In these tours you will be able to visit HPO's on Croatia's islands in the north of the Adriatic; Krk, Cres, and Lošinj. Whilst I have visted Rab, I have yet to build the tour, and, Pag which also fall into this group, I have yet to visit.
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HPO 15.1 Obzova, Krk Island
Start tour from Baška
Start tour from Jurandvor
Start tour from Veliki Hlam
Start from Obzova.
Start from Draga Bašćanska.
HPO 15.2 Sis, Cres Island
Click to start tour from D100
Click to start tour from Sis
HPO 15.3 Sv. Mikula, Lošinj Island
Start tour from Nerezine
Start tour from Sv. Mikula
Start tour from Telervina
Mountain Hut Sveti Gaudent
Start tour from Osor
HPOs of the Adriatic Islands (Northern):
Obzova, on Krk
Sis, on Cres.
Sv. Mikula, on Lošinj
Kamenjak, on Rab.
Sveti Vid, on Pag.
Obzova, Krk Island:
Obzova is the highest point on Krk Island, and lies on a dry, almost desert like karst plateau with excellent views of the sea and other islands.
The photos used in this tour were taken during a summer holiday in 2008. Walking at a slow pace, my eight year old son and myself left Baška early one morning, following the green way marked path (there are many on the southern end of the island, each colour coded) to the hamlet of Batomalj. Here we climbed a winding path up the steep sided plateau and our first peak of the day, Veliki Hlam (482m).
It is a different world up on that sun scorched plateau. Almost vegetation free, is a karst wasteland of loose stone and weathered limestone pavements. The pavements (to borrow an English term) are not like those found around Malham Cove and the Yorkshire Dales, but are wind and rain sharpened into serrated fangs and claws that snatch at your feet, snagging the unwary, tearing at footwear, and all the time harbouring the fear that a venomous snake lies hidden in their twisted shadows. And there probably are venomous snakes here, though we did not see any.
From Veliki Hlam we followed the red path and plateau edge north westward towards the peak of Zminja (537m), and finally summiting Obzova (568m) itself. From here we descended a path to Draga Bašćanska. We finished sunburnt, hot and parched, our water bottles running dry many hours previous.
Obzova from Zminja
The photos for the tour were taken on a Ricoh Caplio R5 and stitched using Smokey City's Panorama Factory.
Sis, Cres Island:
Like Sv. Mikula, Sis is not be the highest point on it's island, 648m high Gorice wins that contest. The joys of Sis are it's views, and once on the island of Cres, the short distance to its summit from the road.
My chance to climb Sis came on a blustery August day in 2016. We (my family and I) were leaving Mali Lošinj for the mainland, and Sis was on route to the ferry that would take us across from Porozina to Breztova on the Croatian mainland.
It was as I already mentioned, a very windy day. Yet it was hot, and the views clear. The return hike with my two sons took a little under two hours, and indeed one could easily have been quicker, but we were in no rush. As we ascend from the road junction parking, the wind lessened and by the time we arrived at the summit, it had dropped to a pleasant breeze. To the contrary the saddle where the car was parked saw no drop in wind speed at all.
Sv. Mikula, Lošinj Island:
Sv. Mikula may not be the highest point on Lošinj Island, neighbouring Televrina a few kilometres along the Osorščica ridge takes that accolade, but it does offer better views.
Osorščica, named after the once rich town of Osor, was one of the first mountain of the Adriatic islands to attract tourists, a company being set up for that purpose in Mali Lošinj in 1886. Their cause was significantly aided the following year when they guided Rudolf Habsburg, Crown Prince of Austria, to the top. During the years that followed hiking trails were built to Sv. Mikula and across the island.
My visit came many decades later. Having delivered my family to the beach at Čikat, I drove the 30 mins to the start of my route by the D100 as it bypasses Nerezine, parking on a rough verge up a side road a few hundred metres further on. It was a hot day, 34° had been forecast and this proved to be true according to the mercury at Planinarski Dom Sveti Gaudent (Mountain Hut Saint Gaudent). But that would be jumping ahead.
Unlike the bare karst wasteland of Obzova on neighbouring Krk Island, the Osorščica remains forested, the shade cast by the trees was much appreciated as was the breeze that blew in off the sea. Yet the limestone underneath still comes to the surface in many places, the ridge south of St. Mikula is a fine example. Once reached from Nerezine, there are frequent scrambles, easy enough to navigate and climb, but interesting nethertheless and at all times rewarding one with a fantastic view south towards Mali Lošinj.
Looking south down the spine of the Osorščica ridge.
Having reached Sv. Mikula, explored the tiny chapel of St. Nicolas that crowns it's summit, and stamped my HPO pass-book, I descend via the path that leads behind the chapel, first to a junction were a more direct route leads down to Nerezine, then on beneath the telecommunications mast to the island's high point Televrina. The concrete triangulation pillar will seem comfortingly familiar to British hikers. I still had not seen another person all day.
With most of the height of the day now climbed I descended, following the path with it's red and white markers northwards towards a promised cold beer at Planinarski Dom Sveti Gaudent. A short downhill scramble protected by an iron rope offered additional interest as the views changed. Ahead, over the Adriatic the was the mainland, Istria with the Učka massif, Vojak standing proud in the far distance. To the right lay the island of Cres with Velebit range running north south beyond.
Planinarski Dom Sveti Gaudent is operated by Planinarski klub Osoršćica Mali Lošinj. They open the hut during the summer months serving drinks and snacks to the occasional hikers that wander through. One Coke and a lemon flavoured beer later and I was off again, following the small path through the shrubbery down to Osor.
The photos for the tour were taken on a Ricoh Theata S 360 camera in summer 2016.