Who is on the way with the yacht before the south Dalmatian coast, should insert a cruise stop in Ston on the peninsula Pelješac at the northwest end of the Stonski channel. Here once stood the longest fortress wall in Europe, remains of the wall and a fort still remind us of Roman times; the salt pans near Ston date from a time when salt was one of Dubrovnik’s most important sources of income.
Ston (it. Stagno), the small, pleasant town on the Pelješac peninsula in southern Croatia, today belongs to the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. The fortifications around the culturally and historically interesting town, which are still preserved in parts, once controlled the access to Pelješac. Already under Roman rule, a settlement named Stagnum was built on the narrow isthmus connecting Pelješac with the mainland.
On the hill Starigrad near Ston, the remains of a Roman fort are still visible today. The salt marshes, which still exist today, were also created in Roman times. In the Middle Ages, Pelješac became part of the Dubrovnik Republic in 1333. During this period the present town was founded and fortified. Salt production in the large seawater saltworks of Ston, which had been in operation since ancient times, once formed the basis of the city’s economy and was at times one of Dubrovnik’s most important sources of income.
The Stonski Channel connects the Pelješac peninsula with the Dalmatian mainland
If you want to visit the small town, which today is home to just under 2,500 people, by yacht on your cruise, the best way is to sail the Stonski Channel, coming from the southeast, with Ston at its northwestern end. The channel connects the Pelješac peninsula in the southwest with the Dalmatian mainland in the northeast.
Caution: the part north of Broce at the beginning of the channel was dredged, but still you should always stay in the fairway here, because in some places the channel is only 2.50 meters deep and a maximum of 25 meters wide. Be careful with changing winds: the water level can then change quickly by several decimeters under certain circumstances.
In Kobas two cozy konobas invite you to visit
In the small town of Broce right at the entrance to the channel you can moor, keel yachts but only near the red fire on the southern pier. It is better either to continue a little further to Ston, or to moor in the beautifully situated bay of Kobas, about in the middle of the channel on the southwest shore. Here you can moor safely, and the crew can choose between two cozy konobas: both, the Fisher House (Tavern Ribarska) and Lukas Taverna, offer free moorings right in front of the restaurant. What more could you want?
The actual Stonski Canal is marked in the northern section with five red (southwest shore) and three green (northeast shore) fires. Tip: in the narrow places you should keep as close as possible to the red fires. Once in Ston, yachts can then go alongside a pier in the north of the channel on the west shore; however, there is no service here.
The fortress wall between Ston and Mali Ston is considered the longest in Europe
For this, the place with its sights invites you to take an extended walk. For example, you can visit the impressive fortress wall. Already in the 14th century the construction of the fortifications was started. Three forts were built, which were connected by walls.
More than 40 towers were part of the wall, which was about five kilometers long and parts of which are still standing today. Thus, access to the Pelješac peninsula was completely controllable at that time. The entire complex was not completed until 1506 and is considered the longest fortress wall in Europe.
Mali Ston is known throughout Croatia for its mussel and oyster farming
Not far from Ston, there is a small town Mali Ston. You can reach this place either by walking from Ston – both places are connected by the wall, which is about five kilometers long, or, coming from the other direction, i.e. from WNW, you can sail the Mali Ston channel by yacht in the southeastern direction.
This channel is 11 nautical miles long and begins in the northwest at the imaginary connecting line between Rep Klepa and Rt Blaca and leads to its terminus in the southeast in the Kuta Bay. Through the Mali Ston channel runs in the longitudinal direction also the border with Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Mali Ston is the last place in the southeast of the channel of the same name, you can reach the small town, which is known for its mussel and oyster farming, by yacht, after passing the ports Luka and Hodilje to starboard.
In 1996, there was an earthquake in which Ston suffered heavy damage, while Mali Ston remained unscathed. However, the damage has since been repaired; tourists can also walk on the wall again.