Why you don’t need to take a tour to hike Mosor Mountain – Split (Croatia)

Why you don’t need to take a tour to hike Mosor Mountain - Split (Croatia)

Why you don’t need to take a tour to hike Mosor Mountain – Split (Croatia)

People think that you need to book a tour if you want to climb Mosor Mountain. You don’t (especially since you can get here by city bus). Besides which, most organized hikes up Mosor Mountain only make it up as far as the Umberto Girometta Mountain house. The best hiking is done behind that, up the steep slopes of the mountain.

* Note: you don’t have to take a tour but I don’t advise going by yourself. Go with some friends as I did.

The last time I climbed Mosor with friends Vedran and Goran we had explored the two highest peaks of Mosor: Veli Kabal and Vickov Stup. We had stopped at the mountain house (PL. Dom) to eat beans and sausages. To see that post, which covers the most popular route, CLICK HERE.

This time we took a slightly different route with a different destination in mind: the Hrvoje Dujmić shelter. This shelter (an ex-shipping container) lies on the interior side of Mosor. It has a barbecue pit – besides nature and great views, the goal was to have a few drinks and cook some meat.

 

Related: Croatia’s Top 10 Hikes

Below: Our route (in green). In red is the route taken on our previous hike.

Why you don’t need to take a tour to hike Mosor Mountain - Split (Croatia). Map

They’ve done a great job with signage on Mosor and unless you intentionally stray off the trail you would have a hard time getting lost. Most signage posts always have a sign indicating PL. Dom  – that’s the mountain house. If you ever get lost that’s the best way back.

Starting from the parking lot we made our way towards the mountain house. A few photos:

hiking Mosor Mountain - Split (Croatia)

Above: path from parking lot towards mountain house. That’s Split in the background.

goats on Mosor mountain, Split

Above: you might come across farmers and their goats.

hike Mosor Mountain - Split (Croatia)

Above: the trail. You can also see the Observatory (called “Star Village”) in the distance.

45 minutes later we arrived at the Umberto Girometta Mountain house (PL. Dom). It’s pretty quiet in the morning but when you come here in the afternoon you’ll find quite a lot of people – locals and tourists – having drinks or resting at the outdoor picnic tables

mountain house, Mosor.

donkey at mountain house, Mosor.

Above: the mountain house’s donkey.

After a brief break we continued on. I mentioned that we were going to the Hrvoje Dujmić shelter – well, there’s no sign for this shelter. The way to get there from the mountain house is to first head in the direction of Gajna (about 45 minutes from the mountain house) and then, from there, continue to signs indicating Jabukovac.

Hiking Mosor Mountain

Above: Goran and the sign to Gajna (signpost is located right next to the mountain house).

signs on Mosor Mountain

Above: another sign for Gajna…as well as Jabukovac (you’ll be continuing along this trail to get to the Hrvoje Dujmić shelter).

Getting to Gajna, you’ll see a large open meadow. A lot of school groups come up here for picnics and outdoor games. It also means the end to flat surfaces and vegetation – if you continue from here the terrain gets much steeper and rockier.

signs on Mosor Mountain

Above: Vedran pointing the way to Jabukovac. From here it’s all uphill.

views of Split from Mosor

Why you don’t need to take a tour to hike Mosor Mountain - Split (Croatia)views of Split from Mosor.

Seen from Split, Mosor looks like a large, rocky mountain with bald peaks. After 2 hours of hiking we finally reached the top – just to find ourselves  looking straight down the other side of the mountain. Despite faraway appearances, Mosor is all sharp peaks and ragged edges, there is very little (if any) smoothness to this mountain.

Below: Coming up to the top…and then the view onto the other side.

Why you don’t need to take a tour to hike Mosor Mountain - Split (Croatia)

views of the croatian interior from Mosor Mountain

 

You’re now at the top of the long ridge that connects the 2 highest peaks on Mosor: Veli Kabal (1339 m) and Vickov Stup (1325 m). You can follow the ridge in either direction (it is this ridge we had followed on our previous hike).

This time however, we followed the Jabukovac trail right down the other side of the mountain.

Jabukovac trail, Mosor mountain

NOTE: See the snow above? Going over the ridge we were: 1) in the shade 2) facing a cold wind coming from the interior mountains. Coming down this side of the mountain there was ice and snow and we slipped a few times. If doing it in winter (we did this hike in mid-February) be very careful.
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Views of Croatian interior and Bosnia from Mosor mountainAbove: After about 30 minutes of very careful walking and climbing the terrain levelled off a bit and we had these great views.

Then we saw our destination: the Hrvoje Dujmić shelter.

