Put it like this: take all of my excessive praise, enthusiastic descriptions with which I've tried to convey all the beauty I've witnessed and put it all together in one single word: Peljesac.
After ten days spent in company with the team who traveled with me writing up the letter „M“, I have set off from Lumbarda on my own to start on the „E“. And it was for the best, for I'm sure no one would have been able to bear my constant cheers of thrill and excitement throughout this journey. I have found our second biggest peninsula to be absolutely the most beautiful, so monumental, with such diversity, such richness!!!
The first thing that caught my eye was Sveti Ilija, the highest peak of Peljesac. This impressive, rugged and bare mountain with its corridors and rock creeps is 1642 meters high. Climbing up to this peak is a magnificent endeavor. With Zmijsko brdo (Snake mountain), as they call St. Ilija, for no special reason, I hope, behind me, I had another amazing sight to feast my eyes on: fresh green vineyards with steep slopes of the peninsula.
Dingač. If there is one local wine that I should bring attention to, then it is Dingac. Protected since 1961, with Geneva Convention, Dingac is our first law protected wine. Microclimate and micro relief are crucial for wine's special taste and quality, and the vine sort Plavac mali, also called „blood of the ground“ because of its resistance to drought and ruby red color, has given best effects to Dingac.
Some vineyards stretch all the way to rocky barriers of the peak part of the mountain, others almost dive into the sea or at the very edges of steep cliffs. Production will no doubt be expanding some more, what with all the sights of still uncultivated land around with loads of potential.
Still under a big impression from Dingac, I am rowing towards a new story. Zuljana bay. There is a small village in front of me with one of the biggest pebble beaches in the Adriatic. Behind the houses there is a canyon, surrounded by steep, green slopes. I am paddling along the coast which is very beautiful and quite enchanting.
It starts somewhere higher up, with bare, rugged cliffs, continuing down steep rock creeps, thick with macchia which then changes into luscious, green pine forest. It ends abruptly, as if snatched off with sea's raging teeth. There's karrens, half-caves, rocks and an occasional hidden small beach, with colors below my kayak changing from deep blue to turquoise, white sand and green. So much beauty and joy in this unbelievably rich nature.
But that's not all. A bike ride to Ston is as delightful. There are countless peaks of curvy hills to rocky, steep and inaccessible cliffs. There are deep canyons, valleys and fields. Wherever I go I seem to witness stubborn, persistent and severe struggle of a man with nature. Suddenly amid of all this thick macchia there is an oasis of olive groves, ending with rows of vineyards which then end in wild forests.
We had lovely Fani Slade waiting for us in Stone, she is a director of Turistička zajednica/Tourist board, who advised us to go and check out Stonske zidine, the longest defense walls in the world, after the Great Wall of China, of course.
After a short introduction from Slobodan Popovic, representative of the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities, we set off on a five kilometers long walk. These walls really are impressive, and the view overlooking Ston and the salt pans – the very reason why the walls were built – is incredible. And so I'll say it again: if you love nature, just relax and imagine it. It is Peljesac.