18th Biklijada: People of Vrgorac Come Together Over Red Wine and Milk

Daniela Rogulj

Bikla, a drink made from red wine and milk, is so popular in the Vrgorac region that a festival is dedicated to it.

Organized by the Vrgorac Tourist Board and under the auspices of the City of Vrgorac, last weekend, the most celebrated fall festival in this area was held – the Days of Bikla and the 18th Biklijada, reports Dalmacija Danas on October 9, 2017. 

The people of Vrgorac, since ancient times, have been fans of “bikla” – a somewhat odd concoction that is known to “lighten the mood”. A drink made from red wine and either cow’s milk or goat’s milk, bikla is most often made with a 1:1 ratio. Bikla becomes stronger over time, gradually developing into a darker color. It is drinkable for months, can be enjoyed throughout the year, and is the most popular drink of the Vrgorac region. 

The 18th Biklijada 

The program began last weekend at the playground of the school grounds in Vrgorac with local products, handicrafts, culinary specialities, and a wealth of traditional folk music to lift the entertainment part of the program into an even more elated atmosphere. In addition to the evening’s tradition, folklore and gastronomy, in conjunction with the festival “Zagora Burning”, this folk festival was additionally spiced up by a concert by band Mjesni odbor.

A rich gastronomic offer was not lacking at this year’s Biklijada, and visitors enjoyed soparnik, homemade prosciutto and cheese, various types of cakes, the first of the Neretva mandarins, and plenty of domestic wine. Hunting association “Matokit” even prepared a goulash from their hunting treasures and the night went into the early morning hours.


The annual Biklijada has become a recognizable tourist attraction for the Vrgorac area. The event is held every year at the beginning of October when grape harvesting comes to an end. This traditional eno, ethno and gastro festival is nourished and revived with an original concept, and with its offer of domestic products, handicrafts, folklore and entertainment, the region becomes more abundant with content – attractive for both the local population and visitors looking for live and authentic events.

A little more about “bikla”

Bikla is well-known in many parts of Dalmatia, both in Zagora and on the islands. On the islands, however, there are different names for the famous drink. On the island of Brač, “bikla” is called hmutica or smutica, and on Hvar, sumutva, mućkalica, or hmutnica.

Bikla was first mentioned by Mihovil Pavlinović in the late 19th century after he found it along the coast of Makarska. Over the years, bikla has become a critical part of the culture of the Dalmatian islands and hills and has become a standard for relaxing after a hard day’s work. 

And the best part of all? The people of Vrgorac consider bikla an aphrodisiac!

Translated from Dalmacija Danas


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