This year, the Croatian Walking Festival, a mass sports and recreational event, will be held under the auspices of the IML Walking Association. After several years of efforts, the event achieved world recognition by being included in the annual IML calendar, and the organisation’s members from all over the world will be arriving to Lika.
The fourth edition of the festival will once again be held in early September, on the 3rd and 4th of that month. Many have already applied, including many international participants. This year is expected to break records in that sense: “This year we became a part of the IML family, which will attract numerous walkers from all over Europe and next year from the whole world. With this event, we are trying to extend the tourist after-season, as these guests tend to stay for several days after the event to explore the surroundings,” explains the director of the Lika-Senj County Tourist Board, Ivan Radošević.
The Croatian Walking Festival starts from Otočac on the already popular routes of Gacka, and continues in Gospić, where the routes named after Tesla are already marked. You walk along six routes of varying intensity that combine the natural and cultural beauties of Lika and are adapted in such a way that everyone can participate. “Walkers” will be able to choose between three routes, 10+, 20+ and 30+ kilometers in both towns. That means that all age groups can register for the Walking Festival, regardless of fitness level. The only thing you absolutely need is goodwill and the desire to meet new people while going through the unique experience in beautiful Lika.
At last-years Lika Festival there were around a thousand walkers, and this year, with the strong tailwind provided by the IML, an even better turnout is expected. In Gospić and Otočac, they will collect points that are valued by the IML, and the enthusiasts who visit the IML events number in the tens of thousands. “It was a difficult path to become part of the IML family, but after numerous trips around Europe and by bringing their scouts here, both formally and informally, we convinced them that our festival deserves to be part of the IML family. Here I must mention the walkers from Croatia who helped to create this festival, and we also proved that a non-competitive form of the festival can take root in our country, promoting a healthy and active life along the way,” adds Mile Milković, secretary of the Croatian Walking Association.
This sporting event is unique in Croatia, and year after year the organizers emphasize their well-known motto that with every minute you walk, you can extend your life by one and a half to two minutes!
The festival is organised by the Croatian Walking Association and co-organized by the Lika-Senj County Tourist Board and Lika travel d.o.o.