Off into nature: How to climb Sveti Jure from Milici and how are the lakes at Imotski
August 13, 2020
Well, here I am sitting pretty exhausted at my really great campsite at the Biokovo National Park.
But before I come back to why I’m sitting here, I jump back another two days. So that I have more or less a passing blogstory here. I left the island of Ugljan and went on through the Croatian landscapes towards the south.
In Omis I made another short stop at the beach to wish my friends from Bonn a nice journey home and of course I jumped into the beautiful Adriatic Sea to cool down. From there I went on to Camping Biokovo. On the drive to this place you could once again see the incredible beauty of Croatia. Hardly away from the sea, I went through great mountains, past gorges to the campsite. It is also fascinating how people who live here (Croats) are so enthusiastic about the landscape that they get out of the car at many spots and take pictures. I doubt that these are all rental cars haha. On the way I also passed a fully loaded cyclist. Impressed by the scenery and in a good mood, I almost wanted to honk the horn to pay my respects while climbing the mountains! And then I arrived at the camping site as the only guest. I chose the campsite because I was impressed by its website and from here I wanted to go to the second highest mountain, Sveti Jure.
I was nicely received and after I had chosen a place to stay I was offered a homemade raki. Nice thing! After I checked if my counterpart was already blind… which he wasn’t… I received the Raki beaming with joy.
And this Campside I would like to recommend to everyone here:
https://www.campingbiokovo.hr (by the way also great Facebook and Instagram-page) the campsite is incredibly cheap, clean and only opened a few years ago. Everything is still as new. I pay e.g. 11,50€ per night and that includes almost everything (electricity, shower, water). There are enough trees for hammocks and you can even use the kitchen and fridge. Up to now the most beautiful and sympathetic campground I have met on my trip.
After a short chat it was explained to me that you can climb Sveti Jure. Sveti Jure is the second highest mountain in Croatia with 1762 meters. From here you can also go to Imotski (about 20 minutes away by car) and there are two very nice lakes, where you can swim in one of them. I thought it will be perfect, because I am well prepared for the next two days. And then a second camping guest arrived. And it was indeed one of the few people I noticed on the trip, the cyclist. It turned out that his name is Emiel, only 13 years younger than I was haha and he had been on his bike from the Netherlands for about 6 weeks. And this with the destination Montenegro. In any case a very symptomatic and entertaining contemporary. I have to mention him, because he makes the most exciting adventure! Just riding through half of Europe by bike and pitching the tent somewhere, great!
The next day we went to Imotski together. That’s one of the reasons why I can now shine with a picture where I’m on it next to a landscape, yay! Around Imotski there is the Blue and Red Lake. In Blue Lake you have the possibility to swim and walk up to the fortress. The Red Lake has an amazing panorama, which is unfortunately incredibly hard for the camera to catch. Within an hour you can walk around Red Lake and look into the crater to the lake.
Before I get to the actual Highlite, I would like to mention that I used the afternoon to provide you with all blog entries in German as well as English haha. Especially for my parents it was a bit too much effort to use the online translator. I promise you that I can now provide the entries in two languages on an absolutely equal level (whether high or low we leave open). And if you liked my English… please read on in English!
After I said ciao to Emiel this morning, I started the real adventure… climbing the Sveti Jure! Yes exactly, some of you might associate something else with the name. But sorry, for the name of the mountain I can’t do anything! At the reception I was recommended to start walking really early in the morning, because the heat should be oppressive. The ascent should take about four hours (who knows me: every hike is also a little sportive challenge and I have to make it earlier). However, they couldn’t really tell me how well the trail is signposted, as they haven’t walked the trail themselves yet. Also on Google Maps the starting point was really difficult to find. So for those of you who want to make the trail… please download the App ViewRanger. Great app to find hiking routes. On this app you can easily find the starting point. The place is called Milici. The place is difficult to find. But from there it is incredibly well signposted. At the camping site I was recommended to start at 6-7 o’clock. I started around 9:30…
Well, what can I say… it was so hot! I had to climb 1,250 altitude meters in total. I was thinking “oooooh man!” the whole time on the way up. It has to be said that you can do all the fun by car even over serpentines from the other side of the mountain. But of course I didn’t want that. During the hike, not a single person came towards me, nor did I see anybody walking the hiking trail at all. The only thing that kept my motivation high was the great view on the top over Croatia to the sea and on the other side to Bosnia and Herzegovina; and of course the personal challenge… Yes you Can! I also thought that the way back would be incredibly much more pleasant. After three hours and some drinking breaks I finally reached the top. And I can tell you, I arrived absolutely euphoric and most of all totally exhausted!
Well, and then I was on my way back. Fortunately the sign showed only 2.5 hours for the way back. Unfortunately a steep descent is probably not the right thing for me. During the ascent I was really looking forward to the descent… but I think this joy was for nothing. To get rid of my suffering here, I would like to mention that my hiking boots are probably one size too small. In any case, I always hit the shoe with full force with my toes against the front of the shoe during the descent. After lamenting my new blister on my foot on the way back, I couldn’t wait to reach my car and escape this harsh sun and the hike. I had 3 liters of water with me and half way back they were all gone. So you can imagine how happy I was when I had finished this really hard hike, despite all my euphoria.
When I arrived at my campsite, beaming with joy and completely exhausted from the hike, I was first questioned by the reception and above all, I was welcomed with great cheers, as if very few people do this hike. As a reward I had to drink, yes… a homemade Raki again. “First you well get a Raki” Yes… well, you can’t refuse presents. And now I’m sitting here, totally surprised that I could write so much and I hope I didn’t lose too many readers with this long entry. So short and sweet… I am doing great and I am looking forward to more! And tomorrow I’m going through Bosnia and Herzegovina towards Dubrovnik. But maybe also a little bit further. Lets see