TZ Ston / n. Borovac
Source: Croatian Traveller
When it comes to tourism, the historical town of Ston is unjustly neglected. It does not have any fashionable hotels, the luxurious SPA&wellness resorts are mere ideas in the making, there are no thousands of tourists pouring into the town from the cruisers, because it is located in the shallow waters of the Peljesac cove you can enter only on a small boat. Although it is only sixty kilometers away from the Dubrovnik airport, and the Adriatic highway literally brushes it on its way to the hot south, people who come here are looking for peaceful rest in the perfect Mediterranean environment.
If you are looking for crazy nights on the town, you need to go to Dubrovnik or Makarska, and that is a bit too far away for the guests who’s peak is to wait the late hours of the night in one of the taverns or taverns whose popularity reaches further from Croatia. One of them is Kapetanova kuća, once a small tavern, and now a restaurant that has for many decades been managed by family Kralj. During the hot summer months, a seat is hard to come by, and it owes its popularity to clams. The European flat oyster (Ostrea edulis), once quite popular in France, California and Japan, can only be found in the waters of Mali Ston, where it is cultivated.
In the 1930s, an epidemic destroyed all the colonies of this species in the world, except the ones in Mali Ston which has unique environmental conditions: constant winds and sea streams circulate the bay and keep the sea crystal clear, among other things. In Kapetanova kuca, oysters and other shells come to the table directly from the sea, and you can even see that for yourself if you sit on the terrace. We should also mention that the best Plavac Mali is cultivated in regions of Dingac and Postup, in the vineyards lying on the steep slopes of the biggest Croatian peninsula in the immediate vicinity of Ston, making the wine and gastronomy story complete.
The government of the Dubrovnik Republic knew that, so in 1334 they annexed the medieval Ston and, since it was so important, they protected it by building a fortified complex with five and a half kilometers of walls. After the completion of works, it was the longest fortification and residential complex in Europe and the second largest in the world, right after the Great Chinese Wall. The monumental defensive system was the work of the greatest masters of that time: Mihac and Bunic designed it with the help of Onofrio from Naples, Bernandino from Parma and Michelozzo from Florence. Juraj Dalmatinac and Paskoje Milicevic, one of the finest masters at the time, worked until the completion of works in late 15th century. The first part of Ston walls was built over the course of thirty years. The defensive, already the longest in Europe, linked two fortified towns, Ston and Mali Ston. In other words, it connected two sides of the peninsula. Since the number of people protecting the borders and working in the saltworks was increasing, the walls were later improved with forty towers and five forts. The strongest one was located at the top of the hill and called Bartolomija, named after the patron saint of weapons, while the most remote on the border of Stone Bay was Veliki Kastio, built in 1357.
The value of Ston as a town of salt is confirmed today by the many plants of the oldest active saltworks in the world, dating back from the 14th century. This saltworks brought a hefty profit to the Republic, so much that it was not a problem for them to donate salt to the poor in the region. Current owner Svetan Pejic remained faithful to the tradition and the natural salt production method that has not changed since the ancient times. Tourists volunteer to work in this beauty. The salt is produced like it was produced four millennia ago, using sea, sun and the wind. Every year, at the time of harvest, journalists and TV crews rush to Ston and spread the word of the beauty and the value of this production method around the worlds. Unfortunately for the owner, this is not enough to start the project of the museum in the open, something the saltworks and the town of Ston deserve. Still, this is a rich treasury of cultural and historical monuments, many of which are of zero and first category.
If you are looking for peaceful relaxation, the last of its advantages are the beautiful beaches that is disturbed only by the loud sound of crickets and the strong scent of the sea. Sand or rock, there are numerous such beaches in this part of Peljesac. The first organized excursions to Zuljana that lies a bit further to the west were recorded in 1924. Closer to Ston and much more attractive to the kids is the Prapratno cove, with a camp that has numerous things to offer to families with kids. Prapratno looks to Mljet, and the landward breeze from Mljet Channel makes the sea in this sandy cove very warm.