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Natural sights >> Mount Sveti Ilija

Mount Sveti Ilija

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Sveti Ilija is the highest peak of the Peljesac peninsula (961 metres) and is located above the town of Orebic. Mountaineers from all over the world are very fond of this mountain. There are several paths to the top, we recommend a circular tour which takes about 5 and a half hours. The trail begins in Ruškovica, a village above the town, from which leads a steep path along the wooded gorge to the plateau under the peak. At the hut or the so-called old houses, a road to the top separates off and the return is via Bilopolje.


When you arrive at the top, you will enjoy incredible views of the islands of Mljet, Korcula and Hvar, the Neretva channel  and the Biokovo mountain. Particularly impressive are the views of Duba on the north side of the peninsula. The return over Bilopolje is also unforgettable. You will pass a plateau, dense pine forest and the view stretches across to the island of Korcula. The road passes close to the Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of the Angels. The monastery was built in the 16th century in Gothic-Renaissance style.


It is interesting that the Russian nobleman and traveller Peter Tolstoy stayed here, as well as German Prince Philipp Coburg  and the British writer Seaton Watson. Similar to Our Lady of the Dane, the monks here greet ships by ringing the church bells.


Also, in addition to the Franciscan monastery, there is another attraction - an archaeological site called Gornja Nakovana, where they recently discovered the remains of prehistoric man.


There are other, equally attractive routes to the top of Sveti Ilija, but these rae not marked and so are only recommended for experienced mountaineers. Some adventurers have reached the top by mountain bike.


It should be noted that on this mountain there are endemic plant species whose flowers will delight you with bright colours. Do not be surprised if you come across a mouflon, which was introduced to the area during the time of Yugoslavia. Also, be careful when walking, as the mountain is home to the poisonous viper snake.

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