Croatian beauties – where to stop on your way from Dubrovnik to Split?

If you are travelling from Dubrovnik to Split, you should not pass round some places that are worth your turning off the road because they are also distinguished by superb gastronomic offer

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Beautiful at any time of the year, the hosts say, and especially in early summer when the influx of tourists is not high. Dubrovnik really has something to boast. The town walls are the most recognisable sight of the city. They were erected in the Middle Ages, and are 2 kilometres long and 25 meters high. Beautiful Stradun, the main street in the old town core, is 300 meters long and contains sights that you can see on your way, such as the Large Onofrio Fountain and Small Onofrio Fountain, St. Saviour Church, Sponza Palace, and Church of St. Blaise, the Patron Saint of Dubrovnik. The Rector’s Palace, St. Lawrence (Lovrijenac) Fortress and many other attractions hidden by the gorgeous city are also magnificent. In addition to its beauty, it also has a very rich gastronomic offer.


The centre of the old stone core houses the Zuzori Restaurant. The menu of the Zuzori is based on a modern approach to the traditional cuisine, so you will find just about twenty titles on a quite short, though very interesting list of dishes. It is really difficult to decide what is that will suit you most, especially if you are a seafood specialty lover.

- We really try to offer everything fresh and homemade. We recommend the guests to try kulen and prawn croquettes, black risotto, swordfish, bass... Actually, everything we have in our offer is extraordinary – they say at the restaurant.

Zuzori. Photo: Grgo Jelavić/PIXSELL

If you are travelling from Dubrovnik to Split, you should not pass round some places that are worth your turning off the road because they are also distinguished by superb gastronomic offer. If the highway is your choice, only 200 odd kilometres make your distance from Split to Dubrovnik. Do stop at some places, taste some specialties and continue.


Ston



Ston is famous for its 5.5 km long walls, reinforced with about 40 towers and 5 fortresses. They connect Ston and Mali Ston. Ston is located on the Pelješac Peninsula. It abounds in narrow alleys, old noble houses and traces of ancient cultures scattered around. Its former value as the town of salt is recognised today in the plants of the oldest active salt factory in the world. It dates back to the 14th century and has been operational until present. The town is also renowned for shellfish, oysters and mussels that have been caught since the Roman times with Ston oysters having established the reputation of this area.

At the very heart of Ston, the Sorgo Restaurant is renowned as a fish and sea story. Though, they do not avoid meat either, so you are free to order steak if you wish. Still, the priority is given to specialties of the Ston area, mostly shellfish. Everything “shelly” is on the menu: oysters, mussels, warty venuses, Noah’s arc shells, Mediterranean scallops, as well as squids, shrimps, prawn, gamberi (type of shrimp)...

- Our Ston Cake of makaruli (macaroni pasta) is highly demanded, and guests also love popara (a dish made with bread, hot water, butter and honey). That is a stew of different fish species. We are also famous for our seafood risotto and black risotto, and certainly, for our oysters – we were told at the Sorgo.

Sorgo. Photo: Grgo Jelavić/Pixsell

You will also be offered an exquisite meal with Ston specialties at the Kapetanova Kuća Restaurant, located at the waterfront in Mali Ston. When you taste oysters, shellfish, crustaceans, black risotto, Ston macaroni pasta or own environmentally friendly grown agricultural produce and products of local producers, you will learn about the contribution the Kralj family has given to the gastronomy.

Kapetanova kuća. Photo: Grgo Jelavić/Pixsell


Metković



It is located by the Neretva River, in the abundance of tangerine, lemon and orange fields. With its rich heritage, gastronomic offer and natural beauties, it belongs to tourist destinations that you should certainly visit. It is famous for the Boat Marathon, an amateur sport boat racing competition. A small settlement, Vid, in the proximity of Metković, boasts the Archaeological Museum Narona, which was constructed in 2007 on a temple erected around 10 B.C. in honour to Emperor Augustus.

Only several meters away is the Đuđa i Mate Restaurant. It offers specialties of the Neretva area like brudet with polenta, grilled eels, frogs in various ways, dishes and bread under the bell, fresh sea fish, as well as superb Croatian wine.

