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In addition to beautiful coastline, Croatia has numerous rivers and lakes which provide a lot of opportunities for water-based entertainment. River Neretva, for example, is the sole reason why some people choose Croatia as a tourist destination for their hard-earned holiday. Its strong streams are perfect for rafting sessions and kayaking experiences, while valleys enriched by its water produce juicy oranges and watermelons. These fruits are later dispatched all over the country, ending up on tables of inns, diners and restaurants. But there are more things to learn about this notable river! Here are five things you don’t know about Neretva.

Watemellons of Neretva

River of Pirates

For many decades, banks of Neretva were sheltering local pirate groups. Initially perceived as simple warmongers and plunderers, these warriors eventually became a developed fleet of freedom fighters. Today, they are seen as the beginning of Croatia’s naval force. Neretva pirates even managed to defeat Venetian armada in late 9th century, lowering the influence of Doge’s power in the region.

World War II Battle Site

Neretva has been a very important strategic point in World War II. One of the greatest battles on Balkan Peninsula occurred next to this river’s banks situated in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the first months of 1943, Nazi army launched a strong offensive against partisan forces, aiming to destroy their headquarters. Despite huge loses, Tito’s warriors managed to secure their assets, technically overpowering the foe. The events of the battle were portrayed in the movie spectacle “Battle of Neretva” (1969) starring Yul Brynner and Orson Welles.

Photo courtesy of: Steve Jurvetson
Photo courtesy of: Steve Jurvetson

Slimy Fauna

River Neretva is rich in eels and frogs. These animals are often hunted for food, and are main ingredients to popular dish called Neretva Brudet.

Salt & Sweet

In the vicinity of Metkovic town, underwater tunnels bring water from Adriatic sea to the Neretva’s stream. Thus, they are changing the level of river’s saltines, enabling marine life to dwell on the river’s bed. In other words, locals can catch both freshwater and sea fish in Neretva.

Tourist Ferry

We already mentioned that Neretva is a great river for rafting and kayaking. But these activities are not everyone’s first choice. In order to enable more people to enjoy river sceneries, mini-cruisers have been introduced to Croatia’s tourist offer. Very popular among Swiss tourists, these small vessels offer a peaceful and relaxing ride through wonderful localities of Neretva. Reserve your seat in the aforementioned Metkovic settlement.

Five Things You Don’t Know About Neretva
Denis Jerkovic / CROPIX

These were five things you don’t know about Neretva. Think we missed something? Share your opinion and thoughts on our Facebook Wall.

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