From 1350 until 1806 Dubrovnik was an independent Republic and the leading merchant marine center of the eastern Mediterranean. Its boats were to be found in ports throughout Europe and were even mentioned by Shakespeare.
Dalmatian fishermen invented many of the tools, such as the purse-seine net and the powerblock, and techniques employed in the global fishing industry.
An excellent way to discover maritime culture of the Adriatic Sea is on a week-long sea-kayak expedition. The traditional support boats used on the tours, a gajeta falkusa and a leut, add an extra dimension, providing a platform on which guests learn about the food, wine and history of the region. The boats’ decks are also the tour’s under-stars sleeping quarters.
History and culture are not the only of Dalmatia’s coast’s attractions. Its hot summers and the ‘bluest’ sea on Earth allow for a relaxing vacation.
10am - Meet in Dubrovnik.
Proceed to Korcula Town via van and short ferry ride.
Korcula Town is famous as the reputed birthplace of the original travelogue writer, Marco Polo, and it was in a sea-battle between the Venetians, who controlled Dalmatia at the time, and the Genovese in 1298, off the coast of Korcula, that he was captured and taken as a POW to Genoa, where his memoirs were transcribed.
3pm - Arrive Korcula.
Dinner and accommodation in Korcula.
9am - After breakfast, begin kayaking.
11am - Arrive Lumbarda. Swim and prepare lunch.
2pm - Visit Cebalo's Winery.
White wine is the preferred drop on Korcula, with two excellent varieties being produced. Grk is grown in the fields surrounding the town of Lumbarda and Posip in the valleys of Smokvica and Cara.
5pm - Short paddle to bay in which to anchor for the night.
Total paddling- 10 kms
9am - Paddle to Trstenik, on the Peljesac Peninsula via Podobuce.
The sharp hills and rugged coast of the Peljesac Peninsula are only a short paddle across the Peljeski Channel from Korcula Town.
6pm - Visit Bartulovic Winery for dinner (van transfer).
Dingac, a region midway along the Peninsula, arguably produces Croatia's best wine. The vineyards dramatically plunge down at 70 degrees straight into the water. These steep, southern-facing fields provide the Plavac grapes with maximum exposure to the already scorching summer sun, producing a very rich, complex, full bodied wine. The winery of Napa Valley expatriate, Mike Grgic;, is found in the town of Trstenik.
Total paddling- 19.5 kms
8am - The best breakfast in Dalmatia with Seka.
9am - Paddle to Polace on Mljet Island.
The remote and wild Mljet Island, containing one of Croatia's most beautiful national parks, is rumored to have been Odysseus' oasis prison for 7 years. The afternoon will be spent walking around Malo Jezero and Veliko Jezero, the lakes at the northern end of the island.
2pm - Walk to lake, monastery and Roman ruins.
Total paddling- 18 kms
9am - Paddle to Prapratno, again on the Peljesac Peninsula.
5pm - Dinner in Mali Ston (van transfer).
The twins towns of Ston and Mali Ston are renown for three things - ancient salt fields, oyster beds and medieval walls. The walls are purported to be the 3rd longest in the world after the Great Wall of China and Hadrian's Wall.
Total paddling- 28 kms
9am - Paddle to Lopud Island.
Lopud Island has one of Dalmatia’s largest sand beaches.
Total paddling- 28 kms
9am - Paddle to Dubrovnik.
Approaching Dubrovnik's walls from the sea is a paddle all kayakers should do at least once in their lives. The towering limestone edifices jealously protected from maritime depredations for centuries inside a town of narrow flagged streets, tall orange-tiled houses, Baroque palaces, churches and monasteries. Sitting at a café on the main street after the August crowds have left, you feel a comfort and familiarity found only in an old friend's living room.
2pm - Check into rooms for evening.
Dinner in Dubrovnik.
Total paddling- 16 kms
Except for wine at the restaurants visited, this is a fully inclusive tour.
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