- We have both meat and fish in our offer, but we always recommend our specialty – eels and frogs to our guests. We also always advise them to book in advance if they come in a large group or if the guests are in a hurry. An eel dish is waited for 45 minutes, and if they order it beforehand, it will be ready as soon as they come – they say at the restaurant.

Đuđa i Mate. Photo: Miranda Čikotić/Pixsell


Baćina Lakes

Baćina Lakes are located only about 30 kilometres from Vid. They are made of a group of lakes in Baćina, near Ploče, on the right bank of the Neretva River. The lakes are comparatively small and spread on 138 ha, but they are the most interesting phenomenon in the hydrography of the karst. They include six connected and one separate lakes of curvy irregular forms, which makes a fantastic sceene in the landscape. Vrbnik is the smallest lake and the only one not connected to other lakes. The lakes are the habitat of a number of protected and even endemic plant and animal species.


Makarska


A young mountain chain, Biokovo, which is located above the Makarska Riviera, makes this area a fantastic place at the union of the sea, beautiful beaches and the place where this mountain divides the Adriatic Sea from the Dalmatian Zagora. The Cetina River, which appeals to rafting admirers, runs nearby. In Brela, on the west side of the famous Punta Rata beach, Kamen Brela is a great attraction. It is a rock that no influencer avoids when they come to the Riviera because it rises up from the sea in the immediate vicinity of the shore, and is grown in – trees!

The whole area abounds in numerous restaurants. One is the Kalelarga Makarska konoba. It is distinguished by making all the grandeur of the seafood visible. The oven is credited for exquisite fish na gradele, (grilled fish) as well as homemade bread that you will often be served still hot. Among fish specialties, crustaceans and shellfish, nothing is missing – from risotto to buzara and fried prawn to combinations of shelfish to shark, bonito, dentex, Peter’s fish, grouper...

- We always recommend fish to the guests. But it is difficult to say which one, depending on what we have fresh on a particular day. However, fish and meat are ordered equally – they say at the Kalelarga, recommending the guests to always book in advance.

Kalelarga Makarska. Photo: Dino Stanin/PIXSELL


Omiš


The town of Omiš is located at the mouth of the Cetina, in one of the most beautiful canyons in Europe bounded with steep cliffs. Once a pirate’s shelter, the town had turbulent past which its cultural and historical sights remind of. Rafting on the Cetina, free climbing, mountaineering, hiking, board surfing, are only some of activities the genuine Omiš Riviera offers their visitors. You should certainly visit the 15-century Fortica fortress, which can be accessed from the centre of town through the Baučići district. Here is also the 13-century Mirabela, which one reaches climbing up interesting stairs through the historical core of the town. The view behind it spreads on Omiš and the Brač Channel.

About four kilometres from Omiš, the Kaštil Slanica, a family restaurant with twenty-year tradition, has settled in the heart of the Cetina Canyon. As part of the century-long history of the canyon, it features exceptional ambiance and links its gastronomic offer to the environment and the past. Classical breadcrumbed frogs and brudet of frogs and eels are certainly recommendable.

- We are open round the year. We only make a break from 6 January to 14 February. We always recommend our guests to book in advance – they say at the restaurant.

Kaštil Slanica. Photo: Ivo Čagalj/Pixsell

At only about 39 kilometre drive, you have arrived in Split. The hosts say the most beautiful in the world. The sunny flower of the Mediterranean. They are not far from that. The Diocletian’s Palace, Peristyle, the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, the monument to Gregory of Nin, Poljud, are only some of a hundred of beauties the city boasts.


The Duje Restaurant, located on the south side of a small hall of the Gripe Sport Centre, is one of the most popular restaurants in Split. With its traditional cuisine “spiced” with modern trends of the world’s gastronomy, wine from throughout Croatia and numerous foreign labels, this is a place where deals are made, family ceremonies are celebrated or food is savoured without a special occasion. The sophisticated interior and intimate atmosphere are as made for you to plunge into the miracle of the Dalmatian specialties.

- Grilled fish is most demanded, though meat does not lag behind – we were told at the restaurant.

Duje. Photo: Miranda Cikotić/PIXSELL

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