Area description Print

Here is a description of the harbours ( villages and towns ) in this area, from Montenegro in the south to the north, up to Island Hvar:

SVETI STEFAN: Once an island, later joined to the mainland by a causeway, Sveti Stefan is a 16th century village, well converted into a hotel. It lies in magnificent scenery. Anchor on either side of the isthmus in 8m, sand. Beaches on either side of Sveti Stefan are very crowded with lots of people.
The oldest building is the 15th century church of St Stephen on the summit; it is said to have been built as a thank-offering by a member of the Paštrović family after one of their merchant-men had been stranded on the adjoining reef, but refloated without loss of life. The houses were almost all built by the 16th century when the islet was protected by a wall. Subsequently the village became derelict. In 1952 work started on the restoration and conversion of its 80 houses and in 1960 the place was opened as a hotel, the individual houses being now hotel suites.


BUDVA: A well sheltered harbour at the foot of high mountains with an old welled town, beautiful town of Venetian origin, but very seriously damaged in the 1979 earthquake. Now mostly rebuilt with old materials and retaining much of its old charm. It is very lively and has nice shops and bars. Outside the old part of the town, there is a tourist resort with many big hotels. Fuel can be bought from a filling station one mile outside the town. There are many bus tours and tourist offices. The old town walls are interesting. A good sandy beach to the west is reached by an under-cliff coast path which begins under the terrace of the Avala Hotel.


KOTOR: Although Kotor is a summer port of entry, the officials prefer yachts to clear in and out of Zelenika where the work is done quickly. The market is under the loggia outside the walls on the waterfront; shops and restaurants are in the town. A water hydrant is at the far end of the main steamer quay ( no charge ). Electricity. The town is located at the foot of Mount Lovcen ( 1749 m ).
This ancient city with the Museum of Navigation and no wheeled traffic allowed within the walls is in a fine setting and is well worth of visiting.
There is a daily bus at 6,30 over the Lovcen Pass to Cetinje – fine scenery. Cetinje is a poor place. The former royal palace, an Edwardian country house furnished in execrable taste, is worth of visit for its historical associations; the admission ticket admits one also to four other museums; of which the Njegoš Museum, in an older fortified royal residence, is probably the most intersting. After lunch, another bus takes one back to Kotor via Budva, with a good view of Sveti Stefan from the top of the pass. The expedition is worth making for the magnificent scenery.





CAVTAT: A wooded peninsula, on which the old town of Cavtat stands, separates two bays: Cavtat Town to the west and Tiha Bay to the east. Cavtat is a nice harbour; there are few supermarkets, many restaurants and caffe-bars.
Cavtat was originally the Greek colony with the name Epidaurus; in 639 AD it was sacked by the Avars; the survivors fled northward and founded the city of Dubrovnik. It is now a pleasant old village of 1000 inhabitants; it has a monastery, two medieval churches and a number of old buildings and lies among delightful wooded surroundings. A path which follows the coast round the peninsula affords a pleasant walk among the pines. Above lies the  mausoleum of the Račić family designed by Meštrović in 1920-1922. Dubrovnik Airport lies about 5 miles SE of Cavtat; it is therefore much closer to Cavtat than to Dubrovnik.


ACI MARINA IN DUBROVNIK:  The marina is situated two miles up the river Ombla ( Rijeka Dubrovacka ). The monastery north of the Marina is a prominent square building with a tower. The Marina has a 60-ton travel hoist, fuel, water, shore power and ice facilities, ATM machine, a laundry, a chandlery,  a pizzeria and two restaurants and a good supermarket ( also open on Sundays ). Bus service to town goes every 15 minutes and it costs 10 kunas each way.


COMMERCIAL PORT OF GRUŽ:  Gruž is busy with ferries and freighters but not unattractive. Banks and shops are handy and there are frequent buses to the old city. The market is within 100m of berth, across the road at the southern end of the gardens.


