Located just two hours from Dubrovnik is Viganj, a small seaside village on the Pelješac peninsula. This classic Croatian fishing community is a fantastic vacation destination, especially for active families looking for an off-the-beaten path destination.
Where to Stay - Villa or Apartment Rental
There are over 1,000 islands in Croatia, many of which have villages similar to Viganj. Finding a weekly villa rental and creating a home base there allows opportunity for exploring. The large number of islands means you have plenty of options, but it is important to note that Croatia is no longer a “bargain spot” unless you are looking for something very, very rustic. Our villa was located directly across from the sea, walking distance from many restaurants and bars and safe enough to let kids run around by themselves.
Restaurant Recommendation - Konoba Forte
This small restaurant is located in a small stone cottage, not far from the water. Konoba Forte has no set menu - as you take a seat at your table, you are greeted with an aperitif that contains a handmade flavored liquor and your server reads to you what is available fresh that day. The cuttlefish risotto was extraordinary and the fresh fish was cooked to perfection. You can tell that their chef is passionate about creating wonderful cuisine.
What to Do
The wind conditions in the sea channel between the Pelješac peninsula and the island of Korčula make Viganj a popular spot for wind and kitesurfing. Our particular village had a number of businesses offering lessons and equipment rentals for all ages at a reasonable price. Most afternoons the wind would pick up and the sea was filled with adventure-seekers.
Exploring the Islands
During your visit, you can take a boat ride to visit some of the nearby islands and other villages. We rode across the sea to Račišće, where our boat driver was born, which had a fantastic beach.
Enjoying the Sea
The Adriatic Sea runs along Croatia’s coast and is some of the clearest water you will ever swim in. The different hues of blue are remarkable and enjoying a few daily swims is reason enough to visit the area. While you won’t find traditional sand beaches, pebble beaches are everywhere and without a surf, the smaller beaches are safe to enjoy.
Bike Riding Along the Coast
Many of the small towns around Viganj are connected and make for a great leisurely bike ride, allowing you to discover the area for yourself. Our villa came with bikes for both adults and children, but there are also businesses in the village with bikes for rent. There are plenty of places to visit and we had fun simply riding our bikes into town for groceries.
There are countless small towns like this in Croatia, and it can be combined with a visit to one of the more known cities such as Split (which is beautiful) or Dubrovnik. The roads are excellent and easy to navigate, so you can do a self-drive itinerary to explore these different spots.