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Get a rent-a-car and explore Pelješac to the fullest

 

So you’ve had some oysters and some risotto in Ston or Mali Ston, are back at the parking lot, starting your rent-a-car and about to make a decision - where to go next. This time, turn left, and continue exploring the Pelješac peninsula.

The second largest peninsula in Croatia, Pelješac, extends for 65 kilometres (40 miles), running parallel to the Croatian coast. Best known as Dubrovnik’s wine empire, Pelješac also features an exciting history, lush nature with green forests and pristine beaches, vivid traditions and many scenic driving routes.

Nearby Ston, with the salt pans still in sight, a paradise for hikers, trekkers and all nature lovers – Napoleon’s road. It extends for a bit under 7 kilometres, running between Ston and Orebić/Viganj and passing by some amazing historic locations, dating from prehistory to the 19th century. You could in fact leave your car parked in Ston, walk some 10 minutes and embark on this lovely hike taking you through serene nature and amazing panoramas, between many little churches and family owned wineries.

Wineries are very much a Pelješac thing. The tradition of winemaking exists here from the ancient times, and many families have perfected the art of producing wines from authentic local sorts such as Plavac mali (red) or Rukatac (white) grapes. In Ponikve, a 10 minute drive from Ston, you can taste some of the Croatian internationally awarded wines, namely Stagnum from Plavac mali grapes in the winery Miloš. Of course, if you are the driver, we recommend you taste their olive oil, produced from the hand-picked 1% of olives from Ponikve and as opulent as the wine!

Along the way, you will notice many family operated businesses featuring their home-made products. Feel invited to come in, take a look and maybe stay for some good local specialties. peljesac peninsula

The drive around here is unbelievably scenic. Make sure you stop above Prapratno, for some amazing views, and drive to the position Dingač, on the southern slopes of the island, to understand why the wine from here is so expensive. The hills are steep, and working the vineyards is hard labour, but the climate is perfect and the wines from this region are famous for their strong character. Needless to say, with the views of the amazingly blue Adriatic and Croatian islands in the distance, this just may be one of the more picturesque and exciting drives in a lifetime!

You will often drive just by the sea here, like in Hodilje or in Drače, and wherever you see something that reminds you of a beach – it is a beach. In Croatia, we enjoy the sea to the fullest, and if you can get in and get out of it – then it’s a beach. Still, Žuljana or Divna are spectacular and well worth a visit if you wish to take a dip.

Several villages on Pelješac are important if you plan to continue your journey further. The aforementioned Prapratno is the place to take the ferry to Mljet island, the greenest Croatian island and a national park. Trpanj, on the northern coast of the peninsula, is a small seaside town with several cafes, family run restaurants, a hotel and a lovely pebble beach, but also a harbour to take the ferry to Ploče, bringing you back to the mainland. Ploče is the entrance to the Croatian A1 highway, connecting the south with Split and Zagreb. Hence a drive through Pelješac is a also nice detour if you are headed this way, plus you get to skip crossing the borders between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia (4 borders altogether). Finally, the ferry from Orebić takes you to Korčula, a former Venetian city and an island well worth exploring.

 

As you can see, a car in Pelješac is a tool of discovery, and the drive is a journey itself. Get a rent-a-car in Dubrovnik, travel to Pelješac and explore it to the fullest!

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