The natural park of Biokovo in Croatia

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PresentationPresentation

General presentationGeneral information
Biokovo is a mountainous solid mass of Croatia, located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea in Dalmatia power station; the major part of the solid mass is protected by a Natural park (Park prirode Biokovo) because of its geological interest and the exceptional wealth of its fauna and its flora. Biokovo shows landscapes among most picturesque of the Adriatic.
EtymologyEtymology
The toponym of Biokovo means “Croatian slope”. Biokovo is the name used by the inhabitants of the coast, while those of the interior of the grounds name the mountain of a female name: Bijakova.

The solid mass of Biokovo was known under various names with the wire of the occupations of the area by various people: at the 1st century before J. - C., the Greek geographer Strabon named it Adrion; under the Byzantine Empire, after the arrival of Slavic Croatian, Biokovo was indicated under the name of Mons Slavorum, the mountain of the Slavic ones.

SituationSituation

Biokovo seen since the sea (author Ostrovskij Vladimir, Kiev). Click to enlarge the image.Sight towards north on Zagora since the mount Saint George (Sveti Swears). Click to enlarge the image.
Biokovo is one of the mountainous solid masses constituting the dinaric Alps which extend along the Dalmatian coast from the Adriatic. In the North-West of Biokovo is the solid mass of Mosor and, in south-east, the solid masses of Sutvid and Rilić.

The solid mass of Biokovo is bordered in the North-West by the valley Cetina and, in south-east, by the valley Neretva.

The coastal band of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.Biokovo separates a narrow coastal strip from the back-country of Dalmatia, Dalmatian Zagora. This solid mass constitutes like a wall between this colder back-country and the littoral: it is the cause of the phenomenon of “will bura”, a strong wind and cold which goes down from the mountain and breath on will riviera of Makarska during the winter, but also of the good ventilation of this will riviera during the hot season.

The Natural park of Biokovo is part of the county of Split-Dalmatia; it includes territories belonging to the communes of Makarska, Vrgorac, Brela, Baška Voda, Tučepi, Podgora, Zagvozd, Zadvarje and Šestanovac.

VisitsVisits

The Natural park of Biokovo
Vegetable garden (Bukov vrh) in altitude in a doline of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).A great part (196 km²) of the solid mass of Biokovo was classified in Natural park in 1981 (Park prirode Biokovo), because of its single geomorphology, its extraordinary biodiversity and the natural beauty of its landscapes. The Park extends on 25 km length starting from the collar from Dubci, close to Brela, in the North-West, to the collar of Saranač, close to Gornje Igrane, in south-east.

The Park understands rare hamlets, more or less abandoned, which testify to the hard mountain life that the former inhabitants of Biokovo carried out (will bura it and snow in winter, strong heats in summer), with their small horses, their donkeys, their cows, their goats and their sheep. The ways skirt old huts of shepherds and small vegetable gardens or potato fields established in dolines of the karstic solid mass, where cultivate themselves still today celebrates it potato of Biokovo, garlic and the wheat. The shepherds as their animals watered themselves with small ponds formed by the rains and with the small underground brooks. Many traces of human life dating from the time illyrienne were discovered (tumuli) there.

Chart of the Natural reserve of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.About forty marked out hiking trails square the 19,550 hectares of the Park of Biokovo (of the detailed charts are provided at the entrance of park). They make it possible to discover spectacular sights in all the directions:
  • on the side of the littoral, the splendid bay of Makarska and the seaside resorts of will riviera of Makarska, Brela, Baška Voda and Tućepi; in north, the glance reaches Omiš and Split, and, in the south, the mouth of Neretva. With broad, in clear weather, one can see the whole of the Dalmatian islands: Brač, Hvar, Korčula, Lastovo, Screw and Mljet, and the peninsula of Pelješac. In very clear weather it would be even possible to distinguish the Gargano mount, in the area of Apulia in Italy, on other bank of the Adriatic - distant of 252 km.
  • side of the back-country, one sees a broad valley; in the North-East, Imotski and its plain (Imotsko polje), and, in south-east, Vrgorac. This broad valley is bordered in north by one second watershed: they are the mountains of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Tučepi seen since Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.Sight on Tučepi since Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.Tučepi seen since the foot of the mount Saint Elias (Sveti Ilija). Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).
Tučepi and Makarska seen since the foot of the mount Saint Elias. Click to enlarge the image.Tučepi seen since Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.
Geography of Biokovo
Biokovo is a mountainous solid mass which is part of the dinaric alpine range which extends from Slovenia to Albania, via Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro.

