Via Apsyrtides, a long-distance hiking trail that redefines island hopping
March 10, 2022 – The trail is 149 km in total and connects the islands of Cres, Lošinj and Ilovik
A unique hiking trail has been created in Croatia that will redefine island hopping. Named Via Apsyrtides, the transversal crosses the islands of Cres, Lošinj and Ilovik, offering a new way to explore the Croatian coast and bask in the dreamy Mediterranean ambiance without being disturbed by the summer crowds.
The long-distance trail connects Cape Jablanac, the northernmost point of Cres, to Cape Radovan on Ilovik Island at the southern tip of the archipelago. The trail is approximately 149 km long in total and consists of 11 stages of varying length and difficulty, totaling 4,000 meters of elevation.
Losinj / Mario Romulic
Why Via Apsyrtides? The poetic name has its origin in the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts, a story which also gave its name to the whole archipelago of Cres and Lošinj.
When the Argonauts fled Colchis with the Golden Fleece, Medea’s brother Apsyrt was tasked with recovering the stolen treasure. Legend has it that Apsyrt eventually caught up with the crew in the northern Adriatic, after which he was tricked by his own sister and captured by Jason’s crew.
Jason killed poor Apsyrt and Medea then cut his body into pieces, which turned into islands after being thrown into the sea. An unnecessarily cruel gesture, perhaps, but the newly formed archipelago was named the Apsyrtids. in his honour.
Town of Osor, island of Cres / Mario Romulić
The Via Apsyrtides now crosses the entire archipelago and is almost ready to welcome the first hikers. Along the way, they will learn about the cultural heritage of the islands and their wonderful natural features. It is envisaged that the trail will become a tourism product, which will attract visitors outside the summer season and thus contribute to the development of sustainable tourism in the region.
hatIn 2021, a historic network of 75 kilometers of trails on Cres was restored as part of the European VALUE project. They are now connected to the Via Apsyrtides cross-section and marked with the recognizable VA logo in blue and red, as well as educational panels placed along the route to make the island better known to hikers.
Marking of the trails was carried out by the company Xplore Cress in cooperation with authorized markers and according to the standards of the Croatian Mountaineering Association.
A full website is in the works which will feature a detailed overview of all stages, with maps of the trails and selected sites to discover along the route. The site is still under construction and should be completed in a few weeks, but the map and overview are ready to be explored – head here to discover the wonders that await you at Via Apsyrtides.