Driving Spectacular Mt. Biokovo, Croatia

driving spectacular Mt. Biokovo, croatia

Mount Biokovo has some of the most stunning views I’ve seen anywhere. I’d seen photos before and wanted to visit – but when I went with Croatian friends Goran and Vedran (who had never been) we were all blown away by the natural beauty and incredible views in this Nature Park.

What makes Biokovo an easy place to visit is that you can drive to the very top of the massive, a 23 km drive that brings to Sv. Jure (the 3rd highest peak in Croatia). It is the highest road in Croatia.

If you’re not an experienced driver the drive might not be for you. Although asphalted, the road is narrow and being an experienced driver will help when encountering cars coming from the opposite direction.
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Here is a video documenting our experience. 

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Map of Biokovo and the different viewpoints

Biokovo map

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Viewpoints on Mt. Biokovo
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There are 5 major viewpoints on Mt. Biokovo, 3 of which don’t require any hiking at all. These stops include restaurants, bathroom facilities, an information center, a historical trail as well as animals. So Biokovo is not just about views. You can actually spend a full day here and not get bored.

Ravna Vlaška, 1 228 m

Ravna vlaška views, 1228 m, drive up mt. Biokovo

13 km from the Nature Park’s entrance, Ravna Vlaška has an information center where you can get a map and guide on Biokovo. It also has a great lookout with views over the most southern part of the Biokovo massive as well the islands of Brač and Korcula. There are also bathrooms here. No hiking required to get to the lookout.

Ravna vlaška, 1 228 m, drive up me. Biokovo (2)

Ravna vlaška, 1228 m, mt. biokovo drive

 

 

Sv. Jure, 1 762 m

sign at Sv. Jure, 1 762 m, mt biokovo, croatia

Driving on, the road suddenly climbs dramatically in a series of switchbacks. You’ll see a huge TV antenna which marks the highest point. The is Sv. Jure, the 3rd highest peak in Croatia at 1762 m. This is where the 23 km road ends.

On one side you’ll see mountains and sea, on the other you’ll be looking towards Bosnia and Herzegovina where you’ll see endless mountains and valleys. Walk around. You’ll see signs indicating a church. The Church of St. Jure was built in the 1600’s and still today pilgrims come here on the last Saturday in July to celebrate the holiday of St. Jure (you can hike here from the coast town of Makarska in about 7 hours).

hut on Sv. Jure, 1 762 m, mt biokovo

parking and sign to church, sv. Jure, mt. biokovo

church on sv. Jure, mt. biokovo (1)

church on sv. Jure, mt. biokovo (2)

church on sv. Jure, mt. biokovo, croatia

view from church, sv. jure, mt. biokovo

 

Vošac, 1 422 m

views from Vošac, 1 422 m, mt. biokovo

Coming back down from Sv. Jure, you’ll see signs for  Vošac. Don’t skip this, the best views in the whole park are here.

After turning off for Vošac you’ll get to a parking lot (they seemed to be building a restaurant next to this spot when we visited in July 2016). From here, it’s a 20 minute hike to the mountain hut at the top of the peak.

The Views at Vošac are incredible. You’ll be looking straight down at the town of Makarska (which is listed as a 4 hour hike). The whole Dalmatian coastline opens up in front of you.

There’s a man who takes care of the mountain hut and you can buy beer and chips. If you want to wake up to these views, you can even sleep here. They have comfortable beds on the 2nd floor of the hut (I don’t remember how much it was to rent in for the night but I do remember that it was inexpensive. I would totally do it).

views of Makarska from Vošac, 1422 m, mt. biokovo

flag at hum, Vošac, 1422 m, mt. biokovo (2)

Vošac, 1422 m, mt. Biokovo

sign at Vošac, 1422 m, mt. biokovo

hut at Vošac, 1422 m, mt. biokovo

cool guys at Vošac, 1422 m, mt. biokovo

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Below: a 10 minute walk from Vošac will take you to the next lookout at Štrbina.

hiking from vosac to Štrbina 1338 m

 

 

Štrbina (below Vošac), 1 338 m

views of makarska from Štrbina (below Vošac), 1 338 m, mt. biokovo
Štrbina gives you even clearer views on Makarska below. From here you can continue the trail straight down into town if you wish (we met a few Serbian hikers here who were on their way up to Vošac).

From Štrbina it is an easy 20 min hike back to the Vošac parking lot.

Štrbina (below Vošac), 1 338 m, mt. biokovo, croatia

vegetation at Štrbina (below Vošac), 1 338 m, mt. biokovo

interior mt. biokovo, from Štrbina (below Vošac), 1 338 m

 

 

Staza, 897 m

lookout at Staza, 897 m, mt. biokovo

On the way back down you’ll see a sign for a restaurant called “The Doors Biokovo”. It’s a good place to park the car and have lunch. Next to the restaurant area are a few stables where you’ll see donkeys and cows.

This area also has a lookout, a small church, as well as a 1.5 km historical trail containing the remnants of military installations in World War 1: artillery nests, trenches, and barracks.

animals

nature trail at Staza, mt. biokovo

 

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I’ve mentioned a few times how much Croatia reminds me of South Africa, my other favorite country. Have a look at this post if you don’t believe me.

