9 things to see in Croatia’s Neretva Valley
By Iva Ralica
One of the places in Croatia that is not yet fully discovered by tourists is the beautiful valley just 100 kilometers northwest of Dubrovnik.
Geographically different from the rest of the Croatian coast and rubbish landscape, the fertile land around the Neretva River, the largest in the eastern part of the Adriatic, is perfect for agriculture, different flora and fauna and abounds evidence of a rich history. and interesting pirate stories.
Here are a few things to check.
1. Norin Tower
On the banks of the Neretva River, the 16th century Norin’s Tower was built as a bulwark of the Ottoman Empire against attacks by Venetian ships. Used for military purposes until the 19th century when it was transformed into a mill. Locals say the tower is actually seven stories high, but they can’t be seen because of the sinking in the swamps.
In 1996, in the area of the so-called Plećaševe štale (stables) in Vid, near Metković, the remains of the Augusteum – Roman temple and 17 sculptures of Roman emperors. All this can be seen in the Narona Archaeological Museum in which there are about 900 finds, from the 3rd century BC to the 15th century. Narona was the Roman settlement in this area in the 4th century BC and the museum named after it is the first in Croatia built on the site itself.
3. Lađa Traditional Boat Marathon
The first marathon, which involves traditional boat races known as lađa, was held in 1998 and has since become a real spectacle and tradition. Before the first marathon, the ships were pulled from the mud in memory of the grandparents who tried to preserve them in this way. Today, more than 80 ships from Neretva and other Croatian regions (and even foreign countries) take part in it.
The road from Metković to Ploče is 22 kilometers long and not straightforward. The marathon takes place on the second Saturday of August and is followed by a big party at the finish line – in Ploče.
4. Metković and Predolac Hill
The Predolac cave is a meeting place with the unique Dinaric shell of the caves “Congeria”, a living fossil, a tertiary relic and endemic to the Dinarids. It is also a home for other different animal species living exclusively underground.
Together with the impressive rocky environment, this unique locality in the world means an unforgettable experience.
5. The ecological zone
Over a total area of approximately 1620 hectares, five sites are classified as nature reserves (including the delta itself). Visit Prud and Orepak valleys as bird sanctuaries and Modro oko and Desne lakes to experience the beautiful parts of the whole valley along the Pirates river.
6. Komin & Ploce
The rich history of the town of Ploče and its ideal geographical location in the beautiful valley are reason enough to visit. The beautiful churches and monuments, as well as the surrounding places and the interesting area due to the Second World War, the archaeological sites and the houses of Queen Teuta are just some of the interesting places to discover.
Visit the picturesque town of Komin surrounded by Neretva and beautiful landscapes.
7. Local specialties
The delicious specialties of this region are brudet (similar to stew), eel in different ways, fried or grilled frogs and coots. Neretva is one of the best known eel habitats in Croatia. Preparation methods even differ from house to house. Of course, every house will say that’s just their best way of doing things. If you haven’t tried these specialties yet, this is a great opportunity to do so. And they taste really good! Other specialties are the mandarins and watermelons that grow in the region.
The Neretva region is a paradise for kitesurfing. Thanks to the winds of this region – maestral and tramuntana. The Neretva and its delta are a perfect place, in Croatia as in Europe. If you don’t want to participate, at least the show in the sky itself is worth seeing.
9. Bacina Lakes
Near the town of Ploče, in Baćina, seven breathtaking lakes! These beautiful lakes are all connected and it is interesting to note that their bottom is below sea level. The water here is soft, the surrounding hills are inhabited by different animal species and it is even possible to travel through them by boat. . So, above the Adriatic Sea, the mountain and the seven lakes, there really is a paradise.