged options and pretend you love your country. Thank you! Now, when we got pass that, back onto the mountaineering devilry!

One picture taken from the car. The photographs can never really display it as our eyes can but this will have to do

It is a three and a half hour car ride from Zagreb to Glavaš, village near the city of Knin, with over three hundred kilometres under your wheels when you even start the climb. I strongly suggest you book yourself a place to stay over the night before and/or after the climb as it is slightly harder than your usual weekend hike at your local, alma mater, mountain.

There are some other options to make the ascend: village of Mirkovići, Guge and there is even a hardcore option, a super-ferrata almost two kilometres long. I call it the FEARrata rather than ferrata, a more suiting name. Currently there are some parts of the ferrata being repaired so it is highly advised to contact someone from the, I guess, local mountaineering association (mr. Darko Gavrić, +385 91 7289 963).

We were told that the safest place to make the ascend from is village of Glavaš. Believe it or not, military exercises were being held on the Knin side of the mount Dinara. They say it was the Americans. It all kinda sounds fishy but with the situation in the world going on, who knows? We did indeed hear some gunshots fired when we were making our ascend, on the other side, with a view towards Knin.

I could go through every part of the ascend in detail but I will let pictures tell the story, rather than words as I know, with some experience in blog writing, that attention span of a human being today is being seriously trampled and decimated. But that’s why we have the pictures and paragraphs, god bless ’em! On the right, you can see the remains of fort Glavaš found right at the start of your ascend. The fort is also called Dinarić and it was built in the 15th century, when it got obvious that the Ottoman Empire will turn it’s eye and foot towards Croatia. Wander around a little bit but don’t get carried away as there is a long way up still ahead.

There are not many checkpoints on the way up and be prepared to make long uphill distances through rocky territory. I will break down the whole route for you later in the post. If not cloudy, it will get very hot so take a buff or a hat. And I beg you, take the sun cream or else you gonna burn and be too red to travel back home through Knin (hou hou hou, the right wingers must be loving my political jokes). There is some water along the way, at exactly three kilometres from the start there is a well. Congratulations, you are currently 1000 metres high!

If you are making the ascend during summer, it is mandatory to take enough water with you (I read somewhere that people take around 5 litres of water, just in case, you know). Nevertheless, don’t be intimidated by Dinara and carry too much stuff with you. You will get up there for sure but it’s going to be much harder with all that baggage wearing you down. Steady as she goes and enjoy the ride!

I will not lie to you. After the well, you can go left or right. We went left (like duh, you didn’t guess that after the jokes?!?) and the path led us uphill through the rocky serpentines. Okay, everything is quite uphill on Dinara. I would say that the hardest part of the journey is to get to the Ošljak peak. No trees anywhere to cover your sweaty body. Somewhere here, you can’t miss it if you just follow the markings, there is more water. I am not sure if you can drink it without filtering it, though.

Where can I buy those? I have finally found the perfect size to hold me!

You will know you are at Ošljak when you see a huge carabiner. You will also see the mountain hut “Drago Grubać”. I am sorry guys, I just cannot help myself, I mean no disrespect it’s just funny – Drago Grubać could be translated into english as Dear Roughy. My companion said it is like a name of some mountaineer pornstar. You gotta like that girl. Enough with the giggly-giggly stuff, just take a little rest at the hut.

dinara4

Ladies and gentlemen, we are at the final push with only approximately three km to Sinjal which is, with it’s 1831 metres, the highest peak in Croatia. How did we feel? Well, I think we just wanted to get over with it. Luckily, I was in training for the race we had a couple of weeks ago so I was not worried about my performance. On Dinara, many times during the ascend you got the feeling you are close but then one more, bigger hill appears. You can see Sinjal around 45 minutes before you finally reach it. It is a bastard, I tell you.

Route breakdown

  1. Fort Glavaš/Dinarić – 0.7 kilometres
  2. First well (water surely drinkable) – 3 kilometres
  3. Second source of water (not sure if water is drinkable?) – 4.3 kilometres
  4. Mountain hut “Drago Grubać” and Ošljak (also the exit of the aforementioned super fearrata) – 6 kilometres
  5. Sinjal – the highest peak of Dinara and Croatia – cca 9 kilometres

Just one important thing before you get too comfy – now you need to make the descend! Don’t forget that. We went the same way and it took us three hours to return to Glavaš and take off our hiking boots. It got real hot when we were returning. Your feet will burn and your knees will be sore. It is highly recommended that you use hiking poles/staffs. Was it worth it? I still feel the bliss.

So, when are YOU going?

About the Author: Borna

Borna is a student of philosophy. He loves mountains, books, and video games and is in possession of a pretty awesome LEGO collection. Listens to music almost all the time but also likes the silence. You will probably find him reading a book, roaming the mountains of RL, or trying to bring home bounty in the vast swamps of Bayou.
One Comment
  1. Rhodes65 May 5, 2022 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    This is one beautiful mountain. Well written post mr. Borna, it inspires me to take on Dinara myself! Croatia is truly breathtaking, rich history, proud people, incredible food and above all – magnificent nature! As you say over there: “nema raja do rodnoga kraja, ni miline osim domovine”. Cheers!

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