Located in the hinterland of the Split-Dalmatia County, behind the mighty mountain Biokovo, is the town of Imotski, a charming and somewhat undiscovered pearl of Croatian tourism. Conquered by the Turks in 1493 and liberated in 1717. it is nowadays best know for the Biokovo Nature Park and the geomorphological phenomena of the Red and Blue Lakes.
The Imotski area is adorned with many other beautiful sites of nature, and the town itself is worth exploring, since its old center dates back to the 10th century. If you are spending an extended weekend in this area, we have prepared a three-day guide which includes visits to its best and most beautiful locations.
1. Day 1 - The town of Imotski
This charming town deserves to be more than just a starting point for the exploration of its countryside. In addition to the historical heritage, its most famous site of natural beauty is the Blue Lake. After taking a refreshing swim there, you’ll be able to stop in the pastry shop on its shore and try the famous Imotski cake.
1.1. Morning - A walk through Imotski
The old town of Imotski is a great place for a walk; it is full of the Mediterranean charm characteristic of all old towns in Dalmatia. This part of the city was built of carved stone and dates back to the tenth century.
There are a number of historical sites in Imotski. We have selected a few to get you going in the right direction.
1.1.1. The Imotski Heritage Museum
This museum houses as many as ten collections, both archaeological and ethnographic, that contain artefacts from all of the historical periods since the prehistoric times.
Particularly interesting are the cultural and historical collections, one of which is dedicated to life in Imotski and the surrounding villages.
1.1.2. The Church of Saint Francis and the Franciscan monastery
This neo-Romanic church is the parish church of Imotski region. It has five altars, one of which was made of white stone, and one dedicated to St. Francis.
1.1.3. The Imotski staircase
This staircase, built in the 18th century, is adorned by the statue of Tin Ujević, one of the best Croatian poets, and connects the old town with the newer parts of the city.
1.1.4. The Topana Fort
If you continue your walk in the direction of the Blue Lake you should definitely visit the Topana Fort. Its irregular shape was dictated by the irregular shape of the rock it was built on.
1.1.5. The Church of Our Lady of Angels
Also known as the Church of St. Mary, this church is dedicated to Our Lady of Angels, the patron saint of the town of Imotski. Her holiday is celebrated on August 2, and this is the date when, in 1717. the town of Imotski was liberated from the Turks. It is located right next to the Topana Fortress.
1.2. Afternoon - a visit to the Imotski Lakes
1.2.1. The Blue Lake
Now that you’ve arrived at Blue Lake make the best of it with a swim. The lake gets its name from the intense blue shade of its water, which will make swimming a very special experience. The water level here varies: sometimes the lake is up to ninety meters deep, and sometimes it dries up.
1.2.2. The Red Lake
A visit to the lakes is not complete without a visit to the Red Lake. You will not be able to swim here, but you will none the less be very impressed at the sight of this hydro-morphological phenomenon. The bottom of the lake is under sea level and surrounded by massive reddish rocks.
1.2.3. Confectionery shop Šimitrija
After your city walk and a swim in the Blue Lake, you might want to take a little break. We suggest you do this in the confectionery shop located on the shore of the Blue Lake. We recommend you sweeten you day with a slice of the famous Imotski cake, the same one that the Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph I. enjoyed during his stay in Imotski in 1875.
1.3. Evening in Imotski
We suggest you spend the evening in town, over drinks and dinner, and relax and have fun after an all-day adventure.
1.3.1. Dinner at the Euphoria Restaurant
In a cozy atmosphere accompanied by a discreet musical backdrop, you’ll be able to arrange your dinner from both the Mediterranean and the European menu. In addition to the fish and meat dishes, you’ll find a pretty good offer of pasta with various sauces. The restaurant hosts live band shows, too, so you’ll be able to enjoy live music over your dinner.
1.3.2. Wine & beer bar NU
After dinner, we suggest you have a drink at the wine & beer bar NU. This place has a lovely stone courtyard, hidden from direct view and filled with Mediterranean plants and flowers, all creating a pleasant, intimate atmosphere.
2. Dan 2 - cycling in the Imotski countryside
Cycling is a great way to explore the Imotski countryside and enjoy its natural beauty. We have selected several of the nine trails you can take your bike to. So, pack up for a day in nature and start exploring the Imotski region.
2.1. The Blue Lake - Red Lake trail
Imotski-Gornji Proložac-Glavina Donja-Imotski
This trail takes you from the town of Imotski and back, and leads you down the path that passes over both of these lakes.
2.1.1. The Red Lake
The macadam road turns into an asphalt road right above the Red Lake.
2.1.2. The Badnjevice Canyon
After you’ve passed the Red Lake, the macadam road takes you down a slightly more demanding route, all the way to the canyon.
2.1.3. The Church of our Lady of Angels
You’ll pass this important church on your way back to Imotski.
The trail is 24.2 km long, it will take you about two hours to complete it (depending on your speed and the stops you make a little more than that), and you’ll be climbing to the altitude of 580 meters.
2.2. The Vrljika trail
Proložac Donji-Perinuša-Kamen most-Zmijavci- Glavina Donja - Perinuša - Proložac Donji
2.2.1. Vrljika River
This route will take you next to the Vrljika River, so you might end up needing more than the scheduled 45 minutes to complete it, since you’re bound to want to make a stop to enjoy the scenery.
You can take a break by the Church of Our Lady of the Angels or Perinuša, a medieval residential complex. After this you’ll continue along the macadam path to the dam in Zmijavci. We recommend that you turn your ride into a little picnic and enjoy lunch in nature.
The trail is 17.3 km long and will take you to the altitude of 276 meters.
2.3. The Blato trail
Zelena Katedrala-Proložac Donji-Prološko Balato-Čujića Luka - Šumet - Lug - Perinuša
2.3.1. Prološko Blato (The Prolog Mod)
This trail leads to Prološko Blato, significant landscape in the Geopark Biokovo - Imotski Lakes.
The macadam path will also take you past fields and several small hamlets, all the way to the medieval Perniuša.
2.3.3. The Green Cathedral
Once you’ve completed your route, don’t miss to have a walk through the Green Cathedral.
The length of this trail is 23.6 km, and it will take you about an hour to complete it. You’ll be climbing to the height of 313 meters.
2.4. Lovrećki Stećci trail
Lokvičići-Šumet-Perinuša-Glavina Donja-Donji Proložac-Postranje-Dolića Draga-Nikolići-Gornji Bekavci-Kavelji-Lokvičići
2.4.1. Prološko Blato (The Prolog Mud)
This trail will take you to Prološko Blato, and a small necropolis Mramori, consisting of several headstone monuments known as ‘stećci’, specific to this area of Dalmatian coast.
2.4.2. The Badnjevica Canyon
On the way back, the trail will take you past the Badnjevica canyon, where you can stop and have a swim on its side known as Proložana.
2.4.3. The Blue Lake
The trail also takes you past the Red and the Blue Lakes, and you can have a swim at the latter.
It should be noted that this trail goes along the asphalt road that connects to the state road D60 next to the village Nikolići.
It is 34.8 km long, takes you to the altitude of 716 meters, and you can complete it within three and a half hours.
3. Day 3 - a visit to the Biokovo - Imotski Lakes Geopark
We suggest you spend a day in the Biokovo-Imotski Lakes Geopark. This area is rich in flora and fauna and their various habitats, is geologically diverse, and has a number of historical sites. It is one of the three UNESCO geoparks in Croatia.
3.1. Nature park Biokovo
An integral part of the Geopark is the Biokovo Nature Park, an area of special geomorphological and biological diversity. It is covered with fir and black Dalmatian pine forests, and home to numerous endemic species.
3.1.1. The peak of Saint George
The highest peak of Biokovo is Saint George (Sveti Jure). In addition to hiking trails, you can reach it by a 23 km long paved road.
3.1.2. The botanical garden Kotišina
This garden is located above the village of Kotišina and belongs to the Biokovo Nature Park. It is extremely interesting because it was not planted systematically, but acts as a fenced piece of nature where plants grow wild.
3.1.3. The Veliki Kaštel Fort in Kotišina
This 17th century fortress is part of the park's cultural heritage. The rocks next to it are integrated into its structure and surrounded by walls.
3.1.4. Skywalk Biokovo
This skywalk is located in the south-western part of the park, perched at the top of a cliff, at over one thousand and two hundred meters above sea level. It was built in the shape of a horseshoe, and its bottom is glazed, so you can be sure that the view from this place will be phenomenal. All the while you will feel like you’re watching the Makarska region while standing among clouds.
3.1.5. Tavern Vrata Biokova
While walking on Biokovo, you might start to feel a bit peckish, so when you’re ready for lunch, we suggest that you let the paths take you to the tavern Vrata Biokova. It is located near the Skywalk, and in addition to an excellent menu and excellent white house wine, you can also buy wine and olive oil made by local producers.
3.2. Paragliding on Biokovo
Mountain Biokovo is ideal for paragliding, so if you happen to be an experienced paraglider don’t miss out on the opportunity to sail above its impressive mountain sides.
There are two take-off sites located on the monutain: Pržinovac and Miletin Bor, and the landing site is located in Makarska, on the location Rt Ramova.
Descending from the cliffs of this mighty mountain will give you an incredible feeling of freedom and excitement. To take flight from Biokovo you have to have previous experience in paragliding. Upon arrival at the Biokovo Nature Park, you will register in the paragliding record book, and you will receive all the necessary information about the locations of the take-off and landing sites from the paragliding operator.
3.3. The Badnjevice Canoyn
If you haven’t yet visited this hidden beauty of the Imotski region, we suggest that you take a walk along the Badnjevica canyon on your way back from the park.
3.3.1. Tvrđava Badnjevice
The canyon has its own fort, perched on top of its cliffs like a crown of stone.