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Special thanks to Goran (below) who invited us to Biokovo and did all the driving.

vedran and goran on Mt Biokovo

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Practical Information

– The Park’s website: Nature Park Biokovo.
– Entrance to the park is about a 10 minute drive south of Makarska.
We recommend going early when there are less visitors. We arrived around 7:30 am and basically drove to the top without any trouble. Coming down, there were more cars and you often have to pull over to the side so that both cars can squeeze by each other. Overall however, we didn’t see too many other visitors – Biokovo still seems unknown to most.
– Biokovo was included in my post featuring Croatia’s 10 Best Hikes. Some popular trails: Makarska to Vošac (3-4 hours). Makarska to  Sv. Jure (7 hours). See the Biokovo website for many more trails.

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I’ve seen a lot of natural beauty in Croatia but Biokovo impressed me more than anything I’ve seen to date (including Plitvice Lakes). I recommend a visit here if you are anywhere in Central Dalmatia.

 

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Comments

  1. What incredible views and colours! If you’d been posting these images over a year ago… I’d have made plans to drive over there when were in Europe.. too many places to see… Thanks for sharing the video journey!
    Jane recently posted…Quirky Accommodation – TasmaniaMy Profile

  2. You know, I was just thinking the views reminded me a bit of South Africa too, in particular Cape Town and the Apostles and the coastal route down that way. Also a bit like the Vrsic Pass that we drove last month in the Triglav National Park in Slovenia. Looks like a stunning day drive (despite the precipices) and it’s amazing that you can reach some of the stunning views by just sitting on your arse! Definitely somewhere we’d go if we ever make it to Croatia.
    Heather Cole recently posted…Driving the Vršič Pass in Triglav National ParkMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Really, isn’t it similar to South Africa?
      There are many differences but Croatia and SA are my favorite places over the last year. I think just because I like the wild geography, they’re both adventure kinds of places (with history thrown in in Croatia).
      Slovenia is a place that we’d like to see more of and I’ve enjoyed your posts from there. Again, so much nature.

  3. Spectacular views all the way around… I imagine heart stopping when encountering a car coming from the opposite direction….eeek!
    Paula recently posted…Vancouver, A Stimulating CityMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks Paula! People didn’t drive too fast but it’s just that there’s a lot of maneuvering required when there are 2 cars trying to get past each other on the narrow road…

  4. What stunning views! It must have really cool to see. You’re right, it does help to have an experienced driver. I wouldn’t mind sleeping in the hut either. Waking up to this would make me feel like Maria in the Sound of Music 🙂 . Your friend is a clown..haha.. (not Goran).
    Kemkem recently posted…TBEX conference in Stockholm – a blogger’s perspectiveMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Yes, I told Vedran that he’s always entertaining. He should have gone into entertainment 🙂
      The 2nd floor of the hut was very clean and modern. And there’s a bathroom on the 1st floor but it was broken when we were there (the attendant just told us “no problem, everywhere is nature”).

  5. My heart was pounding watching that video. Looks like the views were worth the hair-raising drive.
    Travels and Tipples recently posted…It’s Not All Black and WhiteMy Profile

  6. What a terrific excursion from Split! That’s a narrow road all right, must not have any tour buses making that trip or that drive would be a nightmare. 9 minutes to the top – you guys were flying!
    Rebecca recently posted…Spectacular Serpentine Drive High Above the Bay of KotorMy Profile

  7. Very nice rocks

  8. I watched your video and wanted to be there. We went on the mountain road above Omis and thought that was cool. This takes it to another level (literally).
    budget jan recently posted…Explore the beaches of Split and Marjan Park in CroatiaMy Profile

  9. The scenery has a wow factor of 10! Although I’m an experienced driver I have a feeling this might be one of those drives left to someone with more courage than I. I think Id’d be squinching my eyes shut so as not to see the drops and the heart-stopping views way below! Croatia is on our bucket list and this post makes we want to move it to top. Lovely photos!
    Anita recently posted…Them and Us: Mitzvahs and The Danish Jewish Museum of CopenhagenMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      I wouldn’t have felt comfortable driving it and we would never have done it if it wasn’t for Goran. I just had to concentrate on taking photos and video.
      I think you’d love Croatia 🙂

  10. Absolutely magnificent! I love the flag of Croatia all tattered – so medieval haha. We missed this last time we were here. Might need to come back soon…
    Hung Thai recently posted…Life and death making shot glasses out of lavaMy Profile

  11. Very nice trip and very good views and a pretty narrow road. Great pictures as always.

  12. nice video!:) you liked it more than Plitvice?
    Tanja (the Red phone box travels) recently posted…What has travel taught me?(#TravelLinkup)My Profile

  13. that looks like a hellova road. i remember the bus ride from Dubrovnik to Mostar had some hairy moments on the edge of a definitely final fall should it occur. not for the feint of heart!
    Andrew recently posted…Some thoughts on the Olympics.My Profile

  14. Those are some stellar views! I liked the back wall view of the little church and pinned it to my board, thanks for sharing! 🙂
    Patti recently posted…The Atlantic City Beach & Boardwalk ~My Profile

  15. Wow! Looks like an awesome road trip! Another item to add to the bucket list!!
    Gaz recently posted…Wonderful Faces Of IndonesiaMy Profile

  16. This looks like my kind of place! I love a good road trip even better if there’s mountain views like this to be had. The sky is ridiculously clear as well.
    Barry recently posted…What’s in My Backpack: Interview with Jessica from a Southern TravelerMy Profile

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