If you spend enough time in Split, eventually the surrounding mountains will start calling you to explore, and rightfully so…
Two weeks into our stay in the stunning seaside town, we met up with our local friend, Srđan, eager to retreat to the rugged mountains that so dramatically frame the metropolitan area around Croatia’s second-largest city.
On a sun-drenched Saturday morning, we piled into Srđan’s car, rolling partway up the mountain, Mosor, which forms part of Southern Europe’s Dinaric Alps. Parking at a spot that hinted at the extraordinary views ahead, we began our ascent on the rocky pathway. We occasionally bumped into other hikers, but the gentle climb was mostly quiet, allowing us to catch up with our friend, who is a wine connoisseur and owner of a popular wine & culinary-tour business.
During one break from the ascent, we heard a choir of church bells tolling on the hour. We were fascinated to learn that they had originated from the nearby island of Brač. It was incredible that the sound had clearly carried in such a dramatic fashion!
After winding along Mosor’s rocky paths, which were studded with flora featuring myriad textures and green hues, we eventually found our way into what Srđan had dubbed, “the Enchanted Forest.” We stopped at the Umberto Girometta mountain lodge, after being greeted by a lovable donkey with wooly hair. Chilled by the refreshingly-cool air, we downed a cup of steaming tea infused with fresh mountain herbs. At times, the donkey ambled over to our picnic table to say hi. He looked as though he’d just stepped out of the pages of a glossy Visit Croatia brochure.
As morning gave way to afternoon, more hikers arrived. We grabbed a table before the lodge became too packed, and stuffed ourselves with hearty traditional food alongside a green ceramic, wood-burning stove. After hiking in the crisp air, sauerkraut had never tasted so good. Shawn and Srđan feasted upon fažol, a bean stew that’s popular in this part of Croatia.
After lunch, we explored a marshy area around the lodge, strolling past a fiery-orange butterfly catching some rays on a boulder, and a pond inhabited by tadpoles. Before the winter sun began her slumber, we started our descent and ultimately returned to civilization.
- Lucky to have a friend to guide us, getting from Split to Mosor was a breeze. If you’re making the visit independently, see this website for more practical information about Mosor.
- If you’ll be staying in Split for a few days, you might be interested in the Split Card, which gives you free entry to certain museums and galleries, and reduced rates to others. Back in 2014, people staying in Split for 3 days or more could pick up the Split Card for free, but as of 2016, there is a fee to purchase the card. The link above details the current cost, as well as the participating museums and businesses.
- We’ve spent two winters in Split, finding accommodation in apartments that would be packed during the summer months, but are practically empty during winter. During our first 2.5 months there, we stayed at the lovely Kaleta Apartments (affiliate link) which are located within Diocletian’s Palace. Our studio apartment (called the ‘Diocletian’s Suite’) featured much character, including Roman brickwork, and views of Old Town Split below. Owners Novica and Negri were thoughtful citizen ambassadors too. Two years later, we returned to Split, staying in the charming Varoš neighborhood, which is characterized by stone homes with hunter-green shutters. For those 2 months, we stayed in quaint studio apartments at the Guesthouse F (affiliate link). We especially enjoyed our tiny terrace and the kindness of our hosts, Anja and Miro. One of Guesthouse F’s apartments was originally a horseshoe maker’s workshop, a building which previously belonged to Anja’s grandfather. Shawn and I dubbed it the ‘horseshoe cottage’.
- Need more inspiration? This link contains an index of all my posts from Croatia.
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Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.
56 thoughts on “A Day Trip from Split, Croatia: Hiking Mosor”
what a great place and beautiful hike. Must do it one day! beautiful images to go with it, Tricia!
Hvala / grazie, Our Adventure in Croatia. :) When we visited Split last year, the mountains here were calling us, and so I was ecstatic to make it up to Mosor this time around. Our friend did mention that it’s sizzling-hot in the summer months, but perhaps you can do the hike in the spring months?
definitely I would not do that hike in a summer month… Spring sounds more like!! looks like the weather was very good for you
It sure was ideal weather; I’m not sure if this is considered a regular winter here? The weather’s been fantastic – perhaps we’ll be tempted to stay even longer. I think Croatia has a way of reeling one in!
yep they say it’s been an unusually warm December spell
Great photographs. I do remember it as a beautiful part of the world. You’ve put me in the mood to return.
