Biokovo, the mountain with roots in the sea and its head in the clouds
While making your way along the Dalmatian coast on your yacht, the imposing view of the mountain of Biokovo will undoubtedly capture your attention. The mountain of Biokovo is by far the greatest sight of the Central Dalmatian coastline
The Biokovo nature park
There are only a few places in the Mediterranean where peaks of over 1,500 meters high are located so close to the sea and where mountains rise so steeply as they do here. The Biokovo nature park has beautiful hiking and cycling trails, pleasant resting places and interesting historical remains dating from the times when many shepherds roamed this difficult terrain. If you would like to get your head in the clouds, this nature park has your name on it! Your captain will dock the yacht near Makarska and once tendered to shore, your private guide will meet up with you to start your tailored adventure.
Biokovo has been a breadwinning mountain for centuries, providing for the locals with its fertile valleys to grow potatoes and grains and to hunt and collect ice. On top of that, livestock was able to graze here and shepherds built huts and dwellings on the mountain. In the past, when this area did not have access to refrigerators yet, the numerous large ice caves in the central part of Biokovo were of great significance to the local population. From the caves, they harvested the so called Biokovo ice. These ice blocks would be wrapped in leaves and fabric made out of goat hair, after which the blocks would be transported to the foot of the mountain by donkeys, to be sold for commercial purposes.
Because of its unique location, close to the sea, Biokovo was proclaimed a Nature Park in 1981. The peaks of Biokovo offer a welcome breath of fresh air on a warm day and most of them can be reached by road.
The highest peak of Biokovo, Sveti Jure, is also the third highest peak in Croatia. Sveti Jure measures 1762 meters, has an average annual temperature of 4°C and has snow covering the ground for most of the year. This makes the peak one of the coldest places in Croatia. Ascending Sveti Jure by foot might not be on the agenda during this charter, as this is a climb for experienced mountaineers and will take around eight hours.
If you are an avid climber, you can use this trip to get to know the mountain and vow to come back to conquer her. The Sveti Jure also offers one of the most difficult and scenic Croatian cycling climbs, with amazing views of the coast, islands, and sea. Let your chief stewardess know if you are up for the challenge to ascend by bike, so your equipment will be ready for you!
For a pleasant nature walk with unforgettable panoramic views, hike up to Kotišina, a rustic village on the edge of the Botanical Gardens. The village of Kotišina developed at the foot of the cliffs of Biokovo, and was inhabited as early as the Bronze Age (2200-800 BC). Your guide will show you the residential and commercial buildings of which the external stairs have been preserved, authentic examples of traditional architecture. You will pass the beautiful churches of St. Mark, St. Martin and St. Anthony on your way to the castle of Veliki. As you will notice, small churches were built all over the mountains on prominent peaks, which dominated the area.
The large castle of Veliki, along the cliffs of Biokovo, is a multistory fortification adaptation of a cave. It was built by local forces under the supervision of Venice to unite the military and refugee role as a shelter for the population in the then conflict with the Ottomans. Since the renovation and reconstruction of its interior in 2019, the exhibition and presentation center under management of the City Museum is located in the castle. To the west, within the crevice of the cliffs, you will see the little castle of Veliki, built in the 17th century. From here you can make your way over to Mlinice, to get a look at the famous windmills.
Photo Copyright: Kotisina-Makarska.com
The Botanical Garden
The Biokovo botanical garden is not a botanical garden in the classical sense, where each plant is introduced according to certain rules, but it is constructed as a fenced in part of nature, where natural forms of vegetation with native flora are preserved. On a relatively small area you will find very diverse habitats such as rocks, cliffs, small pastures, and the canyon Proslap. After heavy rain, a waterfall with the same name comes to life in this canyon and makes for a spectacular sight. The specialty of the Botanical Garden Kotišina is the more than 300 wild plant species that can be found here, from typically Mediterranean to mountain vegetation and medicinal plants. Your expert guide will show you the ones unique to this park.
Behind the Botanical Gardens is a fortress which was used to defend the villagers against the Turks. Go find the stone channels over the windows that were used to pour boiling oil on their enemies as a defense mechanism
Photo Copyright: Kotisina-Makarska.com
Viewpoint Skywalk Biokovo
The most famous attraction of Biokovo Nature Park is the Skywalk. It consists of a glass promenade located on the Biokovo Road and is around 25 meters long. Besides the fantastic experience of walking on the glass, it features a magnificent view of the Makarska Riviera and the islands of Central Dalmatia, Hvar, Brač and Korčula. When the sky is clear, the contours of the Italian coast are visible. If you have never walked a glass skywalk, this is your chance to round up your day in the park in an unforgettable manner!
The wish to return to nature has grown the last decennia and visiting Biokovo Nature Park from the comfort of your own yacht can make this wish come true in a magical way. Spend quality time with your loved ones in the quiet yet impressive park and come back to your own yacht at the end of the day. When you are back onboard you can raise a glass when you set sail in honor of the mountain slowly disappearing into the background!
Photo Copyright: InYourPocket
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