Region: Pelješac/ st. Ilija peak
Length: 26,5 km
Elevation gain: 1080 m
Maximum elevation: 961 m
Technical difficulty: 5/5
Download GPS Track: MTB Pelješac_st.Ilija_Cyclotrail
Date of ride: 17.06.2018
Suitable for E-bike: No
St. Ilija is the highest peak of peninsula Pelješac. Because of its distinguished position st. Ilija offers one of the best views in Croatia and is situated on hill known as Zmijino Brdo (Mons vipera) or Perun’s hill. I mentioned Perun when I was writing about my visit to Mostar and ascend to Velež ( in Slavic mythology Perun is the highest god of pantheon and the god of sky, thunder, lightning, storm, war, law, fertility and oak threes) Peak was named by chapel of st. Ilija.
For a long period of time, visit to Zmijino brdo by bike, was on my bucket list. And I was sure that this visit would be once in a time, because remoteness and distance of peninsula Pelješac from rest of Croatia, but as it shows, I was mistaken. During 2018. I visited st. Ilija three times, two times by bike, and one time while hiking with my friends, and every time I visited this isolated area I discovered another beautiful part, which was hidden from me before. If I wanted to live in a peaceful part of Croatia, far away from city noise, light pollution and smog I would definitely chose Pelješac. As I’m writing this text, construction of bridge that connects Pelješac and mainland is in progress, and even though this move will ease access to Pelješac, it will also destroy islandish nature of Pelješac, I hope I’m wrong. On Pelješac for the first time I saw moufflons, jackals and the most venomous European snake vipera ammodytes. And when I saw them there, they seem so natural there, as if they were created for only purpose just to live on that harsh rock.