At any other place of the Adriatic coast the dinaric alpine range is not closer to the sea than it is it in the solid mass of Biokovo; only the solid mass of Velebit is also close to the littoral. After a narrow coastal strip the solid mass of Biokovo rises brutally from the Adriatique coast until an altitude of 1762 m where the mount Saint George (Sveti Jure) culminates which is only to 5 km of the coast.

Podgora and Tučepi seen since the foot of the mount Saint Elias. Click to enlarge the image.South of the solid mass of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.The coastal band of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.
Biokovo extends on 36 km length - in direction NO-SE - and 9.5 km broad above will riviera of Makarska which it dominates of its vertiginous cliffs limestones. It is the mountainous solid mass highest of Dalmatia; it counts sixteen tops exceeding 1400 m of altitude.
Mounts east of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.Pre in altitude in a doline of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).Biokovo seen since the foot of the mount Saint Elias. Click to enlarge the image.
The View-point of StazaThe Kimet MountThe Mount Saint-Guy (Sutvid)
Since the view-point of Staza, to 897 m of altitude, one can reach the abandoned hamlet of Pod Glogovik, where interesting ruins of huts of shepherds are. Before arriving at the hamlet, one passes in front of the chapel Saint Elias (Sveti Elijah), built around 1880 on a prehistoric tumulus illyrien; opposite the chapel Saint-Anthony (Sveti Ante) is.The Kimet mount is located at the south-east of the mount Saint George. From the top of his 1536 m, one can see the peninsula of Pelješac and the islands of Korčula, Mljet and Lastovo.The mount Saint-Guy, or Saint-Vitus (Sutvid), culminates at 1332 in the south-east of the solid mass. In the vicinity the chapel Saint Roch (Sveti Roko) is.
The chapel and the mount Saint Elias. Click to enlarge the image.The Kimet mount in the solid mass of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.
The View-point of Ravna Vlaška
Panel of information of the Natural reserve of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.The view-point of Ravna Vlaška, to 1228 m of altitude, is with the km 13 of the road of Biokovo. One finds there an information center of the Natural park.

The Information center of Ravna Vlaška is opened to the visitors the every day, of the Monday to Sunday, 8:00 to 16:00

The coastal band of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.The coastal band of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.The coastal band of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.
The Sinjal MountThe Vošac MountThe Štropac Mount
The Sinjal mount culminates to 1333 m above Botanical garden of Biokovo.The Vošac mount is located above Makarska: it offers one of the most beautiful sights on Riviera de Makarska.

The rise in Vošac is the most popular excursion of Makarska: from the village of Makar, the path reaches the top of Vošac, to 1422 m, by borrowing the path of discovered n° 8 (PEP 8). While continuing on the line during 15 min one joined the view-point of Štrbina, to 1320 m of altitude, which offers also beautiful sights on will riviera. It is also possible to join Vošac and Štrbina - into 20 min of easier walk - by taking the road of Biokovo and while being parked on the carpark of the list of excursion of Pod Vošac.