Dorothy, it’s nice to hear we’ve inspired you to return! We love being here during the quiet tourist season, but admittedly, summer scenes are encouraging us to come back in a few months! I’m especially curious about the islands, but the inland, agricultural areas also look as though they have much to offer.
Reblogged this on Fit To Travel Association and commented:
Croatia, Dalmatian Coast, hiking, Mosor, Split, things to do in Split, travel
Interesting pictures and great trip!
Monika, dziękuję for stopping by! :) Indeed, it was a refreshing get-away. Did you also visit Split when you were in this region?
Yes I saw Split, Zadar, Dubrovnik and other smaller cities. I think the whole Croatia is the most beautiful in Europe and the best place for a holiday. Cote d’Azur let them hide :) Besides, I was also in Medugorie in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a spiritual place and worth seeing.
You sound like you’d make the perfect travel ambassador for Croatia, Monika. :) I’ve been to Mostar and Sarajevo, but never Medugorie. Perhaps we’ll get to do so later on during this trip. Wish you a wonderful weekend!
Definitely my kind of hike! And, WOW! The views are astounding. I was lingering on every photo.
Hi Michael, we’ve been fortunate to have seen a fair amount of places in the world, but I can’t think of many with scenery dramatic enough to rival Croatia’s. If we get a chance to do this hike again, we’re hoping to go all the way to the top, and maybe pack a lunch. But with food as tasty and authentic as what we got at the mountain hut, we’ll probably just return. Hope you get a chance to make it here sometime soon!
Once again, you dazzle me and entice me with lovely pictures and points of interest. You are fortunate to have had a guide and one who looked like he was having every bit a good time as Shawn.
Hi Lynne, I’m so glad that you and Ron have added this part of Croatia to your must-see list. :) We were fortunate to have Srđan as our guide for this memorable day, and we’re even luckier to count him as a friend. :) We met the last time we were in Croatia, and this year he continues to take us under his wing. The people here are very warm and eager to share their culture. We feel quite at home!
A very nice post and beautiful pictures; I have been to Split but didn’t visit the area around it…a good excuse to go back!
Hi Davide & many thanks! Did you come to Split to use it as a transit point to the islands, and if so, which ones did you visit? It’s always nice to hear what other travelers can recommend in the area.
Such a well written article and beautiful pictures. Croatia is on my list!
Greetings Shikha! That’s kind of you to say – thank you. Are there any particular spots in Croatia that you’re yearning to see?
Hi Tricia, I’m yearning to see the capital city, Dubrovnik, and the Plitvice rain forests… this list is purely based on web pictures and some people who mentioned “you must see the rain forests in Croatia”.. Please let me know if I should add/ subtract to this list.
Shikha, we’ve only seen a bit of the country, but have greatly enjoyed Split, Trogir and Šibenik. I’ve heard that the Plitvice or Krka National Parks are also well-worth seeing. Dubrovnik’s walled city is beautiful, but feels a bit like a ‘museum town’ and not so much lived in by the locals. We’ve enjoyed Split because it’s very much bustling and inhabited. I’ve not seen much of Croatian capital city, Zagreb, but hope to return someday. We’re also eager to make it out to one or two of the islands. We’ve heard high praise for Vis and Korčula. So much to see! Most of all, we’ve enjoyed mingling with the locals in a slow fashion, learning about their wine and cuisine, and tidbits of history. They make the country come alive!
Wow.. thanks Tricia.. I know now who to ask questions when my Croatia happens.
Terrific pictures, Tricia, of a beautiful place. I can’t decide which I like most, the planetarium, the donkey, or the butterfly… Actually, no. I can. It’s the donkey. But the observatory calls to me.
Hi Sid, nice to hear from you! I also loved the novelty of interacting with the donkey. Some Croatians have said we were very lucky to see him; apparently he’s a more unusual type of donkey. And our friend said that the planetarium is open to visitors. I’ll have to add that to our must-see list, though at this rate, I don’t think we’ll be making it there this time around. Do you have a telescope at home?
Tricia, again what a wonderful post!! That hike with that spectacular view down to Split and the overstay at that lodge sounds like a wonderful adventure. I fell in love with the donkey. I think donkeys do not deserve their reputation as being stupid or how ever the society calls them, they are such loving, patient, caring and very sensitive animals and have contributed through thousands of years of history to people lives in being of service to humans.
I agree with you, Cornelia. They are such hard-working animals, and this fellow was especially sweet to interact with! Our friend said that he carries the bulk of the cargo up to this lodge.
