Hidden treasures of Dubrovnik littoral area
We all know that Dubrovnik is beautiful and it offers so much in terms of beauty, culture, history, fun and pleasure to all of its visitors. But for all those who are staying a little bit longer and have some time to explore Dubrovnik surroundings there is so much to be seen and discovered there too!
Dubrovačko Primorje (the Dubrovnik littoral area) is the region west of Dubrovnik with many little settlements and villages, some of them by the sea in picturesque little bays that shelter from strong winds and are perfect for a relaxing walk with ice cream in your hand or sitting in a small coffee shop or restaurant with delicious sea food while enjoying the stunning sea views.
Others are called upper villages and they are situated on the hills above the sea level and a bit hidden from the usual paths, known mostly to locals who live there or have their family houses to spend weekends and holidays.
To name few of the bigger places, travelling west along Dubrovnik coast you can first stop in charming little place called Zaton that is situated in a beautiful bay and it’s a great place for a walk and lunch, specially if you are a fan of delicious sea food. Next one is Orašac, pretty little place on the hill with gorgeous sea views and luxurious hotel complex with beautiful beaches and amenities.
Next place is Trsteno, famous for its arboretum that is one of the oldest in the world. You will recognize you arrived to Trsteno when you see two huge Plane trees with trunks 5 meters in diameter that are more than 500 years old.
There are many other beautiful little places and villages to be seen and explored but more on that some other time, now I want to share with you one of my favourite places! Bay of Mali Ston is bay enclosed by Pelješac peninsula and the mainland, famous for cultivation of oysters and mussels and it’s picture perfect little piece of Paradise with clear blue water, pretty surrounding hills, beautiful little village Mali Ston and small town called Ston with the second longest defensive walls in the world, second only to the Great Chinese wall.
One part of Mali Ston Bay is called Bistrina and it’s a place where I used to come to swim with my family ever since I was a little girl. Just a short turn from the main road and you find yourself in peaceful oasis with just blue water, green hills and beautiful views. The best part of Adriatic coast for me is discovering hidden little bays without too many people where you can relax and enjoy the sea in peace and quiet and I’m sure many of you feel the same! Short drive from Bistrina bridge and main road there is a beautiful viewpoint where we often stop and take few moments to admire the view. At that viewpoint there is also a beautiful monument dedicated to the defenders of Dubrovnik-Neretva county during Croatian War of Independence.
In the vicinity there is another interesting attraction that actually not many people know about. In tiny little village Ošlje, just a short drive from Mali Ston bay and Bistrina bridge, there is a very interesting old ruin called Rotonda, a church from Pre-Romanesque times. It’s a unique circular building with 8 apses on a circular base, can be placed between 9th and 11th century and it’s very rare in architecture history of the period it belongs to. There is a legend saying that in the vicinity of this old church there are golden bells buried. Who would think that in a tiny little village hidden in the hills of Dubrovačko Primorje there is such an important historical and cultural site!
Besides beautiful nature, one of the reasons why I’ve always loved Mali Ston bay is of course delicious sea food and specially oysters and mussels that couldn’t be more fresh and delicious than there. It has always been a favourite place for our family gatherings and celebrations and if you love picturesque little seaside villages and the best sea food, it’s a definitely a place to visit!
If you have a little bit of time when travelling, it’s so worth it taking a little turn here and there and discovering one of those hidden treasures that could be just behind the corner…