About the trail
Croatian Long Distance Trail is a 2000 kilometer long tourist-mountaineering-adventurist hiking trail under construction which will stretch from Ilok in the east of Croatia, all the way to Dubrovnik on the south.
The idea to create the CLDT came spontaneously after Nikola Horvat (current president of Long Distance Tral Croatia Association) walked the Pacific Crest Trail and excited by this new experience as well as the beauties seen along the way, decided to copy this experience to Croatian reality.
It is our aim to make CLDT a world famous adventure destination with a minimum impact to environment, but with huge impact on individuals hiking it, community it will pass through, and the country whose name it shall proudly carry and promote in the entire world.
Creating a long distance trail is a tremendous work. Despite the general understanding it requires so much more than just a GPS track, name and luscious brochure. Trail is not a trail unless there are hikers, serous ones which will hike this long distance trail in its entirety thus making it alive and symbolizing the bloodstream of the long distance trail.
Along these 2000 kilometers of the trail, hikers will pass through dozens of mountains, as much forests, plains, but also three national parks which will guarantee ultimate beauty. In order to facilitate trail tracing and later on hiking and organization, CLDT is broken down into sections – 15 to be exact, and to each was assigned a letter of alphabet (A to O).
Ilok (Liska) – Erdut
The beginning (or end) of the Croatian Long Distance Trail is at Liska on 141m above sea. Section is 48km long and surmounts 46m off ascent and 106m of descent. Route passes through city of Vukovar and Borovo Naselje which is bound to be a special treat to thru-hukers considering what this area offers – from gastronomic virtues, over natural beauty, to memorial sites.
Erdut – Našice
This section is still not finished in details, but it is planned to pass through Baranja, specifically through Kopački Rit state nature park.
Našice – Petrov Peak
This section passes through Papuk mountain in its entire length. The section is approximately 100km long in which there is 3.878m of ascent and 4.256m of descent. Papuk is pretty attractive per se, especially in its geological diversity, and offers dense forests which will definitely make a more pleasant hike.
Petrov Peak – Koprivnica
This section is still under construction and there will be more information soon.
Koprivnica – Donja Dubrava
This section is mostly finished and till now it is 72km long with 2.764m of ascent and 2.594m of descent. It is roaming through picturesque villages at the foot of Kalnik and over Kalnik mountain – extremely attractive for hiking, than over city of Ludbreg – well known to tourists as the center of the world, ending on the bridge across Drava river in Donja Dubrava.
Donja Dubrava – Trakošćan
This section is partially laid, but mostly finished. It is 150km long, ascents 1.557m and descents 1.433m. It starts on river Drava and passes through Međimurje, alongside river Mura nad its small towns and villages. On this section of trail in Križovec village is the first official trail angel spot where thru hikers will have a rock star status with all its privileges – accommodation, shower, toilets, store. Trail passes through the most northern point of Croatia in Sv.Martin na Muri.
Afterwards, trail leads south towards Železne Gorice and Varaždin, and after many villages of Zagorje region climbs the first peak – Ravna Gora (680m), and finishes at the foots of Ravna Gora in Trakošćan – one of the most attractive castles of norther Croatia.
Trakošćan – Podsused (Zagreb)
Section G stretches some 105km and hikers will have to ascent 4869m and descent 4888m.
Section G goes over mountains Strahinjčica and Ivančica, and crossing a network of villages of region Zagorje, and approaching Medvednica mountain over Kladeščica. It connects to M1 trail and follows the wither of the mountain all the way to Podsused. This part should feel as heaven, swarming with trail angels and trail magic, as Zagreb (the capital) is also a headquarter of Long Distance Trail Croatia Association, whose members will gladly expect thru hikers.
Podsused (Zagreb) – Severin na Kupi
Section H is approximately 130km, but not entirely traced. From Podsused, it climbs the Samobor hills, and then Žumberak mountain, only to descent from Sveta Gera to river Kupa, Netretić and finally to Severin na Kupi.
Severin na Kupi – Klana
This section is 160km and ascents 8500m, while descending 8200meters. Starting of more serous ascents, woods and natural beauty ensure this section will be one of most favorite ones. Section goes through National Park Risnjak, close to the spring of river Kupa.
Klana – Matulji
Section J stretches 195 kilometers and mostly goes through Istra peninsula, ascending 8400m and descending 8773m. Beauty of Istra is well known, and ensures this section will be attractive. It passes close to picturesque cities of Buzet, Pazin and Motovun. The third part of this section will finich on Učka mountain.
Matulji – Vratnik
This section stretches 137km, ascending 5617m and descending 6094m. Except MAtulji it pases through Kastav, Viškovo, and Jelenje, where it enters dense forests and wilderness, which will offer a through catarsic feeling after so much civilization. The highlight of this section will be a Nature reserve “Bijele i Samarske Stijene” – a unique geomorphological phenomenon in the second part of section. Section ends in Vratnik pass above the town Senj.
Vratnik – Gračac
Section L stretches 172km, while ascending 9932m and descending 9250m. This is probably the mostr attractive section, guaranteed by two national parks it passes through – Sjeverni Velebit and Paklenica, but also numerous peaks along the trail. As Croatian largest mountain, Velebit will definitely make sure to be remembered.
Gračac – Klis
Section M stretches 215kilometers, ascending and descending approximately 10000meters. Trail passes near the town of Knin, and the main attraction will be Sinjal, the highest peak of Croatia (1831m).
Trail then descends towards Sinj, and approaches Split. This section is truly challenging and mostly for the lack of water.
Klis – Ploče
Section N stretches 125km with approximately 6000m of ascent and descent. Main landmark of this section is Mosor mountain. Spectacular for hikers, Mosor will be a truly refreshing after lower altitudes in the preceding days. Town Omiš, as a pirate attraction will represent a welcome contact of trail with the sea after Istra, for those thru hikers not performing off-trail trips.
Ploče – Prevlaka
This section stretches 190km with approximate 6000m of ascent and descent, and will be the crown on CLDT. It will cross by ferry from Ploče to Pelješac peninsula, and from there all the way to Dubrovnik and Prevlaka. This gorgeous part of Croatia should be reached by thru hikers (respecting timeframe) early in the season or late in the season which is the most suitable time for visiting this region.