The Biokovo Nature Park is an absolute must-visit when traveling through southern Croatia. You’ll be amazed by the plethora of exciting activities you can indulge in amidst the stunning surroundings. Here’s all the essential information you should know before embarking on an unforgettable adventure in Biokovo Nature Park.
About Biokovo Nature Park
During the 19th century, the coastal towns of Makarska and Baska Voda flourished as transportation routes were established in the Biokovo region. Today, the Biokovo Nature Park and the stunning Makarska Riviera that stretches along its coastline have become highly sought-after vacation spots in Dalmatia. This enchanting area seamlessly blends the contrasting elements of majestic mountains and pristine sea, offering visitors unforgettable experiences. Whether you choose to bask in the beauty of the Riviera’s idyllic beaches or explore the unspoiled nature of the Biokovo Mountains, this destination promises an exceptional journey.
Located in the captivating Dalmatia region, the Biokovo Nature Park encompasses a significant portion of the striking Biokovo mountain range. Designated as a nature park in 1981, it spans an expansive area of 196 km², encompassing a 30 km stretch of the Biokovo mountains. Within this vast expanse, you’ll encounter a multitude of mesmerizing karst phenomena, including sinkholes, grottos, caves, ice pits, and hollows. Among these geological wonders, the Amfora Cave stands out, boasting a remarkable depth of 788 meters and ranking among Croatia’s deepest caves.
The Biokovo Nature Park showcases a remarkable diversity of vegetation. Along the coastal side, towering barren rock faces dominate the landscape, with minimal vegetation. However, as you venture further into the park’s lush green valleys, you’ll encounter densely forested areas teeming with life. Beech, fir, and black pine trees flourish in these verdant regions, adding to the park’s natural beauty. In addition to its rich plant life, the nature park provides a haven for numerous animal species. It is home to seven protected amphibian species, twenty-one reptile species, over one hundred bird species, and thirteen protected bat species, creating a thriving ecosystem worth exploring.
Getting to the Nature Park
The Biokovo Nature Park features a single main entrance situated in Staza, specifically at the sixth kilometer of road 512, which connects Makarska to Vrgorac. Access to the park is permitted for pedestrians, cars, vans, motorcycles, scooters, and bicycles. However, please note that buses are not allowed entry. While tickets can be purchased on-site, we recommend obtaining them in advance through the official website for convenience.
Upon arrival, feel free to approach the park staff for any additional information you may require. They can provide you with maps, offer special instructions, or address any specific queries you might have. The initial part of the road leading into the park is a typical two-way route, and driving along it should pose no difficulties.
How to explore the Biokovo Nature Park
Driving up the Sveti Jure mountain
The most popular way to explore the Biokovo Nature Park is by car, as it provides convenient access to the park’s highlights. With a 23-kilometer road leading to the summit, attempting to cover this distance on foot is not recommended. However, it’s important to note that the Biokovo Road is a single-lane route, requiring good driving skills, especially when passing other vehicles or encountering wild horses. It is crucial to ensure that your car is in optimal condition before embarking on the journey. Given the predominantly uphill terrain, you can expect to utilize the first and second gears for a significant portion of the drive. It is worth mentioning that there are sections where the asphalt may be cracked, making it unsuitable for vehicles with lowered suspension. Overall, the drive to the highest peak typically takes around one hour, but travel time may vary depending on traffic conditions, particularly if there are vehicles descending along the same route.
Important information to keep in mind: Entry into the Biokovo Nature Park by car is organized in groups, with park rangers allowing access every hour. It is advisable to plan your trip in advance to ensure a smooth experience. The park operates daily from 6 am to 8 pm, offering ample time for exploration. However, please note that during the winter months, the Skywalk is closed to visitors. If you wish to enjoy a breathtaking sunset from the summit of Mount Sveti Jure, it is recommended to take advantage of the last entry to the park, which occurs at 7 pm. This way, you can fully savor the panoramic view during this magical time of day.
In either case, feel free to check the updated information on working hours on Biokovo park’s official page.
Going on a Hiking trip
As you traverse Biokovo Road, you’ll come across various educational walking trails worth exploring. If time permits, we highly recommend visiting these trails too. It’s advisable to wear sneakers or sturdy shoes rather than flip-flops, as this will provide you with greater comfort and support while walking alongside the mountain. So be sure to come prepared and enjoy the experience to the fullest.
Visitors to the Biokovo Nature Park have the freedom to select a hiking tour that aligns with their physical abilities and personal preferences. There is a range of options available, including easy, moderate, and challenging hiking routes. In addition, there are also walking tours that incorporate organized transportation for added convenience.a
One notable hiking route is the longest trail, which begins in Makarska and leads all the way to Sveti Jure, the highest peak of Biokovo. This particular journey typically spans around 7 hours, providing an immersive experience for avid hikers. For comprehensive information on all the picturesque hiking routes, we recommend visiting the official website of the park, where you can gather detailed insights and plan your adventure accordingly.
There is also a mountain-tourist map that can be purchased at a cost of 45 kn at the park entrance reception or at the official tourist info center in Makarska.
One of the most renowned attractions within the Biokovo Nature Park is the Skywalk, situated at the 13th kilometer of Biokovo Road. For certain visitors, reaching the Skywalk marks the culmination of their visit, while others continue their journey to the mountain’s summit. By car, it takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the Skywalk from the park’s entrance. Whether you choose to conclude your exploration at the Skywalk or proceed further to the mountain top, this iconic feature offers a remarkable experience within a short distance from the park’s entrance.
Situated in the Ravna Vlaška area, the Skywalk resides at an elevation of 1228 meters, conveniently adjacent to the info center located at the 13th kilometer of the Biokovo Road. In addition to the stunning panoramic view it offers, the viewpoint also features a geological column. This column provides a 3D representation of the rock layers that comprise Mount Biokovo, showcasing its geological history from its formation to the present. Accompanying the display is a comprehensive geological time chart and descriptions of the various rock types and their ages. Furthermore, the viewpoint area provides convenient amenities such as parking facilities and restrooms, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable visit for all.
If you want to learn more about our trips down the Croatian coast feel free to visit a dedicated category on our blog. There are also blog posts from other Balkan countries like Albania, Montenegro, or Bosnia and Herzegovina.