The most beautiful viewpoint of Kaštela
Kozjak is a mountain with two entirely different faces. From the littoral side, it acts as a mighty rock barrier towering above the Bay of Kaštela, while on the inland side, it is a winding highland ending with a sharp edge sloping towards the sea. The very edge of this highland, of an average height of 600-700 m, accommodates the highest tops of Kozjak. Their sequence begins from the saddle Malačka and stretches some 16 kilometres further to the ridge Markezina Greda close to Klis.
Kozjak is easily accessible because old trails with very good markers lead from each of the seven towns of Kaštela, as well as from the towns of Solin and Klis. Accessibility, good transport connections, short climbs and easy orientation make visit to Kozjak an appealing and agreeable field trip, not only for mountaineers but also for many tourists from the coastal area. Most trails are interesting because of their variety of ways of mastering Kozjak’s rocky barrier, offering simultaneously a scenic view of the sea and Kaštela. Although the ascents are mostly easy and short (1-2 hours), these should be done in the morning, especially in summer, as the trails are exposed to sun. Kozjak is also intersected by two famous bypassing trails: Kolijevkom hrvatske državnosti (The Cradle of Croatian Statehood) and Solinski planinarski put (The Solin Mountain Trail).
The littoral side of Kozjak, above Kaštela, is entirely different from the continental side. Kozjak’s ridge stretches across the entire mountain and is deemed one of the longest ridges in Croatia. Observed from the city of Split, it draws attention and gives that final scenic touch to the Kaštela Bay. Its height varies from 50 to 250 meters. A wide trail leads along its foot and this is the main basis for accessing the mountain house Pod Koludrom and mountain lodge Putalj.
Five mountain structures are located on Kozjak. All of these, as well as the summits of Kozjak, offer extraordinary views of the Kaštela Bay and Split. The most attractive mountaineering points are the summits Sv. Ivan Biranj, Veli Vrh and Sveti Juraj. Sveti Ivan Biranj (631 m), the highest peak of the western side of Kozjak, is easily accessible by a mountain trail leading from the saddle Malačka (an hour’s climb). It accommodates the Church of St John, the patron saint of Kaštel Lukšić.
The mountain trail leading to the Chapel of St Luke, close to the highest summit Veli vrh, starts from the mountain lodge Putalj. It takes one hour for this climb. The trail gradually penetrates steep cliffs, it then crosses several grooves and a stone ravine, to finally ascend steeply through a narrow couloir towards the ridge of Kozjak. At one point, the trail is secured with steel ropes but is easily crossable. The trail ends on the final ridge between Veli Vrh and the Chapel of St Luke. The trail continues southwest across the ridge and ends at the summit of Sveti Juraj (St George, 676 m), the highest summit on the eastern side of Kozjak. A telecommunication structure and St George’s Chapel are on the top. The chapel was built on the remains of a drywall, which belonged to an ancient fortress surrounded by medieval tombstones.
Kozjak thrills with outstanding views of the Kaštela Bay and an interesting historical locality, a chapel or an archaeological site can be found on almost all its peaks or underneath these. Therefore, touring Kozjak is simultaneously a voyage through time and space, reflecting a rich culture and an interesting history.