„Walking the Via Dinarica“ - The path of one million steps
Pioneer expedition “Walking the Via Dinarica” connects Dinarica mountains, stretching from Albania to Slovenia. This unique endeavor aims to create inventory of touristic resources along via Dinarica path and present beauty of the nature and identify priorities for future actions. During their three-month walk, mountaineer Kenan Muftić and photographer Elma Okić will be making the largest collection of photos and videos that promote this entire region and its local, regional and international touristic offer.
Expedition is organized with the “Walking the Via Dinarica” project implemented by the Adventure Tourism Association BiH (ATA BiH), with the support of United Nations Development Programme UNDP, US Agency for International Development and Government of Japan within the Clean Vrbas Project.
“In cooperation with regional and international partners, UNDP supports Via Dinarica concept as it assists development of the Dinaric Arc rural region by promoting its touristic resources and potentials, as well as creation of new cross-regional partnerships”, said Zahira Virani, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.
“This cross-border trail will enable citizens living in small towns and mountain villages along the BiH portion of the trail to generate income and establish sustainable tourism services and products, such as small guest houses and inns, traditional food and wine, cultural and outdoor activities, and handicrafts and souvenirs. And by promoting development of the Via Dinarica trail in BiH, USAID will encourage capital investment in local industries and contribute to international and regional marketing efforts”, said USAID Mission Director David Barth.
“We are today in Bosnia and Herzegovina to share with you the experience from the pioneer expedition that started in August in Albania. We are glad that all the people will be able to follow our path and join us virtually via www.viadinarica.com portal, where our stories, photos and videos will be published daily”, said Kenan Muftić, Expedition Leader.
The Dinaric Arc is a region of south-eastern Europe encompassing some 100,000 km2 and more than 6,000 km of the Adriatic Sea coastline, from the city of Trieste (Italy) to Tirana (Albania). The region hosts in western Bosnia being the largest karstic field in the world. Towards the southern end of the region, the Prokletije Massif and the “Albanian Alps” are among the wildest mountains in Europe. The Dinaric Arc hosts important freshwater ecosystems and wetlands of international importance, such as the Neretva delta (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Croatia), and Skadar/Shkodra lake (Montenegro/Albania). The river Tara, which flows through Montenegro into the Drina, is well known for forming a long and wild canyon which is the second deepest in the world, after that of the Colorado.
The Adventure Tourism Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ATA BiH) conducted the project “Via Dinarica Walk” for the purpose of promoting this region and identifying development needs and potentials for regional tourism offer of the Via Dinarica. This project is financed by the UNDP and USAID Offices in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the support of UNDP Montenegro, UNDP Croatia and Oxfam Albania.
This is the main trail along the entire length of the Via Dinarica that follows the natural flow of the highest peaks of the Dinaric Alps. The white trail includes all of the highest peaks in each respective country. Although there are a plethora of activities along this head trail, such as mountain biking and rafting, it’s main function is as a hiking trail.