Hrvoje Dujmić shelter, Mosor mountain

hiking Mosor without guide

Above: “Shelter” in Croatian

Why you don’t need to take a tour to hike Mosor Mountain - Split (Croatia)

shelter on Mosor mountain

 

We had brought our own food: chicken, pork, bread, beer and some rakija. We also had matches and some of those white firestarter things you use to get the fire going. Other than that, the barbecue pit has metal grills and there are branches all around the shelter that we used for firewood. The shelter itself has a bunkbed with 2 mattresses, a table, and a wood stove to keep warm in the winter. It even has a few basic cooking utensils that people can use.

A bit about the Hrvoje Dujmić shelter here.

Below: Goran and Vedran cooking

cooking barbecue on Mosor mountain

cooking barbecue on Mosor mountain
We spent a few hours there eating, drinking and taking some sun. Then we cleaned up our mess and were back on our way up from where we came.
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What’s the most beautiful spot on Mosor? For me it has to be walking the ridge between Veli Kabal and Vickov Stup. On one side you have the Adriatic with all the islands, on the other you have the interior with snowy mountain peaks in the distance (in Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Below: A few feet make all the difference – the warm sun on the Adriatic side, snow on the interior side.

ridge on Mosor Mountain, Split

 

ridge on Mosor Mountain, Split

Above: red shelter of Vickov Stup in the distance.

Vickov Stup, Mosor Mountain

Vickov Stup, Mosor Mountain

Above: Vickov Stup, a shelter from sudden storms on the mountain.

sunset views from Mosor mountain

sunset views of Split from Mosor mountain

sunset views from Mosor mountain

Above: Views coming down the mountain to the parking lot.

 

Time it took us to do this hike:

From the Parking lot to the top of Mosor (the ridge): 2.5 hrs.
From the ridge down to the Hrvoje Dujmić shelter: 45 min
Back up to the ridge from the shelter: 40 min
Walk along the ridge to Vickov Stup: 20 min
Vickov Stup back to Mountain House and to Parking: 2 hrs

Total hiking time: 6 hrs, 15 min (not including 2 hrs spent at the shelter).

 

Practical Information

– Getting to Gornje Sitno (10 minutes from parking lot) 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 Sitnohere.
– Bring lots of water, something for your head, good shoes, and long pants. Bring a phone should something happen to you up there.
– Keep an eye out for snakes, can be found sunning themselves on rocks (I’ve been up here 3 times and have never seen anything more than a garden-variety snake).
NOTE:  if you don’t want to go up Mosor solo (which you shouldn’t) and absolutely want to take a tour up Mosor, then I recommend this one. They won’t take you any higher than the mountain house – but you’ll still get some nice views and get to see that donkey.

Summary: It is easy getting to the mountain by bus and the signage is good. I’ve highlighted a couple of hikes – take the usual precautions, bring enough water, and come with a couple of friends. If you do all that you don’t have to book a tour.

 

Related: Bbqboy’s Guide to Croatia

 

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Why you don’t need to take a tour to hike Mosor Mountain

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25 Comments

  1. Thank you for this description! Highlight of our holiday in Split was to hike here.

    Since the weather was already very hot at the beginning of June, we wore shorts which was mistake – especially if you go through Gajna. The grass was very long and it was hard to try avoid possible snakes and ticks. I would not recommend going up through Gajna because of this, even though the climbing was much more challenging and fun than easy path back from Vickov Stup.

    Also you should select the first guided route up during the summer. We tried the second one and time to time it was hard to find the next sign. We came back the first route which was very clear.

    It took us 3 hours up and 1,5 hours down. Going up would have possibly been faster if we would have selected the first path to Mountain House and continued to V. Kabal. Even if it was very hot, this trip was not the challenge we expected. Visiting only at the Mountain House would not have been worth the bus drive. Especially the left side route up to Vickov Stup (which be came down) was very easy. We met some senior group at the top, so general fittness is enough.

    Remember to have enough water! We had 1,5 l for a person and had to follow the consumption at the end.

    1. Thank you Kata for the feedback and tips. Great that you enjoyed it. Agree about just going to the Mountain Hut – not worth it. The payoff is that ridge and the views at V. Kabal. You guys obviously in pretty good shape.

