The Southern Dalmatia region stretches from Ploce harbor all the way to Montenegro border hiding the most visited sights of Adriatic coast. Here lies the Southern Star, Dubrovnik, the most aristocratic city of Croatia.
There are only few cities in the world that can match up to this unique town with its massive city walls with immense artistic heritage available to anyone.
Although this star is shining with the most intensive splendor, it’s not the only highlight you will discover in this the southernmost part of the Adriatic.
This warm and sunny region is a flourishing region of coves, beaches, woody islands like Mljet (National Park of Mljet) , Korcula island, Peljesac peninsula or Elaphite islands, Croatia’s best kept secret.
Southern Dalmatia Landmarks
There’s no better way to appreciate Dubrovnik’s history and architecture than by walk across the beautiful walls that surround the Old Town. They are one of the main tourist attractions.
There are multiple entrances, but the best (and most popular) is on the left side of Stradun, just after you enter the city from the Pile Gate.
The City Walls are usually the first thing on a tourist’s list to do upon arriving to Dubrovnik.
Stradun promenade is Dubrovnik’s top tourist attraction. The whole life of the city is reflected in this approximately 300 meter long, pedestrian zone and it runs from the Pile to Ploce gates, following the line of the channel that once divided the town into two parts.
As you walk along the street, you’ll notice the constant tourists passage particularly dense in the summer period where a free table is hard to find at the many cafes.
Southern Dalmatia Surroundings Landmarks
Ston a small fortified town
If you are looking for a miniature Chinese Wall than there is one in Ston town on Peljesac Peninsula, about 54 km north-west of Dubrovnik, divided in two villages Veli and Mali Ston (Great and Small).
Ston is also well known for it’s oyster production in nearby channel as well as for it’s salt works in the near vicinity that produce sea salt for centuries.
Ston became a part of Dubrovnik Republic. The inhabitants of Dubrovnik built and fortified the town to defend Peljesac and to protect the salt fields, out of which Dubrovnik was making a high profit.
When the construction of the fortifications with 5,5 km long walls was finished in 1333, it was the longest fortification complex in Europe and the second largest in the world, after the famous Chinese wall.
Croatia’s best oysters and mussels
The Small Ston is a little fishing village next to Great Ston. Mali Ston offers the best seafood in Croatia. The town restaurants serve all kinds of fish, mussels and Croatia’s best oysters. Seafood is the coastal delight here in Croatia.
Southern Dalmatia – The Elaphite Islands
Southern Dalmatia archipelago known as Elafiti, consists of three islands, Kolocep, Lopud, and Sipan, each of which can easily be reached by the inexpensive local Jadrolinija ferry that runs four times daily (twice on Sundays) throughout the year from Dubrovnik.
All three islands have private accommodation, hotels, and small tourist offices that are open in summer only. Two of them are car free.
My favorite is Lopud island, once a playground of the Dubrovnik nobility. It’s the second largest of the islands and forty minutes by boat from Dubrovnik.
Lopud’s greatest beauty is Sunj Bay beach, on the far side of the island, whose calm waters are popular for boaters and white-sand beach is an ideal place for families with children. The bay has a special section for nudist bathing lovers, considered one of the best naturist resorts.
Not many tourists know this place, just 20 km north of Dubrovnik. You won’t find anything as beautiful and peaceful as Trsteno Arboretum, a majestic garden, around the Gozze family splendid 15th century Renaissance summer residence.
It also house a stunning viewpoint pavilion that overlooks the Dalmatian coast and the Adriatic Sea, as well as a massive Baroque fountain of Neptune and his nymphs dating back from 1736.
Trsteno is easily reachable by car or by bus from Dubrovnik bus station. There is also an exclusive tour of all ‘Game of Thrones’ spots around Dubrovnik.
Southern Dalmatia – Konavle
This is a region with some thirty villages extending on both sides of the Adriatic coast road south of Dubrovnik and Cavtat. This area could be called “The Golden Valley” of Dubrovnik.
Konavle is about 15-20 minutes distant from the Old Town and it can be reached by bus or a car. The most known village in Konavle is Cilipi village 22 km from Dubrovnik in Konavle region, close to Dubrovnik Airport.
This small village is well-known for folklore events regularly held during the summer period in front of the village church. This spectacle is in fact a review of attractive Konavle national costumes and dances.