ZATON ( mainland ): Zaton is placed in a pleasant and sheltered narrow inlet. There is a small harbour and several places where it is possible to anchor. The harbour fee is charged, however – negotiable!
A number of wealthy Dubrovnik familes used to have summer residences overlooking the inlet. At the village on the NW side of the inlet ( Soline ) there were once salt pans. The village on the opposite side, Mali Zaton, used to have several water-powered flour mills.


ŠUNJ ( island Lopud ): Aviod in S and SE.
A pleasant bay with sandy beach suitable for lunch stop. Also a nudist's spot. A small restaurand and a caffe-bar. A walking path to the village of Lopud.


LOPUD ( island Lopud ):  Lopud would be suitable in SE but uncomfortably open to the maestral, NW. The bottom is of hard sand.
The village is composed of stone houses surrounded by exotic gardens. Lopud was favourite with the Dubrovnik aristocracy who built houses there in the 15th century. No cars are allowed on the island. There are several sand and pebble beaches with palms along the waterfront as well as centuries old pine forests, olive groves and orange and lemon orchards.,  There are few restaurants and caffe bars. It's busy during the day-time by the visitors from gullets.


SUÐURAÐ ( island Šipan ): Good shelter from SW through W to N; otherwise poor.
Suđurađ is a small fishing village, an idyllic spot with all the little house facing on to the water. Small shop and four restaurants. Take a walk round the residence Skocibuha ( large house in the centre ) – impressive!


ŠIPANSKA LUKA ( island Šipan ): Uncomfortable in NE.
Luka is a charming little village at the head of a long sound; very picturesque and quiet. The ferry berths there overnight and visits again during the day. High quality restaurant, Marko's Place, and few others ( nice breakfast is served in the hotel and it's caffe-bar ). The remains of Roman villa and a 15th century Gothic duke's palace.


SLANO ( mainland ): Uncomfortable in SE and NE if berthed by the public quay.
Slano is busy on weekend days with flotilla sailing boats.
Two mini markets ( also opened on Sundays ), two restaurant and few caffe bars. 500 inhabitants and two hotels. Moorings with electricity and water hook-ups.
Slano was acquired by Dubrovnik in 1399 and became the seat of a count. The count's palace can still be seen in Slano, as can some early Christian sarchopagi ( fifth century ) in front of the Franciscan church of Sv Jerolim, and the eighteenth century summer palace of Ohmucevic family.


JAKLJAN and OLIPA ( islands ):  Good lunch stops. Totally unspoilt. Untouched nature and clear sea, perfect for swimming. Stunning!




KOBAŠ  ( peninsula Pelješac ): Not good in NE.
Six families live in this village. Very few houses. Water and electricity if you eat ashore. There are no shops or any other facilities. Fresh mussels and oysters served.



STON ( peninsula Pelješac ): Good all-round shelter. At the head of the channel there is a quay with 3m alongside. Tie up alongside.
Ston is a place of great charm and character. Spring water from the drinking fountain in the town ( dates from 1571!). Several grocery stores and a supermarket. Open market with fruit and vegetables. Pharmacy. Also, it's worth of walking across the isthmus to visit Mali Ston ( famous shell and oyster restaurants ). Shell-fish farms.
When the Dubrovnik Republic acquired the Pelješac peninsula in 1333 the ruling council started to fortify the area which was extremely important, not least because of its salt pans. Salt was an important commodity and in 1575 for instance the income from the Ston salt works was 15 000 ducats. The towns of Ston and Mali Ston  were established, both towns were surrounded by strong walls and towers and a fortified wall was built over the hill between the towns to join them together. The walls were built and improved over several centuries. Like Dubrovnik, Ston had an advanced welfare system with a school, an asylum and an orphange.
The Dubrovnik Republic started to build a canal cross the isthmus joining the two towns but never completed this. The French, when they occupied the area from 1808 to 1813, decided a canal was a good idea and continued with the project, but this stopped with Napoleon's defeat. Unfortunately, the canal was never completed.


PROŽURA ( island Mljet ): Not good in NW, N and NE.
Prožura is an attractive bay with a few houses around it ( 80 inhabitants ). The main village is up on the ridge behind the cove. A good stop for swimming and lunch. Caffe-bar and two restaurants.


