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Dubrovnik - Neretva


Neretva Delta, Peljesac, Elaphites, Konavle < back
Neretva Delta
Neretva Delta
Neretva delta
The Neretva river tract, flowing downstream, widens considerably once it reaches Pocitelj and than the raging mountainous river empties into the most indented delta in Croatia. This is a wonderful landscape where the river meets the sea, of plains and karst, lakes and marshes. A pleasant Mediterranean climate is a characteristic of this region. The average yearly temperature hovers above 15 degrees Celsius and with more than 2700 hours of sunshine each year, this makes the Neretva delta the sunniest part of the Croatian seaboard. The most well-known characteristic of the lower Neretva landscape have long been the marshlands with their abundance of fish and swamp birds. Soil-conservation and land-reclamation practices in the last few decades have transformed considerably the regions agriculture, the most famous being the cultivation of citrus fruits. A wide variety of flora and fauna are protected with the establishment of three omithological and ichthyo-ornithological reserves. The lower Neretva strem is not just a local feature but a key region in the cycle of migration, hibernation and the nesting of birds as well as a hatching ground for numerous types of fish. Bacina lakes, not far from the traffic route in the Neretva River valley, is another place of beauty which must be visited. North-west of the Neretva estuary, only two kilometres from the port city of Ploce, a series of six picturesque lakes lie in a rocky valley. The bottom of Bacina lakes lies below sea-level, while the lakes surface lies above it. Trade brought the ancient Greeks to this area, and during the time of ancient Rome the area was a part of the province of Dalmatia. The city of Narona was then one of the largest economic end cultural centres on the Adriatic Coast. The migration of people here brought Croatians principalities. The Neretva principality had dominance over the sea and from the 11th Century was a part of the Croatian Kingdom. This region is most famous for its gastronomic specialities. Eels, black water hens and frogs legs, amongst others, are specialities of the Dalmatian kitchen and present an excellent reason to visit the area.
Neretva - river delta - full day tour
The Neretva Delta is an area of vast marshland abundant in flora and fauna sheltering hundreds of species of birdlife. Cruie in small boats - "trupice" - through the canals to enjoy the beauty and variety of the delta. Visit the Ornithological Collection in the town Metkovic, preserving 229 exhibitis of bird species. Visit the excavation of ancient Narona (today a town of Vid) from 1st / 2nd centuries where ramparts, temples and a forum have been covered by the mud fromthe river for centuries.

Guide, local drink, lunch and entrances fees included. Light sportswear recommended. Passport or equivalent document required.

Excursions from Island of Korcula 
Peljesac offers one of the most romantic of Adriatic landscapes. The coast line is dotted with wonderful coves, white beaches, centuries old cypress trees, fantastic plant-covered ridges with the fragrance of sage, cool pine forests. A magnificent view unfolds before you from the peak of St. Ilijas Mountain (961 m). From this position, one can see the entire island of Korcula as well as the island of Hvar, Vis, Mljet, Lastovo. The monastery and Church of the Holy Mother of Angels above Orebic have been erected on the most attractive site, where one can rest ones gaze upon one of the loveliest Dalmatian channels in which rugged hills melt with groups of small islands and brown ridges with oleander and forests of cypress and pine. Two picturesque towns, Little and Large Ston, are positioned in between the peninsula and dry land. With Dubrovnik, they were the most important and well-secured sites in the in the Dubrovnik Republic. Strong mediaeval walls protected the possesions and property of the wealthy citizens of the Republic on Peljesac. Between the peninsula and dry land, a small bay in Little Ston was carved out which the local townsfolk call the Little Sea. During archeological digs, petrified oyster shells have been discovered, which proves that shellfish was a part of peoples diets while coral was used as an instrument of adornment, bred in this area for over a thousand years. In spite of the rugged environment, hardworking agricultural workers succeeded for centuries in preserving the fertile earth. Aside from vegetable and fruit production, they have also succeeded in producing world renowned wine such as Dingac and Postup, a favourite souvenir and gift which will please every wine expert. Orebic and the entire Peljesac riviera, along with Kuciste and Viganj have been homes to sailors from time immemorial. The most dazzling period of this tradition was in the last century when it was, along with its 60 or so big sailing boats, the second largest maritime port on the east coast of the Adriatic. At the peak of their wealth, renowned families built in Orebic stone houses of exceptional beauty.
The wine trail - full day tour
Wine tour
This trip takes us from Korcula across the Peljesac Canal to Orebic on the peninsula of Peljesac. We resume our drive by a comfortable coach through vineyards and olive groves to Ponikve. Visit the wine cellar of Milos family, where we shall taste a typical local wine. Follows a visit to the Matusko family wine cellar for another wine tasting. We proceed then to Prizdrina, where a traditional welcome will be extented by the Bartulovic family. Enjoy lunch in truly warm family ambience before our return drive.

