Tuesday, 15 September 2020

A Day Trip to Biokovo, A Beautiful Nature Escape Above Makarska

September 16, 2020 - Besides the newly opened Skywalk, Biokovo Nature Park offers several reasons worth visiting. This second-highest mountain in Croatia is a paradise for all lovers of nature, sports, or simply the beautiful views that extend from its heights. If you are looking for a destination for a city break, consider a day trip to Biokovo! 

Biokovo is a mountain range that separates the Adriatic from Zagora, and if you are lucky, you can see Italian Monte Gargano in nice weather. Inhabited even before the appearance of the letter, Biokovo was named after the snow whiteness, as evidenced by the fact that it is closed to visitors from mid-November until early April.

A narrow and steep mountain road leads to the top of Biokovo at 1762 m, Saint Jure, which is certainly a great challenge, not only for driving a car but also for cyclists and alpinists.


I think there is not much to talk about the natural diversity of Biokovo. It is enough to know that it is inhabited by seven different species of amphibians and about 20 species of reptiles. In addition to numerous endemic delights, the park is also home to the spotted Ratsnake, one of the most beautiful European snakes.

Given that due to the inaccessible terrain and often unfavorable climatic conditions, the fauna is still insufficiently explored, most will encounter only horses and donkeys, which you can see while grazing grass along the road. 



Saint Jure

If you were on Biokovo and you didn’t go to the top, it is like you weren’t even there. On the south side, there is a beautiful view of the Makarska and Dalmatian islands and on the north side of Imotski and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Apart from breathtaking views, there is also a picturesque church of St. Jure, built-in 1968, not far from the old church demolished due to the construction of the transmitter. However, this is not the only church on the mountain. Except for the most famous one, there are 87 other churches and chapels.




Cycling and hiking

For fans of recreational sports, such as cycling and hiking, going to Biokovo can be an active vacation, a combination of recreation and enjoyment. The oldest hiking trail to climb to the top of Sveti Jure, on the south side, leads from the village of Makar, passing the mountain lodge Vošac and the mountain lodge under Saint Jure. The trail meanders continuously, shortening the serpentines, and the higher it climbs, the narrower the trail and the shorter the serpentines. 

If you are adventurous, this could be a real challenge for you!


Domestic food

In the nature park, at 900 meters above sea level, in the heart of Biokovo is located a house of rural tourism, the Doors of Biokovo. You can try excellent food prepared the Dalmatian way, such as homemade prosciutto and cheese, grilled specialties, homemade 'peka,' and the like. You can also try homemade herb-brandy, known as 'travarica,' made from 48 herbs, widely known worldwide. For those who are not lovers of alcohol, there are a variety of teas.




After opening in early July, Skywalk attracts many visitors, both domestic and foreign. You can hear exclamations of enthusiasm in various world languages, but few don't dare to take a walk. As part of the lookout, a geological column was built - a three-dimensional view of the cross-section of the rocks that formed the area of ​​Biokovo from its inception until today with a geological table of time and a description of the age and type of rocks.


 If by now you didn’t know how to spend a September Sunday, here's an idea. 

All photos © Sara Alduk

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Monday, 10 February 2020

VIDEO: Biokovo Skywalk Tested by Split Mountaineer

February 10, 2020 - The horseshoe-shaped 'Skywalk Ravna Vlaška' on Biokovo is nearly complete. One Split mountaineer tested out the new lookout before anyone else. 

Though it shouldn’t open until at least this spring, the new Biokovo skywalk welcomed one adventurous Split mountaineer who decided to test out the new floating glass promenade located in the Ravna Vlaška area, reports Dalmatinski Portal.

The glass walk over the abyss will be a great attraction that will bring even more visitors to this Nature Park. The construction of the glass lookout is part of a project called 'New Adrion - Promoting the Sustainable Use of the Natural Heritage of PP Biokovo'.

The project was announced two years ago. It is located 1228 meters above sea level and is envisaged as an upgrade of an existing lookout point in the Ravna Vlaška area of the Biokovo Nature Park. 


This lookout is designed as a prestressed reinforced concrete structure that cantilevers over a cliff overlooking the Makarska Riviera, Adriatic, islands, and open sea. A glass walkway has been laid on the primary concrete structure to provide a bird's eye view in all directions, creating a unique adrenaline experience. 

The potential of the Ravna Vlaška lookout point has been enhanced by an innovative architectural and engineering solution, which with its attractiveness, goes beyond the local tourist offer and contributes to the tourist potential of the whole of Dalmatia.


Within this part of the Biokovo skywalk project, which will be in the zone of the visitor infrastructure of Ravna Vlaška, the construction of a geological pillar with special infoblocks is envisaged. It is a three-dimensional representation of the cross-section of geological periods and the geological origin of Dalmatia's glorious Biokovo Nature Park, which will be made according to the inputs of the park's expert service.

The total cost of the construction of the lookout and the geological pillar, as well as its accompanying surveillance, stands at slightly more than 8 million kuna in total.

The visitor's centre of the Biokovo skywalk will also have an educational function and it will be located in the Župa Visitor Centre in the nearby Zagvozd municipality, which will be more specifically located in the old elementary school building. It will be a reception and interpretation-educational site for visitors to northern Biokovo, namely Zabiokovlje, which presents and interprets the geology, geographical features, flora, fauna and even the old mythology of this rich area.

The visitor centre will have the most spent on it, a massive 10.6 million kuna in total, and its construction could take as long as two years as is currently foreseen.

In addition to the old school which will be put back into good use, Rodićeva cesta (road) is also currently in dire condition, so that will also be arranged as a walking and cycling trail for nature lovers to use and enjoy, and even professional athletes will also be able to use it for training and fitness purposes. Four sites at which visitors can relax will be erected next to it, with the cost of this phase of the project amounting to 2.8 million kuna in total.

Rest areas will be set up along the entire Biokovo road (Biokovska cesta), and in addition to them, there will be so-called picnic areas with tables, booths, children's parks, outdoor school-oriented areas, panoramic telescopes, infopoints, 35 signal panels (three of which will be for the blind) and Bigbelly and Smartbelly smart waste bins (for mixed waste disposal and for the proper disposal of bottles and cans) that have a built-in compaction press and announce when they are full or when emptying is required via a built-in Wi-Fi system.

Two specialised shuttle buses will be acquired within the scope of the Biokovo skywalk project, along with 15 regular bikes and 15 electric bikes with GPS trackers and a charger for electric cars. In addition, the construction of the Makarska - Biokovo cable car is also planned.

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