The Ston area is known for its natural beauty. The main attraction are definitely the grizzled 14th century walls of Ston. Unfortunately, only a part of this 5.5 km long fortification line was accessible to public, but finally, after a long period of renovation the large part of the walls has been opened to public back in October of 2009. So, thankfully, today, the visitors can enjoy the complete magic of Ston.
Why are the walls so important? Well, they were built in 1334, when the republic of Dubrovnik gained Ston and Pelješac peninsula. It was very important to secure it, because of the potential Venetian and Ottoman attacks. It was a great investment at the time, after all, the salt pans of Ston were almost the same value as gold. The salt was so important and it became the key source of Dubrovnik’s revenue and thanks to it, Dubrovnik kept its fleet on the seas.
Ston has a great geographical position, the fertile fields, the plenty of water and of course salinity and connection with Pelješac became a very reason why people selected it for their residence. These salt pans are the oldest in Europe and the largest preserved ones in the history of the Mediterranean.
Want to try something completely different? Your holidays can get pretty interesting… And this could easily be the best reason to come (and stay) in Ston! Well, what do you say about salt harvesting?! The harvesting is usually happening from mid July until September. Every day, one of the pools is harvested. Each pool gives around 30 -100 tons of salt and everything here is done manually, of course. For harvesting, you need to be up at 6:00am in the morning. You can take a break, but you will have to work until all the salt has been harvested which can be anytime between 11:00am and 12:00pm. After all that hard work, You can go swimming to Broce or Prapratno or explore Mali Ston. But the best news is that there is a free accommodation for all participants in the Solana Ston premises. Wow! How cool is that? And there is more! Food and beverages are provided in Ston’s most popular restaurant, the participants get free tickets to the Ston summer evening events – concerts, music events or theatrical performances! For anyone who decides to stay longer than 15 days there is an organized tour to the oyster parks in the bay of Ston and wine tasting. You want to take something home? Not a problem! All harvest participants receive a gift package of salt that they harvested.
But in Ston, behind the great walls, and all that salt, there is whole little secret world. It’s a small world of hidden corners, picturesque passes, places where the old meets new.
Want to find out more about salt harvesting? Check out this video!
Photo credit Lena Šutić & Solana Ston .