Guide, lunch and wine tasting included

Excursions from Island of Korcula 

The sea-covered part of this region actually much larger than the land. The sea abounds with islands, both large and small. Archipelagos of tiny islets netle of the coast of the larger islands, such as Korcula, Mljet and Lastovo. Larger island villages have their own islets, which they use for various purposes. Some of them were used as quarries and others as pastures for sheep or for the growing of timber and firewood. Still more are dedicated to God or to patron saints and are empty save for a solitary church or monastery. In old times, the worlds smallest cathedral was located on the island of Mrkan. The three Elaphite islands - Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan - are self - contained worlds. They are large enough to provide all that is necessary for a comfortable life. Each of them is like a huge garden criss-crossed by footpaths that connect two large bays on the opposite sides of the island. On Kolocep, each of these bays harbours a small fishing village protected by a fortress; on the path between the two villages, you will pass a dozen ancient churches, about half of which are valuable architectural monuments. On Lopud island, only the western bay harbours a village: elegant summer residences rubbing shoulders with sailors homes a fortified Franciscan monastery, the Doges palace, the Dominican monastery and several churches built by seafaring men. On Sipan, the two villages, both of them boasting picturesque summer residances, are situated on opposing bays and are separated by a large field, flanked by churches, summer residences and the Doges palace. This cultivated paysage reveals the residents talent for combining the leisur of a holiday in the country with the benefits of agriculture. The compact beauty of the Elaphites creates the illusion, voiced aloud more than once, that no one can die there.

Kolocep - This picturesque Adriatic island, close at hand to Dubrovnik, occupies an area of 2.35 square kilometres. There are two settlements, in the two largest coves of the island: Gornje Celo and Donje Celo. From the east and west it is overgrown with thick pine forests that drop right down to the edge of the sea. The clear blue sea abounds in fish and shellfish. Until a few centuries ago, the inhabitants of Kolocep were the most renowned coral divers of the Mediterranean, though today only a few go down for the coral, out of pure love. A sign of the antiquity of habitation here, going back to ancient times, can be found in the many monuments, among which a special place is taken by the remains of sarcophagi, stone sculptures, chapels and churches. The 15th century is considered to be the golden age of the island of Kolocep, a time when the greatest number of summer palaces were built by the Dubrovnik aristocracy. Many renaissance masterpieces, myths, stories and countless legends were born within the shade of the scented plants and trees found in these rural settings. Discover them for yourselves. Perhaps, the story about the golden slipper, or even the tender love story between Macus and Cavalinka. Already the first encounter with the island of Kolocep cannot leave you unmoved. You will be intoxicated with the still calm, the scent of the Mediterranean plants and the intensity of the colours of the Adriatic. When you have been here once, you will always want to come back again.

