Alan from Jablanac on foot: 4h
This is tough and long but beautiful ascent during which you have to surmount 1400m of altitude. It can be shortened to 2.30h or 1h if you access points where path crosses the Alan road by car. Anyway it is worth the sweat as you get to see real magnitude of coastal ascent, diminishing islands and changing vegetation.
Trail begins in Jablanac village. There are two variations before they join on Adriatic road.
First variation leads from Miroslav Hirtz hut in the center of Jablanac. Path begins behind the hut and ascends some 45mins till the Adriatic road.
Second and more beautiful variation leads through beautiful Zavratnica bay, which is 1km south of Jablanac. Apart from the shots on the main page there are also several shots from Zavratnica on Velebit page (photo 1, 2, 3 & 4).
Path begins at the spot where ferry docks and continues along the sea some 15mins till the entrance into the bay. On some spots path is cut into the cliffs and there is one sweet tunnel in bare rock. There is another variation which lead from Miroslav Hirtz hut and traverses rocky slopes higher above the sea. After some 10mins there is nice rocky observation deck on the cliffs at the entrance into Zavratnica. Behind it this paths descends and joins previous ‘along the sea’ variation. Further path heads just by the sea along the northern shore of Zavratnica. At the end of the bay it begins to ascent steeply through gorge till it joins the variation from Jablanac. Zavratnica variation is 30mins longer and it takes 1.15h to reach the Adriatic road.
Above the Adriatic road path ascends gradually, passing by Baricevici hamlet, till it sharply ascends to Alan road. Over the road ascent continues steeply. Path winds up in many bends surmounting steep slopes of first step between Dundovic Kosa and Velika Gora. After 45mins from the Alan road you reach Turska Vrata (Turkish Door) pass. From it is beautiful view towards sea and islands (photo). Name dates from times when Turks of Ottoman empire, which occupied Lika behind Velebit, descended this way to pillage the villages on the coast.
15mins behind Turska Vrata path brings you to the foot of monumental, self standing cliff Strogir (photo). Path passes just below it and continues to ascent gradually in many bends to Pekinica forest and behind it reaches Laminaca meadows (30mins from Strogir). From here you can see Alancic (1611m) and its grassy southern slopes above Alan pass and also pillars of former cable car. Path continues to ascends by long rocky fences till it reaches Alan road in some 35mins. From here is nice view towards sea. Shortly behind path crosses the road again.
Ascent continues through the forest of Butkovic Plan. As you gain altitude you’ll notice how maple and hornbeam forest changes into beech forest. On the grassy meadows of Jezev Brig, 30mins from the road, view towards Rab island opens again, this time even more beautiful. Path gains altitude steeply over the grass and through the forest till it reaches Alan road again after another 15mins. Just above the road you are on the edge of large meadows in small valley below Alan pass. It is 5mins more to the visible Alan hut.
From the hut it takes some 10mins via Alan road till Alan pass (1375m). Here Premuziceva Staza path crosses from North to Mid Velebit. Also on the pass is monument dedocated to the Partisans of Alan detachment who defended this part of Velebit.
Alan Road (Adriatic Road - Mrkviste: 26km)
Alan road branches from main Adriatic Road at the altitude of 250m, 3km above Jablanac village on the coast and 38km south of Senj town. Those coming from Jablanac have special branch for Alan Road just before the main junction on Adriatic Road. Detailed descriptions of distances on Adriatic Road are on Velebit main page in ‘Coast’ section.
Signs by the road point ‘Stirovaca’ and ‘North Velebit NP’. To have proper kilometer reading set you car counter to zero at the junction on Adriatic Road.
Shortly behind the junction is Dundovic Podkuki hamlet. Above are cliffs of the first step (700-800m high). After 2km marked path from Jablanac crosses the road ascending from right. Road continues to ascents going far to the right. With two sharp bends it crosses over first step. Second serpentine comes after 6.2km. From it fantastic view spreads towards sea and Rab island. Adriatic road is almost perpendicularly below and looks like a tiny thread. Don’t miss to stop here.
Behind the first step road enters the wide plateau between it and the slope of seaboard peaks, which is in front. At 7.3km is junction where branch leads to Baricevic Pod hamlet. On 8.7km asphalt ends. Over the plateau road reaches the slope of seaboard peaks and ascends gradually, going far left now (4km long section without turns). Generally from here road reaches Alan in 3 long straights (2 serpentines on the way). It mostly goes through the forest and you occasionally get glimpse of great view as sea is deeper and deeper. On 12.3km marked path from Jablanac crosses over the road, coming from left. Shortly behind, on 12.8km is wide serpentine. Soon behind it marked path crosses over the road again.
Current straight is around 2km long as next serpentine comes at 14.7km. It goes mostly through the forest wit very few views. Last straight before reaching Alan meadows is around 2.7km long. Maples and pine are replaced with beech. There are more and more open views towards sea while last kilometer is just spectacular as road traverses open grassy slopes below Buljma (1451m). Sea and islands are deep below while in front is bulky Alancic (1611m) peak. On 17.4km, after making sharp right turn, road reaches meadows below Alan pass. 0.2km ahead in Alan hut (1340m).
500m from the hut, on 18.1km mark, you are on Alan pass (1375m).
Immediately behind the pass road goes between the vacation houses called Kosica and continues to go around Mirevo valley, which is on the right. From open sections beautiful views spread upon the valley and its rocky fences and ruined houses.
On 19.3km is junction where macadam branches left towards Veliki Lubenovac valley (4.5km).
Over the meadow and through beech grove, in next few hundred meters, on 20.1km, road reaches Kosica pass (1412m), highest point of Alan Road. From here beautiful view on NW corner of Bilenski padez valley opens. Above is grassy cone of Goljak (1605m).
Behind Kosica road makes gentle left semi circle around Bilenski Padez. Further down the road there are several open section from which beautiful view upon the grassy valley spreads.
On 23.7km is junction where towards right two macadam’s branch. Right one leads along the opposite side of Bilenski Padez while left one leads by the nearby Dundovic Padez and continues to Dokozina Plan meadow below Satorina (1624m).
From this point road gradually descends through mixed beech/spruce forest till the Mrkviste junction, which is on 25.9km.