Updated: Apr 14
If the road takes you to a small village of Kotišina above Makarska, you'll be amazed. On a very small area, at the very foot of mountain Biokovo, you'll find many interesting sights. You can park your car at the village Kotisina and just follow the signs to the botanic garden. Be aware that the path is rather steep, you will definitely need sturdy shoes.
First of all, and probably most interesting, there's a great fort. The fort is unique in the way that it's literally build into the mountain. Back in 17th century, during the Cretan war (also known as War of Candia), the Venetian Republic that ruled the area was very much interested in defeating the then-Ottoman Empire. To that purpose, they started building forts across Dalmatia, and the one in Kotišina had a great strategic importance. The Kotišina fortress was designed as a defending fortress, used to defend the villagers against the Turks, build in 17th century. This castle was used to protect the people in a case of emergency, not only the locals of Kotišina, but also the inhabitants of Biokovo and Makarska. The Dalmatian battle front was a separate theater of operations, which was involved in the early phase of the war. Kotisina fortress was built in a rock with a deeply hollowed cave used even earlier, in the Bronze Age.
This is not surprising if we know that archaeological finds provide proof of continuous human settlement in Makarska area going back as far as 6000 BC.
Notice the stone channels over the windows that were used to pour boiling oil on their enemies.
Using the naturally occurring caves of Biokovo mountain, they built walls and formed a proper five-story fort. The fort was used to protect the area and served its purpose. Later on, it was left to decay throughout the centuries, only to be completely reconstructed over the last couple of years. Makarska has recognized the value of cultural heritage as an outstanding potential for the development of selective types of tourism, so the Kotišina fortress was renovated and offered as one of the Makarska's most important cultural places.
Wondering how to get there? Here's a map you can use for driving directions, but make sure to park your car correctly because of the narrow roads. Also, you can use our mobile app to get directions and more info about this spectacular sightseeing. Android and iOS smartphones are supported.
The reconstruction is now nearly done an the fort will soon be opened for public in all its glory. There will be a presentation center, a multimedia exhibition of local traditions and ethnology, and a presentation of local natural riches - plants and wildlife.
After visiting the presentation center, make sure to stroll through the Botanical garden.
It's not your typical botanical garden, with every plant and flower perfectly lined up, but it's more like a small version of Biokovo area - showing all the plants and trees that are naturally occurring in the area, and growing freely throughout the Nature Park Biokovo. An amazingly huge number of plants can be found here, and the place will definitely leave you wanting for more. On the surface of the garden there are approximately 300 wild plant species, typical of the Mediterranean, and in some areas exotic, agricultural and medicinal herbs are planted. To experience the Kotišina at its best, we suggest to go on foot. Our favorite walking trail is the Podpec - Kotišina one. Check it here.
Every nature lover and athlete especially, should visit our activities section for great walking and biking trails.
This fortress is hidden in rocks and it's not visible from every angle. Here's a video footage, play it to to get the impression and experience its special location. For more videos, check out our youtube channel and our videos section.
Also, we suggest you to browse our accommodation section and our food guide for helpful advisories on where to sleep and what to eat in the Makarska Riviera. Also, it would be a shame not to visit other important top sights and activities you can enjoy while staying in the Makarska Riviera, so make sure to check those underlined links.
Be aware that wandering around the Biokovo area is not suitable for flip-flops, but for proper walking/hiking shoes. Don't forget to bring water, and sunblock, especially in the summer months. Along the trail, there is also a spot for cyclists, hikers and others, where you can lay down and relax a bit, or take cover in a sudden summer rain. Walking trails around Kotišina are pretty easy and does not require strong physical condition, but please be careful and respect the power of nature which can be pretty unpredictable. Other, more serious Biokovo hiking trails are more difficult and require special equipment and knowledge. Do not go there by yourself, this is a serious mountain!
Just in case, download it to make sure to have them at your fingertips. Pharmacies, fire departments, health centers and police stations are listed, as well as the post offices in the area of Makarska Riviera. Remember, 112 is the number for emergency calls. #walkingtrail #kotisina #culture #homelandofsummer #fortress #makarska