The name Pelješac is most likely derived from the name of a hill above town of Orebić, which is Pelisac. This is a relatively new namefor the peninsula. Throughout history other names have been used, such as Stonski Rat or Italianname Sabioncello. The highest peak is Sveti Ilija (961 m) above the town of Orebić which isalso called Monte vipera.The earliest known historic records of Pelješac are from ancient Greece. The area became part ofthe Roman province of Dalmatia after the Illyrian Wars (220 BC to 219 BC.). Roman migrationsoon followed. In the 6th century Pelješac came under Byzantine rule.The Great Migrations of the 6th and 7th century brought the Slavic invasion and Avar into thisregion. As the barbarians began settling on the coast, the Romanised local coastal population hadto take refuge on the islands. Along the Dalmatian coast the Slavic people migrations poured infrom the interior and seized control of the area where the Neretva River enters the Adriatic, tothe Bay of Kotor. The Slavs settled on the peninsula.The eastern part of the peninsula was part of a medieval Slavic duchy of Hum or Zachlumia,the control of which changed hands numerous times before 1333 when as a result of a war, theRepublic of Ragusa bought the entire peninsula from the Serbian Empire of Tsar Dusan. TheWalls of Ston are large fortifications built by the Republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik). They arethe second longest walls in Europe. Ston also has one of the oldest salt planes in this part of theworld.The French Empire occupied the region in 1806, abolishing the old Republic, and in 1808 turnedit into the Illyrian Provinces. In 1815 it was given to the Austrian Empire and in 1867 becamepart of the Cisleithania of the Dual Monarchy of Austria – Hungary. Between 1918 and 1991 itwas a part of Yugoslavia.
The town of Orebić, the cradle of seafaring captains and sailors, is a place where the tradition ofsailors is maintained even today. It was named after the patrician family Orebić that restored thecastle inside the fortified settlement in 1586. During the 19th century, Orebić had 17 of the mostimportant nautical captains in the Austria-Hungary Empire. The Franciscan monastery of OurLady of Angels, behind the town of Orebić is a popular attraction. Visitors are also drawn to theMount of Saint Elijah (Croatian brdo Sv. Ilija) located behind the town which offers a good viewof the island of Korčula and the Adriatic Sea. There are many hiking paths from Orebić andnearby villages that lead to the summit and are well sign-posted.
At the eastern approach to the town, just before Trstenica beach, Korta Katarina houses aboutique hotel, wine tasting room, and winery of the same name which produces local varietiessuch as Pošip and Plavac Mali.
Orebić is easily accessible by road and ferry. It is some 90 minutes, driving, from Dubrovnikand some 3–4 hours from Split, both of which are accessed via the Adriatic Highway (Europeanroute E65) which is accessed via nearby Ston. The drive from Ston to Orebić takes youthrough some of Croatia’s largest vineyards, including those at Potomje and Postup. The road isconstantly being upgraded and, while being quite winding, it is in generally good condition.There are numerous ferry connections to Korcula each day from Orebic. The car ferry depositspassengers some 3–4 kilometers from Korcula (town) and, therefore, is not suitable for thoseon foot. There is also a passenger ferry that deposits passengers directly in Korčula. Car ferrytickets must be purchased at the Jadrolinija booth near to Splitska Banka prior to boardingthe ferry. Tickets for the passenger ferry can be purchased when boarding the craft.From Korčula, you can connect with a variety of other ferry services including the main Rijeka-Split-Stari Grad (Hvar)-Korcula-Mljet-Dubrovnik-Bari ferry service operated by Jadrolinija. Inaddition, there are fast ferry services from Korčula to Dubrovnik and to Hvar Old Town-Split.There are also services to nearby islands such as Badija.
Bus services operate from Orebić to Dubrovnik, Split and Zagreb.
Services and facilities
Orebić is well-serviced in terms of supermarkets (such as Konzum and Studenac), a medicaland dental center, newsagents (also selling international newspapers), pharmacies, post office,bakeries, banks, hair salons, building providers, garden centers, bars and restaurants with themajority of services being located along the town’s main thoroughfare.
Viganj is famous among known wind- and kite surfers due to the favorable winds that enablegood surfing. Every year, Viganj hosts the World Windsurfing Cup. Even Bjoern Dunckerbeckwas there. Viganj is a place alongside Bol on the island of Brac and is the favored destination forsurfing and kite surfing on the Adriatic.
Deep-sea diving is also popular and there are diving clubs in Orebic, Viganj, Zuljana andTrstenik. If by chance you forgot to bring your equipment, you can borrow everything you needat the clubs where you can take diving lessons as well. Follow one of the bicycle routes on thetrails of the peninsula, or enjoy free-climbing and hiking on the mountains of Sv. Ilija aboveOrebić or Sv. Ivan near Žuljana. Here you can also find many hidden, elevated caves.