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The Republic of Ragusa or the Republic of Dubrovnik was a maritime and trade power centered in Southern Dalmatia, which existed from 1358 to 1808. Through history, it was a Vassal state under the Kingdom of Hungary, Ottoman Empire, Habsburg Austria, French Empire and the Napoleonic Kingdom.
The undeniable charm and beauty, that the city of Dubrovnik offers, resides in its long and rich history. The city achieved a high level of development and wealth, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries in which many beautiful Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces, and fountains were built, and preserved until today. From 1979 the Old City of Dubrovnik is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will have a guided tour of the city and the rest of the day will be free of activities.
After breakfast, you will head to the ACI marina Dubrovnik. Your skipper will meet you there and will be accompanying you for the next three days along the Dalmatian coast. The cruise will start with the exploration of the Lokrum Island, also called the “Haunted Island”. From there you will set sail to the arboretum Trsteno, officially founded in 1498, which makes it the oldest arboretum in this part of the world. The noble family Gučetić-Gozze took the initiative to ask captains to bring back seeds and plants when returning from their journeys. The arboretum reserves a very special place among the old Dalmatian and Mediterranean parks due to its five-century continuous development.
In the afternoon hours, you will cruise around the Elaphite islands. The archipelago is composed of 13 islands, however, only 3 of them are inhabited: Koločep, Šipan, and Lopud. On Koločep you will find several churches dating back to the 9th century, as well as the famous Blue Cave, located in the south of the island. After lunch on Koločep, you will be transferred to the Šipan Island. Because of its quiet bays, beaches, and groves of orange and lemon trees, the island used to be a gateway for wealthy families from Dubrovnik. The cruise will end in the evening hours on the Lopud Island. In the past, the island was famous for its captains; it provided most of the sailors for the Dubrovnik Republic navy. Nowadays cars are banned on the island and it represents one of the biggest attractions in the region of Dubrovnik.
The day starts with a sightseeing tour of Lopud. You will visit a Franciscan monastery built in the 15th century and a botanical garden which was once owned by a local sailor who was collecting exotic plants all over the world. After the tour, you will set sail for the island of Mljet to visit its famous national park. The entire area of the park is exceptionally rich in wildlife, and home to numerous endemic and endangered species. The most visited attraction in the National Park is a Benedictine monastery built in the 12th century. If you are a more adventurous type you can explore the beauties of the National Park by bike or kayak. In the evening hours, you will get off the boat in the small town of Orebić on the Pelješac peninsula.
Orebić is situated in the western part of the Pelješac peninsula, facing Korčula. This charming sunny town was home to many captains and sailors from the Dubrovnik region. Orebić was home to more than 20 captains who were considered as “top of the class” captains in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was one of the most important towns in the Dubrovnik Republic and nowadays it represents the central tourist spot on Pelješac. In the morning hours, you will have a guided tour of the city.
According to the legend, Trojan hero Antenor settled on the Korčula Island in the 12th century BC and founded the first settlements. After a guided walking tour of this ancient city, that includes visits to two museums, you will head to the house of the famous medieval merchant Marco Polo. Korčula is also well known for its white wine, traditional sword dance “Moreška” and traditional vocal singing called “klape” protected by the UNESCO heritage list. Dinner will be served in one of the local restaurants.
In the morning hours, you will visit Blaževo bay on Pelješac peninsula. There, you will find one of the tastiest oysters in the world, first class fish, bottarga (also called “Caviar of the South”) and a seabed sparkling wine cellar. Your host will be awaiting you with seafood specialties and a glass of wine. After a few words about the fish farm, the tour will move on to the boat. You will have the chance to pick your own oysters and learn about seafood and fish species living in the area. Just before heading back to the shore, you will stop above the underwater wine cellar from where you can choose some of the best Croatian sparkling wines, stored under the Adriatic Sea.
In the afternoon hours, you will be transferred to “Grgurević“ vineyards. Centuries of winemaking on the peninsula resulted in some of the best wines in the world. You will enjoy a wine tasting with local delicacies served by the owner himself. He will give you an insight on his way of life and explain his winemaking philosophy.
In the evening hours, you will visit the family farm ”Hrid”. Located in the village Gurića, on the hill overlooking the town of Orebić, the family farm “Hrid” has a breathtaking panoramic view of the islands of Korčula, Mljet, and Lastovo as well as the Pelješac channel. Along with the amazing view and delicious Mediterranean food, there is also a playground for children, a climbing spot, horse riding activities and the possibility of organizing a hiking tour to the highest point of the Pelješac peninsula (961m), on the Mount of S. Right next to the family farm, a Franciscan monastery and the Church “Our Lady of Angels” was built in the 16th century.
You will have a day free of activities, so you can have time to explore the area on your own or just relax and enjoy.
In the afternoon hours, you will visit Potomje, a place renowned for its vineyards lies on the southeast part of the Pelješac peninsula. The specific conditions in these vineyards, which are situated on sunny slopes near the sea, result in some of the best wines in the world. First, you will have lunch at the “Matuško” restaurant located on the bottom of those sunny slopes, after which you will visit his wine cellars. During your stay at the winery, you will have an educational tour through the wine cellars, where you will learn about the winemaking process and the tradition of the “Matuško” winery.
After Potomje you will head to one of the most famous wineries on Pelješac peninsula, “Saints Hills Winery”. There, you will be awaited with local finger food paired with their best wines. Before the wine tasting, one of the hosts will give you a short guided tour of their wine cellar and tell you more about the history of the winery, once called “Vinaria”.
In the evening hours, you will visit Family Farm Antunović that is located right in the heart of the peninsula, in the small village of Kuna, situated among vineyards and olive groves. Besides the farm, Antunović also owns 250 sheep, 70 goats, 70 donkeys and 1 pot-bellied pig. The tour starts with the visit of the church Lady of Delorite dating from 1681 and a Franciscan monastery that was built in 1075. After a small walk through the village of Kuna, you will get to the family farm where you will have dinner. There, you will enjoy traditional food, local wines and ”rakija”.
Depending on the time of your flight, you will be leaving directly for the airport or take a stop to take part in an activity of your choice.