We’ve enjoyed getting to know our food better here in Croatia. That might sound funny, but in an age of superstore grocery shopping, all under one roof, one can easily lose touch with how food is produced. I’ve been especially fascinated with how so much food here is sourced locally. More on that in my next post.
I hope your weekend is off to a beautiful beginning!
Reblogged this on Just Go Places.
I have three words: W. O. W. Those scenes, that beauty; uhm, that big beautiful warm sun!
Henry, given that so many of our friends and family back home had to contend with the polar vortex, I almost feel guilty posting images of such a splendid December hike! I’m sold on Mediterranean winters now. :)
Great hike, wonderful scenery! I agree, the mountains do call :)
Reveries of Forevers, we were here last spring and vowed to hike upon our return. So glad we had this opportunity!
Do you have any particular favorite hiking spots?
We have quite a number of hiking spots here in our country. But I’m eyeing the Milford track in New Zealand. I didn’t have the time to do that when I visited the country.
Do you live in the Philippines? We did a wonderful trek through the Batad Rice Terraces two years ago. Like you, I’d also like to see New Zealand!
Yes I do! I still have to do the rice terraces, shameful me. Thank you for finding it wonderful. I was in New Zealand last November. Oh you should visit it! I have to go back for the Milford track and a lot more!
It’s easy to overlook the fantastic sites close to home, isn’t it? (At least that’s been my experience sometimes!) :) To further tempt you, here are some images from our time there: https://triciaannemitchell.com/2012/03/06/stairway-to-heaven-trekking-the-batad-rice-terraces/
I have made an e-note to put the Milford Track on our radar. Does it ever look gorgeous!
Thanks for the link! I have to do that soon:) And yes, Milford Track is just astounding!
Wonderful photographs with a different perspective of the city! Views from high on the mountainsides provide such a good “lay of the land.”
Since I tend to be navigationally-challenged, I love getting such a vantage point when I first get to a place, Marilyn. :) We were lucky that our friend shared this favorite hiking spot with us.
Looks like a great hike.
Mark – it was! Though with food this good, we’ll have to do a more aggressive hike next time to burn off all the calories. :)
You know you are causing us to add Croatia to our bucket list, don’t you? Great post Tricia, as always.
Ron, I’m glad to tempt you and Lynne with such a worthwhile destination. :) Let us know when the timing’s right for you two to globetrot here – we’d be happy to give recommendations and answer any questions you might have. Thanks, as always, for your supportive feedback!
What a wonderful day you had here. The pictures and commentary are wonderful! The donkey reminds me of our “Friendly” here in Nevada
I thought of you two – and Friendly – when we met this furry fellow. I wonder if like Friendly, he’d also enjoy munching on carrots? :)
Quite the adventure Tricia; beautifully photographed and described. I’m a sucker for the little donkey :0)
Tina, it’s funny, there were many wonderful elements from our hiking day, but somehow that donkey meeting is a stand-out moment. Such a gentle, friendly, and photogenic fellow!
Tricia, the sad thing is that even I am born in Split I didn’t know what beauty is above Split. Do you mind if I add this hiking day on my website? Visitors would live to know about this!
Pero, I’m glad that this post made you aware of the wonderful hiking possibilities available near Split. I’ve found that I often miss notable spots near to home too; it’s funny how that works out. :) We’re lucky to have a local friend to “show us the ropes” in the area. Do you still live in the area?
Please feel free to share the link to this article with your readers.
I live now in Italy but I keep visiting my hometown several time during the year. Next time I have to visit all these spots I missed long time ago.
Pero, it sounds as though you have the “best of both worlds.” In what part of Italy do you live now? We would love to take the ferry there from Croatia.
It looks like you had an awesome time. Thank you for sharing it with us. Your pictures are beautiful.
Gerard, good food, wine, conversation, and nature – I can’t think how it could’ve been much better, except having our family and friends there to share it with us too.
Some stunning photos. We’re planning to go to Croatia in April (using Split as a base) so we’ll be poking around your site next little while. Great views, gives us a idea what to expect.
Hi there Frank! How exciting that you’re Split-bound in a few months. We were lucky enough to spend last winter there, and the year before that we lived in nearby Trogir. We’re contemplating a return this winter too – we’ll see. Not only do great views await, but so does tasty Dalmatian food and wine, a plethora of historic sites, and welcoming people.
How long do you expect to be there in April? I hope you’ll find some helpful pointers in my posts. Thank you for reading. :)