Croatian Nature park Biokovo mountain is a part of a mountain range called Dinaridi. The highest top is Sveti Jure on 1,762 meters above sea level. The mountain divides the coastal belt from the Dalmatinska zagora. Croatian Natural park Biokovo is peculiar because of its karst forms such as grikes, sinkholes, pits and caves.
Flora on Biokovo is accustomed to steep and bare terrains.
Depending on climatic conditions and height, the landscape is covered with an array of different flora, rom mediterranean to mountain. Along with old forests of beech and pine trees, there has been almost 1,500 species of various plants recorded. Among them are even some endemic and relict species (Green-winged orchid, Pyramidal orchid, Narrow-knapweed etc.). There is also a specially protected tree called “Miletin’s pine tree” (Miletin bor). Over 40 endemic species exist in the park one of which is the silvery dwarf harebell and it thrives between 1,400 and 1,700 meters above sea level.
Among the fauna, there many reptiles and birds, but from 30 species that live in the park, it is essential to mention the Hazel dormouse, bats, wild boars, chamois, ibex and the wolf. There is 87 know species of beetles, 221 species of butterflies (69 diurnal and 152 nocturnal). The endangered species of butterflies is the Lycaenidae butterfly and the endemic Dalmatian ringlet. A large number of endemic species can be found in an underground fauna. Around 120 underground organisms live in many caves and pits and half of them are endemic.
Biokovo doesn’t have constant lakes, but it has karst springs and underground waters. Many protected organisms live in them because they are full almost the entire year. One of those animals is the Fire salamander, Smooth newt, Yellow-bellied toad and many others.
The area is known for snakes. Some of them are protected, like the Aesculapian snake, European ratsnake, Four-lined snake. The most famous snake on Biokovo in the Horned viper.
Many rare and endangered birds nest on this mountain (Short-toed snake eagle, Golden eagle and Common kestrel), all protected by the Bern convention.
One of the parts that makes the park is the botanical garden Kotišina, founded by dr. fra Jure Radić. It is located above the village Kotišina between 350 and 500 meters above the sea level. The area is 16,5 ha big and not designed like a classical botanical garden, but rather like a part of the nature where the self-grown flora is preserved. Near the garden there are walls of the Great Kaštel, a fortress from the 17th century.
Canyon Proslap is also a part of the park with its waterfall that bears the same name and grows during rainy seasons.
Croatian Nature park Biokovo is visited every year by almost 5,000 tourist. The significance for tourists is the road Biokovo that leads straight to the top. A couple of restaurants are located along the road and are usually open during tourist season. A branch of roads lead to the top Vošac where vantage point Štrbina is located and from which the entire Makarska and the surrounding islands can be seen.
Croatian Nature park Biokovo is the favourite destination for mountain climbers because of its many paths that are suitable for people without experience in mountain climbing as well as more difficult ones for more experienced climbers. The prize is a beautiful view at the entire archipelago that won’t be soon forgotten.