The Štropac mount culminates to 1444 m, in the south of the mount Saint George.
The Mount Veliki ŠibenikThe Mount Saint Elias (Sveti Ilija)The Bukovac Mount
The mount Veliki Šibenik (1457 m) is above the town of Makarska: one can reach it - in four hours of walk - by a hiking trail from the village of Veliko Brdo. The slopes of Veliki Šibenik are covered with black pines.The mount Saint Elias (Sveti Ilija) is located above hamlet of Bast on the commune of Baška Voda. One reaches his top, to 1642 m, by a rather soft slope on the southern part, while the other sides are rather stiff. It is under the mount Saint Elias that the tunnel is bored which connects the town of Zagvozd, in Dalmatian Zagora, at the seaside resort of Baška Voda.The Bukovac mount, or Ovčja pola, (1262 m of altitude) is located above Brela: one can go up there by a hiking trail, via Gornja Brela. The top offers a sight on Omiš and on will riviera of Makarska.
South of the solid mass of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.
The Šćirovac MountThe Križić MountThe Mount Veliki Troglav
The Šćirovac mount is located at the North-West of the solid mass, between the village of Bast and the hamlet of Zaveterje. Since his 1619 m, one enjoys a splendid sight on the throats of the Cetina river and the Dalmatian back-country.The Križić mount culminates to 712 m in the North-West of the solid mass of Biokovo.With 1658 m of altitude, the mount Veliki Troglav is the second plus high summit of Biokovo. It is located at the south of the mount Saint George.
Sight towards the North-East of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.The mounts Saint George and Veliki Troglav (Gambitek author). Click to enlarge the image.
The Mount Saint George (Sveti Swears)
Seen towards the east of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.With its 1762 meters of altitude, the mount Saint George is more the high summit of the solid mass of Biokovo; it is also the third plus high summit of Croatia, after the Sinjal mount in the solid mass of Dinara (1831 m) and the top of the solid mass of Kamešnica (1809 m).

The top of the mount Saint George (Sveti Swears). Click to enlarge the image.The top of Sveti Jure is the terminus of the road of Biokovo, road a 23 km length which is the tarred road highest of Croatia - with vertiginous turns to make quiver and crossings of very complicated vehicles. The top is also accessible on foot by several hiking trails: the hiking trail of Makar via the Vošac mount; the path of Veliko Brdo and Bašković via the Lokva mount, starting from Makarska; the path of Milići via the Turija mount, the side of the interior of the grounds.

This difficult rise - so much by the road than by the paths - is rewarded by the stunning panorama than the top offers on the littoral, the islands of the Adriatic, the back-country, called Dalmatian Zagora, and to the mountains of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

At the top of Sveti Jure transmitters of radiotelevision and telecommunication are. The transmitter of television, built in 1965, is 90 m height: its top would be the highest point of Croatia, with 1850 meters of altitude. The zone surrounding the transmitters is prohibited with the public.

The construction of the transmitter required the destruction, in 1965, of an old chapel located at the top of the mount Sveti Jure. This chapel Saint George probably went up at the time of the conversion of the Croats, around the 12th century. A new chapel Saint George was built in 1968 below the transmitter; it accommodates a pilgrimage each last Saturday of July.

The transmitter of television at the top of the mount Saint George (Sveti Swears). Click to enlarge the image.The transmitter of television at the top of the mount Saint George (Sveti Swears). Click to enlarge the image.The top of the mount Saint George (Sveti Swears). Click to enlarge the image.
The Geology of Biokovo
Vegetable garden (Bukov vrh) in altitude in Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.Biokovo is a karstic solid mass of nature which presents all the typical phenomena of this kind of geological formation: dolines, lapiaz, cracks, holes with ice, sources karstic, caves, galleries and pits sought by the speleologists…
  • The deepest pit is the pit of Amfora, with 788 m of depth; it is the fourth deepest pit of Croatia.
  • One of largest dolines of collapse in the world is that of Crveno jezero.
  • The cave of Tučepska Vilenjača: located at 1180 m of altitude, at the bottom of a cliff, this cave present of the stalactites, stalagmites and draperies, as well as an interesting cavernicolous fauna.
  • Holes with ice: formerly “cutters of ice” conveyed on the back of mules their loading of ice to the coast for the conservation of the foodstuffs; the blocks of ice were covered with sheets of beech and were wrapped in a made fabric of hairs of goat.
  • Biokovo is extremely low in water - 80% of the hydrographic network are underground -: it is only in the zones where the calcareous solid mass meets the base which are born the karstic sources which irrigate some sparse pastures.
  • Other karstic sources are underwater, for example the important source “Breljanska vruja” which emerges in Brela and which is the greatest underwater source of the Mediterranean.
The Teaching Geological Path
The geology of Biokovo is clarified by a Teaching Geological Path which presents the origins of the calcareous stone and the various karstic formations of Biokovo.

