Croatia has its own Stelvio and its name is Sv. Jure. It is the highest peak on the Biokovo Mountain and is situated above the city of Makarska. Along with Makarska, practically connected to one another are some of the most gorgeous places on the Adriatic coast – Brela, Tučepi, Podgora, Gradac, and many others.
When you look at Biokovo – a mountain range that follows the coastline south of the city of Split – you get a sense of awe and admiration. You realise at once that before you is a natural phenomenon that deserves respect and preparation before conquering it so that you can take full pleasure in its charm.
Conquering Sv. Jure by bike is an exceptional experience. The ascent starts from several directions, with every one beginning at sea level from the centres of coastal towns that captivate you with their warmth and Mediterranean scents. At times, Biokovo’s proximity is in disaccord with the crystal blue sea that crashes into the rocks, pebbles, and breakwaters at the very foot of the mountain.
The road ascends to 35 km at 1762 m above sea level, and is the highest road in Croatia. The view from the top is unimaginably beautiful – on one side you see sinkholes that unveil the biological life of this nature park, and the Imotski Field. To the west, windy weather reveal the contours of the Apennine mountain range. The serpentines leading to the top resemble the Stelvio Pass, especially if you venture to climb this peak from the town of Podgora. The exhilaration of the view from the top is worth all the effort and pain you put into the climb.
The inclines are not extreme, but the length of the climbs themselves are fairly exhausting. If Sv. Jure is too great a challenge for you, you are still in the right place. The road that follows the coast will offer you cycling pleasure worth an hour or so driving by car, a little more southward to the Makarska Riviera. Bike trails are well prepared and marked and will guarantee sheer riding enjoyment on your pre-planned routes.
This part of Dalmatia places special emphasis on the development of cyclotourist offers and so you will encounter a large number of facilities that are adapted to bicycle guests. The nearness of the sea, fishing culture, and symbiotic coexistence of the local inhabitants with the sea guarantees you the utmost culinary enjoyment in Mediterranean cuisine. The interwoven local customs from the region’s continental hinterland bring a novel type of cuisine to your table, filled with authentic flavours and ingredients.