Your time in Makarska Riviera, besides other things, gives You an opportunity to visit an area of intact nature, which You should definitely not miss. Let Your accommodation in Makarska, Baška Voda or Promajna be an opportunity to experience beautiful views, fresh mountain air and to meet genuine herbal and animal world of the NATURE PARK BIOKOVO.
Biokovo Nature Park is one of 11 nature parks in Croatia. It includes the mountain massif Biokovo. The park includes regions Brela, Baška Voda, Tučepi, Podgora, Zagvozd, Šestanovac and Zadvarje.
The highest point of the park is st. Jure. It’s 1762 meters tall, which is the 3rd highest point in Croatia.
Within the park there is a botanical garden “Kotišina”, which was found by dr. fra Jure Radić, and the walls of the great “Kaštel”.
Nature park is a target of many tourists during the year (50.000) thanks to it’s gorgeous landscapes and sights. It is also popular with mountain climbers, speleologists, cyclists and all nature lovers.
On Biokovo there are plants that adjusted to slopy, rocky and craggy terrain. It’s a home to many endangered species, such as:
– drypis spinosa,
– moltkia petraea
– salvia officinalis,
– lilium martagon
– campanula portenschlagiana
– edraianthus pumilio
– various pines (Dalmatian black pine, Aleppo pine)
Although at first, the mountain seems bare and lifeless, there are numerous life forms to be found. There are 87 types of beetles and over 220 types of butterflies, one of them being the endemic Dalmatian eye.
A large number of endems can be found in the underground fauna. So far, it has been found that in caves and pits there are over 120 cave animals, half of them endemic. Some of the 25 species found only on Biokovo are relics (living fossils). Biokovo is one of the endemism centers in Croatia.
It has no permanent lakes, but there are gorundwater and karst springs present. Area is known for it’s snakes. The most recognizable, and the most dangerous one is the horned viper. If bitten, do not panic and contact the local paramedics and you will be fine.
Some of the rare and endangered species of birds are nestled in the area of the mountain. The golden eagle is strictly protected under the Bern Convention. Often you can see the common rabbit and the balkan chamois. If lucky, you can even see the grey wolf.
The Botanical Garden Kotišina is located above the village Kotišina. It stretches at an altitude of 350 – 500 meters. It stretches to 16.5 ha and is not decorated in the classical sense of the botanic garden. Within the garden, a total of 300 self-propagated plants can be found, mostly Mediterranean and mountainous. Several paths run through the garden, and some plants are labeled. Near the garden there are walls of the great “Kaštel”, a fortress from the 17th century.
The most popular tourist destinations are the Vošac and Saint Jure peaks. From the entrance to the park, to the top of st. Jura, there is a 23 kilometer long “Biokovo Road”. Entrance to the park is located on State Road D512 (Makarska – Vrgorac).
At the top of Vošac, from Štrbina viewpoint you can find a breathtaking sight of numerous islands and a large part of the Makarska Riviera. From st. Jure, you can see 3 different countries. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Italy (after the rain).