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.
Public Institution Biokovo Nature Park is currently implementing a project called “New Adrion – Promotion of Sustainable Use of Natural Heritage of Biokovo Nature Park”, funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Operational Program Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020 with partners Makarska Development Agency MARA and Croatian Mountain Rescue Service - HGSS. The total value of the project is approximately 34 million Kuna, of which the grant amounts to about 27 million Kuna, and the rest is financed by the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency and by own funds collected from users and partners. The project started in November 2016 and consists of 12 project elements that will increase the educational capacity of visitors to Biokovo Nature Park by the development of new educational programs and facilities, increase of the attractiveness of the park's natural heritage and increase of the number of visitors by investing in infrastructure and facilities. The most striking and complex part of the New Adrion project is certainly the construction of a horseshoe-shaped platform out off the cliff with a glass walkway called the Skywalk. Approximately eight million Kuna has been invested in the construction of this unusual structure and in the reconstruction of the existing lookout. The construction of the Skywalk is a unique example of the increase in the attractiveness of a natural location due to its "extreme component", which leads to an increase in the number of visitors. It is located in the southwestern part of the Biokovo Nature Park on the 13th km of the Biokovo road and next to the info-center, at an altitude of 1228 meters above the sea level where specific weather conditions prevail, due to which the construction was made difficult.
The construction of the lookout platform has been performed as a reconstruction and extension of the existing lookout next to the Ravna Vlaška info center. The reconstruction refers to the arrangement and widening of the pedestrian plateau along the Biokovo road with a geological pillar - a three-dimensional view of the cross-section of the rocks that formed the area of Biokovo from its inception to the present day with a geological time table and description of the age and types of rocks. It also implies the extension of the existing lookout whereas the additional construction implies the construction of horseshoe-shaped platform that "protrudes" 11m beyond the cliff. Access to the platform is provided from the northeast side by two staircases located on the east and west sides of the info center, which allows efficient traffic of visitors without creating crowds. The lookout has the carrying capacity of up to 50 visitors at a time. Visitors can come to the Ravna Vlaška and Skywalk lookout by the so-called Biokovo road, which leads from the main entrance to the Biokovo Nature Park, on the state road D512 (Makarska-Vrgorac) to the highest peak Sveti Jure. The Park is officially open for visits from April to November. Access to visitors in the winter months for security reasons is not allowed, due to winter conditions on the road.
The working hours of the Park are from 06:00 AM to 08:00 PM. An entrance ticket can be purchased at the ramp in the amount of 60 kn per person when entering by car or motorcycle, while the price for pedestrians and cyclists is 35 kn. Children up to 7 years do not pay the ticket. Discounts on the ticket price are available to mountaineers upon presentation of the current year's mountaineering card, to Croatian war veterans and disabled upon presentation of the card. Other details can be found on the institution's website.
A modern multimedia Interpretation Center Veliki Kaštel was opened in Kotišina, which will represent the central place of interpretation and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage of Kotišina, through three themes of exhibitions: archaeological, ethnological and natural heritage. The Veliki Kaštel Interpretation Center is located in the multi-storey fortress of the same name, which is a historical sensation of Podbiokovlje. The fort on the Biokovo cliffs was built during the Candian War to provide shelter for the population during the conflict with the Ottomans. Today, its interior has been turned into a real modern wonder that tells the story of this beautiful region.The interpretation center is spread over several floors and is the central place for interpretation and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage of the village of Kotišina. The modernly equipped interactive space is divided into three exhibition themes: archaeological, ethnological and natural heritage.In the center you can see the archeological exhibits found at the Kotišina site under the guidance of the Makarska City Museum, and through ethnological objects and stories in a fun and interactive way you can get to know the way and style of life of the locals. As the Biokovo Botanical Garden Kotišina is located in Kotišina, in fact most of the Interpretation Center is dedicated to the natural heritage and rich plant diversity in the wider local area, especially the heritage of the Biokovo Botanical Garden Kotišina and the legacy of its founder Fr. Jure Radić.
Opening hours: Monday, wednesday, friday: 08:00 AM-01:00 PM, tuesday, thursday, saturday: 03:00 PM-08:00 PM
Web site: https://www.kotisina-makarska.com/
Phone: +385 98 910 5528
Phone: +385 91 52 74 41
Address: Dalmatinska 4, pp. 75
Phone: +385 21 616 455
Address: Ante Starčevića 22
Phone: +385 99 827 0185