The two main mountains near Split – Mosor and Kozjak are the most popular for the locals, hikers, alpinists and mountain climbers from all over the country. If you are thinking about a day off from the city crowd and a bit of fresh air, these two mountains are the best choice you can make. In summer or winter, whatever.
First of all, Split is situated on the peninsula, and today’s opinion of people from Split is that Diocletian knew very well what he was doing when deciding where to build his palace! There is a sea all around the town, islands on just an hour by boat, rivers on 20 minutes from the centre, hills and a couple of mountains near and above Split.
Mosor is a mountain range that belongs to Dinaric Alps, and it stretches from the pass of Klis in the northwest to the Cetina River in the southeast. There are two alpine huts and many mountaineering paths, so it is a very popular place for weekend hikers, families with kids and pets when they usually go up to the lodge to have lunch or just a cold beer/soft drinks for kids though.
” No matter how tall the mountain,
it cannot block out the sun! “
There are a few different routes that vary from easy to advanced ones, and the difference with the altitude distance from start to finish of the maximum 900 meters. The good thing is that you don’t need previous experience in hiking, only goodwill and good shoes. Don’t go up in the flip flops, or sandals!
Footwear should be joggers or hiking shoes, and you should take a hat, sun cream, plenty of water and dress in layers. During winter, of course, more layers and better shoes.
The start and finish point of hiking on Mosor mountain is a little village called Sitno Gornje. You can park your car there, too.
You can get there from Split by bus or taxi- take bus 28 to Sitno Gornje ( 40 min). From that point, you have to climb about 45 minutes to an hour to the mountain lodge on Mosor. The lodge is located 868 meters above sea level and it provides a wonderful view of all the Dalmatian islands and Split.
There you can taste a traditional mountain food – fragrant beans cooked with pork sausages. Once you entered into the lodge, you will feel aromas of dalmatian traditional meals. So after beans you will probably go ahead to order a plate of sauerkraut. And for the end a bottle of cold beer or a glass of domestic wine.
Finally, this will give you enough strength for going down and great memories of being part of the Dalmatian hiking lovers.
If you want to go further, you can continue up to the highest peak Veliki Kabal or Vickov Stup. You can be there in two more hours of climbing. This might be a big undertaking for you, but the nature is beautiful, the air is clean and you will be a new person after hiking. Don’t hesitate!
The other mountain near Split – is Kozjak. Kozjak is an unusual mountain. It has two very different faces: rugged and unhospitable sea-facing side looking like a wall and more pleasant and greener northern side. It was sheltering the bay of Kaštela and Split from invaders since the earliest times. This is maybe a great continue of Salona Tour which lay downunder this mountain.
It is full of archaeological sites and historic remains. In just a 10 minutes ride from downtown Split, one can reach a completely different part of the country. Forgotten and lost to the modern-day Dalmatia. The world that is quiet and peaceful.
But also, a very popular hiking route for locals due to its proximity to Split and various climbing levels and difficulties.
The very edge of this highland, of an average height of 600-700 m,
accommodates the highest tops of Kozjak mountain.
Their sequence begins from the saddle Malačka and stretches some
16 kilometres further to the ridge Markezina Greda close to Klis.
Above all, accessibility, good transport connections, short climbs and easy orientation make a visit to Kozjak an appealing and agreeable field trip. Therefore, not only for mountaineers but also for many tourists from the coastal area.
Most trails are interesting because of their variety, offering simultaneously a scenic view of the sea and Kaštela. Although the ascents are mostly easy and short (1-2 hours), these should be done in the morning, especially in summer, as the trails are exposed to the sun.
First, you should climb to the mountain lodge Putalj. It takes one hour for this hike. You can get there even by car, but hope you won’t do that. The trail gradually penetrates steep cliffs, it then crosses several grooves and a stone ravine, to finally ascend steeply through a narrow couloir towards the ridge of Kozjak.
At one point, the trail is secured with steel ropes but is easily crossable. The trail ends on the final ridge between Veli Vrh and the Chapel of St Luke. The trail continues southwest across the ridge and ends at the summit of Sveti Juraj (St George, 676 m), the highest summit on the eastern side of Kozjak. The chapel was built on the remains of drywall, which belonged to an ancient fortress surrounded by medieval tombstones.
For those more ambitious, there is also Omiška Dinara above Omiš and Biokovo – but you need to go to Makarska to start ascending. Same is with Vidova Gora on island Brač, which includes a ferry trip from Split. For the beginning, concentrate on mountains above Split – Mosor and Kozjak. For your safety, be cautious, go only if you are equipped with proper clothes and shoes, bring water, charged mobile phone and a map, and if possible don’t go alone.
Also, do research before, and find out what you can see wherever you are going. Remember – all views are spectacular! If needed, call emergency number 112, and then follow Mountain Rescue Service instructions.
Seems like here you have everything! Spectacular views from Mosor and Kozjak, historic heritage, unique sites.
All of this make these hills really a special place on our coast worth returning and exploring in detail. If you have a day with no plans, you know what to do!