  2. I think you have here a really nice post… But i would like to know more about the Bus from split to Sitno Gornje … Because our group is going to stay at the Stobreč Split camping park and we would like to know where is the Bus stop… And in Sitno Gornje because its in the middle of the bus route according to one website ive found…Thanks and have an nice day

    1. Hi Rui,
      There’s a bus stop on the main road (ie highway) which I believe is just on the other side of the river that flows into the Bay. You might want to ask the owners of the camping. I don’t think it’s far though (from memory).
      Sitno Gornje is the 2nd last stop and you should ask the bus driver to let you know. When you get out of the bus, walk up the small road to the left. It will bring you to the trailhead.
      Bus routes and schedules are shitty in Croatia. To be safe, add 15 minutes to the time indicated on the schedule. So for the 8:30 bus, I’d be waiting at the bus stop in Strobrec at 8:45 (probably takes a bit more time to get there, but with 15 min you’re playing it safe).
      I haven’t taken the bus from Stobrec so please let me know how it goes.

    2. Ps. If you are several, it is also worth looking into Uber. They’re good in the Split area and cheapest way to travel outside of public bus.

  3. Perfect description of the climb and the photos are great! It’s a shame there are very little Mosor mountain guides like this one. We did one a while ago about the first part of the climb (Sitno Gornje to Girometta hut) check it out if you’d like on the split-experience website. For me personally, the best part is the hike on the ridge (Veliki Kabal to Vickov stup), the view and the “trail” are surreal…

    1. Thanks so much for the comment- and nice seeing your website. Very little Split-dedicated websites out there and I’m going to explore what you have.
      Totally agree with the hike on the ridge. Incredible views all around and it blew my mind that the ridge is so narrow (looking from Split looks like such a big mountain – you don’t expect what is essentially a narrow ledge along the top).

  4. Wow, how incredible, I just love the white landscape and that you encountered goats on the hike. I plan to travel to Croatia in the near future and look forward to hiking a few of their amazing trails. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes, it’s the mountain that you see in the background of all those photos of Split. Very close to city yet right in nature with few tourists.

  5. Okay..what happened to my comment a few days ago? I think the internet has it in for me! I said l would take it one step further than Anita and actually wait at the bottom, maybe having a drink with Spanky and wait for you to return. No, thank you! :-). I always love your friend’s expressions..haha!

    1. Sometimes that happens to me too Kemkem – leave a comment and never shows up. And you only realize if/when you go back to that post…I don’t know why that happens.
      Vedran is always funny…we call him “Crazy Bastard”.

    1. Thanks Natascha. Yes, we always love it here especially Spanky who swears she was here in a previous life.
      I hope you make it one day and maybe we get to meet you both 🙂

  6. Great post, I’ve wanted to hike Mosor but didn’t know you could do it without booking some kind of transport from Split. Always love a good hike but often hard getting to one without public transport.
    Love the photos! What a view.

    1. Hi Jack,
      Yes, easy to take the bus where the 2 large streets meet behind the green market (across the street you’ll see BIPA).
      Take it early in the morning, it’ll take about 45 min which is not much different than driving there. Tell the driver you are going to Gornje Sitno (I think it is the 2nd to last stop).
      Then catch one of the buses in the late afternoon coming back. Easy, but just make sure you make the schedule because the buses not so frequent.

  7. It feels like you’re hiking in Denali (minus the abundant snow). That little shelter is so hidden I bet not too many people know about it. I wonder what it’d be like to spend a night there. Can you spend a night there? I imagine you can take some epic night shots of the sky. We weren’t in Split for very long to even know this place existed…

    1. Yes, you can actually stay in the shelter. There’s a book in there were people write when they came – we saw that 4 people spent New Year’s here. Can’t imagine what they did 😉 There are other places, like the mountain house, where you can have a more comfortable overnight stay as well. Pretty nice if you like nature and want to be out in it for a weekend.

  8. Frank, another great hike, although it does sound a bit tough I would certainly give it a go. I love hiking and beautiful mountain scenery, but would have to attempt it only if the weather was sunny and not a stormy cloud in sight, would not want to get stuck in that shelter hut 🙁 Beautiful photos, thank you 🙂

    1. Yes, one thing you have to always keep in mind here is the “bura”, a very strong wind coming off the mountains. It can get violently windy in Split and I can only imagine what it must be like up on Mosor…
      We arrived in Split in January and it doesn’t (hardly ever) snow in Split. But it does on Mosor – totally crazy! So you always have to check the forecast.
      But on this day we went (mid-February) it was about 18C and perfect hiking weather.

  9. I like the “you would have a hard time getting lost” reassurance and the fact that there’s lots of signage. However, despite the views, I might stop at the Umberto Girometta Mountain House for a cold one and call it good. The going looks tough after that – both uphill and downhill! Great pics – the goat photo is my favorite. They look very curious!

    1. True, it’s a rigorous hike but not technically difficult…as long as someone in shape they can do it. Really is beautiful up there though and the views over the Adriatic quite something.

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