Secret Dalmatia Blog - Travel Experiences in Croatia

Spring is coming – Zrmanja and Dobarnica rivers

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We have been blessed with very warm winter this year with temperatures rarely (or never) dropping bellow 5 Celsius. We also had rain. A LOT of rain. Ans even that seems like an understatement …
In fact, we had so much rain that most of the rivers and springs were at their all time maximum flow at times. It was beautiful to see dry beds of some small rivers and springs actually with water for the first time.

So, what better to do but to visit some of our beautiful rivers in the hinterland? Zrmanja – being one of the prettiest – was our target and our first stop was Berberov buk waterfall. A very popular destination in the summer but not so much out of main season. Except for locals.

“Berberov buk” waterfall

We decided to move further up the street and to return later to enjoy the waterfalls some more.
Next stop – Dobarnica river that is one of the main tributaries of Zrmanja. It is only 3,5 km long and it is often dry but we got right in time to see it in it’s full beauty!

Dobarnica canyon
Dobarnica canyon

Walk to the very spring is not so easy as the slopes are made up of small rocks that can roll down ..and drag you along or, even worse, start a small rock avalanche. With few large rocks as well.

Slopes of the canyon
Slopes of the canyon

The very spring is hidden bellow the steep slopes and it is usually much, much lower (some 4-5 meters). But these days, it is overflowing in all it’s beauty!

The spring of Dobarnica
The spring of Dobarnica

The winter in Dalmatia is not a colorful season and some sights look like having very few colors…

Winter grays
Winter grays

Walking over a small bridge, one can see all the power (and beauty) of this small river.

Dobarnica...for the next few days or weeks.
Dobarnica…for the next few days or weeks.

Since there are some abandoned houses near by, we decided to see what is on the other side of the canyon. These houses look like they have been abandoned in the past war some 20-25 years ago. It is fairly messy around them although this, if restored, can be a perfect little getaway. The houses are still in good shape and the interiors have been cleaned. Someone is obviously visiting…

Still in good shape
Still in good shape

And some remnants of traditional architecture.

Old storage
Old storage

And some long forgotten antiques. This is to Croatians what Campbell soup is to Americans.

Classic…Podravka beef goulash

Leaving the village, we went to see another little tributary that woke up this winter. It has no name (at least not marked) as the sights like these are probably quite rare.

Water everywhere
Water everywhere

And then we went back to Berberov buk. It was truly spectacular!

Berberov buk
Berberov buk

It is still a bit chilly after the sunset so we headed home. But not before we enjoyed great views of snow covered Sveto Brdo (Holly Mountain). This second highest peak of Velebit Mountain is quite spectacular at any season.

Through the pine trees
Through the pine trees
Sveto brdo
Sveto brdo

But still watching our step for these massive bauxite pits…

Bauxite pits near Obrovac
Bauxite pits near Obrovac

Just another grand afternoon of adventure, beauty and stress relief Dalmatian way with spring just around the corner!

Almond tree in bloom
Almond tree in bloom

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5 Replies to “Spring is coming – Zrmanja and Dobarnica rivers”

  1. Hi Alan,
    of course another couple of great shots, however one serious remark:
    if going into abandoned territory or houses, please be careful, as it may be unsafe !
    Just recently two guys entered abandoned barracks, one was killed and the other one very seriously wounded.
    Hope you understand my concern, nevertheless compliments for great pictures.
    Poz. Pim.

  2. Thx Pim! I absolutely agree with your advice regarding entering abandoned houses – and especially in areas that were affected by war in 1995. The main reason being that many old roofs or floors can collapse but there still may be some explosives left. I am quite familiar with areas that were mostly affected by military operations and you probably will not see my blogs from those areas as they are still unsafe.

  3. Thanks Alan.
    I dó know you (or I) keep it on the safe side, both for yourself and people that use your excellent service, but said enough not everybody is aware there still are some tricky spots.
    (Them two I understand from SD, were luting in an old military object, stupid, and disastrous for both).
    Thank God there are more than plenty marvellous ánd safe areas where only falling rocks, wolves and snakes can spoil the fun of splendid nature.
    Cheers again, Pim.

  4. Hi I am going to Croatia this summer and would love if you could tell me any gorgeous and unknown/not touristy places to go! Thanks for sharing some places with me!

  5. Sorry for late reply! We just returned from NYC… My top 5 would be Rab, Zrmanja and Krupa canyons, Ključica fortress, Dugi Otok and interior of Hvar! I hope this helps!

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