DUBROVNIK DIGEST >> EXCURSIONS
EXCURSIONS >> Neretva Valley
If somebody asked you for the odd one out on the Croatian Adriatic then it would surely be the Neretva Valley. This area located 100km west of Dubrovnik is geographically, completely different from the rest of the coast.
While elsewhere mostly karst and the river meet the sea as one, the Neretva delta is a vast delta formed by the deposition of sediments that the river brings from the upper basin.
Dalmatian land is barren almost everywhere, but not in this area. The fertile valley is used for planting many crops most notably mandarins and watermelon.
Numerous animal species live in the Dolina Neretve and especially birds. There are 310 species of bird on the Neretva River, 115 of which are nesting.
Metković, a town in the Neretva Valley, is home to the second biggest ornithological collection in Europe.
Neretva is the most famous eel habitat in Croatia. Eel from the Neretva River and other species spawn in the Sargasso Sea where the Gulf Stream returns them to Europe. The journey sometimes takes up to three years. Numerous restaurants across the Neretva valley offer specialities of eels and frogs.
The most famous way of preparing these specialities is as a stew called brodet. Other specialities include coot bird, seafood and crab. If you find yourself in this corner of Croatia then be sure to try some of these dishes which you won’t find anywhere else in the Adriatic.
Why not go on a photo safari, travelling by traditional boat called a lada through the narrow canals and enjoy the beautiful untouched nature? Every year in the summer the Neretva Boat Marathon (second Saturday in August) takes place, where crews fight for to be the winner of this prestigious race.
Visit the picturesque town of Komin and Vid, which was the great city of Narona, one of the most important Roman cities on the Croatian Adriatic. During excavations in the nineties, archaeologists made a sensational discovery - 16 temple statues of which the most impressive was the Emperor Augustus together with his family. All the statues were found headless, having most probably been removed by Christians. However, parts of the heads were found in other parts of the world such as England (head Empress Livia and the god Mercury) and returned. All the Roman remains can be seen at the Archaeological Museum in Vid.
On the River Neretva you can also go kitesurfing. Along with Viganj on Peljesac, this location is ideal for kitesurfing due to it often having strong wind, It's considered one of the best spots in Croatia and Europe (watch a video).
The most important towns in Neretva valley are Ploče, Opuzen i Metković.