July 25, 2013

what to do on Biokovo Mountain

Have a bath !

Of course there are plenty other options to enjoy the rough, pure, wild nature of Biokovo Nature Park.

Driving up into the park is a peace of cake (after paying the decent entrance fee of 40 kuna p.p.).
Yes there is a road, a good one too, going all the way up to the very summit at almost 1800 meters.
(But, the higher you drive, the less space there is, so think before you try, as it is not a highway :-).

The first section goes through shady pine tree woods, with already many places that are fit for a picknick.
Further up the road, still easy when having to pass an other car, you leave the wood, and in a couple of kilometers, you'll have a magnificent view at the world deep down.
All islands, all towns, all beaches, and all them boats drawing white lines in the blue of the Adriatic.

Up you go again, till you reach the first restaurant, so if thirsty, stop here for a drink.
(If thinking water is all around on Biokovo, forget it, there ain't).

After this place you enter what I prefer most on Biokovo, the harsh, rocky middle section.
Everywhere you can discover old forgotten stone houses, or what's left of them after people went to live an easier life at the coast.

Forget that car for a while, get out, and get hiking, as than you'll discover what makes Biokovo so special.
All around you'll find plants, flowers, herbs, some of them even extremely rare, so look but don't pick.
Depending on the season you might find some berries or cherries, not many, but picking some just to taste what nature tastes like won't hurt nor give any problem.
Picking or gathering to take home however is strictly forbidden and punished with a heavy penalty.

Ok, higher you want so higher you go.
Here the road becomes a bit "oh dear", with hardly any space to pass other cars.
"If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen" is the best tip I can give you before you regret you even tried to drive that section.

Already at about 1400 meters high, there are so many options to go for a truly wonderful hike.
Before you do, get yourself the detailed hiking map of the park, available in various bookstores.
Without a map you can still go for a hike, as the main paths are well marked, so just follow the signs.
Again, there ain't any water so take some with you, and wear proper shoes as the terrain is rough.

An interesting track on the right when driving up (you'll see the sign), is the geological path.
After a couple of steps you'll see a variety of stone structures, tilted or horizontal, that give you a good idea of how the mountain was formed millions of years ago.

Still wanting to go all the way up to Sveti Jure, the very summit, you'll have to be a good driver, as the road now becomes very narrow, with breathtaking slopes.
Still I think you don't have to go all the way up, like them many bicycle fanatics do (great performance guys, but I think you're nuts, sweating, pushing, fighting, "dying" for the sake of what ?).
Guess I am getting old, but I prefer my car and even more my feet.

All right, you are stubborn, so you drive on till you reach the top.
True, the view again is stunning, temperature as expected much lower than deep down at the coast, but where the f#ck will you park your car on such a small top.

Take five, take ten if you want, take some pictures, enjoy the view far into Bosnia, and than drive down again, to let's say between 1000 and 1400 meters.
If thirsty you can have a drink at the second cafe (on your right when driving down).

Did I forget something ?

As not only a very good map is available, but also there is a splendid book on everything that makes Biokovo Biokovo.
Unfortunately it's in Croatian, but a good English field guide on flora and fauna of the Mediterranean will do the job almost as well.
Also the website of "pp biokovo" ( park prirode/ nature park) gives a lot of information.
(To lazy to add a link, so do some googling, you can't miss).

Whenever you can, lucky you if not only in summer, this is a truly magnificent peace of Dalmacija.
My favorite season still is winter, second best is spring, but yes, I am more than lucky, as I live here.

Now can someone give a towel, please.......
as I want to get out of that bathtub. 

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