Hiking in Croatia – The Lost Towers of Dalmatia

I take particular pleasure in meeting clients and taking them to some remote, off the beaten path region or location. And if they are nice and pleasure to be around, than the adventure is quite memorable!

That was the case with the Demiccos of Scarborough, Maine. Working on the itinerary with Mrs. Marie was great from day one. Enthusiastic and fun, Mrs. Marie was a pure pleasure to work with! She was interested in full experience of Croatia so she booked private cooking classes, caving at Modrič cave and much more. Talking to our former client (now friend!), Mrs. Carla Henrie of Ketchum, Idaho, she found out that I take clients hiking in the hinterland of Šibenik and Zadar. Of course, I don’t charge for that but it is sort of a gift for people who are really interested in something unique and different; who really want to see what Croatia has to offer besides Dubrovnik, Hvar and Split…

So, we met in the afternoon after their looong day of cooking (that was supposed to end by Noon…) and we went north to the hinterland of Šibenik to one of my favorite spots: the fortress of Klučica.

The fortress of Ključica - looking closer than it actually is...
The fortress of Ključica - looking closer than it actually is...

The drive was about 40 minutes long and we parked our car in the village of Kljuc. I hike here maybe once a year but these villages all look the same so it is not always easy to find the right road. Once we reached the village, we took the first dirt road to the river. It was a pleasurable walk through the fields and vineyards…
And soon, we reached the road descending to the banks of Dalmatia’s most beautiful river – Čikola. Nested in the deep canyon, this river runs dry in summer but it was still quite active when we go there. The sun was slowly setting so we decided to rush a little bit to see the sunset from the fortress.

The steep climb...
The steep climb...

Kljucica was built in 1330 by the Šibenik noble family Nelipići with the intention to guard and tax the only route over Čikola river. People of Šibenik did not really like the idea so they stormed the fortress and burned it almost the same year! It was restored and it was captured by the Turks in 1546. and completely abandoned in 1648.

So we climbed the same way the probable invaders attacked trying to figure out how did they manage to capture the fortress. It looked so easy to defend! One person with a pile of rocks would be able to do it! Probably it was the siege that chased the defenders out…
Well, no one was there to throw rocks at us so we managed, with a bit of difficulty, to reach the walls in some 15 minutes.

The Demiccos! - Invaders of Ključica!
The Demiccos! - Invaders of Ključica!

We didn’t have anything to burn or pillage so our only reward was the magnificent view! We explored a bit more the entire building. Although quite ruined, it is still quite impressive! Especially the tall tower that partially collapsed.

After a brief pause, we decided to head back to the car along the ridge. Not as easy but definitely more exciting! The Demiccos seemed in good shape and I wanted to make the return more interesting than simply walking the easiest path. Maybe it was a bit too much but I am sure they will remember this adventure:)))
I have to admit that I get carried away easily and just enjoy the moment.

The easy part...
The easy part...
It got quite demanding...
It got quite demanding...

After almost 40 minutes of quite demanding hiking and climbing, we managed to reach the flat part and we were relieved. I returned them to Šibenik and adjusted their GPS from Russian to English :))

I am sure Marie, Bill and Liz will remember this hiking in the wilderness of Croatia!
It was a pleasure to spend at least those few short hours with them!

The view of Krka river...
The view of Krka river...

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