Who are the Cicis?
Cicis are small ethnical community, derived from the Morlacs or - by their fullname - Moros Vlachos/ The Black Vlachs.
Vlachs were named so by Greeks, because of the black sheppard jackets they were wearing.
Cicis are the only native speakers of the Istro-Romanian language. When they fade, Istro-Romanian will fade as well.
Cicarija overview mapCicarija (land of the Cicis) is a 30km/19miles long undulated plateau, spanning in
the northeast-southwest direction between the bays of Kvarner &
This far northwest part of Dinaric Alps
does not offer either dramatic or dynamic landscape features. Layered
covered with coniferous trees, seldom limestone crags and/or grassy
rounded summits emerging here and there above the tree line.
Cicarija has always been quiet background of the Istrian peninsula.
hiking. All main summits of Cicarija are connected with
hiking trail named Istrian mountain path (see next chapter).
good place for cycling. Low traffic, numerous carriage roads.
Only climbing area is called Raspadalica.
30 or so routes, length range
to 35m/115f, difficulty range 2 - 8c,sharp and firm gray limestone, routes are mostly vertical or slightly overhanging slabs. Further climbing areas
are all located toward Istrian coast.
Below on this page, chapters will deal with separate hills, as they are successively posted.
Cicarija and Ucka trails are
connected with and combined into
(Istrian mountain path). Original trail was opened in 1974., connecting
summits of mt Slavnik and mt Ucka accros the Istrian
peninsula. However, after the crumble of ex Yugoslav
federation, new path has been shrinked to trailpoints inside
Croatian part of Istra, which makes about four fifths of the original
length. Contemporary IPP now combines old IPP + BBB (Buje - Buzet -
Brest) path + Labin hiking path and is divided in four stages:
Umag-Mirna river valley-Buzet-Brest-Zbevnica hut - time required, round
two: Zbevnica hut-Cicarija main ridge-Vojak
peak, time required round 13-14 hours
Vojak-Sisol, time required 6-7 hours
Sisol-Crna Punta, time required 13-14 hours
Total IPP length
is 200km/124miles. Complete pocket size IPP guide (72pages, 100 color
photos) can be obtained from the Istrian Alpine Association,
charge you about 5 Euros(35 kuna) for it.
Main IPP trail can
be approached by various smaller connecting trails, like
Buzet-Raspadalica, 5km walk to Cicarija's only climbing site.
Main peaks of
the Cicarija/Cicceria range with elevation and GPS data
main climbing site is Raspadalica,
limestone wall at the very edge of Cicarija plateau. Total
climbing routes is 30, height vary from 7m/23f up to 30m/115f
more of the same for most popular summits of Mt. Ucka, at the SE end of
climbing seasons are autumn/spring/winter. Summers are very
hot. Next climbing sites inside reasonable driving distance from
Raspadalica are Istarske toplice/Istrian spa and Vranjska
|Routes by difficulty||4a,4b,4b+,4c
|Number of routes||1
Jacemica from the E
This hill is actually a rocky edge of the plateau above Buzet. It is all shrouded in mystery and fairy-tales, and only when you reach its top, you get one possible explanation. So, its southern walls are rising above Crnica village. Below them, there's also a cave. From the other side it is easilly ascended, but the border between Slovenia and Croatia, the current outside border of European Union poses some problems. Jacemica is deeply in the Croatian territory, so coming on top from the north, means a border violation.
A path, marked with a sign, seen on the right, comes on top from Črnica village, continues by the E edge of the summit plateau, then crosses the plateau towards the N and NE and on the Slovenian border strangely disappears (April, 2008).
So, the SW ascent comes from Črnica village. At the upper houses the marked path branches. The left branch goes by a broad path, wich once clearly supplied a big settlement on the upper slopes. When it reaches picturesque cliffs, the old path turns left below them (and reaches the upper slope a bit later), while the marked path climbs over the cliffs by a comfortable ledge. Then you turn right and follow the marks till the summit.
