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Friday, 26 September 2014 00:00

Things to do on the Peljesac peninsula

Peljesac peninsula, situated only 1 hour drive from Dubrovnik, is a perfect place to relax, enjoy quaint and tranqulity. We suggest you to visit it in next few years, beacuase even it now still lacks of large hotels and crowds, unfortunatelly we doubt that it will stay like that for much more time.

If you take our advise, here is the list of things to do on the Peljesac peninsula:

1. Visit fortification walls in Ston
With a length of 5.5 km, Ston walls are the longest fortification walls in Europe. Built in 14th century by Dubrovnik Republic, their main purpose was to protect town’s salt pans. Apparently the value of salt back then was equal to that of gold.
They consists of three forts, forty-one towers, seven bastions, four pre-walls and a water-filled moat.
In the last few years, non-profit association called Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiques, renovated almost entire walls, and they are accessible to public.

Few things to remember:
Walls are really steep at times.
In summer, plan your visit in the morning or early evening, as it can be really hot to walk the walls during the day.
Walls are open to visitors all year. Winter (Nov.-March) daily from 9 am-3 pm | Summer (Apr.-Oct.): daily from 8.30 am-6.30 pm.
The admission fee is 40 kn for adults, and 20 kn per child (up to 18 years of age).

2. Harvest salt in Ston
Ston’s salt plans are the oldest in Europe, dating back to 14th century. Salt was the Ston’s main commodity for many years. And the main reason Dubrovnik Republic has built strong fortification walls around the town.

Today, salt plans are privately owned. They consist of nine basins. All basins, but one (Mundo) are named after Christian saints. Yearly production is around 530 tons. All production is manual.
And although salt has been still harvested here every year, unfortunately very small quantities are still used as food. The basins desperately need renovation in order for all salt to be edible. Majority of salt harvested in Ston is destined for other purposes, like for melting the ice on roads.
Harvest takes place from July to September. You can join the harvest in exchange for food and lodging.

3. Eat local
Peljesac is seriously famed for its seafood, especially oysters and other shellfish. Mali Ston is the most popular place to taste this heavenly food.

In Mali Ston you can eat at Kapetanova Kuca, Bota-Sare, and Villa Koruna. These places are among the most popular restaurants on the peninsula, but they are also quite pricey. Instead you can check less touristy restaurants as Ficovic in Hodilje, or tavern Bakus in Ston.
If you like to travel off-the-beaten path, visit a small village of Kobas, on the southwest part of the peninsula. This tiny fishing village is popular among boat owners, and foodies. Restaurant Gastro Mare is perhaps the best place for foodies on the peninsula. Veggies and herbs are locally grown (in their own garden), and fish and other seafood comes directly from the Adriatic. Restaurant Gastro Mare offers Mediterranean dishes with a twist. And restaurant’s guests with a boat get a free mooring, water and electricity as well as yummy complimentary breakfast served at the restaurant.

Another excellent fish restaurant is konoba Barsa in Lovište. However, the owner can get moody, and come out as arrogant and impolite.
For a hearty meal, visit rural inns Antunovic in Kuna (by appointment only), or Panorama near Orebic.

4. Visit a winery
A wine tour is one of THE must things to do on the Peljesac peninsula. Plavac Mali, a local red grape variety, covers 90% of all vineyards, while other sorts include white variety Posip, and Grk. Follow the road signs reading “wine roads” to discover peninsula’s wineries.
Majority of wineries are located in a village of Potomje, like Madirazza, Matusko, and Milicic. Niko Bura and his sister Mare Mrgudic make excellent red wine. Their wine is worth a stop at their winery in Potomje, although winery itself isn’t impressive.

Just few kilometers from Ston, you’ll find Milos winery, followed by Grgich Winery in Trstenik. Frane Milos’ Stagnum is a great red, and we highly recommend visiting his winery.

On the way to Orebic, stop by Saints Hills Winery in Zadvarje. Property is gorgeous.
In Orebic, you’ll find Korta Katarina Winery. And although we had a kind of bad experience when we visited it, their white wine Posip is one of the best whites we’ve tasted in Croatia. Besides, there is a great beach just beneath the winery.

5. Hike
Whether you are an experienced hiker or you just like an occasional walk through nature, Peljesac have you covered.

All coastal towns have what Croats call lungomare, walking trails running along the coast, and often connecting neighboring villages. You can hike without a sweat from Orebic to Viganj, from Trstenik through Dingac, or from Trpanj to Blaca Bay.
The most popular hike on Peljesac is a hike to the Mount Sv. Ilija (St. Elijah). It’s peninsula’s highest peak at 961 m above sea level. There are many hiking routes to reach the summit. Three most popular starting points are Ruskovica, Bilopolja and Nakovane. The hike from Nakovane is the easiest, while the route from Bilopolja is the most challenging. All trails are well marked.
From Nakovane, it takes about 40 minute walk to reach the foot of the hill where the real ascend starts. This trail isn’t too steep, and it takes you approximately an hour and a half to reach the summit. The views are spectacular.

7. Windsurf in Viganj
Viganj, a small coastal village on the southwest shores of the peninsula, is one of the most popular place for windsurfers in all Croatia.

Winds pick-up quickly in this funnel-like channel between Peljesac peninsula and Korcula Island. Surfing conditions are good all year. During the summer, morning wind conditions are suitable for beginners. Summer afternoons create perfect surfing conditions for advanced and professional surfers with Maestral, a west wind, reaching an average speed of 20 knots, and sometimes up to 40 knots.
The most popular launch point in Viganj is St. Liberan, a shingle strip between Viganj and Kucisce.

There are many windsurfing schools and centers in Viganj. They offer different windsurfing classes, as well as equipment rental.

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