Mount Mosor is the highest peak in the Split area, renown for its fabulous views over the Dalmatian coastline. So when my new Croatian friends Vedran and Goran offered to take me for a hike up Mount Mosor there was no way I was going to say no.“Bring 2 liters of water, sunscreen and a lunch” said Vedran “It takes about 3 hours to reach the peak”.
We were going to get to Mount Mosor by bus but Goran managed to secure his wife’s car at the last minute. So we stuffed into the small Honda and started up the long winding road to the foothills of the mountain.
Most blogs out there describe a hike up Mount Mosor, the hike culminating at the Mountain House. That’s a 45 minute hike from the beginning point (a small town called Gornje Sitno). That’s not a hike. That’s a ‘ladies hike’ somebody said. Ok, it might have been me. We were going to hike like men, and that meant climbing those high peaks that loom right behind the Mountain House.
Car park: 590 m
Mountain House: 870m
Veli Kabal: 1339 m (highest peak)
Vickov Stup: 1325 m (2nd highest peak)
Above: Goran and Vedran looking fresh to start our hike.
From the car parking lot (altitude 590 m) we walked on a gravel path for about 10 minutes. We then navigated our way up a stairway of rocks. It was easy going. The guys told me about tourists climbing here in flip-flops. Some have gotten stuck and had to be rescued by helicopter (you get stuck with the helicopter bill if they have to come to get you). They told me to watch out for snakes; the hills of Dalmatia have nose-horned vipers poisonous enough to go kill children or older people (note: you can see a dead one on display in the Mountain House).
Above: Signage all over the mountain is excellent and it would be very hard to get lost. Falling and cracking your head open on the rocks wouldn’t be however…
Above: you might even see goats like the above on your way up the mountain.
Above: there’s a Planetarium on a nearby hill.
Above: the Mountain house (Photo Credit Travels with Tricia: she actually has a great post here featuring the hike up to the Mountain House).
As advertised, it took about 45 minutes to get to the Mountain House. We stopped at one of their picnic tables and had a snack and water. Goran told me that as a kid he had stayed here overnight. The upper floors of the building serve as a hostel. What he remembered most however was the Turkish squat toilet that they have on the premises. This led to a conversation about how squat toilets are actually physiologically optimal for taking the best dumps. Something about the stomach muscles. Which led to Vedran announcing that we would have to eat beans and meat when we finished the hike. With that as a goal we set off for the toughest section of the hike.
Below: sign announcing 2.15 (two hours, 15 minutes) to Veli Kabal, the highest peak on Mosor.
I don’t have photos from the Mountain House – Veli Kabal portion of the hike, mostly because it required the use of both hands. The climb is steep and you’ll often be using your hands to hoist yourself up to higher levels. When not climbing, you’ll find yourself scrambling over loose rocks. I was getting tired and my legs were starting to get shaky. But just about when I started to doubt whether I could complete this hike we spotted the cross (below) signifying the peak.
Below: All pretty happy to have made it to the highest point on the mountain.
At the top of Veli Kabal there is a red metal box containing a book. Make sure to write your name in the book to make your achievement official.
Below: Goran pointing out Split in the distance.
We decided to continue on to Vickov Stup, the 2nd highest peak (by 15 meters). The hike from Veli Kabal was the most scenic of the day, the views towards Split and the Adriatic glorious. It was a 45 minute hike along a ridge that connects the two peaks.
Below: coming up on Vickov Stup.
I’ve joked that this is a ‘man’s hike”. We actually met quite a few ladies along the way: a young New Zealand couple doing the trek in the opposite direction, then a group of middle-aged German women up at Vickov Stup. We also met some Croatian men, people who looked like they did this every weekend.
Below: a sudden crowd at Vickov Stup.
Below: Vedran hamming it up.
The path from Vickov Stup to the Mountain House is actually much easier than the one from Veli Kabal. No climbing with hands and feet, no scrambling over loose rocks. And with this peak being closer to Split we had some great views towards the city (below – unfortunately it was a bit of a hazy day).
2 hours later, we were back at the Mountain House eating beans and sausages.
Below: the happiest part of the day was sitting down to eat after a total of 5 hours on the mountain.
Below: Walking back down to the parking lot, afternoon views on Split.
- Getting to Gornje Sitno by bus: Take bus 28 which runs on the large intersection behind Split’s Green market. Schedule here (make sure to arrive early because buses to Gornje Sitno are not frequent). Cost: 17 Kuna, takes about 45 minutes to get to Gornje Sitno.
- Bus Schedule back to Split from Gornje Sitno: here.
- Bring lots of water, something for your head, good shoes, and long pants (I had shorts and got bitten a lot by nasty flies). Bring a phone should something happen to you up there.
- Keep an eye out for snakes, can be found sunning themselves on rocks (we didn’t see anything).
- There are tours offered of Mosor in Split but they only take you as high as the Mountain House. I would be disappointed coming here for just a 45 minute hike. This company is the only that I found that offered the hike we did. They even offer multiple day hikes (which includes a night’s stay at the Mountain House).
On a personal note: Thanks to Vedran and Goran for inviting me up here, it’s a day I’ll always remember. Vedran is the owner of the Airbnb apartment we’ve stayed in for our 2 months in Split. Best owner and best apartment in Split. We’ve loved our stay and are sad that it’s coming to an end.
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