Marko Posavec Photography

In the Wavy Istrian Highlands of Ćićarija

Ćićarija is a mountainous plateau in the northeast of Istria peninsula. With a maximum elevation of 1.272 meters a.s.l. (Veliki Planik) it stretches about 45 kilometers, partly in Slovenia. Basically, it’s an elevated region of karst terrain that terminates abruptly with steep cliffs protruding from the surrounding, much lower, landscape. Because of this karst, it’s often called the White Istria (due to the white limestone rocks). The entire region is well worth a hiking trip.

We start the hike from the road that runs beneath the mountain range. Things are watching us as we walk.

001

Fortunately for us, the creature is docile.

002

The art of nature often lies in small things.

003

It’s a shame there was no sunlight to make the dewdrops glitter.

004

They were beautiful still.

005

This is Vojak (1.396 m), the highest peak of Učka mountain in the distance.

006

A pair of dragonflies in the act of mating. If these were humans, the site would be long gone because of obscenity, even though human mating procedures are much, much more interesting.

007

This is a small lake where water from Korita source pools.

008

And these are the Korita, a sequence of watering troughs that collect water from the nearby source and channel it down to the pool.

009

Korita and Brajkov vrh (Brajko’s Peak) in the background. We’ll climb that rock later.

010

Time to move on. We accidentally took a wrong turn here and headed for Orljak instead of Županj Peak.

011

But taking a wrong turn led us into this beautiful patch of the forest.

012

Beech trees cast long shadows over the leaf-covered ground.

013

Apparently, it’s autumn.

014

It wasn’t long before we realized we’re on the wrong path and went back. Yep, Županj Peak is the other way.

015

Brajko’s Peak draws attention. We’ll get there on the way back.

016

Autumn in beech canopies.

017

Ooh, a long-legged visitor!

018

Shadows crawl over the forested highlands.

019

This is Ćićarija.

020

One more look at Brajko’s Peak. So much more attractive than Županj Peak we’re standing on.

021

We left the boring Županj Peak after a short rest and quickly climbed Brajko’s Peak. Looking back towards Županj (the one on the left) surrounded by beautiful autumn landscape under clear blue skies.

022

View of Korita from above.

023

How far down? Uncomfortably.

024

The small lake that water from Korita pools in.

025

Perspective.

026

Autumn in the forest.

027

I wanted to get on this rock, but the others, fearing for my safety, wouldn’t let me. I think I could have pulled it.

028

One more view of Županj Peak, much nicer from up here.

029

Snješka posing.

030

We came down the same trail and travelled to the town of Roč for a well-deserved break.

031

And we ended the trip in Hum, dubbed the “smallest town in the world”. Population: 30.

032

A sunset for a day to end.

033