As you travel down the coast from Split towards the direction of Dubrovnik – just south of the Neum Corridor portion of Bosnia and Hercegovina, in fact – there is a peninsula that juts out diagonally into the Adriatic Sea, towards the direction of Korcula. This is the Peljesac Peninsula, home to towns such as Orebic, Trpanj and Ston and famous for its wines – particularly from the Plavac Mali grape – as well as its oysters. This 65km long peninsula is the second largest in Croatia, after Istria.
At the moment, a new bridge connecting the Croatian mainland with the Peninsula is being constructed; this would completely bypass the section of Bosnia and Hercegovina and would connect all of Croatia. The bridge is expected to be completed by 2022.
Getting to the Peljesac Peninsula
Undeniably, the easiest way of reaching the Peninsula is with your own car. As the peninsula stretches out away from the mainland, there are few public transport options that operate here. Really, your own set of wheels would give you the most flexibility for visiting the area and its little towns. This is also the case if you plan on visiting the wineries. (Obviously, be careful with your wine intake!)
If you are reaching the Peninsula from the north coastal region, you may like to take the Ploce – Trpanj ferry (see below) to cut down on driving time.
Once the Peljesac bridge (see above) is completed – expected in 2022 – this will also cut down on driving time!
Some of the Dubrovnik public transport buses stretch out to the Peninsula. However, these buses do not operate frequently at all! Bus number 15 travels from Dubrovnik bus station to Ston at the base of the peninsula, with buses operating three times a day. Bus number 21 travels all the way to Orebic at the top of the Peljesac Peninsula; however, it only does so once on Fridays! Timetables of both of these buses can be seen on the Dubrovnik Bus Terminal website – click on ‘West’ for buses in this direction.
Arriva do also operate a bus from Dubrovnik to Orebic, with a higher frequency of services during the summer months.
By ferry and catamaran
There is a very frequent car ferry that sails from Korcula (Domince) to Orebic, run by Jadrolinija. Sailing time is only 20 minutes. G&V Line Iadera also operate a foot-passenger only service on the same route.
If you are driving down the coastline towards the Peljesac Peninsula, you may prefer to get the Jadrolinija ferry from Ploce on the mainland to Trpanj on the Peninsula. This saves you having to drive down the coast to Ston and then back up the Peninsula!
It is possible to visit locations on the Peninsula on an organised tour from Dubrovnik. For example, the Ston, Oysters and Wine Tour is a 4-hour tour combining these delights and centred around Ston. Alternatively, you might prefer to go for the 6-hour Peljesac Peninsula Wine Tour from Dubrovnik or the Wine Lover’s Tour.
What to See and Do on the Peljesac Peninsula
As we’ve mentioned, the two main towns that you may visit are Ston and Orebic. Ston is famous for its majestic town walls (which rival Dubrovnik’s), as well as its oysters and its salt production. Spending a day here touring the walls then enjoying an oyster lunch – along with a glass of something local – would be ideal.
Orebic is a bit more of a holiday-resort type place, but it is well placed for those who want to be on the Peninsula but also within easy access of Korcula island. For a bit of an adventure, climbing St Elijah (Sveti Ilija) Mountain rewards you with stunning views out to sea and across the islands.
The Peninsula is famous for its vineyards, producing what are often thought to be the best wines in Croatia, including Postup and Dingac from the Plavac Mali grape. It, therefore, comes as no surprise to learn that there are a number of wineries that you can visit here, sampling some of the locally produced specialities. There are of course many more wineries than those listed below; ask locally for tips or join an organised wine tour! Or, better still, go on a road trip and see where you end up!
The Korta Katerina Winery near Orebic has been producing wines since 2006 and offers wine tastings, as well as the opportunity to merely enjoy the offerings in their wine bar.
The Grgic Winery (Trstenik) was founded by famed California wine-maker Mike (Miljenko) Grgich, who is in fact Croatian-born. Their Plavac Mali is celebrated.
The Marlais Winery (Ponikve) produces several reds and a rose from the Plavac Mali grape, as well as a dry white wine of a blend of local Dalmatian sorts. Wine tastings are offered, and it is even possible to tour the vineyards (by appointment).
Beaches on the Peljesac Peninsula
There are plenty of beaches for you to enjoy all over the Peninsula.
One of the best is likely Prapratno Beach, southwest of Ston on the lower portion of the Peninsula. This long, sandy beach – surrounded by pine trees – is shallow and so very suitable for families with young kids. There are beach items (loungers, umbrellas) available to rent, and there’s also a snack bar for food and drink.
Another sandy option, this time in Orebic, is Trstenica Beach. In fact, the beach is a sand/pebble mix, and it stretches out for over 400m. Another good family option, there are water-sports activities available here as well as snack bars for refreshments.
In the Trpanj region, check out Divna Beach (around 10km from Trpanj) – it’s very name means ‘wonderful’! This small pebble beach is surrounded by lush greenery which is a beautiful contrast to the beautiful blue Adriatic. Again, the shallow waters make it suitable for visiting with children.
Please see our page on Accommodation in Orebic which has the best selection of accommodation choices on the Peninsula. Hotels include the 4-star Heritage Boutique Hotel Adriatic and the Aminess Grand Azur Hotel, and the 3-star Holiday Park Rooms and Suites.