Last but not least, we must mention the impressive Biokovo mountain which dominates the surrounding landscape and guards the town of Makarska from all sides.
Throughout history, it has protected the local citizens from invasions by both land and sea alike. Today, it is a beautiful nature park, an excursion site with numerous marked hiking trails, endemic plants and rich wildlife. The unique juxtaposition between the almost two-thousand-meter-high snowy mountain and the serene coastline is striking.
A 30-minute ride up a well-maintained road through the nature park will be enough for you to reach a point where the views of the city and the surrounding islands are simply breath-taking.
You can reach the top of Biokovo, Sveti Jure (St. George), either on foot or by car. There you have a view of the entire Makarska riviera, including the islands, as well as a view of Zagora and Herzegovina. If you choose to go on foot, please prepare and pack well, taking into account the weather conditions, wear appropriate footwear and clothes and carry plenty of water. Always let someone know where you are going and which routes you plan to take because you can never be too careful. It is also very useful to take a mobile phone with you to use in case of emergencies.
The Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS) operating in Makarska is always on standby and ready to help in case of hiking accidents.
You will surely have an unforgettable experience on one of the most beautiful mountains in Croatia.
*Official website of the Nature Park Biokovo*
Biokovo is part of the Dinaric Alps mountain range and as such stretches NW-SE. The lower parts of the mountain, both on the coastal and hinterland side, mostly consist of Eocene flysch deposits, while the higher parts are Mesozoic carbonate sedimentary rocks.
In order to examine the geological features of Biokovo, one must look beyond the Nature Park itself and take into account the overall vast, complex area. At the end of the Cretaceous, roughly 65 million years ago, the African Plate started colliding with the Eurasian Plate. The decrease in ocean space caused strong tectonic disturbances, whereupon the horizontal layers crumpled, broke up and rose above sea level, thus forming mountain ranges such as the Alps and the Dinarides, of which Biokovo is a part. The Tethys Sea largely disappeared and its remains are what we today know as the Mediterranean Sea.
The climate on Biokovo is the result of its geographic latitude, geographical position in the Dinaric Alps, geological composition, terrain, elevation, exposure to air currents, vegetation and other factors that largely affect the microclimate of this mountain. Since Biokovo acts as the meeting point of two climates – the Mediterranean and the continental climate, this has a significant impact on its climate. The air masses from the sea reach it from its coastal side, going past cliffs, land and mountain tops. The mountain tops prevent the mainland cold air masses from reaching the coast, but they also prevent the Mediterranean air masses from reaching the mainland. These mountain and sea air masses collide on Biokovo causing frequent weather changes, which in turn create a lot of rain and snow in autumn and heavy snowfall in winter, where the snow cover can last up to spring. In the same manner that the gradient, direction and altitude of the slopes are important, the geological composition of the soil and vegetation is also crucial. The forest acts as a regulator of precipitation, wind and heat. All of these factors affect the microclimate. Some general climate characteristics worth noting are temperature inversions, vertical air currents and foehn winds.
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