POLAČE ( island Mljet ): Excellent all-round shelter from winds and seas. Beware of fishermen's nets.
Polaèe is a spacious anchorage in green mountainous scenery, it's considered one of the most sheltered anchorages in this area. Although this is a ferry port for the island and usually has many yachts anchored, it is a quiet anchorage. If you wish to explore Mljet,  the cove is part of the National Park and there is a very pleasant path which leads to the lakes through the group of houses by the ruins. In August and September you can pick up figs as you go. The ticket is issued in the kiosk on the bottom of the road and includes the mini-bus ride to the lakes, together with the motor-boat ride. The ascent to Motokuè is very beautiful, particularly in the late afternoon. The ruined castle which overlooks the bay was probably built in the third or fourth century AD. One source says that the castle belonged to Agesilaus who was exiled here by Emperor Septimus Severus, but who was later pardoned by Emperor Caracalla. Emperor Caracalla was persuaded to the act of clemency by reading a poem written by Agesilaus' son, Oppianus. Next to the castle are the ruins of an early fifth century Christian basilica. The present village, which grew up in and around the ruins of the castle, was established in the eighteenth century. Once on the lakes, a motor boat takes you across to the islet on which the 12C Benedictine monastery has been converted into the Hotel Melita.
Many restaurants, bakery, souvenir shop, billiard bar,  caffe-bars. All the restaurants have laid mooring lines – yachty may lie at restaurant's quay, but some prefer to anchor off. Excellent, excellent, restaurant Bourbon but can be quite expensive.


POMENA ( island Mljet ): Shelter from all wind directions.
Few restaurants with moorings. Water and electricity by the hotel. Bicycles can be hired to explore the National Park. Car hire available. Walking path to the Lakes.


SAPLUNARA ( island Mljet ): Well protected from all northerly winds. Open to S and SW.
Saplunara is a pleasant wooded cove under the eastern tip of Mljet Island. Good bathing and anchoring bay. There are few restaurants with mooring buoys. No facilities.


LUMBARDA ( island Korcula ): Resort town with a small marina ( 120 berths ).  There are tailed mooring lines to the concrete piers where water and electricity are available. Usual range of small shops. Friendly inhabitants among the restaurant owners and marina staff. About thousand inhabitants. Lumbarda is famous for wine-tasting at Mr Zure's. Bus connection to Korcula ( 10 minutes drive ).


KORČULA TOWN ( island Korcula ): Very beautiful town of Venetian origin, 3000 inhabitants. The old city is built on a promontory and it is possible and convenient to berth on either side of it. If you want to have a berth in the ACI Marina, it's highly recommend there by 14.00 h. One supermarket, two butchers, few small shops and souvenirs shop, green market ( directly above the cruise-ship's berth ). St Mark's cathedral ( 15th Century ) is worth seeing. Marco Polo is said to have been born in Korèula in 1254. His house is just NE of the cathedral. In the adjacent Bishop's Palace there is a museum with some good pictures and an unusual statuette of Mary, Queen of Scots. Opposite the cathedral is another museum with furniture and tools in it. The town is full of picturesque alleys and old pallaces. The Moreška sword dance is performed during the festival at the end of July. Be prepared for smoke and gunfire! There is a bathing at the Uvala Luka anchorage and at a lido nearer to the town. Regular steamers ply to and from Split and Dubrovnik and there is a bus to the other end of the island ( to Vela Luka ). Although Korcula is the capital of the island, Vela Luka has a larger population and Blato is larger still.


VELA LUKA ( island Korcula ): Not good in strong W ( causes waves in the port ). A fishing port and lively town with good all round shelter. Near Bobovišce Cove comes the canning factory and then the shipyard. Laid moorings, petrol and diesel, water and electricity on the quay, ice from the canning factory, markets, daily fruit and vegetables market, pharmacy, museum, modern hotels and restaurants. The bus to Korcula Town takes 2 hours.


