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Development projects of all sorts tend to be long processes where visible results don’t necessarily appear for years. The Via Dinarica, however, is a different story...and it’s one that is rapidly catching fire across the Dinaric region and within the international adventure travel industry. The Via Dinarica has been recognized by an impressive entourage of international press, from the Best New Trail in the World award in 2014 from Outside Magazine to The Guardian’s top European Adventure Destinations for 2016.

 DSC7776After the official opening of the White Trail last May in Blidinje Nature Park in West Bosnia, spearheaded by the Sarajevo-based NGO Terra Dinarica, the lengthy spine of the Dinaric Alps officially opened its doors to the world. Although there is still work to be done, this launch has spurred a handful of hard-cores to trek the entire 1,350 km length of the Via Dinarica White Trail from Slovenia to Albania this summer. But the trail has been created to ensure that there is something for everyone. For novice and pro alike, the Via Dinarica White Trail has no shortage of activities ranging from challenging hiking and biking routes to leisurely walks accessible to families with kids.

The arrival of autumn has in no way slowed the biking and hiking season on the Via Dinarica. Terra Dinarica and their counterpart in Croatia, Via Dinarica Croatia, have initiated the first International Via Dinarica Day on October 8-9. It’s a day for nature lovers from the wider Dinaric region to strap up their boots and head out to the great outdoors. The International Via Dinarica Day is more a call of the wild than an event. Hikers, bikers, climbers, cavers, runners, and campers are encouraged to go and enjoy any section of the world’s newest mega-trail and share their stories, videos and photos of their weekend with Mother Nature. Send you material either to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by October 15 and the winners will  be rewarded with a modest prize.
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The idea is meant to be a symbolic gesture to reinforce the principles of the Via Dinarica, which is - above all, to connect naturally. So by connecting peaks and people the initiators aim to raise awareness not just to the immense repertoire offered by the Via Dinarica but also the need to nurture, protect and promote the cultural and natural heritage of the Dinaric Alps.

During the field visit along the Via Dinarica Green Trail in Bosnia and Herzegovina, our photographer Adnan Bubalo, made this photo at Borike locality in Rogatica Municipality. It was early misty morning, perfect light and great eye of our Adnan.

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1th Place Worldwide in All Categories on www.500px.com



This photo was selected for the best one and got 1th Place Worldwide in All Categories on www.500px.com
…and for those who don’t know, 500px is leading online photography community and marketplace with over 7 million photographers from 200+ countries worldwide!

Great job Adnan and Congrats!

Sean McDermott and Lois Parshley are National Geographic Explorers coming to Bosnia and Herzegovina to write about the Via Dinarica as the world’s newest long distance trail. They’ll be spending the summer hiking from Slovenia to Albania on the Via Dinarica White Trail and creating a cultural map of the trail. At its core, this is a project about a profound sense of place. This is a region that has regrown after a difficult period, and there’s distinct cultural and environmental features that make each country the trail traverses unique. That’s why the explorers will be creating a map to capture the spirit of the trail and all of its diverse surroundings.

They’ll create map-based reported essays, photography, and short video clips on their websitewww.hikethebalkans.com. This digital-first approach will transform the reporting process, sampling from spatial themes. By integrating photography, cartography, and text, this project will expand traditional reportage to include visual multimedia presentation tools. They’ll also be creating a video for National Geographic Magazine and blogging on that website. National Geographic is based in the U.S. but has large global markets. Its circulation is 6.8 million views a month, and it is translated into 40 different languages.

As a little background, Lois has worked as an editor at the Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and Popular Science, and written for The New Yorker, Businessweek, The Atlantic, Wired, Outside, and the Washington Post, among others. Her website is www.loisparshley.com and her most recent photos on Instagram can be found at @loisparshley. Their most recent project, which Sean McDermott also consulted on, was in Liberia for the Atlantic magazine, focusing on the food shortages after Ebola. Sean McDermott is a farmer and photographer who’s been published in Maxim, National Geographic, and Popular Science, among others. As someone with a background in agriculture, on this trip he will be focusing on agricultural traditions in the region.

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It has been almost a year since the pilot project “Walking the Via Dinarica’ successfully came to a close. We had walked a million steps from the highest peaks in the Dinaric Alps in Valbona, Albania to the underground cave system of Postojanska Jama in Slovenia. We covered over 600 kilometers of majestic terrain and made about as many friends.

With the pilot project completed we were eager to start to keep the ball rolling. Outside Magazine named Via Dinarica the Best New Trail in the World in 2014. We had met so many fascinating and motivated people along the trail…ones that became our friends. There was Catherine in Valbona, the determined and dedicated biologist doing all the right things for her isolated mountain community. Enes and Dusko showed us the magical mountains of Montenegro. In Croatia we also got the red carpet treatment from Marije, Dorijan, Valentina, Alan and Maja – just to name a few. Kenan and Elma, our expedition leaders, even discovered a few more hidden corners in our own backyard of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Not too long after that the region was struck by devastating floods. In May of last year many parts of Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia found themselves deep under water. It was a natural and man-made disaster not seen here since the 19th century. That’s when many of us shifted our focus to flood recovery to aid those who lost their homes and their hope. Mountain Rescue units, rafting and diving clubs, and ordinary volunteers of all kind rose to the occasion to lend a helping hand. Teams from all sections of the Via Dinarica responded in accordance with our motto – Connecting Naturally. We knew we were all connected in this and the selfless actions of hikers, bikers, rafters, climbers, divers, and rescuers saved countless lives.

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Recovery has taken quite a bit of time. And the process is still on ongoing one. But we are please to announce that the Via Dinarica project, funded by UNDP and USAID and implemented by Terra Dinarica, is up and running still…and again. We will be revisiting and sharing with you all the amazing spots we encountered on our last epic journey. We will mark the White Trail, invest in mountain hut reparations and renovations, provide small grants to B&B and tourism service providers, help mountain rescue services and rafter who lost equipment in the rescue efforts to replenish and renew their gear, and continue to tell the unraveling story of the lands and peoples of the Via Dinarica.

We will also walk, hike, bike, ski, and raft the new Green Trail that will meander from Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina connect with the White Trail in Croatia. We’ll be working closely with other initiatives throughout the region to promote all of activities and exciting adventures the Via Dinarica has on offer.

We’re happy to be back…and hope you’ll join us in our (re)discovery of Europe’s best kept secret. We’re gonna show you the funky, inspiring, breath-taking, and pristine side of the Dinaric Alps. Follow us here. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

PARTNERS

viadinarica@viadinarica.com 

Via Dinarica BiH Terra Dinarica | Vladimira Nazora 2, 71000 Sarajevo, BiH
Phone: +387 62 393 393 e-mail: bosnia@viadinarica.com

Via Dinarica Croatia Palmotićeva 27, 10000 Zagreb, Cro
Phone: +385 91 51 41 740, Alan Čaplar, e-mail: info@viadinarica.hr

Via Dinarica Slovenia RRA Zeleni kras, d.o.o., Prečna ulica 1, 6257 Pivka, Slo
Phone: +386(0)5 72 12 243, Fax: +386(0)5 72 12 245, slovenia@viadinarica.com

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