Secret Dalmatia Blog - Travel Experiences in Croatia

The hilltop fortress of Lišane

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This winter continues with beautiful weather. Perfect for hikes and exploring the sites I never visited before. It is simply amazing how many of those still are! And I keep finding new ones…

After few years I knew about it, I finally got the time to get to the Lišanska gradina (Lišane hilltop fortress). It is not easily accessible and, on foot – from the main road – it would take one over an hour or so to reach it. This was again time for my Hilux and solid off road experience through the bushes and rocky, narrow paths…


On a satellite image, the fortress looks interesting but I knew it is not going to be easy to reach it. The terrain surrounding it looks quite rough even online…
We stopped after a while as it was impossible to drive through the very rocky terrain and we immediately noticed ancient road in front of us. It has all the characteristics of a typical Roman road with groves made by wheels for centuries.

Ancient road carved in rock

The road to gradina is easy and quite clear. We noticed that road has been cleared and thought that it were the hunters that sometimes hunt in these areas. But then we noticed olive trees.

The colors of Autumn
Olive trees in the fields

Continuing towards the hilltop fortress, we noticed a proper and fenced olive orchard. It is fascinating not only that it is in the middle of nowhere and still looks stunning, but it is probably in the same location the ancient inhabitants of the fortress had their own olive orchard. Few thousand years ago…

Ancient olive grove?

Continuing to the fortress, we noticed the Ostrovica rock in the distance. One of the most fascinating and mystical places in all of Dalmatia!

Ostrovica in the distance

Lišanska gradina has not been properly explored and there are very few mentions of it in the specialized literature. It is well off any beaten paths but, obviously, it was located on a popular route as the ancient road we walked has been in use for many centuries. It has a great control of the neighboring area with sweeping views all the way to the sea (on a clear day).

Views from gradina

The gradina itself is in a typical shape – main dry rock walls have fallen down many centuries ago and they are now just a pile of rocks surrounding the slope of the hill. The other part of the fortress is easily defended as it sits on a high cliff.

View to the sea

The area within the walls is now just an empty, deserted plain with bushes and rocks all over. One cannot make too much sense of it without a proper excavation…

Former living quarters

The slopes have some indication of gates but, again, it will need a professional eye to look at this.

The entrance?

As the entire area, there is lots of evidence of wild boar in the area.

Wild boar was here

As the sun sets early in these winter months, we had to head out to the car. We took the different route to admire the high southern cliff of Lišanska gradina. It is over 10 meters high in some places and looks quite impressive.


Another beautiful place we leave behind. To enjoy the silence and bask in the winter sunset. Abandoned for eternity…

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