Where are the most beautiful beaches in southern Dalmatia? Ask several people who have travelled the length and breadth of Croatia this question and they will all answer: on the Peljesac peninsula.
Divided from the enchanting island of Korcula by a narrow arm of the sea, the Peljesac peninsula has a beautiful landscape of rugged mountains, green valleys and idyllic bays, with charming old villages scattered here and there.
For breathtaking views and vistas of the peninsula and the sea surrounding it, take the charming scenic road between Ston and Orebić, or take one of the many inland trails and climb to the top of Mount Lija.
And after your exertion, reward yourself with the renowned local gastronomy, famous for succulent fish and shellfish dishes and fine wines.
In the historical town of Orebić, protected from the cold northern winds by a mountain relief behind it, spring starts early and summers end late.
Tourists are attracted here by its natural beauty, be it its enchanting beaches, among the most beautiful in southern Dalmatia, or Mount Ilija, which, at 961 metres high, offers numerous opportunities for beautiful hikes for hiking enthusiasts. Some trails will take you to picturesque villages in the surrounding area and ancient monasteries.
Orebić is also an ideal base for a day trip to the beautiful island of Korčula, which is separated from the mainland by an arm of sea only 2.5 km wide.
If you’re curious, you can check out the small Maritime Museum, which exhibits nautical objects, paintings with a maritime theme and some archaeological finds from the waters of the Adriatic.
On an isthmus connecting the Peljesac peninsula with mainland Croatia are Ston and Mali Ston, two small, quaint villages only a kilometre apart.
The great attraction of Ston and Mali Ston is the area’s delicious fish, considered the best in the area. Treat yourself to a succulent dinner of oysters and mussels in the typical restaurants of the two villages.
Both are medieval towns protected by walls that are still preserved today. Ston’s mighty walls were built in 1333 and, at 5.5 km long, represent one of the most extensive systems of fortifications in Europe. Juraj Dalmatinac, one of Croatia’s most important architects and sculptors, was also involved in the design of the walls.
The romantic walk along the walls will provide you with a wonderful view of the town and the sea. Calculate about 15 minutes for the Ston section, another 30 if you want to reach Mali Ston: an easy walk perfect to work off a fish dinner, or to work up an appetite before going to a restaurant!
Ston has been an important centre for salt production for centuries, and even today, the Ston salt pans are a key part of the town’s economy. The salt production area covers an area of 429,840 m2, with 7 tanks dedicated to the extraction of salt from seawater and 10 to crystallisation.
Throughout the year there are only 11 employees at the Ston salt works, but in the summer months the need for personnel increases considerably.
To meet this need, volunteer salt camps are organised from mid-July to September during which volunteers receive free board and lodging in exchange for 6-7 hours of work per day.
This is certainly a tiring, but at the same time extremely rewarding experience, thanks to which it is possible to come into contact with local life and people.
The Peljesac peninsula is famous for its beautiful, mostly pebble and sandy beaches. Some are close to settlements and easy to reach, while others can be reached after long, steep footpaths.
Here are some of the most beautiful beaches on the Peljesac peninsula:
The towns on the Peljesac peninsula are well connected to Dubrovnik by direct buses; connections with Zagreb are less frequent. The peninsula is connected by ferries and speedboats with the island of Korcula.
If you would like to visit Peljesac on a day trip, without staying overnight, you can join one of the numerous tours departing from Dubrovnik: we have selected the best ones for you.
The Peljesac peninsula is located in southern Croatia, halfway between Makarska and Dubrovnik.