VIS TOWN ( island Vis ): Open to Bura, NE, and Sirocco, SE..
Vis, the Issa of ancient times, is one of the outermost of the Dalmatian islands, a mountainous solitary place which is rich in traces of the Greek and Roman civilizations that flourished there long ago. Because of its geographical position, it has always been a strategic training ground and defence point for the Adriatic Sea. A British squadron under Commodore William Hoste defeated a Napoleonic squadron in the Vis Channel in 1811 and there are still four ruined fortresses visible on the heights above Vis Harbour – Forts George, Wellington, Bentinck and Robertson. During the 2nd World War British troops under Fitzroy Maclean joined Tito and the partizans on Vis for their final struggle against the Germans, after the Jugoslav forces had been forced to retreat from  the mainland. No foreigners were allowed to land on Vis for nearly 20 years but the ban was lifted in 1989.
The town has a fascinating history and there are a number of beuatiful old houses and chapels, interesting defence towers and Greek and Roman remains. The museum is well worth a visit. A memorial to British servicemen who lost their lives fighting in and around these islands over the past 100 yrs is on the wall surrounding the small cemetery of the church at Juraj, at the northern end of the eastern arm. A stone jetty provides a convinient berth for a visit. When ashore, visit Mrs Roki at E end of quayside road, sample her wines and encourage her to talk about her family history. You will find it fascinating. The food is delicious!
Water, petrol and diesel, bus service across the island to Komiža on the west coast, hydrofoil service to Split, sailmaker, two hotels, few restaurants, two banks and ATM's.


KOMIŽA ( island Vis ): Strong W cause waves at the jetty.
Komiža is an attractive small town built in honey-coloured stone and it has a delightful harbour, well worth a visit. Tailed moorings for yachts. Good provision shops, several small restaurants and a hotel. Water on the main quay, ice from the sardine factory and the two boatyards. Fishing Museum and the old castle are worth of visit.
In settled weather it's recommended to visit the Blue Grotto around midday ( when the sun has reached its zenith ) on the north-east coast of Biševo Island. It's 35 m long, 17 m wide and 6 m high. A beautiful colour scheme can be admired.
 The fortified Benedictine Monastery of St Nicholas, built by the monks from Biševo, stands just above the town of Komiža. Fitzroy Maclean lived in Komiža in 1944, during the months when Tito had his headquarters in a cave in the mountains above, after the Germans had occupied the mainland of Jugoslavia.


HVAR TOWN ( island Hvar ): Uncomfortable and dangerous in SE.
This Venetian town, under the hiltop castle, is well worth a visit. It's very lively during the summer, when the harbour gets very busy because it's one of the most visited places on the Dalmatian coastWater and fuel, open market, supermarket, small shops, bakeries, cake shops, souvenir shops. The little 17th century theatre is at the root of the east quay, open 10,30 – 12,00. The Franciscan Monastery also merits a visit. A climb to the castle is well worth the effort. As beautiful as ever. After Dubrovnik, probably the most fashionable of the Adriatic resorts among the Croats themselves.


ZAKLOPATICA ( island Lastovo ):
A lagoon anchorage with plenty of room.
Restaurants have tailed lines to the quay and electricity hook-ups. Recommended Augusta Insula and Triton. Provisions and post-office in Lastovo Town, apx.25 min walk.


LASTOVO TOWN ( island Lastovo ):
The actual town of Lastovo lies a little way from the coast, at 96 m above the sea, above a field on a hillside resembling an amphitheatre. It's about 20 min walk to the picturesque harbour. The village received its present form in the 15th and 16th century when about 20 Renaissance houses were built. Most of them have high, broad terraces, which have become the trade mark of Lastovo houses. Their cylindrical chimneys are also very picturesque. The ornate chimney on the 16th century Biza Antic house is probably the oldest preserved chimney in Dalmatia.





UBLI ( island Lastovo ):
10 km from Lastovo Town, 303 inhabitants, the main ferry port.
Although this, the main settlement on Lastovo, developed in this century, in the 1st century there was a complex of ancient buildings here including wells, workshops and warehouses, forming the main Roman settlement on this island. Here are the remains of the Early Christian Church of St Peter, from the 5th and 6th centuries.



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