Following the footsteps of the Austrian heir to the throne across the summits of Lošinj
The islands of Lošinj and Cres are among the hilliest Croatian islands and it is not unusual that they caught attention of mountaineers as early as in the 19th century. Mountain Osoršćica is 589 meters high and back in 1889 Austrian heir to the throne Rudolph II climbed to its top. For mountaineers, due to its beauty of viewpoints, accessibility and the mountain lodge at its ridge, Osorščica is one of, if not the most attractive mountain on Croatian islands. On clear days, from the ridge of Osoršćica one can admire entire Velebit and the sea stretching at the foot of Osoršćica. This is perhaps the most beautiful view of Velebit of all.
Osoršćica is suitable for hiking tours all year long, which is explored by many tourists staying on the island of Lošinj. This is a typical karst mountain formed of limestone and displaying usual features of a coastal and island mountain. It was named after the town of Osor, which is located right underneath it. Interestingly, Osor is not located on the island of Lošinj but on the nearby island of Cres. The name was given at the time when Osor was still not separated from Lošinj by today’s strait of Kavada, constructed to facilitate navigation.
The main mountain trails to Osoršćica start at Osor and Nerezine, on the eastern coast of Lošinj. The beginning of the ascent to the peak Televrina is an area on the Lošinj side next to the movable bridge in Osor. Mountain markers first lead by a road and through woods to the karst ridge Mazova Hill, which accommodates the mountain lodge of St Gaudent (274 m). The lodge was named after a medieval bishop from Osor, a saint who died in 1050. According to a legend, he lived as a hermit in a cave under Televrina. From the lodge, a beautiful view of three different sides of the surrounding scenery is provided, and thanks to the remoteness of settlements and lights, it is also used to observe the night sky.
A rather clear and passable mountain trail leads across the top ridge of Osoršćica to the highest peak of Lošinj, Televrina. There is one part of the trail where one must use hands to master the rocks but it is neither difficult nor dangerous. Mountain markers descend from the top through a beautiful pinewood. Halfway to St Mikula, an access trail to a little cave of St Gaudent diverges. According to a legend, the cave was named after a saint to whom this cave was a temporary hideout.
The mountain trail from Nerezine ascends for an hour and a half along numerous turns, a pond and a rest area on the top of St Mikula (557 m). From this peak, it is possible to admire the view of the sea and the southern part of Lošinj and this is undoubtedly the most beautiful mountaintop of Lošinj. On the very summit there is a chapel made of hewn stone.
A network of mountain trails allows for an interesting perpendicular tour, from Osor across Osoršćica to Nerezine. It takes 4-5 hours of walk for such a tour. Besides Osoršćica, the entire island has a series of developed walking trails, which complete the tourist and mountaineering offer. It is for this reason, if you venture into Lošinj area, that you will return with beautiful impressions no swimming at the end of the tour can later wash away.