Walking trail: Old Brela
Updated: Jun 9
Distance: 4 km
Time: 3 hours
There's nothing better than spending a sunny Sunday hiking across Biokovo. We didn't even go far from Makarska, only to Old Brela village. This just goes to prove that Makarska Riviera has a diversity unlike any other region in Croatia. While most people were drinking coffee and doing their first swimming laps around the beaches, we ended up in the mountain. And it was a day well spent!
Assuming you're staying in Makarska, you'll have to drive for 20(+) minutes to get to your starting point in Upper Brela. On your way there, you'll go through Dubci and Vruja area, a spectacular viewpoint above the Adriatic. The legend says this is the place where the original old Croatian tribes first saw the sea, after travelling across Europe. Exhausted by years of travel, taken by the view, and amazed by its beauty, they started yelling: "More, more!" - meaning "The sea, the sea!" To this day, it is customary to count down when coming from the Dalmatian hinterland to this place, and (when the view opens up in front of you) to yell "More, moreeee!" Kids especially enjoy this little ritual.
After you cross the natural mountain saddle of Dubci, you will be in Dalmatian hinterland. The road will lead you up straight for a few more seconds, and you will spot a sign on the side of the road: Biokovo Nature Park. Take a right turn here, and drive a bit more. The asphalt stops, and you will go through the ramp. Find a place to park, and make sure you've left enough room for a fire truck to pass you by - you've reached your starting point!
The walk is enjoyable - the trail is one of those amazing fire-prevention trails, and it is wide and sturdy. This trail is perfect for dog walks and outdoor time with children. Make sure you go early in the morning, as it can get very hot.
After approximately of half an hour of easy walking, you will reach a crossroads. Sign points towards the church of St Nicholas, and mountain house Bukovac. Take a left turn to the church. The path continues through a divine-smelling pine tree forest. Soon enough, you will reach another crossroads - take a left turn again, towards St Nicholas church. The church is considered to be the oldest one in Brela area, predating even the Osman Empire, probably somewhere between 1200 and 1500 AD. It has been fully reconstructed and renovated in 2000. As far as the church goes, you can follow the marked trails and reach it, or stay put and enjoy the time at the small meadows in between the pines and oak trees. We did the latter and we spent a couple of hours just relaxing and getting in touch with ourselves and nature. Oh, and occasional horses, mules, and cows. To find out more about the wonderful Brela area, click here. Don't be confused by the trail's length and duration time: you should always calculate in the time you will spend going from and back to the starting point, plus all the extra time you'll be spending laying down in the grass, eating sandwiches from your backpack and taking photos!
Standard disclaimer: These maps and tours are for information purposes only, and you are to use them with a grain of salt. Make sure you have enough (a lot) of water. Sturdy hiking shoes/boots are must on all trails. Avoid going hiking during high sun, as you can easily get dehydrated and disoriented. If you find yourself in trouble, remember the universal emergency number in Croatia: 112. Starting open fires and leaving garbage is prohibited, as the whole area belongs to Nature Park Biokovo. See their website for more info. Make sure you also bring a smile on your face and a lot of space on your camera, as the nature will provide an abundance of photo ops!