When you reach the top of Jacemica, you have of course a nice view over Istria - lower regions towards the south and Čičarija hills towards the north. And you notice another important feature. From the rock abyss on the east to the similar one on the west an arc of rocks encircles the summit. It might mean only, that those are the remains of an ancient wall, which was protecting the settlement. This feature is also clearly seen on Google map. It is no wonder that old stories are still in the air around Jačemica - it was perhaps once a prosperous castello.
|Autumn scenery |
|Autumn scenery |
|Ancient walls remains?
|Črnica ascent |
|The W cliffs |
Among villages Podgorje, Zazid, Rakitovec and Jelovice there's a wonderful world of grassy summits, which can be treated as a kind of a true Istrian prairie. They are especially beautiful in May and June. You can nowhere find so densely blossoming meadows. Lipnik is a ridge mountain just north of Rakitovec. It stretches towards the SE, where the summit of Kavčič stands. North of these two, there's a similar, but a bit higher ridge of Golič. Between these two ridges there's a dreamy nice Zalipnik valley. On the lower part of Lipnik ridge there's a bump, where it also seems that in the distant past it hosted a castello.
|In Zalipnik valley |
|Too much to carry |
|In Zalipnik valley
While the grassy ridge of Lipnik on the Slovenian side still does not exceed the altitude of 1000m, Žbevnica, which is its continuation on the Croatian side already exceeds it. The summit offers a nice panorama on all sides and is a valuable hiking goal. It is also great for mountain biking. The cart-road which comes to below the radio installations can be used also for biking. The last 15 minutes to the top are then done by a good path. Otherwise the road from Brest to Jelovice is itself nice for biking.
|From the north |
|Summit view |
Gomila view Biking
In Cicarija, there's more than one summit with the name Gomila. With this one I mean a grassy hill north of Raspor village. It can be a nice goal of a hike or bike & hike tour. For the latter we take the mountain road, which goes north from the main road, just NW of Trstenik village. It crosses a mountain shoulder, proceeds by a lonely valley behind it and then steeply ascends on the saddle below Gomila summit. From there we walk on top for another 10 minutes.
The towers above spa Caves above Istarske toplice
Where Mirna river breaks through the limestone hills of Istria, there are the last towers, which are also very appropriate for climbing. Below them there's a spa resort (Istarske toplice).
The towers are rising just above the hotel. On one of them there are also picturesque ruins of Sv. Stjepan's church.
Besides climbing, from Istarske toplice we can do a few interesting hikes and also (mountain) biking tours. An ancient path ascends in many turns up towards the old town of Zrenj. It is a nice hike and in combination with the roads towards the east and west also a possible biking tour. It is perhaps best to ascend by bikes by this steep path (only partially riding) and then comfortably descend aroun by one of asphalt roads.
Along the path, soon above the spa, you can visit picturesque caves - the abandoned quaries.
Zrenj, its ancient name is Stridone, is claimed to be the birthplace of St. Hieronim, who translated the Bible from Greek to Latin. He left Istria 371 AD., studied in Rome and later on worked and lived in Aquileia.
Campinggrounds: Raspadalica camping site. Base for Raspadalica climbing site. Contact: ground owner Nevio Ladavac, mobile +385 99 51 50 25
Huts: Korita hut
, 1010m/3313f, starting point for summiting Cicarija highest summit, Veliki Planik (3-4 hours).
Open and shielded on weekends, hut phone +385 98 39 03 46
, 851m/2791f, shielded on weekends, phone +385 52 74 30 03
Nearest intl airport is Pula
Website in English
By train: nearest railway stops are Buzet and Lupoglav.
By far the best train connection query service in Europe is
German railways server
By car: from W A4 autostrada direction Trieste, cross into Slovenia and drive Kubed-Socerga-Buzet (around 20km)
from N, Ilirska Bistrica(Slovenia)-Rupa bordercross-Mali Brgud-Zejane-Mune-Vodice-Brest. Scenic drive contouring north of Cicarija. You can stop and start hiking almost anywhere alongside the road.
from NE, Zagreb-Rijeka motorway- Rijeka-Matulji-Ucka tunnel-Gorenja vas-Racja vas-Trstenik-Brest. Easy couple of hours hikes from here: Racja Vas-Orljak peak, Trstenik-Gomila, Brest-Zbevnica
Up to date weather conditions
from the nearest weather station in Pula/Pola
Miscellaneous infoAlternate names: Cicceria(Italian)
flower: Peony. Peony is considered a trademark flower of Cicarija.
is located between two large Adriatic bays (Trieste and Kvarner). They
both generate lots of moisture.
No warranty for the great
views-you may end peeping into low and very humid clouds...or enjoy
turbo panoramic view, especially if the katabatic bora wind hits the
bay of Trieste