Although Vidova Gora is officially the highest peak on the Adriatic islands, Mons Vipera or Sv. Ilija could be in that company. Pelješac is a narrow and longish peninsula in the south of Croatia and Sv. Ilija comes all the way north, after the amazing “spine” of mountains. He sits proudly in front of the city of Korčula and the island Korčula, so when you hike his grey and green (yes, green!) slopes, you’ll enjoy one of the most beautiful sights in Adriatic. In Croatia, probably. Or Europe. Or… Well, it depends on the taste, but you’ll be breathless, that is for sure.

If you come to Viganj or Orebić, hike to Sv. Ilija is mandatory. We do it every time, at least once, sometimes a couple of times. There are few paths, but the shortest and the safest is from the church of sv. Celestine (take a turn uphill at the end of Orebić )in the direction of Kučište and Viganj), park your car in the parking after the Church, walk some five minutes and follow the paved road until you come to the big hiking marking – the path goes right and uphill.)

Start early, and take a lot of water. It can be hot up there. Use trekking shoes, and take your cell phone. Do not underestimate that mountain! Few careless tourists lost their life there, mainly because they got lost (the path is marked – very well marked, so just follow the markings) or slipped due to wearing summer slippers or otherwise inappropriate shoes. And, oh, the name Mons Vipera (The Hill of the Snakes) is not accidental. A lot of snakes there – but if you take a stick and make a noise (hitting the stones as you walk), snakes will run away much before you will able to see them.

Count on 3 hours of hiking bliss! The first half goes through the barren slopes of the mountain. But – the view! My God, you will often just stop and breathlessly enjoy the beauty.

The second part of the hike is through the forest. You’ll probably be grateful for the shade, but otherwise, this is also something special. The path goes slightly uphill to the right (if you go left, you could have a few hours more of hiking and end up all the way north up to the “Pelješac spine” (or go down to Nakovana and Viganj).

Don’t be surprised if you meet a herd of (wild) horses there. They are wandering free left and right through the forest, but also up and down using the hiking path. If you meet them somewhere narrow, please move aside. If you don’t, the alpha male will make you move by pushing you aside until you make space for the rest of the herd to pass by.

This time we found them all the way up, outside the forest, a few hundred meters from the very peak of sv. Ilija.

The last few hundred meters are again stony, and you must climb a little to the peak. But. It is worthwhile! Once at the peak, you will have an all-around panoramic view. On the east side, over the narrow track of the Sea, you’ll see mountain Biokovo. On the south is the famous Pelješac spine. On the north, islands Hvar and Brač. On the west, Korčula, Lastovo, and, on a clear day, you may see all the way to Italy.

When you decide to come down, walk back to the forest. At the beginning (20 minutes from the peak) is a small hiker house made from stone. It is usually closed, but there are some chairs, tables, and benches. You can rest in the pine shade before you hike back down.

It is a six-hour adventure, but people, if you come somewhere near Pelješac, it is a must-have experience!

Here are some more pictures from our hike (12. June 2022.)

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About the Author: Adrian

Author and writer of more than fifty books, teacher, lecturer, explorer of consciousness, avid windsurfer, and lover of outdoor activities. He’ll write mostly about windsurfing on fin and foil, spot reviews, and camping equipment.
2 Comments
  1. Borna June 17, 2022 at 11:01 am - Reply

    It is easy to go to dangerous places when you have horse master Emina with you :)

    • Adrian June 17, 2022 at 11:08 am - Reply

      Well, this time, believe it or not, Emina looked at my back at some parts of the path. :-)

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