OverviewBitoraj is a forested mountain without expressed peak, but instead it has an elongated karst ceiling ridge called Piršova Kosa. The direction of this ridge is NW-SE. What makes this mountain interesting is numerous rock shapes which are hidden in the forests of Bitoraj and independent white limestone rock groups of odd and fantastic forms, with up
to 40 mtrs high walls.
There are two interesting craggy groups in the area. First one is north underneath the ridge and visible from the summit, while second one is south from the ridge, not visible
and hard to find.
Northern slopes of Bitoraj are lowering into beautiful forest area called Sunger grove, where the road Delnice-Mrkopalj passes.
As a result of the frequent and strong bora wind, Bitoraj is also called Burni Bitoraj (Stormy Bitoraj).
Among its rocks Bitoraj is still hiding unexplored areas with karst caves and pits. The deppest pit on Bitoraj mountain is Stupina jama, which was explored in year 1995. up
to 413 mtrs.
Velika KapelaMountain Bitoraj is a part of Velika Kapela group, which do not represent a unique mountain chain, but it is made of series bigger and smaller ridges. The main direction of Velika Kapela is Dinaric (NW-SE).
Important peaks of Velika Kapela:
Bjelolasica, 1534 m
Viševica, 1428 m
Velika Javornica, 1375 m
Bitoraj, 1386 m
Kolovratske stijene, 1091 m
Klek, 1181 m, N45 15 37.2, E15 08 43.7
Bijela kosa, 1289 m
Javorova kosa, 1015 m
Celimbaša, 1085 m, N45 18 11.8 E14 51 36.6
Lovnik, 902 m, N45 23 55.2 E15 05 31.7
Velika Višnjevica, 1376 m, N45 19 10.3 E14 55 04.1
Rudac - Vijenac, 819 m, N45 24 20.4 E14 57 43.4
Kicljev vrh, 920 m, N45 24 18.7 E14 56 18.2
Turmin, 1085 m, N45 21 59.9 E14 57 44.7
Bitoraj (1.385 mtrs) summit offers a great panoramic view towards almost all peaks of Gorski Kotar (Snježnik, Risnjak, Bjelolasica, Čelimbaša and others), mountain Učka over Kvarner bay, Slovenian Snežnik and huge forests of Bitoraj.
During clear weather it is also possible to see Julian, Kamnik-Savinja Alps and Karavanke in Slovenia.
Also from the summit there is a beautiful perspective on villages Brestova Draga, Sunger and Mrkopalj.
White rocks of BitorajThe white, limestone rocks situated at the northern slopes of Bitoraj are called Bijele Stijene or Nadstijene. The marked route from Sunger passes through this rock group and offers great adventure and experience. There is also one lookout
point that requires some climbing abilities. From there you can clearly see famous rock shapes called Imperator (Emperor)
and Savjetnik (Councellor).
It is very important to mention that during winter time the route through Bijele Stijene group
is covered with huge amounts of snow and therefore it is recommended only for experienced mountaineers who are familiar with this route.
The summit of Bitoraj belongs to a group of easy ascends. All routes
are in good conditions, well marked and they are leading mostly through
the shades of Bitoraj forests.
Bitoraj main routes:
1. Vrata - Mountain hut Bitorajka - Bitoraj (2,45 hrs)
2. Vrata - Javorje (10km) - Piršova Kosa - Bitoraj (1,30 hrs)
3. Sunger - Rudine - Piršova Kosa - Bitoraj (3,30 hrs)
4. Sunger - Brestova Draga - Bijele Stijene - Bitoraj (2,30 hrs)
When to climbBitoraj can be climbed any time of the season with the proper equipment.
In winter time the road Fužine-Vrata-Sunger-Mrkopalj alternatively to Brestova Draga is regularly cleaned,
but it is important to have winter car equipment.
Planinarska kuća Bitorajka (Bitorajka Mountain lodge) is situated at altitude of 1.303 mtrs, some 10-15 min from the summit. It is a timber built, 25 m2 single-room living area with an attic, which is used only for sleeping. Sleeping bags are a must. Water is supplied from a cistern outside.
This hut is important for mountaineers who wish to proceed from Risnjak to Velika Kapela, because this is the only mountaineering shelter on this long route.
Red tapeNo limitations.
Mountain conditionsInformations on weather conditions in the area can be found on
Croatian State Hydrometeorological Institute site:
Weather forecast for Mrkopalj
MapsSMAND No. 12 - Gorski kotar II
SMAND official website
BibliographyCroatian mountaineering atlas HRVATSKE PLANINE (Croatian mountains)
by dr. Željko Poljak