Driving Spectacular Mt Biokovo
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.
Here is a video documenting our experience.
Map of Biokovo and the different viewpoints
Viewpoints on Mt. Biokovo
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
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.
Sv. Jure, 1 762 m
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).
Vošac, 1 422 m
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.
Related: Why you have to visit Makarska
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).
Štrbina (below Vošac), 1 338 m
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.
Staza, 897 m
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.
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.
– The Park’s website: Nature Park Biokovo.
– Entrance to the park is about a 10 minute drive south of Makarska.
– If you don’t have a car, consider renting. Biokovo is really worth it and you can spend all day here. If you find this post useful, please consider using our link (you’ll get the best prices on cars in Croatia). Or see our post on car rental in Croatia.
– 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.
– Accommodation. Makarska is the perfect base and, as mentioned above, you can actually hike up the mountain. A few recommendations: Hotel Park Makarska (big modern hotel on the beach with a pool. All with fantastic views), Hotel Osejava (modern hotel, pool, great views), Apartment Petra & Apartment Rustic (fully equipped apartment, right in the old town, steps from everything).
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.
Related: Bbqboy’s Guide to Croatia
Related: Croatia’s 10 Best Hikes
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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.
Wow! Looks like an awesome road trip! Another item to add to the bucket list!!
Those are some stellar views! I liked the back wall view of the little church and pinned it to my board, thanks for sharing! 🙂
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!
Tanja (the Red phone box travels)
nice video!:) you liked it more than Plitvice?
I was more WOWED by Biokovo.
Plitvice was beautiful as well, but I never felt that it took my breath away. Biokovo did, but maybe it’s because I just love those kinds of views 🙂
Very nice trip and very good views and a pretty narrow road. Great pictures as always.
Thanks Carlos. Hope you get to Croatia someday!
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…
Thank you Hung Thai!
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!
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 🙂
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).
Thanks Jan 🙂
Very nice rocks
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!
No, not 9 min 🙂 There’s editing on the video and we made a few stops along the way. I’d say it probably took about an hour for the first leg up to the top.
Travels and Tipples
My heart was pounding watching that video. Looks like the views were worth the hair-raising drive.
Glad I got you excited Patricia! 🙂
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).
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”).
Spectacular views all the way around… I imagine heart stopping when encountering a car coming from the opposite direction….eeek!
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…
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.
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.
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!
Thanks Jane, something to keep in mind for the future 🙂