Do you dream of a summer holiday where you wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is get out of bed and go throw yourself in the crystal clear sea? Pelješac is one of those places on Earth where this dream is a reality. And you won’t have to share it with thousands of other tourists.
This post won’t be me writing about some amazing adventure we had here. Pelješac is very close to my heart as I spent a few summers here as a child. This time I was finally back, the first time as an adult, after more than 15 years of absence. And I brought the husband with me!
Is Pelješac some secret hidden by the locals and completely unknown? Some adventure waiting to happen? Well, yes and no. It is not completely unknown to tourists (you’ll see why later on) but it is nowhere near as busy as the rest of the Croatian coast.
Let’s start with the general stuff
Pelješac is the second largest peninsula in Croatia. It is located far south down the coast, but still north of Dubrovnik (it falls under Dubrovnik county). It is very narrow and the majority of the houses are by the seafront. Literally, it’s houses, a very narrow road and then the beach. Even if you are not overlooking the sea from the doorstep, the sea is never far away.
The peninsula is 65km long and the biggest town is Orebic with only just over 4000 people living there – the total population of Pelješac is about 7801 people according to the 2011 census. Historically, it was known for its maritime industry and, even today, many young people choose a career on the sea.
The road to Pelješac is pretty long if you are coming from the north or west of Croatia. It also passes through about a 20km stretch of Bosnian territory – Neum. There are many political polemics about Neum, best not even ask about it, especially if you’re talking to a big patriot (from both Croatian and BiH side).
However, there is a big project on the way that will cut out the need to go through Neum. The Pelješac Bridge will connect Komarna (continent) to Brijest (Pelješac ). As it stands, it is still under construction (May 2022) but the plan is to have it open by mid-July this year.
Is there anything to do here?
Pelješac is one of my favourite places on the Croatian coast. I have some family here and, as a child, I spent whole summers here. Their house is literally across the road from the beach so the first thing I’d do in the morning as soon as I opened my eyes was to go jump in the sea. The sea here is one of the clearest along the coastline and it never gets too warm thanks to the currents, not even in the middle of summer when temperatures are above 35 degrees in the shade.
The villages are small and, compared to some other places on the coast, there is not that much to do. It is a perfect place for a relaxing holiday spent reading a book on the beach.
But it’s not just beach time here, there are other ways to spend your time.
For instance, you can go hiking or cycling. The highest peak of the peninsula is called Sveti Ilija and it has one of the best views of Pelješac and the neighbouring islands!
Or you can go tasting some delicious local wines. The most famous one of them is Dingać.
Maybe you would prefer kite surfing? I already touched on the kite surfing topic in the post here. Along with the Neretva Delta, the beach in Viganj is one of the most famous beaches where you can go kite surfing. The weather here is perfect for this extreme sport! And it is all to the geological position.
Across from Pelješac is the island of Korčula. The strait of sea between the two is a natural funnel for winds so naturally, kite surfers made it their hub. Kite surfing in Viganj is not really recommended for beginners as it is done in deep water and can be dangerous for surfers just learning.
At the very beginning of the peninsula is the town of Ston, famous for oysters and salt. It also hides long city walls. Some say they rival the walls of Dubrovnik! They are definitely not as busy as Dubrovnik ones so give them a go. They will also cost A LOT less.
Lastly, if you find yourself on Pelješac and get bored because you already explored the peninsula, you can always hop on a boat over to beautiful Korčula (also called little Dubrovnik) on the eponymous island. Or you can go to Mljet and explore one of the eight National Parks of Croatia.
Whichever reason brings you to Peljesac, I am sure you will enjoy it. Even if just for a 2 days’ break from the rest of the world while the sea splashes around your feet.