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Dubrovnik-Neretva County has for centuries attracted many visitors. In the beginning they were mostly traders from the interior and neighboring countries – diplomats, pilgrims, explorers, travelers. Nowadays this area is a favorite destination for guests who want a tour of magnificent antiques, as well as nature lovers and active vacationers, among which everyone will surely find something for themselves.

Let’s start from the lovers of nature, to whom we recommend a visit to National Park of Mljet, one of the most beautiful Adriatic islands with two deep bays called lakes due to the very narrow links to the open sea, and lush and diversified Mediterranean vegetation. Mljet is also proud of the rich cultural heritage, and the most impressive example is the complex of the Benedictine monastery from the 12th century.

We should mention the special nature reserves – the southeastern part of the Neretva River delta, the habitat of many fish species and of rare species of birds. This site is visually appealing and easily accessible thanks to the existence of the road to the river mouth. Then, the Mali Ston Bay, which is a well-known mussel farm and gastronomic center of the County, famous for particular geological features and natural flow of nutrient salts. We should also highlight the islet of Lokrum near Dubrovnik, which boasts Holm oak trees and Maquis with Aleppo pine.

The fans of sightseeing will not be disappointed – we recommend a tour of the medieval town of Cavtat built by the Dubrovnik principles of harmony, marked by valuable works from all historical periods. Visit Trsteno, the oldest arranged Renaissance Park in Dalmatia rich in exotic plants, and beautiful Gothic Renaissance monument in the town of Korčula – St. Mark’s Cathedral, whose altars are decorated with many paintings by Jacopo Tintoretto and the other Italian artists.

And for active holiday enthusiasts, this region also has a lot to offer. Domestic and foreign nationals may engage in recreational and sport fishing, and guests can enjoy a unique diving experience. Numerous hiking trails reveal the unspoiled nature, and for those who are a bit more demanding, we recommend visiting geomorphologic monuments – a number of interesting caves!

Finally, we should not forget the gourmet-minded visitors. In the Neretva Valley you can try eel or frog stew, delicious wild animal meals, particularly a wild duck (coot). From there the road leads us to Ston, where you may try oysters, mussels, and freshly made fish. On the islands of Mljet, Šipan, Lopud and Koločep you can enjoy delicious dishes of dried fish or seafood in restaurants and taverns, and in Dubrovnik and Župa Konavle you will be offered with prosciutto, cheese in olive oil, green pasta and other delicacies.

HISTORICAL STRUGGLE FOR SURVIVAL SEEN ON FACES, HANDS AND SOULS OF THESE PROUD PEOPLE

Since coming to this area, to the poor soil of Dalmatian kast, and rich Adriatic sea, where beautiful coast offers everything for a good life, Dalmatian people have been struggling! Numerous enemies, from decade to decade, destroyed everything the people of Dalmatia created.
Hardworking hands made „mire“ (stone walls), putting stone by stone. Dry stone walls were built around the parcels, thus creating the pearls of grey stones, protecting the fields of olive trees, vineyards, corn, wheat and lavender fields. Potatoes, and even tobacco were grown on the hills of poor soil of Dalmatia.
Dalmatian people!
It is not easy to find the words to describe the persistence and wish for survival, the love and hospitality of these people. Lack of water on the islands, poor soil, but sun all year round. Each sun wrinkle tells its story – the story of hard work with the hoe on the shoulder, the story of picking stones from their lands…It was the constant struggle with the time, everything had to be done by noon. Main problem was always the sun, making it very hard to work on the fields.
The prize for this hard work was „marendin“, a piece of bread with olive oil, maybe a piece of meat or dried fish. After the hard work in the field, it was time for fishing. The sunset is time for their boats, and fishing till morning. Grilled fish and Dalmatian song – that touches everyone’s soul. All the troubles will be forgotten with a glass of quality wine, followed with the songs dedicated to this poor soil, this little piece of land, chosen by our ancestors.
Besides the hard work in the field, people in rural part take care about the animals, scattered on the hills looking for grass…People in rural part – resistent to all the hardship, people that don’t talk a lot, but who has time to talk anyway…
Just don’t touch their homeland – poor soil, karst fields, their stone houses, the history written in blood and sweat, their families or the taverns where friends and songs give the meaning to life.

DALMATIAN WOMEN – HARD WORKING BEAUTIES
Women have always taken care about their houses, children and husbands. Grace and beauty weren’t touched by poverty and worries.
However, their tired expression was seen in their older age, these beautiful women of Dalmatia had to work in the fields besides taking care about their houses. Side by side with their husbands, they knew how to use the hoe and work hard.
They would also go fishing, and work in olive fields. The right example are the women from the area of Sibenik, that had the fields on the islands of Kornati. They used to take care for olive trees and herds of sheep and goats. After the hard work on the land it was time for fishing.

A return to history, treasuring the tradition, culture and customs- this would be a summary of Dalmatia Eco-ethno Night that took place in Split Meštrović Gallery. Family house with atelier of famous Croatian artist Ivan Meštrović became a stage for manifestation held in order to promote cultural and enological treasures as well as Croatian manufacturers and keepers of old crafts.
Audience, among who County Ruler’s deputy of Splitsko-dalmatinska County Visko Haladić and director of the County’s Tourist Association Joško Stella were present, enjoyed the rich program filled with presentations of crafts and products and also entertainment. Performers were: Knight’s Society Kumpanija from Smokvica, the island of Korčula; men’s Donjaci-Martinci klapa from the island of Šolta; female band KUD Salona from Solin and KUD Vrgorska krajina from Vrgorac. A fashion show of Dalmatian folk costumes worn by journalists and editors of Slobodna Dalmacija newspaper: Nataša Bakotić, Nives Bašić-Dorotka, Silvana Uzinić, Jasenka Leskur-Staničić, Olgica Ivić-Grizelj and Duška Čolović also took place. Wonderful sea motives jewellery by Vinka Mitrović was also presented. In this blend of tradition and quality audience enjoyed the exhibition part the most. Decorative items and souvenirs were exhibited while small manufacturers from all over Dalmatia enabled audience to taste natural jams, liqueurs, ravioli, Mediterranean herbs, olive oil, gingerbread, wine and prosecco.
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