“I hadn’t heard too much about the Biokovo Mountains before I went on holiday to Croatia, so I didn’t know what to expect. Most of the iconic images of Croatia are of the blue sea and the attractive coastline, so you don’t tend to pay so much attention to the mountains in the background. That’s one reason I’m pleased we run the optional excursion up into the Biokovo Mountains – just because Croatia has so much to offer beyond the pretty beaches that everyone is used to seeing. It’s really hard to choose, but I think I’m safe in saying it was my favourite part of the trip.
At over 1,700 metres, the mountains are a lot higher than you think they are when you’re looking up from the bottom. And what I really noticed was how, as you climb, it feels like you’re travelling through the seasons. At the foot, the weather was warm, and the trees were all alpine, so everywhere was green. The higher you climb, the colder it gets, and the trees become beech and maple; they look more like our trees, and the leaves were brown, gold, red. I felt like I was literally going from summer to autumn in the space of a few hours.
On the way up you pass through ancient villages and settlements, and we stopped at a couple to explore and get a feel for the place. It’s fascinating to see the old stone buildings – a lot are still standing and as you wander past them, you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.
I found the wildlife up there really entertaining – there are wild ponies roaming across the rocky landscapes, and with the help of the guide, we were lucky enough to spot the rare European Antelope – they’re very shy, so it was really nice to catch a glimpse.
I only spent a few hours up there, but I would love to go back and really spend time exploring. There are so many intriguing paths to follow that it’s a paradise for walkers, and of course you’ve got fabulous views of Makarska, the deep blue Adriatic and the island of Brac beyond at almost every turn.”
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