May 30, 2011

biokovo, biokovo, go to biokovo !

One of the amazing mountains in our direct neighbourhood is called Biokovo Nature Park.

Any other country would call it a National Park, but Croatia already has a lot of National Parks, so it created a second and a third category.
Top type are the National Parks, like Krka waterfalls, Plitvice likewise, the Kornati islands and many more.

Second category parcs like Biokovo are stunning areas of immense nature like Biokovo, pure, wild, rough and of excellent quality.

And than there's a third and even more categories, as Croatia loves its nature, has a lot of it, and (most of the time) conserves and protects it all very well.
(Not always, as H.S.-Hrvatski Sume-Croatian Woods, the national organisation sometimes is a bit to much a lumberjack in stead of protector).
Having said so, most Croatian nature is pristine and as natural as nature can be.

OK, so Biokovo, the wide, rough mountainridge going as high as 1800 mtrs. above sealevel, offers a fantastic day or even many days to those visiting Dalmacija.
If staying between lets say Split and Makarska, plan at least a day to visit this mountain.
There is a good narrow road going up, but don't make the mistake most visitors make, driving all the way to the top, as you'll discover it's crowded there, and to tell you the truth, just half way up it's much more impressive than all the way up.
(And however the road going up is of good quality, you might wet your pants once in a while, especially when an other driver comes from opposite direction, just at a steep vertical scary section).

Driving half way up, you can choose to start a hike going many directions, going south or north or northeast, where south takes you towards the coast, with a fantastic view over the Adriatic deep below you, or north-east into the truly rough nature, where you might have the luck to encounter a bear (hardly, if any), a boar/wild pig (fair chance), a jackal (lucky you) or a chamotte or wild mountain goat (go early, you'll see one or two).
And than there are small groups of "wild" horses, like those on the picture, a fantastic view indeed.

Much more nature is around you at every moment, going from birds to reptiles and a broad range of flowers and plants, some endemic alpine specimens, all of it marvelous to see and enjoy.

Be aware when stepping into nature here, as this is true NATURE !!!!
Take at least half a liter of water per person, some sunprotection to cover your head, a mobile phone, and check the weatherforcast before you go (change comes quick here).

Prepare to have a fantastic day, you'll love Biokovo as much as I do.
And if as lucky as me (living nearby), try to come back out of season, let's say somewhere between october and march, when thick snow covers the tops and slopes.
Than have an espresso between the palmtrees at the seaside of Makarska, look up to those snowtopped summits, get going and finish your day with a grilled fish or a pizza when the sun goes down over the Adriatic.
Have a great time in Dalmatia/Dalmacija, and discover it's hiding many treasures.
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