Lopud - The island in the middle, as it has been called since time out of mind, is located between the two largest Elafit Islands, Kolocep and Sipan. In the northwest there is a settlement with the same name, and in the southeast a unique sunny cove called Sunj. A stroll acrros the whole island from Lopud to this miraculously lovely beach with its reddish sand and always calm sea, the colours of which shimmer from golden yellow to dark blue, will make your break here quite unforgettable. And you can find gorgeous sandy beaches in the village itself, where slender palms will provide a shelter from the heat of the meridional sun, together with the great fragrant magnolia trees and the lush pines of the islands gardens and parks. The well-preserved medieval architecture with its many summer residences puts Lopud among the best examples of landscaping of the entire Dubrovnik area. But it is not only nature that has been kindly disposed towards Lopud; it has also been much loved by mankind. For thousands of years, large and small masterpieces have been created, beauties described in stone, on canvas and on paper. The island is everywhere scattered with fortresses, little churches and monasteries rich in works of art. Do not miss out on a gentle evening stroll to Benesin Rat, a retreat from the hubbub of the qoutidian, or the pleasure of seeing the scarlet sun meld with the sea on the horizon.

Sipan - Called Golden Island since time out of mind, this is the biggest and most populated of the Elafit Islands. The mild clime, the ideal position and fertile dolomite field, located between two limestone ridges, are still a challenge for every visitor. The whole island is overgrown with Mediterranean maquils, but it is also rich in vineyards and olive groves. As well as the two major settlementes, Sudjuradj in the southeast and Sipanska Luka in the southwest, there are smaller hamlets scattered over the whole of the island, in the coves, on the hilly slopes and in the vales. On the landward side of the island there are many shelters, natural anchorages. On the seaward side, however, the sea, constantly lapping against the stone shore, has carved out rocks and cliffs of the most diverse forms. In this little space, of an improbably great cultural tradition, there are an enormous number of monuments, over thirty churches, several monasteries, and some three score Gothic and Renaissance summer residences of the well-to-do. The islanders are famed for their hospitality, and will be happy to take you out into the fields or on their boats fishing, regale you with organically grown food and the gold from their fertile vineyards. On Sipan, quite unlike anywhere else, you can wander for hours along the beaten paths, but you can also find one for yourself alone, used by just the occasional wild creature, perhaps. There are few such untouched places left in the world today.

The Dubrovnik riviera begins in Konavle. This is the most southern region, full of fertile valleys surrounded by mountains which border Bosnia-Hercegovina, while towards the sea rim, high Konavlian cliffs lead down towards the bay of Prevlaka, the port of Molunat and the town of Cavtat. The variety of landscapes of Konavle have attained and preserved a harmony between natural beauty, cultivated and cultural tradition of the wealthy agricultural industry, indigenous stone architecture, statues and sacral objects, and a rich folk tradition whose lovely and harmonious attributes finds their expression in Konavles folk costume and the beautiful women who wear them. Konavle can be experienced and enjoyed in many differnt ways: rural tourism, traditional folk performances, walks and excursions to historically significant buildings, archeological sites, fortifications, and a visit to the mountains in search of the source of the river. For lovers of calm and peaceful surroundings, a visit to the Franciscan monastery is recommended (it is the process of reconstruction). For those who enjoy activity, they are welcome to delight in a swim in the crystal clear sea or to enjoy a sport of nigh-time fishing. They are welcome to enjoy the gastronomic offerings of the Dalmatian kitchen and to appreciate the aesthetic of the local embroidered handicrafts. And after all this, pleasure is to be found in the quality of the catering provided by hotels, villas and restaurants in Cavtat. This small town, with its mediaeval character, offers distinctive and rich opportunities to visit art galleries and book shops and to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings. This modern leisure experience, it the crowning feature of ones stay in Konavle. t is a real treat to savour the "prsut" (smoked ham), kopsica, lamb and baked potatoes washed down with a glass of Malvasia, sitting in the shade of an old Konavli house, listening to the sound of the Ljuta stream.
Dubrovnik - Neretva County - City and Region
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