““Whoever in the future comes to walk on this beautiful and comfortable trail will hardly be able to imagine all the hard work and effort the first pioneers had to endure while walking through this difficult terrain with no trail whatsoever...””
The first plans for making Velebit accessible to tourists were mentioned back in 1920s in various articles in the Hrvatski planinar (Croatian Mountaineer) magazine. The funds required for implementing these plans were obtained primarily owing to efforts of dr. Ivan Krajač, the then trade and industry minister in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The trail was laid out and constructed by the forestry engineer Ante Premužić, a passionate mountaineer and lover of Velebit. As a tribute to the constructor, the Croatian mountaineers later named it the Premužić Trail.
The construction of the trail began in 1930. It was jointly funded by the Forest Directorate at Sušak (Rijeka), the Croatian Mountaineering Association, and the Royal Administration of the Sava Banate. Due to the lack of funds, the construction was stalled for a whole season, but was later resumed and finalized in the summer of 1933. The 1.5 km stretch from Čepuraš to Gromovača was the last and most difficult to build.
Constructed using the drystone technique, the Premužić Trail is today considered a masterpiece of trail building. The route is laid out so as to provide the easiest possible access to the most rugged and inaccessible sections of north Velebit – Hajdučki i Rožanski Kukovi. The 57 km route runs along the mountain ridge from Zavižan to Baške Oštarije in central Velebit. As there are virtually no steep ascents, the route is also suitable for visitors unaccustomed to mountaineering. Branching off from the Premužić Trail are several paths that climb up to some of the most spectacular peaks of northe and central Velebit - Gromovača, Crikvena, Šatorina and others. A 16-km portion of the trail runs through the Northern Velebit National Park. At about two hours’ walk from Zavižan is a mountain shelter called Rossi’s shelter.
In 2009, the Premužić’s Trail was officially placed under protection in its entire length as a cultural asset of national importance.
The information boards hich have been put up along the Premužić Trail are intended to intensify your experience of the Park’s rugged beauty.
Premužić trail in numbers: