This is toughest approach to Biokovo’s highest peak, which lasts over 6h and is reserved only for experienced mountaineers. It leads through most impressive Biokovo scenery, couloir squeezed in the amphitheater between the cliffs of Sv.Ilija (1642m) and Sibenik (1457m). On the top of the couloir is sharp needle Motika and right of it Motika pass. That is where we are heading.
Starting point for this trail is Bast village (300m) bellow Biokovo. It is reached from the crossroad to Basko Polje; 10km north of Makarska (towards Split), to Bast is 3km. On the junction in front of rock excavating plant turn sharply right. You can park in front of the church in Bast. If you walk from the Adriatic road it is additional 45 minutes. Village is placed on a green terraces just bellow the cliffs of Biokovo, which tower high above.
If you are going to descend from Sveti Jure to Makarska via Veliko Brdo or directly via Makarska route it is better to leave a car there and access Bast by bus from Makarska. You will get off the bus at crossroad above Baska Voda which is addional 45mins to the route.
Another option is to return back to Bast via Sveti Ilija and climb two highest peaks in same trip. On the first day climb Sveti Jure and sleep over at Sveti Jure refuge. On the second day hike to Sveti Ilija and descent back to Bast. This is toughest 2 day combination possible.
Bast – Slobodan Ravlic hut: 4.15h
From the church path gradually ascends some 35 minutes till it reaches Korita source. You can refresh your self here. In the next 20 minutes, over the steep scree slopes, path reaches the junction. We continue straight forward, while left is the way to Sv.Ilija (1642m) via Osicine. High above is our goal, Motika needle, just on the pass (1400m).
Relentless steep ascent over the steep scree slopes doesn’t let down in the next hour. In the next 15 minutes through the pine forest there is another junction towards Sv.Ilija (left). In the next hour it gets even steeper. More scree slopes, than some beech trees and finally bellow the pass cliffs. Path ascends wildly in many sharp bands, cliffs are towering above from all sides, and it gets narrower all the time. Finally you are on the pass, 3h from Bast. Don’t miss to climb Motika needle, which is on the left. View on the sea and especially down the couloir you have just climbed is impressive!
Behind the pass path goes left, around small basin called also Motika, with few old houses in ruins. After few minutes you reach junction where our path joins BPS or Biokovo transversal trail. Left it heads towards Sv.Ilija while we turn right towards Slobodan Ravlic hut on Lokva. Path ascends steeply again but soon flattens. In the next hour it is going up and down and around many funnel shaped holes. Terrain is mostly open, rocky and grassy but sometimes it goes through nice groups of beech trees. You don’t see Lokva hut till the last few minutes, 1.15h from Motika pass, 4.15h from Bast.
Slobodan Ravlic hut - Sv.Jure (1762m): 2h
From the hut continue in the same direction you came from, now towards Vosac. In some 20 minutes you reach junction at Babina Vrkla where you shoul turn left, joining Makarska route towards Sveti Jure via Vosac.
Ascent is steep. With little altitude gain sea joins the view again. After reaching the pass on the ridge of Troglav peak (20 minutes), path goes up and down few times and in the end climbs steeply before getting on the Sv.Jure road (10 minutes). From here it is 300 meters to the right to Sv.Jure refuge.
From the refuge it is 30 more minutes to the top of Sv.Jure. Path follows the numerous metal sticks, which are used as carriers for fixed rope in winter to secure you from being blown away by the wind. Ascent is steep going straight up. On the top, just by the fence of TV structure is Sv.Jure chapel. You can also access the top using the road, which would require more time.
Sv.Jure (1762m) is highest peak on Biokovo and second highest in Croatia. Top is large rocky dome, occupied by TV tower and building. Till 1964, when object has been built, Sv.Jure chapel was standing here. Than it was moved little bit to the north, few meters bellow the summit. It has been there since 1646, till modern technology came. View from the top is grand.
Second variation turns to the left just a minute behind the hut, also in Vosac direction. It ascends towards Sv.Jure refuge using panoramic rocky ridges, going around many funnel shaped holes. Just follow red and white sticks and small piles of rock. It takes around 1.30h till the Sv.Jure refuge and also 2h till the summit. This variation joins previous just few minutes bellow Sv.Jure road, 300m before the refuge. It is much nicer than the one via Babina Vrkla because it has open views all the time in all directions.