It is the longest of all Dalmatian peninsulas, abounding in natural bays, mostly covered with woods, with a coast full of beaches, reefs, bays and fjords. Peljesac was inhabited since ancient times by Illyrians and Greeks, later by Romans and since the 7th century by Slavs. The old historians mention it under the name Rathaneus Kersones, meaning the Cape Lynx.
Peljesac has an ancient maritime tradition and is the home of many captains famous for their skill and bravery on the open sea. It is also well known since ancient times for the fine vineyards, and the excellent sorts of wine, "Dingac" and "Postup", are famous all over the world.
The visitors get a special experience by visiting the picturesque places on both sides of the coast, green with the olive and pine groves and the low bush forests. Across the whole peninsula there is a new asphalt road joining all the settlements. One branch of the road leads towards Trpanj, and from there you can take a ferry to Ploce or come back several times a day. A second branch leads to Orebic, and there is also a ferry to Korcula several times a day.
Ston stands next to Dubrovnik as one of the most impot tant places of the Dubrovnik Republic by its economic and strategic importance. This is proved by the monumental walls, about 4 miles long (5 km), 5 to 10.5 yards high (5 - 10 m), fortified with more than 40 towers and bastions, built in the 14th century. When the Republic bought the Peljesac peninsula and the area of Dubrovacko Primorje from Ston to Orasac in the 14th century, it immediately started building up Mali and Veliki Ston (the Small and the Large Ston). One is placed at one side and the other at the opposite side of the coast of the Ston isthmus, about Vt of a mile (1 km) of air distance.
Both small towns were built according to the regulation plans of the Republic and fortified by joint walls that go from one channel to the other; this had an exceptional strategic value for the defense of Peljesac and the whole of the western part of the Republic. The walls in Ston are rare specimen of architecture on our coast, even in Europe. They were built by eminent foreign and local builders: Michellozzi, Bernardin from Parma, Marchiani, and the local builders: Bunic, Juraj Dalmatinac and Paskoje Milicevic from Dubrovnik.
Both Mali and Veliki Ston are full of Gothic and Renaissance buildings from the time of the Republic and are exceptionally interesting to visitors. There are some beautiful palaces, like the Sorkocevic palace and the Dordic palace, the latter dating from the 16th century with a museum and lapidary that has many fragments of medieval sculpture from the Ston area and from Peljesac. There is a Renaissance Rector's palace, a Gothic palace used for the administrative offices of the Republic, the Gothic-Renaissance palace of the Bishop of Ston, St. Blaise's Cathedral, the patron saint of the Republic, and others.
There are also some other monuments of church art: the Franciscan monastery with the cloister in the Gothic style; the late-romanesque church of St. Nicolas (14th c), with many votive donations, most of them coming from the goldsmiths' workshops of Dubrovnik; there is the fine 15 th century Church of the Annunciation and the little 12th century St. Michael's Church with fresco paintings.
At the bottom of the Ston channel there are large natural saltworks where the production of sea salt has been going on for centuries. The Dubrovnik Republic had a monopoly on this valuable product and traded salt all over the Balkan, filling its coffers, and in some historical moments favourable for the Republic it was possible to extract certain privileged political and commercial concessions due to the sale of salt.
In the channel of Mali Ston, in Bistrina, oyster shells are being cultivated. There is also a fine little island called "The Isle of Life". Not far from Ston there is a wonderful bay, Prapratno, with ancient olive groves, Mediterranean low bush and a clean sand beach, and beside it there is one of the finest auto-camping sites in this area.
Hotel "Adriatic". Pension "Otok zivota", on the little island in Bistrina. Camping site "Prapratno". Accomodation in private apartments possible. Good restaurants with fish specialities.
An old historic fishermen's settlement with well-water, flourishing Me-dierranean vegetation and old Renaissance palaces. Above the harbour there are remnants of the ruins of the old fortress, and on the graveyard of Trpanj there are remnants of the mosaics and walls.
In the Renaissance church dedicated to Our Lady (Gospa od Karmena), there is the altar with the coat-of-arms of the family Gundulic from whih the great poet Dzivo F. Gundulic originates.
Trpanj is known for its good wine cellars, rich fishing ground, clean beaches framed by pine woods; there is also a long line of small bays that make it an appealing and comfortable seaside resort. Above all, the people there are excellent hosts.
Accomodation of tourists is possible in rest-homes and private apartments, and in the hotel "Faraon", as well as in the camping site.