The path starts with kilometer 9 of the road of Biokovo, between Lemešini doci and Jakičuša, after the great series of hairpin bends which go up on the plate. A panel of presentation is on the right on the road of Biokovo, and there are two other panels along the path. The path easy and is marked out by panels of excursion; it takes approximately half an hour.

The Botanical garden of Biokovo (Biokovski botanički vrt)
The flora of the Natural park of Biokovo can be discovered with the Botanical garden of Biokovo with Kotišina, above Makarska and of Tučepi, where one can have an outline of the single vegetation of Biokovo.

InformationPractical information

General information
The Access to the Natural park of Biokovo
Tourist plan of the Natural reserve of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.The road in laces going up in Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.To reach in the car the Natural park of Biokovo, it is necessary to take the single motor-road which penetrates in the Park and goes up up to the summit, the mount Saint George. This “Road of Biokovo” begins with the main entrance from the Park; since Makarska, to take the trunk road “Magistrala” towards south-east, then, after 1.5 km, to fork on the left on road 512 in the direction of Vrgorac. After 6 km one finds on the left the Reception Office of the Park which delivers the tickets of entry and the documentation of the Natural park.

The road going up to the mount Saint George (Sveti Swears). Click to enlarge the image.The “road of Biokovo” is 23 km length between the main entrance, located at 365 m of altitude, and the terminus at the top of the mount Saint George which culminates to 1,762 Mr. C’ is a road very steep and sinuous, with only one way, with zones of crossing all the 300 Mr. speed is limited there to 50 km/h, but - taking into account the difficult conditions of control - it is necessary to count one hour to traverse the 23 km until the top. Before arriving at the mount Sveti Swears, the road passes by the points of view of “Staza”, “Ravna Vlaška”, “Štrbina” and “Vošac” with stunning landscapes.

If one does not want to launch out in this adventure, one can go to the mount Saint George by taking the minibuses proposed by the travel agencies of Makarska or Tučepi.

Plan in relief of the Natural reserve of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.The access on foot to the Natural park of Biokovo can be done by many hiking trails since the principal localities of the littoral or the back-country. However, the uneven one from the coast until the top is of almost 1800 m and that requires very a physical good condition. Since Makarska, it is necessary to count 5 to 6 hours of walk!
The Office of the Park of Biokovo with Makarska
Plan of the Natural reserve of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.The Office of the park of Biokovo with Makarska is on the sea front Marineta.

Addresses: 1 Trg Tina Ujevića HR-21300 Makarska

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 7:00 at 15:00 and 17:30 at 22:00; saturdays, of 8:00 to 12:00 and 17:30 to 22:00; Sunday, of 8:30 to 12:00 and 17:30 to 22:00 They are the schedules for July and August: they can differ at the other dates.

Telephone: 00,385 (0) 21,616,924

Website: www.biokovo.com.

Courriel: prirode-biokovo@st.t-com.hr.

Visiting timesVisiting times
Panel at the entrance of Natural reserve of Biokovo. Click to enlarge the image.Natural park of Biokovo and Sveti mount Swears.

Schedules of the main entrance: from mid-May to September, 7:00 to 20:00; from April at mid-May and in October: 8:00 at 16:00

Tariff of entry by the main entrance: 30 kunas by anybody.

Croatian service of Mountain rescue (HGSS) of Makarska: 00,385 (0) 91,721,001 or 112.

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