Neretva valley – the hidden part of Croatia

Neretva Valley is so well known yet so hidden. 

Located just a short drive from Dubrovnik, it is a fertile valley of natural wonders, ancient attractions, and crowd-pleasing festivals. The Neretva Valley is a true paradise for visitors from home and abroad and locals. 

Baćina lakes, Neretva Valley, photo credit by  Life&Ventures powered by Magnificent Croatia

Blessed with untouched nature and fertile soil, the lush Neretva Valley boasts a host of unique attractions, such as the Baćina Lakes, a group of awe-inspiring turquoise water expanses which, at an ever-increasing rate, brings in heaps of travelers and excursionists from the Dubrovnik and Makarska Riviera. 

Norin river, photo credit by  Life&Ventures powered by Magnificent Croatia

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.

Norin river, photo credit by  Life&Ventures powered by Magnificent Croatia

Neretva river and its delta

To get to know it, we should first understand the Neretva river. The Neretva river flows through Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia until the Adriatic Sea.

Neretva Valley, photo by Domagoj Sever, photo credit by Magnificent Croatia

It is the largest karst river in the Dinaric Alps in the eastern part of the Adriatic basin/watershed. Passing towns and villages in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Neretva spills into the Adriatic Sea in the Croatian South, building an internationally significant wetland delta listed under the Ramsar Convention.

Neretva Valley, photo by Domagoj Sever, photo credit by Magnificent Croatia

In this lower alluvial valley in Croatia, the Neretva River splinters into multiple courses, creating a delta covering approximately 12,000 hectares. 

Extensive land reclamation projects have reduced the delta in Croatia, reducing the river flows to just three branches from the original twelve. 

Neretva river delta, photo credit by Magnificent Croatia
Neretva Valley, photo credit by Anita Palada powered by Magnificent Croatia

The marshes, lagoons, and lakes that once dotted this plain have disappeared, and only fragments of the old Mediterranean wetlands survive.

Wetlands, marshes and lagoons, lakes, beaches, rivers, hummocks (limestone hills), and mountains comprise the delta, with five protected areas with a total area of 1,620 ha. These are ornithological, ichthyologic, and landscape reserves.

Neretva Valley, photo credit by Anita Palada powered by Magnificent Croatia

We can say that Neretva valley is geographically very different from the rest of the Croatian coastline. The area is perfect for agriculture and diverse activities, with various flora and fauna and locations full of evidence of rich history and exciting pirate stories. Here are just some things to check out there.

Norin river, photo credit by  Life&Ventures powered by Magnificent Croatia

Besides the Neretva river, the 16th-century tower of Norin was built as a bulwark of the Ottoman Empire from the attacks of Venetian ships. Used for military purposes until the 19th century, when it was converted into a mill. Locals say the tower has seven floors, but they cannot be seen because of the sinking into marshland.

Archaeological Narona museum, Vid, photo credit by Magnificent Croatia

In 1996 in the area of the so-called Plećaševe štale (stables) in Vid, near Metković, the remains of the Augusteum – Roman temple and 17 sculptures of Roman emperors. It can all be seen in the archaeological museum Narona where around 900 findings, from the 3rd century BC until the 15th century, are located. Narona was the roman settlement of this area in the 4th century BC. The museum named after it is the first one in Croatia built on the site itself.

Archaeological Narona museum, Vid, photo credit by Magnificent Croatia

 

The Predolac cave is a place to meet the single Dinaric cave shellfish “Congeria”, a living fossil, a tertiary relic, and an endemic of Dinarides. This is also home to other different animal species living exclusively underground. Together with the impressive rocky surrounding, this one locality unique in the world means an unforgettable experience.

Neretva Valley, photo credit by Anita Palada powered by Magnificent Croatia

The rich history of the town of Ploče and its geographically great location in the beautiful valley are reasons enough to visit. Beautiful churches and monuments, as well as the surrounding locations and area interesting because of WWII, the archeological sites and the houses of the queen Teuta are only some exciting places to discover, like the picturesque town of Komin surrounded by Neretva to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Baćina Lakes, Neretva Valley, photo credit by  Life&Ventures powered by Magnificent Croatia

Heaven of 7 lakes 

Not to forget the earlier mentioned Baćina lakes. Near the town of Ploče, in Baćina, seven lakes take your breath away! These beautiful lakes are all connected, and, interestingly, their bottom is below sea level. The water here is fresh, the surrounding hills are inhabited by different animal species, and it is even possible to take a boat ride along them. So, there really is a heaven over the Adriatic sea, the mountain, and the seven lakes.

Baćina Lakes, Neretva Valley, photo credit by  Life&Ventures powered by Magnificent Croatia

Neretva valley is so rich with flora, fauna, history, archeological findings, gastronomy, and cultural life that we could go on describing it without stopping. The best way to experience it is still… by taking a visit. 

Find Croatia’s hidden parts and get to know Neretva valley 😉

Baćina Lakes, Neretva Valley, photo credit by  Life&Ventures powered by Magnificent Croatia

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