Southern Croatia

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Southern  Dalmatia

The  symbolic  heart of Southern  Dalmatia is undeniably  Dubrovnik. Monumentally beautiful, this walled  city is a masterpiece  of medieval fortifications  and preservation, a city of  polished marble streets jam-packed  with architectural splendor.

Dubrovnik  has new-found  fame by way of  popular culture, being  the location for King’s Landing  in the “Game of Thrones” series. It was also featured in the recent “Star Wars” movie—suddenly, all eyes are on Dubrovnik.  

Dubrovnik is our home base for Southern Dalmatia tours, nestled in heavenly surroundings. The  70 kilometer stretch of the Pelješac peninsula is only an hour from Dubrovnik and has an otherworldly quality  to it. From the scenery to the food steeped in generations of tradition and hard work.

The  Pelješac  Trio

Three specialties  speak of the soul  of Pelješac: Wine, shellfish  and sea salt. Each has an epic history. The bounty of this region has drawn gourmands and epicures for centuries. Underground rivers flow into small bays making the quality of the sea  a perfect environment for farming mussels, oysters and shellfish—activities that date back to the Romans.

Some  of the oldest saltpans in the world are  still actively producing sea salt.  Salt was once a currency and had the  value of gold, hence the massive fortification  walls of Ston, the longest stone walls in Europe, second only to  China’s Great Wall.

And around the bend is one of the most scenic drives in Croatia—the entrance to the Empire of Wine and the home of the esteemed Plavac Mali grape. Some  of the most extreme winemaking conditions and hardy people devoted to their craft result in bold and significant Croatian wines. You’ll want to take home a suitcase full!

We  take  you up  close to  the people of  Pelješac, into their  family-run wineries, and  onto boats  with shellfish  farmers to slurp  oysters straight from  the sea. Magical Pelješac is truly spellbinding.

  • Dubrovnik  was part of  the Venetian Republic  but governed itself as  a separate entity. Dubrovnik  has a strong Venetian influence  in the food, language, customs, and  architecture.
  • The  Dubrovnik  Republic was  the first to recognize  the independence of the United States  of America,  the first to  abolish slavery,  had the earliest recorded  orphanage, and first pharmacy!
  • The  famed California  winemaker, Mike Grgic, surprised  the world and won the prize for best  wine in a blind tasting in Paris. He came to America with just “change in his pockets” and built a wine empire with vineyards in Napa Valley and Trstenik on the peninsula.  
  • Korcula  is the (contested) birthplace  of Marco Polo, the world traveler  and raconteur. It’s also the sole producer of Grk, a very unique white wine.  

Signature Southern Dalmatian Dishes  and Specialties

  • Skampi  or Mussels  Buzara – shellfish  cooked and served in  an herby, winey, fragrant  broth that reigns supreme on  the Pelješac peninsula.
  • Crni  Rizot, a black  risotto made from  squid ink and cuttlefish. The Dubrovnik  recipe is  interestingly  different from  the Central Dalmatian one.
  • Octopus  salad—delicious  on a hot day!
  • Rozata –  Dubrovnik’s  creme brulee  with the subtle aroma  of rose.
  • Ston  Cake —a  surprisingly  tasty cake made  from pasta and cinnamon  and herbs.
  • Quince  cake (dunja),  jellies and jams,  bitter orange jams, candied orange peels, and dried, candied, and fresh figs and fig jam.
  • And always, the  wines of Pelješac are a delicious and unforgettable surprise.

 

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