The challenge, also known as the adventure of a lifetime, began at Zavizan at 10am with the familiar ringing of a small chapel of St. Ante. A total of 250 participants from 14 countries went from Zavizan to the North Velebit and Paklenica National Parks, braving the ultimate hiking experience that is Highlander Velebit!
On the 118 kilometer long adventure, highlanders passed through some of the most beautiful parts of Velebit mountain, like Rama’s basin – the last untouched rain forest in Croatia located on Velebit and part of the Premuzic Trail – the most beautiful hiking trail on Velebit and a masterpiece of construction.
On the way to exploring the “rocky” side of Croatia, opportunities for great photographs just kept coming! Wonderful contrast that highlanders got to experience, climbing the peaks of Panos and Stap, they got to see the mesmerising vista of Adriatic sea and it’s small isles and islands on their left!
The participants were given 5 days to finish the hike, during which they needed to collect stamps from 5 control points located at the Start, Mountaineering lodge Skorpovac, Baške Ostarije, Panos, Veliko Rujno and the Finish in Paklenica. During the event, the participants had the exclusivity of camping/sleeping on National parks’ grounds, which is prohibited for the standard visitors.
Croatian hikers shared their mesmerizing mountain landscape with their fellow hikers and nature enthusiasts from Marocco, Hong Kong, Poland, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ireland, South Korea, Serbia, Great Britain, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic.
Highlander is so much more than just a hiking event, it also serves as a promoter of croatian mountains. The event promotes the trend of promotion of Croatia as a land of sun, beaches and the Adriatic Sea and to which it assigns magical Croatian mountains which stand out with their change in scenery – from dense beech forests to bare rocks and karst.
With all that, it also encourages a healthy lifestyle with being active and staying in nature and is a mean of education about safe hiking, long-distance hiking and how to best prepare when going on a hike.
Highlander Velebit promotes and educates about sustainable relation towards nature with its ”take only pictures, leave only footprints” philosophy.