Pelješac Peninsula: Where You’ll Find Wine & Oysters
Despite the fact that the earlier years of this beautiful part of the country are basically shrouded in mystery, we know that the sparsely populated, but seriously impressive Peljesac Peninsula was originally mentioned by Greek writers, known as the Roman Province of Dalmatia.
Following a changing of hands, the area was part of the French Empire in the early 1800s, before passing over to the Austrian Empire. Moving on from this, for around 70 years, the area was then part of Yugoslavia, before Croatia was granted independence in the 90s. For this very reason, the Peljesac Peninsula is an area which is dripping in history, nods to various cultures, and as such, the ideal place to visit.
Though it is only home to about 8 thousand people, the Pelješac peninsula is now coming into its stride as a travel destination.
We’ve been busting to get to this part of the world ever since we moved to Croatia, but with so much traveling and with a baby in tow, we’ve just not yet made it that far. This region has long been known for its delicious shellfish, dry red wines, and gorgeous beaches and we plan to make a real adult holiday when we do get there.
We’ve talked to our family and friends, and travel operators who we’ve had the pleasure of working with this past 12 months and they have given us so many great hints, tips, and info about the area.
Easy to get to from Dubrovnik, we always recommend this part of Croatia to anyone who loves wine, and always feel so jealous when people come back and give us the thumbs up.
Things to do on The Pelješac Peninsula
Because, it would be almost selfish not to share all the tips with you, here they are. And if you want more ideas, you can also find more great Croatia tours to enjoy a wonderful vacation in this beautiful part of the world.
Taste The Local Seafood & Enjoy The Wine
There are also excellent vintages on tap at Postup and Dingač villages. Both of these towns are located near the main settlement at Orebić on the peninsula’s southwestern coast.
Our friends over at the Boutique Hotel Marco Polo in Gradac run private tours to explore this whole area and we plan to go back and check it out ASAP.
Orebic is a Top Spot For Some Sunshine
Orebić itself is but a short ferry ride from Korčula and boats often go between the two destinations. Due to the fact that this town functioned as a trading outpost for many years, many sea captains and their families made their homes here.
Orebić is one of the sunniest spots in Croatia so it is a popular spot for day-trippers from the surrounding areas.
Local Tip: Orebić is home to Nevio Camp, the campground that has won best campsite in all of Croatia for several years in a row. It’s the perfect place to escape from the bustle of Dubrovnik while still being able to explore the city and all that Peljesac has to offer.
Visit Our Lady of The Angels & Hike Sveti Ilija
Orebić has a historic monastery called Our Lady of the Angels that is worth a stop, but avid hikers will also want to make the 4-hour climb up Sveti Ilija (Mount St. Ilija). Pack comfortable shoes and plenty of water and sun cream for your hike, as well as an empty memory card for those stunning views from the top.
Kite Surfing in Kuciste
Those who want to spend their time at the beach should check out the pebbly shores at Trstenicia. Kitesurfers should likewise head out to the village of Kuciste, where there are lessons available or simply practice at the highly rated North Kiteboarding Club.
More Wine Tasting Fun
Wine aficionados should stop at Korta Katarina Winery in Orebić for a tasting before making their way out to Trstnik. While the village’s main draw is the tasty red and white vintages produced by the local Grgić winery, there are plenty of good beaches to be found nearby. The winery is open daily between the hours of 10am and 5pm.
One of the keys places for wine in Pelješac. Photo Credit Korta Katarina
Enjoy The Local Produce
Another good stop for those that enjoy wine is the Podobuče village, where there is also a beach. Travelers can stay at the local inn, Konoba Molovran, for about $35 a night and feast upon the local produce in the tavern below.
Ston is home to the local winery Vinarija Milos can be also found in town and it is worth a stop for those that are still on a quest for the perfect vintage. With all of the culinary offerings that can be found here, it is no surprise that the town makes a fine stop for a delicious, locally produced meal. Some great places for foodies to check out are the Gastro Mare, the Restaurant & Caffe Bar Bella Vista as well as the Stagnum restaurants, all of which are located in Ston.
History to be Found at Ston
The peninsula’s second largest population center is at the Ston. This fortified city is a Renaissance maze that sits on a spit of land which connects the peninsula to the mainland. In the Middle Ages, Ston was located in a strategic location and was thus fortified in order to help protect Dubrovnik which had acquired it in the 14th century.
Check Out The Oysters
Ston and its sister city, the charming fishing hamlet of Mali Ston, are known for their lush oyster beds and their salt pans, both of which can be glimpsed from the walls.
The salt pans are also open for viewing after paying a small admissions fee but I am told that tours of these facilities are self-guided and there is often no one about to answer questions. However, Ston salt is available at local retailers.
Enjoy The Great Outdoors at Mljet National Park
And whilst not part of the peninsula of Pelješac, very close by is Mljet National Park. Be sure to take a day trip to explore this beautiful Island, which offers kayaking, hiking or crystal clear beaches just for relaxing.
Work For Your Lodgings And Harvest Salt in Ston
There is, even more, to do in Ston, and you’ll find salt plains here, which date as far back as the 14th century. The yearly production of salt around here is a massive 530 tonnes, and you can help out by harvesting in exchange for your lodgings! I personally think this is a great experience to have, and whilst I haven’t tried it myself, I’m told it’s quite the work out!
Take a Road Trip
There are several scenic road trips you can take, and four of the best are said to be: the Trstenik to Potomje route, in and around Drace, from Orebic to Podobuce, and Trstenik to Zuljana. All of these are packed with sights to see and places to visit along the way, all calling for more than a few photo stops along the way.
Head to The Donkey Farm
In Kuna you’ll find a family run, and extremely cute, donkey farm. You need to pre-arrange to head here, but you can feed them, pet them, and even milk them – certainly an activity to put a smile on your face, especially if you’re travelling with little ones.
Head to The Island of Mljet
There is a ferry which runs from Prapratno to Sobra on Mljet regularly, and it’s a must do, to see the stunning beauty of this island. Basically, this is nature at its best, and a very green island.
Head Under Water
Scuba diving is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and there are several shipwrecks along this coastline, including Boka, and a German torpedo boat, as well as a 2000-year-old ship from Roman times. On top of this, there are caves, passages and sea walls to check out – Oh, and the underwater residents, of course!
Have you ever traveled to or planned to travel to the Pelješac peninsula? We’d love to know your suggested pit stop… or stops.