Agrotourism Viganj

olive growing, enology and active vacation in Viganj

St. Elijah

Sveti Ilija (Saint Elijah, 961 m) is the highest summit and the most famous mountaineering destination on Pelješac peninsula, situated on its western end. Massif around the summit of Sv. Ilija stretches from NE to SW coast of the peninsula, it is 6,5 km long and around 2,5 km wide.

One legend says that the summit was called Perunovo brdo (Perun´s mountain) after old Slavic word for god Perun, the master of thunders. The church of St. Ilija (elijah) & Pantelija was builded here in 16 or 17 century. It was destroyed by many lighting strikes in the 19 century and it was never rebuilt. The name of St. Elijah replaced that of Perun. Later in history the Italian name Monte Vipera (Mountain of the snakes) was in use, also. Some think the name came after poisoned snake (Poskok) that live in the area and the other think it is because of configuration of steep rocky slopes above Orebic that resemble to snake, with their zig-zag lines of geological layers. Local people call it simply, Ilija (Elijah).

In lower areas of the mountain a mediterrainean oak and holm oak tree prevail. Above 750 m you can find nice forests of mediterranean pine tree. Other areas are covered with lower underbrush or rocks covered with fragrant mediterranean herbs. Mountains on Pelješac peninsula are accessible to climb all the year round. Therefore, the best periods for climb are spring and fall, thanks to the more pleasant temperatures and nice visibility.

Although the thin layer of snow can cover the summits on Pelješac for shorter periods in winter, generally the mountains are most of the times snowless and are accessible during winter time. In the winter time there is beautiful view on snow covered Dinaric Alps on the mainland and islands of the Adriatic on the other side can, which is unforgetable experience. The panorama from Sv. Ilija includes a view of mountains Biokovo, Mosor, Rilic, Cvrsnica, Prenj, Velez, delta of Neretva river, islands of central and southern Dalmatia (Korčula, Brac, Hvar, Vis, Mljet, etc…), all the way to Dubrovnik and Orjen mountain in Montenegro, and if you lucky enough, from this point you can see the coast of Italy, but only during north wind (Bura), when the sky is crystal clear.

There are two mountain houses, one made of wood at 565m above the sea level, which was established in mid 80’s by a hunting club, and one made of stone, at exactly 800 meters above sea level. This house was build by the Archduke Karl von Habsburg in 1908 for hunting coyotes, and on this occasion a path from the village Urkunici was made and trough for animals. On the hundredth anniversary (2008), Mountaineering Society with support from the local government started to renew the same, and these works are coming to the end.

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Categories: Nature

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