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Dalmatia, Croatia, Europe
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Created On: Apr 10, 2005
Last Edited On: Jul 29, 2007
View from Velja luka peak,

Dinarides-->Maritime Dinarides -->Biokovo/Rilic group


This page is dedicated to the less known area of the Maritime Dinarides.
In fairness, nothing much stands out about mt. Rilic. People climbing it these days are far and few between.
Still , when brave mountaineer decides to visit mountains spanning Easterncoast of the Adriatic Sea,
 Rilic (correct spelling is Ree-leach)
may be a prospective 2nd (or, perhaps, 3rd) choice to the big guns like Velebit, Biokovo, or Orjen.
At meager 920m elevation, it sharply separates Dalmatian coastal area from the hinterland. Rilic begins right where Biokovo ends,
(the Staza pass separating those two)
and spans in NW-SE direction further 12 miles, untill it reaches Bacina lakes (Bacinska jezera), close to the Neretva river delta.
Upper plateau of Rilic is typical karst landscape, whilst flish zone separates its western side from the sea.
Hence no part of the whole Mediterranean shore is so deeply indented as Dalmatian littoral (except the coast of Greece),
the views from Rilic, are just about fine. The azure blue sea of Neretva and Peljesac channels right under your nose,
with rocky, reef type islands and the Peljesac peninsula edging the horison

Getting there and away

By train and/or bus
Nearest railway stations are those in Split (northwest) and town Ploce (southeast). Ploce are more convinient in case you  are coming from Bosnia (direct train connection with Sarajevo.) No railway line goes down the coast, thus one should relay on the coach service. Coaches are frequent. Any coach serving the Split-Makarska-Ploce route will do the job. Coach will stop at Drvenik, Zaostrog, Gradac, as well as at any small town if you request the driver to stop..
By car
Main road  Split-Dubrovnik passes the W side of Rilic foothill. Around hour and half of drive from Split takes you there.
By ferry
Regular ferry service connets Sucuraj on the island of Hvar and port of Drvenik six times a day. One way ride costs around 1 US$.
By plain
Nearest intl airport is located in Split. (See Links section further below, please)

Bits on history and moving around

RilićMoltkia petraea (Tratt.) Griseb (Modro lasinje) photo by 5ani
Routes and trails:
NW Rilic:
Drvenik-Sokolic peak, 4 hours hike, marked route
Drvenik-Rocks of Drvenik (Drveniske stine) 2-3 hours, marked route
Drvenik or Gornja Vala-Plisivac hill, 1 to 1 1/2 hour, nonmarked but easy trail.
Zaostrog-Viter peak 3 hours, nonmarked walkup
Zaostrog-Despoti -Sapasnik peak (Rilic highest peak) 4-5 hours, nonmarked, walkup with scramble

Central Rilic:
Gradac-Miljacici-Crvene stine (red rocks) scramble or scramble+some easy climbing

SE Rilic:
Bacina lakes-Kolivrat-Sv.Ilija peak, 3-4 hours walk up.

W side of Rilic was inhabited during the iron age. At a later date (1st century BC), coastal part became summer resort for retired Roman war veterans (vets were given fertile land there). Slavs settled here during 7th century AC and after year 812.Aachen peace agreement,  Slav clans under mt. Rilic have formed independent principality, 10th century Constantin Porphyrogenetus reffered to it under name "Pagania". Afterwards,; they opted for piracy as a main source of income (major victims were Venetian ships). As Turks penetrate into Balkans, locals erected a network of small fortresses and watchtowers. Some of the Rilic peaks were used as observation points (namely Viter) If you folllow the old macadam road under Rilic, whole stretch from Drvenik to Gradac is lined with old thumbstones, abandoned churches, and  ruins of 17th century watchtowers. Road is dusty,  so a mountainbike is a reasonable option. In 1960s Rilic area was hit by an earthquake, many buildings were destroyed,  villages abandoned. Natives have relocated downhill, next to the coast.  Today its all about villa/apartment renting to the tourists. Yet, old settlements above the main road and close to Rilic are still untouched.

When To Climb

Can be climbed all year long. Certain issues should be taken into consideration, though: Summers are hot and dry. There are no water sources. Bring sufficient amount of water with you. Prevailing wind is the sirocco (jugo in local language). It usually hits from the Peljesac channel, bringing rain and sometimes short storms. On the other side, strong wind by  name Bura  (Bora) .may blow at any season of the year. November  to February  are the windiest months, July and August normally  very hot.  April to early June are usually best months. September will do as well.

Mountain Conditions

There is no meteostation on Rilic. Instead, here is a up-to-date weather conditions info for Bast (see links section further below).
Bast is village on the foothill of Rilic mighty neighbour mt. Biokovo. Weather conditions on Rilic and Biokovo are almost identhical for most of the time.

Camping & Huts

There are no huts on Mt. Rilic. Camping is not prohibited.
nearest camping grounds are down at the coast, at Blato and at Uvala Borova(Pinetree bay)near Podaca. As a spare option one may set a bivouac in one of the caves, just above the scree section on the low side of the mountain.

Red Tape & Security

No fees or permits required.

In case of trouble, please call corresponding Croatian mountain rescue service emergency phone number.
For Rilic area, it is
091 721 0011


Split airport flight schedule

Croatian railways timetable in English

Up to date weather conditions and 8 day forecast for Bast

Main mountains and ranges of the Maritime Dinarides

Mountains of the Maritime  Dinarides
Name Height Country
Velebit 1757m Croatia
Kozjak 779m Croatia
Mosor 1339m Croatia
Poljicka planina 450m Croatia
Omiska Dinara 863m Croatia
Biokovo 1762m Croatia
Dovanj 864m Croatia
Rilic 920m Croatia
Snjeznica 1234m Croatia
Orjen 1893m Montenegro
Lovcen 1749m Montenegro
Rumija 1594m Montenegro


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