Without those great grey mountains rising steeply from the coast, the experience of being on the Makarska shoreline would be much less of a thrill. That view is just so spectacular: in some places the cliff rising above the little seaside resorts is almost vertical and so close it feels like the shoulder of a protective parent. In many senses, the mountain has protected and sustained humans for millennia, so Biokovo is pretty much the mother lode of culture and general fabulousness in this part of Dalmatia. Biokovo is not a single mountain but a range of mountains that stretches from just above Brela almost to Igrane in the south, about 25km, about half of the Makarska Riviera. It’s part of a larger system of mountains called the Dinaric Alps, a 645 km long range that stretches along the Adriatic from Slovenia in the north to Albania in the south. The Dinaric Alps, as you might guess, are which is itself part of that famous range so beloved of chocoholics. The mountains are made of limestone deposited at the time when this was a flat sea, before tectonic movements sent the earth skywards. Limestone is a soft rock that is easily moulded by water. This kind of landscape is known as karst and is well known for having fascinating formations including caves and sinkholes where rivers dive underground. The highest peak of Biokovo, Sveti Jure, is 1762m high, the third highest peak in Croatia.