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  • Explore the area’s breathtaking natural spaces, starting with the ruggedly beautiful Biokovo Forest Park. Only a few minutes’ drive from Heritage Hotel Kaštelet, this stunning stretch of mountainous terrain spans an area of 19,550 hectares (nearly 75.5 square miles) and soars to a height of 1,762 meters (just over a mile) at its highest peak, Sveti Jure. Said to be “a mountain with a root in the sea and a forehead in lightning,” it is resplendent in awe-inspiring vistas of the surrounding cliffs and the Adriatic Sea beyond. Along with the Biokovo Skywalk, the first and only one of its kind in Croatia, and other lookout points, there are plenty of ways to take in the park’s awe-inspiring scenery, including educational paths and hiking trails. Alternatively, those hoping for a closer look at the sea should make their way to nearby Osejava Forest Park. Nestled along the shore between Tučepi and Makarska, this picturesque park offers panoramic views of the Adriatic from its network of shaded cliffside hiking trails, as well as access to Nugal Beach, one of the best on the Makarska Riviera.

  • Stop and smell the Adriatic irises at Kotišina Botanical Garden. Part of Biokovo Nature Park and just north of the village of Kotišina, this rustic mountainside botanical garden is abloom with more than 300 species of wild-growing indigenous flora. From its lofty perch of around 350 to 500 meters (around 1,150 to 1,640 feet) above sea level, Kotišina Botanical Garden also boasts spectacular bird’s-eye views of the sea and the nearby islands of Hvar and Brač. Along with the botanical garden, the enchanting village is also brimming with cultural heritage. The Veliki Kaštel Interpretation Center, a small museum exploring Kotišina’s archaeological, ethnological, and natural history, takes up residence in an ancient castle of the same name. Built into a cliff face of the Biokovo mountains, the multi-story fortification dates back to the Candian War (1645-1669), when local forces constructed it as a refuge. Visitors can also follow hiking trails to two small hillside churches, St. Anthony’s and St. Martin’s.

  • Marvel at the rich biodiversity of the Adriatic Sea without ever leaving dry land with a visit to the Makarska Malacological Museum. Housed in a Franciscan monastery founded in 1518, the exhibit itself dates back to 1959, the culmination of decades of work by the monastery’s friars and nuns, along with local fishermen, who first started collecting the seashells that washed up on the shores of the Makarska Riviera. Since then, the collection has expanded to more than 3,000 specimens, with shells from places like China, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, Tanzania, Madagascar, the Caribbean, the Red Sea, and even Antarctica.

  • Get a fresh perspective on the Makarska Riviera from St. Peter (Sveti Petar) Forest Park. Spread across a forested peninsula that juts out in the Adriatic Sea, this serene spot offers sweeping panoramas of Makarska with Biokovo rising in the background on one side and, to the other, the watery seascape of Makarska Bay and the Adriatic. (For the best views, take in the scene from the statue of St. Peter the Apostle himself, who gazes out protectively over the town’s waterfront, or from the Sveti Petar Lighthouse.) When not enjoying the sights or soaking up some Croatian sunshine from one of the park’s beaches, visitors can also stop by tiny St. Peter’s Church, built in the 15th century, or gaze upon ruins dating back to Roman and Venetian times. Meanwhile, couples can commemorate their relationship and forever secure their affection by hanging a love lock on a fence and tossing its key into the churning waters below.

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