Neretva / Baćina Lakes

Neretva / Baćina Lakes

The Neretva is one of those rivers which with their richness and force create awe on whichever section we encounter them. This is particularly so at its mouth, which is, in fact, the only delta in these regions. It rises in Bosnia and Herzegovina at about 1,000 metres above sea level between the mountains of Prenj and Bjelolasica and then roars through mighty canyons, and only after two hundred kilometres does it pass into Croatia, where it continues through the grandeur of natural and cultural heritage.

 

Navigation with boats here is a great tradition because in ancient times all communications and transport were made on small and big wooden boats called “trupici” and “lađi”. Today the Lađa Marathon is a big event which wishes to revive this tradition and so many participants compete on the section from Metković to Ploče for the prestigious title of the fastest “lađa”.

Whilst on the upper course at Konjic and Mostar the river offers plenty of rapids for an active break and rafting, in the Croatian region it turns into a fertile valley whose natural branches and artificial channels are difficult to distinguish considering the fact that along the Neretva intensive agriculture has been taking place for decades.

The exploration of the Neretva in its Croatia section is not demanding and is suitable for all ages, whilst through the flood plan region apart from the main course you can paddle on numerous tributaries and channels, and even the lakes of Modro Oko and Desne.

 

The very fertile region is marked with limestone hills between which, apart from the agriculture, life flourishes. The banks of the river are covered with typical marshland vegetation of reeds and grasses, the perfect habitat for many marshland birds, so it is no wonder that on parts of valley there are ornithological and ichthyological reserves, where you can sneak in with a kayak and without being noticed marvel at the rich flora and fauna.

 

The local guides usually organise tours from Opuzen to the lake of Kuti and back with an obligatory break in one of the traditional taverns, and don't forget to try the eels and frogs which are a culinary speciality here.

Domagoj Blažević

The banks of the Neretva abound with numerous archaeological remains so the combination of paddling and cycling is a brilliant idea because unbelievable locations will reveal themselves to you, like the excellent Narona Archaeological Museum or Kula Norinska from the 16th century which proudly stands along the banks of the Neretva.

Ivo Biočina

At just a few kilometres from Ploče, outside the tourist itineraries, are the seven interconnected Baćina Lakes, which we could say are the icing on the cake which is called the Neretva.