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Karstic Weekend ’24

8 August from 13:00 to 11 August from 18:00 Europe/Croatia

Welcome to Karstic Weekend ’24, an EGEA Zadar event in Croatia’s captivating Velebit karst region where mountains meet the sea! Join us to explore this unique land—caves, dolines and much more. Dive into nature’s mysteries, from forests to the magic of coastal karst, all amidst the embrace of Croatia’s stunning geography!

€70 Participant fee



Hostel Čelina

An oasis on the coastal side of Velebit

Nestled along the coastal side of Velebit, you’ll find the charming Hostel Čelina, a hub of warmth and hospitality year-round, managed by Božena Radošević and her mother Marija, with the helping hands of their two teenage daughters during school breaks. Every detail of this accommodation is carefully crafted, from the thoughtfully designed interiors to the eco-friendly materials used throughout, creating a serene oasis where guests can feel at home.

The ever-changing weather, with its sudden shifts and dramatic Velebit storms, adds a touch of excitement to the experience, reminding us of nature’s power and endless variety.

Perched nearly 700 meters above sea level, the air here is refreshingly pure, offering a cool retreat from the summer heat, while the sparkling sea lies just a brief 10-minute journey away. It’s a blend of climates and temperatures, where guests can slumber peacefully amidst the gentle slopes of Velebit.

Baške Oštarije is one of the rare settlements in the peak area of Velebit. It is located by the road Gospić-Karlobag, at the border of the Central and Southern Velebit.

Once upon a time there was a Venetian merchant caravan on this important Velebit passage and the place became known as the Oštarije. The name Oštarije comes from the Romance languages (tal. osteria – tavern). They are situated at 924 meters above sea level and are surrounded by beautiful Dabri and Dabar peaks. Dabar not only a name for beaver in Croatia (there are none here), but also for the special Velebit valleys with the flat bottom.

The village was established following the construction of Karolina Road. The Military Frontier Management encouraged settlement near the road in Oštarijsko polje field to support travelers and those involved in transportation. Houses were provided by the Military Frontier Management, allowing settlers to cultivate cleared land for farming and livestock. Increased trade between the continent and coastal areas eventually attracted more residents to the village.

The Paklenica karst river canyon is a national park in Croatia. Due to its unique natural features, magnificent forests, and extraordinary geomorphologic structures, the area of Velika and Mala Paklenica was proclaimed a national park in 1949. The main reason for proclaiming this area a national park was the protection of the largest and best-preserved forest complex in the territory of Dalmatia, which was threatened by overexploitation. The Paklenica National Park covers an area of 95 km2 and includes the highest peaks of the Velebit Mountain – Vaganski vrh (1752 m a.s.l.) and Sveto brdo (1753 m a.s.l.).

The name Paklenica probably derives from Black Pine sap called “paklina”, which the locals used in traditional medicine, for wound treatment, for light, and for coating wooden boats (but it also sounds like “hellish” – “pakleno” lol). It covers the area of torrent flows of Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica, and their distinctive canyons carved vertically into the southern slopes of the Velebit Mountain as well as their surrounding area. The relatively small area has an abundance of geomorphological phenomena and forms, diverse flora and fauna, attractive landscapes and intact nature. Near the entrance to the Velika Paklenica is an artificial tunnel complex built for Josip Broz Tito during the tension between Yugoslavia and the USSR in the late 1940s and early 1950s (that’s the real important info haha, but tbh we might have have a presentation in here).

We will have the opportunity to show you two wonderful caves as well:

Modrič Cave, located in the town of Rovanjska, offers a journey into an underground world. Stretching 829 meters, this natural wonder provides an authentic experience without concrete paths and bright lights. You can see stunning formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, and unique speleo themes resembling jellyfish and more. With its spacious chambers and consistent temperature of 16-17°C, Modrič Cave promises an unforgettable adventure.

Nestled within Paklenica National Park, Manita Peć is the other cave on our karst advnture. As the only show cave open to the public, it has captivated visitors since 1937. It has incredible expansive chambers adorned with exquisite speleothems, including stalagmites, stalactites, columns, and flowstones. Each formation, such as the Helmet, the Organ, and the Witch, tells a fascinating story of natural beauty and wonder.


Prepare to delve into the captivating world of karstology and related sciences! Upon arrival in Gospić, we’ll explore Nikola Tesla’s early life in the nearby village of Smiljan. Our journey begins with a lecture on karst by our wonderful professor from the University of Zadar’s Geography Department. The following day, a karst researcher will lead us on an exciting expedition to Modrič cave and Paklenica National Park, promising a delightful mix of caves, rivers, and stunning landscapes!

Expect an engaging scientific theme throughout Saturday with workshops facilitated by our enthusiastic geographers and karst scientists, covering topics like GIS and Karst research. Meanwhile, another exciting excursion near our accommodation awaits, featuring the breathtaking Premužić Path. And fear not, our weekend won’t be solely about science! We’ll sprinkle in some classic EGEA fun and Croatian adventures for an unforgettable experience!


To get to Gospić from Zagreb and Zadar, here’s a breakdown of transportation options:

From Zagreb:

  • Bus Operators: FlixBus, Velebit Tours, Samoborček, Arriva Croatia
  • FlixBus operates buses to Gospić three times a day, with tickets costing between €17 – €24. Other operators also offer services on this route.

From Zadar:

  • Bus Operators: FlixBus, Velebit Tours
  • FlixBus operates a bus from Zadar bus station to Gospić five times a day, with tickets costing between €10 – €14. Velebit Tours also services this route three times a day.
  • Train Operator: Croatian Railways (HŽPP)
  • Croatian Railways operates a train from Zagreb Glavni Kol. to Gospić once daily. Tickets typically range from €12 – €17 for this journey, which takes approximately 3 hours and 32 minutes.
Good luck 🙂

There are no direct flights to Gospić as it doesn’t have its own airport. However, you can fly to nearby airports:

  • From Zagreb: Zagreb Airport (ZAG) is the closest major airport. From there, go see by bus or by train.
  • From Zadar: Zadar Airport (ZAD) is the closest airport to Gospić. You can fly domestically from Zagreb Airport (ZAG) or internationally to Zadar. After landing, see by bus.

From Zagreb:

  • The drive from Zagreb to Gospić takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes via the A1 highway. The distance is approximately 190 km.

From Zadar:

  • The drive from Zadar to Gospić takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes via the D50 road. The distance is approximately 100 km. (wow perfect 100)

Now for the registration! – DEADLINE May 23rd 2024

See you there! 🌅⛰️🤍✨ Follow us on INSTA for more cool stuff!

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