Summit Sveti Ilija and its ridge are located northwest of the central part of mountain Bikovo, above the small village of Rastovac in Zagvozd municipality. The name of the summit and altitude is written on the stone in front of the entrance of the chapel, and the mountaineering stamp is embedded in the right wall of the chapel.
Although the ridge is slightly lower, it doesn’t lag far behind from the group Sveti Jure because of its vivid rocks and the width of the viewpoint. These viewpoints are even more attractive due to the fact that the mountain Biokovo is the thinnest at that part so it offers a beautiful view on both sides, both north and south.
Except the view on the coast and inland, from the very top (KT18) you can experience an magnificent view of the entire mountain massif of cental Biokovo, starting from the peak Sveti Jure in the east via Veliki Šibenik, which is located slightly south, to peak Šćirovac and Bukovac which are located on the west part of the mountain.
The chapel dedicated to Sveti Ilija Gromovnik (St. Elijah) is located at the very top, and its one of the most beautiful and original sacral buildings on Bikovo, a native building built on old foundations and completely restored by locals of Zagvozd parish in 2000.
Mass in the chapel of Sveti Ilija (the most inaccessible Holy Mass in Croatia), is being held on July 20th on feast of Sveti Ilija, if it falls on Saturday. If it doesn’t, the pilgrimage and the Holy Mass moves on the first Saturday after that day.The summit can be reached from several directions, on the south from Bast and Lokva, while on the north side there are several directions. The most popular is the one which leads from Dedići via Dobri Dol. Other routes, such as the one from the direction of Šuta via Vratac or from Brzice via Kaoci, are extremely long and demanding. They are suitable only for experienced hikers who are in good physical shape.
No matter which direction you choose to climb, it will be a very long, exhausting and hard trip due to sun exposure and large rock creeps. Here are the approximate times for the most popular ascent routes:
Bast – Bunar Mijaći – Sveti Ilija 4 hours
Bast – Osičine – Sv. Ilija 4:30 hours
Lokva – Motika – Sv. Ilija 4 hours
Dedići – Dobri dol – Sv. Ilija 4 hours
Šute – Vrataca – Sv. Ilija 4:30 hours
Brzice – Drljenovac – Mišljen – Sv. Ilija 6:30 hours
More about these routes can be found on the web site of the local mountaineering association.
From: Wikipedia; planinarenje.hr