DUBROVNIK DIGEST >> EXCURSIONS
EXCURSIONS >> Primorje
Dubrovačko primorje stretches west from Dubrovnik all the way to Ston. The area is sparsely populated but it's very interesting to explore and enjoy, especially if you go by car because there is so much to see.
The first place we recommend calling at is Zaton – situated in a large, protected bay. The bay itself is beautiful – the sea here is calm because it's well protected from strong winds. It's precisely because of its positioning that many old noble families built their summer residences here. In Zaton there are several sources of fresh water so for that reason, water mills were built. Sometimes the sea is cooler here than the surrounding areas but that won't stop you from swimming. After the beach, you can head to one of Zaton's restaurants to sample some of the famous seafood specialties on offer.
The next place on your travels is Orašac. Known for its large hotel complex with a beach and various other attractions. Here you can enjoy cocktails, play tennis, 5 a-side football and paintball or visit the spa.
In this cute seaside village you'll find an interesting church, Our Lady of Orasac, built in the 15th Century. The church houses pictures of Saint Mary of Sorrows and St. John the Baptist that are on the Croatian Ministry of Culture's protected goods list. Soderini Castle is another building of note here, built a century after the church.
Beyond Orašac lies Trsteno, a place famed for its arboretum, which is definitely a must see. It is the oldest arboretum in Croatia and one of the oldest in the world. In Trsteno you can also swim at the beach near the beautiful villas there. At the entrance to the town there are two huge planetree trees. With trunks 5 metres in diameter, these trees are more than 600 years old.
Travelling along the Dubrovnik coast you will come to a place called Brsecine besides which lies a unique beach called Sikirica. At low tide Sikirica is a peninsula, but at the time of high tide it becomes a small island.
The centre of Dubrovacko primorje region is a place called Slano which is also located in a large, spacious bay. Along the bay there are sandy beaches, which are among the most beautiful in the whole of the Dubrovnik area. A promenade runs above them, perfect for early evening walks.
The coastline of this region is perfect for swimming, walking and relaxing, while the hinterland is ideal for rural tourism. You can reach the hinterland by taking the roads that run from Doli, Slano or Orašac.
In places like Smokovljani, Visočani, Lisac, Topolo, Gromača and Mrčevo, there are rural households where the friendly hosts will prepare dishes from organic products in a traditional way for you. This part of the coast is famous for growing olives, producing honey, its vineyards and medicinal herbs . Taste different types of spirits and liqueurs made from walnuts, cherries and loquat (nespoli). Many locals in Stupa are shellfish farmers so if you are in the area, be sure to sample their mussels and oysters.
If you like nature and its secrets, we recommend you visit a unique cave called Vjetrenica where the skeleton of a leopard was once found.
It is worth noting that the coastal area of Dubrovacko primorje was occupied by hostile forces during the last war. Many villages were looted and burned but have now been restored. Today the scars of war are hardly visible.