Dubrovnik Nature

 
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Nature
Althrough geographically small, this area boasts the magnificent combination of the clearest of Adriatic waters, the interiors karst system with its numerous fresh water springs and the famous Neretva river in the Northeast of the region. Integral to this meeting of land and sea are the islands which form the southernmost tip of the Adriatic coast. The defining characteristics of the landscape are the evergreen flora, pine and oak forests, macchia, karst fields, valleys and plateaux as well as the unique delta of the Neretva river. At the foot of high mountains Mediterranean, tropical and sub-tropical plants grow, flower and bear fruit. Such gifts of nature have been unfairly ignored by visitors compared to the objects of beauty created by man! The Dubrovnik - Neretva region is filled with many natural phenomena of world wide repute: magnificent Konavle, the plateau of Rudine, the valleys of Majkova, Stonsko polje and Crna gora on Peljesac. Other significant features include: Rijeka Dubrovacka and Ombla river, the sources of Europes longest underground river; the Neretva Delta and its wildlife reservation (abounding with birds, fish, shells and eels); the bay of Mali Ston with ancient oyster beds; Mljet National Park filled with beautiful lakes; Arboretum Trsteno, containing a large number of carefully nurtured plants and the oldest and largest plane-trees in Europe. It is also the setting for the Lokrum Reservation which hosts some of the most beautiful macchia, a horticultural park set in the grounds of a Benedictine convent, as well as the Botanical garden proudly displaying its unique collection of tropical and sub-tropical plants, imported to this very day by loyal seamen from around the world. The crowning glory of the collection is the array of at least sixty variants of Eucalyptus tree. Lastovo and Korcula and their tiny neighbouring islands are bathed bay the warm Mediterranean currents flowing directly from Otrant, which influences both the climate and the way of life enjoyed by the islanders. The current brings with it numerous kinds of fish; the predatory yellowtail, brightly coloured lobsters and magnificently ugly frog-fish. The most beautiful of all souvenirs, the red reef, grows on the sea-bed of Konavle, Mljet, Korcula and Lastovo.

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The well-tilled and cultivated paysage of the Dubrovnik littoral is dominated by olive groves and vineyards. Besides these typical crops, the residents of old Dubrovnik cultivated medicinal plants, almond trees, bitter oranges, rosemary and myrtle, oleanders of all colours. Characterised by creative leisure, the life in Dubrovnik also reflected a scientific and aesthetic curiosity which sprang from their rural, agricultural skills, as well as an awareness of the need for healthy and serene living. This atmosphere of the quintessence of everything that is characteristic of the Mediterranean region is the best expression of the uniqueness and serenity of the patrician and peasant life outlook of the residents of Dubrovnik. The beauty of rounded bushes and treetops, as they melt into a harmonious whole with a clear but tamed mountain brook, whose water was the pride of the philosopher Gucetic as he supervised the harvest on his property and enjoyed the peaceful country life far from the affairs of state, is nowhere so apparent as in Trsteno. The one-storey sailors houses in Slano and Orasac and their picturesque courtyards, adorned with colums and pergolas, give way to parks and stone facades of Veliki Zaton. These in turn are superseded by the scenic greenery of the coastline promenade, which passes by a number of small harbours and sheltering numerous fishing boats and yachts. For centuries, the Rijeka Dubrovacka area, with its rich orchards "trained by the mild chill and flowers which the mild winter doesnt burn" (Ilija Crijevic), with its agreeable climate that tempers even the coldest winter months and the driest summers, has offered shelter to leisured yachtsmen who sailed along its coasts. From its source to its mouth, the Rijeka Dubrovacka river is Flanked by stately summer residences equipped with kitchen gardens. Here and there, one espies an alluring flower garden through a chink in the stone wall.

 
 
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Dubrovnik - Neretva County - City and Region
 
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