Great views, exciting and challenging route, fabulous landscapes and the sea. The sea on the horizon, sea of mountains and sea of clouds gliding lazily beneath us. Tourists delighted, contemplating the place they have just reached. And it was not so easy to get there, because no matter if it is by a motorcycle, car or scooter, everyone drives up with joy in the heart and fear at the same time. This is how we remember the Croatian way to the top of Sveti Jure in September, 2013.
We left Dubrovnik behind and went by the Adriatic Highway. The road along the coast was scenic, but the ride itself got quite monotonous, we started to miss the adventures from Montenegro and its hilly roads. All the unforgettable experiences from Durmitor, the Lovcen National Park and the road to Kotor were still fuelling my hunger for more excitements. So when we were sunbathing in Makarska, our eyes focused on the Biokovo massif. On the map we found the mountain of St George (Sveti Jure), situated at 1762 m above sea level and road that leads to it. The higher, the more interesting it gets – usually this thought guides us. And this time it was also sufficient to make us take the new course without hesitation. It was the right decision. The road exceeded our expectations and this day become one of the most memorable ones on our trip through the Balkans.
After paying 50 kuna per person for the entry to the Nature Park Biokovo we started the adventure on one of the best motorcycle routes in Europe and the highest one in Croatia.
The road was quiet and easy at the beginning. Several switchbacks brought us through the forest, and the further we went, the more beautiful landscape appeared to us. The road was narrow, two cars could not fit in next to each other. Every few hundred meters there were places designed for overtaking. Even us on a motorcycle, but with large side trunks, often had to pull over to let the vehicles from the opposite direction pass by safely.
Every few kilometres, at different heights, there were observation points of the beautiful panorama of the Makarska Riviera.
The most interesting part of the journey was the last driveway with sharp and narrow switchbacks. It was hard to see if some car was coming from the opposite direction. I admired Martyna, who together with Marcin, on their Honda Africa were experiencing their first season on a motorcycle. Martyna is very afraid of sharp turns and precipices, but bravely bear up against them throughout the trip. Not even knowing at that time that she was going through one of the most dangerous motorcycle routes in Europe.
At the peak we got to the parking space, which was almost empty. After a while some tourists appeared. The most interesting group of incomers turned out to be the scooter drivers, for whom it was a true challenge to climb up here by their 50 cc vehicles. Smily and cheerful, they parked their colourful ponies and infected us with laughter and positive energy.
The views at the top were inspirational. The slowly waving clouds and dancing birds among them created a spectacular sky performance. Atop the peak there is a chapel of St. George from approx. 1646, from which the name of the mountain comes from. In the past it was located a little bit higher, but nowadays at the place there is a big television transmitter set.
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Info about the route:
|Start / finish||Podgora – Sveti Jure|
|Surface||Good quality asphalt|
|Hazards||Abysses with no security or low safety barriers, dangerous blind bends, narrow road, very sharp turns, rocks falling on the road|
|Attractions on the way||View of the Makarska Riviera, wild grazing horses, flora and fauna of the Biokovo Nature Park, Chapel of St. George built in about 1646|
|Max altitude||1762 m a.s.l.|
On the official website of the Park Biokovo you can see the current attractions along the way and price list for admission.