• Photo: Phant / Shutterstock


On the surface, they are sleepy little fishing villages. But Ston (on the main Dubrovnik-Orebić road) and Mali Ston ("little Ston," just off the main road) have three unique properties that make them an excellent stopover between Dubrovnik and Korčula: walls, salt, and oysters. Historically, the town dates back to 1333, when it was founded by the Republic of Dubrovnik, The Republic’s chief interest in Ston was its ancient salt pans, which became a major source of revenue. You can take a tour of the massive salt pans to learn about the old processes, many of which are still used today, and see the warehouses where mountains of salt are stored (if you’re lucky, you might be allowed to climb one!). In order to protect the settlement, a fortified wall was built, connecting the two villages and effectively controlling land access onto the peninsula. The fortified wall stretches 5½ km (3 miles) long, and is one of the best preserved walls in the world. Locals will tell you it’s second in length only to the Great Wall of China; a disputable claim, but nevertheless it is an impressive sight. Begin your visit in Ston, then walk atop the wall to Mali Ston, where you can settle in and spend the rest of the day feasting on famous (and well-priced!) oysters and mussels grown right there in the channel.


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