Via Dinarica HR-B-02
Ćićarija is a mountain that represents the eastern border of the Istrian peninsula. Unlike the mountain of Učka, which is tall but narrow and small in surface, the mountain of Ćićarija is a wide elevated area approximately 30 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide, spreading from the Slovenian border to the mountain pass Poklon. In Slovenia, the continuation of the mountain of Ćićarija is the mountain of Slavnik. One interesting fact is that the Istrian side of Ćićarija is characterized by vertical rocky steps interspersed with wide plateaus, more clearly than any other mountain in Croatia, so one cannot see the peaks of Ćićarija from Istria, but only its rocks that represent the first step of the mountain. The slopes facing the mainland are less steep and more forested, merging into hilly area in the hinterland of the city of Rijeka (Pliš, Obruč, Slovenian Snežnik). The entire area has all the characteristics of arid karst terrain with Mediterranean forests and meadows. A large part of Ćićarija is covered in forests of black pine and juniper vegetation. Beech forests dominate in other areas.
The peak area of Ćićarija consists of several parallel series of peaks. From the hiking perspective, the most interesting peaks are Planik, Šija, Crni vrh, Orljak, Gomila and Žbevnica. In beautiful weather, most peaks of Ćićarija offer wonderful views of Istria, the mountains of Gorski kotar, the Slovenian Snežnik and the Julian Alps. The western slopes of Ćićarija also offer views of the cities of Koper and Trieste, and the eastern slopes offer views of the city of Rijeka, the region of Croatian Littoral and the islands of Cres and Krk.
The Blue Line enters Croatia on the mountain of Ćićarija, from the direction of Slavnik in Slovenia. On the westernmost Croatian site exceeding the 1000-meter mark called Žbevnica, there is a connecting hiking trail leading from Slovenia into Croatia. This path is known as Sakomanov put, named after the mountaineer Josip Sakoman who designed hiking trails in Istria. However, due to the Schengen border procedure, this trail cannot be used at present. Instead, hikers crossing the state border need to use the border crossing point Slum – Rakitovec.
One option for visitors who wish to get better acquainted with Istria is to take the route of the European Long-Distance Path (E-12) from Plovanija to Motovun, and then to continue along the Istrian Hiking Trail (IPP) to Buzet and to Brest pod Žbevnicom.
From the border crossing point Slum – Rakitovec, it takes 3 kilometers by road to get to the village of Brest. From the village, we follow the hiking trail markings to the hill of Žbevnica. From Žbevnica onwards, along Ćićarija and Učka, the Blue Line follows the IPP route (to Poklon and to the peak of Vojak). The route is marked by hiking trail markings, and it is easily passable throughout the year. The main starting points for excursions to Ćićarija can be found along the asphalt road leading from Lupoglav to Lanišće, Račja Vas, Rašpor and Trstenik, and then descending across Brest to Buzet. In Račja Vas, we come across the old Veprinac road branching off. It can serve as the closest approach to Orljak, Šija and Planik. Taking into account the elevation, approach from Poklon is also suitable. Almost all peaks in the area offer wide views of the surroundings.
- Border crossing point Slum – Rakitovec
- Village of Brest
- Hill of Žbevnica
- Village of Trstenik
- Village of Rašpor
- Village of Račja Vas
- Veprinački put
- (Village of Lanišće)
- Peak of Orljak
- Mountain hut Korita
- Peak of Veliki Planik