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.