The under-visited Ston and its neighbour Mali Ston (Little Ston) on the Peljesac peninsula are a great escape from the standard tourist route. You won’t find big resorts or luxury hotels here – rather great eating, great scenery and the longest fortifications in Europe.
The best time to visit Ston is during the annual salt harvest which takes place every July and August. Salt production has been an economic mainstay since the Middle Ages and the saltworks of Ston are among the oldest and best-preserved in Europe. The salt is still harvested by hand.
Founded in 1335 as part of the Republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik), Mali Ston was a defensive town with impressive walls and towers, a lot of which can still be visited today.
Head to the Koruna Fortress which rises over the village. You can’t miss it – it’s the only fortress in town.
Visit the port of Mali Ston (completed in 1490) which resembles the port of Dubrovnik with three arsenals, a round tower and a fortified port gate with a Romanesque statue of St Blaise over it.
You can’t drive into or away from the ‘Stons’ without noticing all the oyster farms on the peninsular. If you’re not an oyster fan, mussels and other shell fish are also farmed here.
The recommendation is Kapetanova Kuca (Captain’s House). Located on the waterfront of Mali Ston, the restaurant was named after it’s location, the headquarters of the captain of the marina.
The best oyster black risotto you will ever taste is an inevitable choice, along with freshly shucked oysters with a drizzle of lemon juice. Among desserts you should definitely try the famous Ston cake and wines of Peljesac.
One kilometre southwest of Mali Ston is the slightly larger village of Ston. Note – ‘slightly larger’ means it doesn’t take long to walk the four criss-crossing roads that form the centre of town.
Encircling Ston, are 13th century walls that follow around to meet up with the walls of Mali Ston. Fortified with 10 circular and 30 rectangular towers, these walls are five kilometres long and make up the second longest defensive walls in the world, second to the Great Wall of China.
After admiring the medieval architecture, take a look at the Veliki Kastio (Big Citadel) a large quadrangular fortress on the southeastern corner of town.