Croatia’s coast is generally punctuated by the cities on the mainland and the islands off-shore for tourism purposes. But what about the lesser-known parts of Croatia’s coast? They’re equally as worthy of a trip and here I’ll look at the Peljesac Peninsula, located approximately a one hour drive north of Dubrovnik.
The Peljesac Peninsula is a long, narrow strip of land which juts out into the Adriatic Sea at a 45 degree angle from the mainland. Hvar island is to its north, Korcula island to its west and Mljet island to its south. You may think that a strip of land which is only 40 miles long and 4 miles wide may be easy to traverse but this is Croatia where mountains meet you at every twist and turn!
MAIN URBAN AREAS
Orebic: I stayed in Orebic which is the largest urban area on the peninsula. Orebic is the departure point for car and passenger ferries to Korcula. Orebic has great cafes, restaurants and hotels, and caters for mainly non-English speaking tourists. Everyone in the hospitality industry spoke English with the exception of my lovely apartment owners whom I had to communicate with in my pigeon German.
A variety of accommodation options are available but book at least 3 months in advance. The English speaking world may not be familiar with this part of Croatia but Eastern Europe and Russia is.
Orebic has a number of small beaches. Most are pebbled but Trstenica to the east of the town has sand. I wasn’t keen on Trstenica and recommend the beaches to the west of the town instead.
Trpanj: Trpanj is the Peljesac Peninsula’s northern urban area but much smaller than Orebic. Ferries to Ploče depart from Trpanj. The town has a great urban beach as well as remote rocky beaches east of the town such as Dracevac.
Loviste: Loviste is a little village at the west end of the peninsula with a small harbour and rocky beaches nearby. The clarity of water on these beaches was outstanding.
Ston: At the eastern end of the peninsula lies Ston, a town of historical importance but not the most convenient for beach access.
THINGS TO DO
Sunbathing/Swimming: As I live in Ireland I try to get a year’s supply of vitamin D on beach holidays so the most obvious activity in such a climatically beneficial place like the Peljesac Peninsula is sunbathing and swimming. There are plenty of beaches on the peninsula but rarely of the sandy variety so bring beach shoes. Along with the above mentioned ones, the small beaches in Trstenik and Zuljana come recommended as well.
Windsurfing/Kitesurfing: The specific type of winds that blow through the village of Viganj are perfect for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Hiking: Terrain which makes driving difficult usually lends itself to perfect hiking opportunities. All of the coastal villages have marked walking trails.
Wine Tasting: The Peljesac Peninsula is one of the prominent wine growing regions in Croatia with plenty of opportunities for wine tasting. Unfortunately I couldn’t partake as I was driving but I noticed a plethora of wine outlets in the village of Potomje. The peninsula is famous for its Plavac red wine.
Eating: As I mentioned in my Planning a Trip to Croatia post dining is one of the nicest surprises of travelling to Croatia and the Peljesac Peninsula is no exception. The standard of restaurants in Orebic was exceptionally high and very reasonably priced.
Korcula: A day trip to the island of neighbouring Korcula is also a must. The ferry from Orebic takes minutes and drops passengers to the small harbour of Domince, a couple of kilometres east of Korcula town. Gorgeous Korcula town was more popular with western European and English-speaking tourists than Peljesac but had significantly higher prices as well. It’s still worth the day trip. Here is the evidence:
Getting to the Peljesac Peninsula: I flew with Aer Lingus from Dublin to Dubrovnik and rented a car for the onward journey. A handful of buses leave from Dubrovnik’s main bus station to Orebic daily.
Getting around: The rented car was convenient but I can honestly say that the Peljesac Peninsula’s roads were some of the craziest I’ve driven on, terrain-wise. Bus services link the towns and villages but are no substitute to your own two or four wheels for discovering the peninsula’s many hidden coves.
For a further guide to Croatia and its destinations check out my Planning a trip to Croatia post.