Mid month of May, with time on my hands, I fulfilled a promise to visit some long time friends in Podgora, a 1.5 hour drive south of Split on the Makarska Riviera. The coastal road is a scenic extravaganza, especially on a clear and sunny day with the blue waters of the Adriatic shimmering as far as the eye can see. I spent 3 days visiting friends that I’ve known since my first visit as a young married woman. It’s always a great feeling coming back to familiar faces, and super friendly people.
Together with friends, I took a drive up into the old village of Gornje (Upper) Podgora, damaged by an earthquake in 1962, and now being restored by many international and local people. We discovered many new buildings being built on land parcels that were previously zoned for agriculture but now re-zoned ‘Residential’ which is great to see.
The views are spectacular from this vantage point, with the Dalmatian islands of Šolta, Brač, Hvar, Korčula and the Peljasac Peninsula stretching from North to South along the coastline. Directly behind us the majestic mountain of Biokovo also beckons, with promises of alpine wildflowers, medicinal herbs, wild horses and the native wild goats that scamper up and around the cliffs with amazing speed and agility. This is also the home of the newly constructed Skywalk, in the Biokovo National Park. Also the Hiking Trails are plentiful through this area, and very popular all year round.
Accommodation is Podgora is plentiful, from various categories of hotels to private apartment accommodation, both down by the seaside or up high in the Gornje (Upper) Podgora, where many beautiful old stone houses have been restored and most have private pools as an added attraction. I can highly recommend a few that I have had the pleasure of inspecting, guaranteeing a very pleasurable stay for those who love fresh clean air and stunning sea views.
The beaches in Podgora boast crystal clear waters and white smooth pebbled shores that are so comforting for those seeking the warmth of the stones and their recuperative healing properties. Take a massage in a secret secluded garden and dine on fresh seafood at one of the seaside restaurants at sunset….pure bliss!
The old churches of St. Liberan and St. Roko in Upper Podgora, were both damaged in the earthquake of 1962, and both have been recently beautifully restored.
The Church of St. Liberan was named by a long serving Gaelic Bishop, and is very unusual in this part of the world, and can only be found in Southern Dalmatia. The location of St. Liberan is in the forest near the area close to Vrutak above Čaklje…..
The little church of St. Roko also in Upper Podgora was built in 1672 at the time of the Black Plague that wiped out millions well before the Spanish Flu of the 18th Century., in front of the church there was a cemetery where the plague victims were buried en masse. The missing bell, was taken by the invading enemy during WW1 and melted down into cannon balls! (A little bit of history)
Podgora, Pod=Under and Gora=Mountain. is a place ‘under the mountain’ to Rest, Refresh and Recuperate the Body, Mind and Soul..