Stage 2: Dugopolje – Mosor
Distance: 14,20 km / Ascent: 870 m+ / Descent: 800 m- / Start: Dugopolje / Finish: Kučine
The story of Dalmatia can’t be told without the story of karst. And best story teller for this is Mountain Mosor, often called ”The karst beauty”. Stage 2 starts at the north foothill of Mountain Mosor, from a little place, typical for Dalmatian hinterland, Dugopolje. If you translate Dugopolje to English it would mean ”the long field” and it is more than obvious why it is called like that. And that’s exactly where the trail starts, through the field on ancient trail squeezed between drywalls.
Very soon after the flat part, the trails goes slightly uphill and goes through two picturesque hamlets, Smodlake and Balići. It is common that Dalmatian hinterland hamlets like this are named after the family names of the people that live there. So, in Smodlake most of the people will have family name Smodlaka. As the Mosor Mountain embraces you more, you will find more rocks on your trail. Very soon after Balići hamlet one of the highlights of the stage approaches – “Kraljeva peć”, a cave with wide and high entrance. The trail goes through the cave for about 200 meters. As you exit the cave, the trail gradually goes steeper towards the mountain ridge.
In the past, Mosor was very important in everyday life of people of Dugopolje. They would spend the whole summer in the mountain with cattle, growing crops and vegetables in small gardens inside sinkholes. Now, the ruins of small stone houses witness those old times living in the mountain.
The view from the ridge is one of the best moments of the entire event. Almost all Dalmatian islands, the mountains far in Bosnia, ridge of Mountain Mosor and the city of Split enter the view if you look around.
First part of the downhill is technical, a true face of Mosor trails. Finally, after the trail reaches gravel (4 km later) is the finish line in front of Kučine village church.