The Biokovo Nature Park should be definitely on the list of places you need to visit when passing through southern Croatia. You would be surprised how many great activities you can do in this beautiful area. Below you will find all of the information you need to know before heading on a great adventure in the Biokovo Nature Park.
About Biokovo Nature Park
In the 19th century, coastal towns such as Makarska and Baska Voda developed, which gained importance with the construction of transport routes in the Biokovo area. Today, the Biokovo Nature Park and the Makarska Riviera in front of it are among the most popular holiday destinations in all of Dalmatia. The area perfectly combines the opposites of mountains and sea and promises unforgettable experiences. Whether on the beautiful beaches of the Riviera or in the untouched nature of the Biokovo Mountains.
The Biokovo Nature Park extends over a large part of the mountain range of the same name in the Dalmatia region. In fact, it includes a 30 km long part of the Biokovo mountains and was officially declared a nature park in 1981. In an area of 196 km², there are a lot of karst phenomena. For example sinkholes, grottos, caves, ice pits, and hollows. Furthermore, with a depth of 788 m, the Amfora Cave is one of the deepest caves in Croatia.
The vegetation of the park is very varied: while a barren rock face with little vegetation towers up on the coast side, there are densely forested areas in the lush green valleys towards the interior. In particular, beech, fir, and black pine grow there. The nature park is also home to numerous animal species. There are 7 protected amphibian species, 21 reptile species, over 100 bird species, and 13 protected bat species.
Getting to the Nature Park
There is one main entrance to Biokovo Nature Park. It is located in Staza or, more precisely, on the sixth kilometer of road 512 leading from Makarska to Vrgorac. The park can be entered on foot, with cars and vans, motorcycles, scooters, and bicycles. Buses aren’t allowed. Tickets can be also bought there but we recommend getting them on the official website beforehand.
Furthermore, you can ask the park staff for any additional information you are interested in and get a map or special instructions if you need it. Up to this point, the road is the usual two-way, and it is not a problem to drive on it.
How to explore the Biokovo Nature Park
Driving up the Sveti Jure mountain
The most common way of visiting Biokovo Nature Park is by car. Since there is a 23 kilometers long road leading to the very top, we wouldn’t recommend doing it on foot. Be aware that Biokovo Road is a single-line road. Meaning it requires good driving skills when passing other cars (and wild horses). Additionally, make sure that your car is in good service condition. Driving for the most part uphill means that you gonna mostly use the first and second gear. As a matter of fact, be aware that at some point the asphalt is cracked making it not suitable for cars with a lowered suspension. In general, the drive up to the highest peak should take around 1 hour, depending on the traffic coming downwards.
Good to know: the park rangers let cars into the park in groups every hour. Therefore we recommend planning your trip in advice. Park is open every day from 6 am to 8 pm. During winter months, Skywalk is closed to visitors. For a sunset at the top of mountain Sveti Jure, you should take the last entry to the park which is at 7 pm.
In either case, feel free to check the updated information on working hours on Biokovo park’s official page.
Going on a Hiking trip
Along Biokovo Road you will notice several educational walking trails, so if you have time, visit them as well. Wear sneakers over flip-flops. You will feel more comfortable if you plan to walk alongside the mountain.
Visitors can choose a hiking tour based on their physical abilities and according to their wishes. There is a selection of easy, medium, and difficult hiking tours. However, there are also some walking tours that are combined with organized transport. The longest hiking route is starting in Makarska all the way to Sveti Jure, the highest Biokovo peak that takes about 7 hours. if you want to learn about all of the beautiful hiking routes, feel free to visit their official website.
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.
Skywalk, the most famous attraction of the Biokovo Nature Park is located on the 13th kilometer of Biokovo road. For some visitors who don’t want to go any further, this is the ultimate goal of the visit, while others go to the top of the mountain. By car, it takes half an hour to reach Skywalk from the entrance to the park.
It is located in the Ravna Vlaška area, at an elevation of 1228 meters, right next to the info centar at the 13th kilometer of the Biokovo road. At the viewpoint, there is also a geological column providing a 3D overview of the cross-section of the rock that forms Mt. Biokovo, from this formation until today, with a geological time chart and description of the types of rock and their ages. The viewpoint area is also equipped with parking and restroom facilities.*
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.