Croatia’s quiet side: the Neretva delta
Neretva Valley spreads over a large area some 90 minutes’ drive north of Dubrovnik or Split. The Neretva Valley is a real paradise for many visitors. The unique landscape of the valley is enriched by the Bacina Lakes, which are often the final destination of tourists staying on the Dubrovnik or Split Riviera. On the Bacina Lakes, visitors can enjoy rides in the traditional Neretva boats, which have been saved from oblivion by the Boat Marathon. So, thanks to the Neretva enthusiasts, the boat rides have become an indispensable part of the tourist offer, along with local cuisine.
The Neretva river valley is one of the most picturesque parts of Croatia, the only delta in the country and the third largest in the Mediterranean (after the Nile and Po rivers), among the rarest remaining areas of its kind in Europe. Surrounding the main towns of Opuzen, Metković and Ploče is a unique landscape of eight large lakes and fields divided by channels accessible only by boat. Mandarins and oranges plantations stretch for 20km – you can even join the fruit pickers in late autumn.
Trip to Neretva Valley FAQs
What is the best time to visit Neretva Valley?
The river Neretva is one of the longest and beautiful rivers of Croatia. It is particularly pleasant to visit the valley of the Neretva during summer months, when the heat of the shore retreats here, and the guests can relax in the cool of the valley of the Neretva river. Do not miss to visit Neretva Valley from September to November as well because season of picking mandarins are on. The program of the mandarin harvest is complemented by sailing vessels, a photo safari along the Neretva river channels, backwaters and wetlands, rich wildlife and concludes with enjoying the specialties of this region – eels, frogs and wild game.
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Is there any adventure activities?
Neretva valley is perfect for many adventure activities and kayaking being one of them offers many opportunities to explore places of Neretva river otherwise hidden. Those who come to the valley of the Neretva are amazed by the very clear drinking water of the river and the amazing natural landscapes along its green banks. The Neretva is afavoured spot for relaxing in natural surroundings, water activities — rowing, swimming — and for walking and cycling.
Great things to do in Neretva Valley
Guided tours from Split include visits to orchards and bird sites, with overnights stays possible. Another way to discover this strangely beautiful region is with the Neretva Foto Safari, which also takes in Kuti Lake, site of a mysterious sunken town and end up in beautiful secret restaurant and enjoy in local food.
After the Romans, Neretva became a nest of the most popular event, inspiring the traditional boat marathon. It is a the largest public event in Croatia organized by the Neretva Boatmen’s Association. Each year,in the middle of August, an amateur rowing competition is held from Metković to Ploče, 22.5km along the Neretva river. More then 30 crews are competing for the Great Shield of Prince Domagoj. Both towns are amassed with people and there are parades, concerts, and plenty of cheer, good food and drinks.
Neretva River Mouth
is the most popular place in the whole valley. It’s right where Neretva kisses the Adriatic sea. Somehow it seems that this is the central part of the valley and everything is happening right here. If you are to visit the Neretva river mouth in the summer months you would find many kiteboarders enjoying their game, especially if you are to come in the afternoon hours. Many swimmers would be around too, swimming or enjoying on one of the sandy beaches.
The proximity of Bacina lakes to Neretva valley makes this place an absolute must to visit when exploring the valley. Bacina lakes are a specific group consisting of 7 lakes and are situated near the city of Ploce. The mouth of the Neretva river is closest to these lakes and it would take you approximately 20 minutes of car driving to reach them. Once there, you just need to relax and immerse yourself in the beautiful nature of Bacina lakes. There are many activities to do there too, ranging from kayaking and SUP tours to cycling and boat tours. All in all, place worth visiting and a true natural antidote for all your troubles.
Norin river has a source near the city of Vid, near Metković, in the ancient times called Narona. Therefore, Norin river is not long nor large and it pours into the Neretva river at Kula Norinska village. The Narona Archaeological Museum contains temple remains and sundry artefacts from the Roman and Illyrian periods. So, this is must visit place while in Neretva Valley.