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‘Relaxed but lively’: Discover Croatia’s stunning Orebić harbour

Find Croatia on a map and turn your attention south. It's there you'll find Orebić, an idyllic harbour on Croatia's Pelješac peninsula.

'Relaxed but lively': Discover Croatia's stunning Orebić harbour
Photo: Orebić Tourist Board

On Pelješac, Croatia's second largest peninsula, lies a place with a special maritime story.

Photo: Orebić Tourist Board – Click the photo to see what Orebić has to offer 

The Orebić municipality has spread across almost the entire western part of the peninsula, and its relaxed-but-lively lifestyle appeals to everyone in search of inspiration. Discover a place where life has been in harmony with the sea since ancient times and cast your anchor here for a few days.

Get ready for summer and plan your trip to Orebić now

Photo: Orebić Tourist Board

A hook for the curious at the “Captain's Cradle”

Orebić was named after a noble family who moved there in the 15th century and laid the foundations for the town's future. In the beginning, it was part of the Republic of Ragusa, and it was then that began the deep-rooted relationship between the sea and its local people.

The importance of seafaring is evident in numerous captain's houses and summer homes in Orebić; in the Franciscan monastery and the Church of Our Lady of the Angels, who the sailors thank by sounding their horns even today, and the Maritime Museum which exhibits artefacts portraying the glorious seafaring past of this quaint little town.  

Walk past the gardens which the captains planted for their faithful wives, decorating them with unusual and beautiful flowers from their travels. The flowers, they said, were unique and beautiful – just like their wives!

The romantic past and the maritime tradition is woven into all the lines of the seafaring story of Orebić. Read it by exploring the Maritime Museum, the Franciscan Monastery, the captain's houses, and the luxuriant gardens, summer homes, and the cemetery with the mausoleums of famous captains' families.

Photo: Orebić Tourist Board – Click the photo to see what Orebić has to offer 

Start planning your trip to Orebić now

A source of adrenaline, health, and active life

As you discover the romance of maritime life, windsurfers will wave to you from the sea, cyclists will greet you on the roads, and para-gliders will wave to you from the air.

Windsurfing is such a popular activity in the small towns of Viganj and Kučište that windsurfers and kite surfers from all over the world gather there. This is because the wind in the channel between Pelješac and Korčula is optimal for the sports, and there are several schools that will be happy to rent their equipment to you. Dare to try something new on your holidays. Don't worry, the conditions are ideal for beginners, too!

Photo: Orebić Tourist Board

For those who physical activity provides better rest than just lounging about, another challenge rises above Orebić, the hill of St Elijah. You can reach the highest peak on Pelješac by taking one of the hiking trails, and for adrenaline lovers, there is mountain biking. The marked cycling trails are also available online, and the Pelješac climate is ideal for this sport at all times of the year. If you love cycling in pristine nature, take the journey of discovering the world and yourself with a dose of adrenaline. Hike or bike to the top, and fly back on a paraglider, that's the fastest way!

Photo: Orebić Tourist Board – Click the photo to plan your next holiday 

Start planning your summer holiday today

Peace, relaxation, and a slow pace of life

The sea, the rocks, the hills, the pine forests, the sun, the wind, and the sky are parts of the Orebić municipality, and they will surely become part of you.

Bathed in sunlight (but also sunscreen), lay on one of the many pristine beaches. But which to choose? Pebbled, sandy, big, small or hidden? Whether you want to relax in a secluded bay or just have some fun on the town beach, you will find something to your liking. Just take it easy. And the island of Korčula is nearby, too!

Photo: Orebić Tourist Board

Orebić – Things to remember

They say that we most vividly retain memories which caused us to feel a certain emotion. Orebić sticks in the memory for all the right reasons. When you relax after a day in the sun by the sea or after enjoying the verdant gardens, you'll create a lasting memory that you'll long to recreate.

Photo: Orebić Tourist Board

Stay in one of the hotels, hostels, guest houses, campsites, mobile homes or private accommodations, and explore a special seaside story, equipped with everything you need, and still unknown enough to feel like a secret.

Photo: Orebić Tourist Board

Photo: Orebić Tourist Board

 

Photo: Orebić Tourist Board – Click the photo to explore the stunning views of Orebić

Click here to find out what Orebić has to offer this summer

 

This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by the Orebić Tourist Board.

 

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TOURISM

Denmark’s ‘freetown’ Christiania hangs onto soul, 50 years on

A refuge for anarchists, hippies and artists, Denmark's 'freetown' Christiania turns 50 on Sunday, and though it hasn't completely avoided the encroachment of modernity and capitalism, its free-wheeling soul remains intact.

Denmark's 'freetown' Christiania hangs onto soul, 50 years on
Christiania, one of Copenhagen's major tourist attractions, celebrates its 50th anniversary on Sunday. JENS NOERGAARD LARSEN / SCANPIX / AFP

Nestled in the heart of Copenhagen, Christiania is seen by some as a progressive social experiment, while others simply see it as a den of drugs.

On September 26th, 1971, a band of guitar-laden hippies transformed an abandoned army barracks in central Copenhagen into their home. They raised their “freedom flag” and named their new home “Christiania, Freetown” after the part of the city where it is located.

They wanted to establish an alternative society, guided by the principles of peace and love, where decisions were made collectively and laws were not enforced.

Soft drugs were freely available, and repurposing, salvaging and sharing was favoured over buying new.

It was a community “that belonged to everybody and to no one”, said Ole Lykke, who moved into the 34-hectare (84-acre) enclave in the 1970s.

These principles remain well-rooted today, but the area has changed in many ways: tourists weave through its cobblestone roads, and the once-reviled market economy is in full swing.

Perhaps most importantly, it is no longer a squat. Residents became legal landowners when they bought some of the land from the Danish state in 2012.

Now it is home to some 900 people, many artists and activists, along with restaurants, cafes and shops, popular among the half a million tourists that visit annually.

“The site is more ‘normal’,” says a smiling Lykke, a slender 75-year-old with ruffled silver hair, who passionately promotes Christiania, its independence and thriving cultural scene.

Legislation has been enforced since 2013 — though a tongue-in-cheek sign above the exit points out that those leaving the area will be entering the European Union.

‘Embrace change’
It is Christiania’s ability to adapt with the times that has allowed it to survive, says Helen Jarvis, a University of Newcastle professor of social geography engagement.

“Christiania is unique,” says Jarvis, who lived in Christiania in 2010.

“(It) endures because it continues to evolve and embrace change”.

Some of those changes would have been unthinkable at the start.

Residents secured a bank loan for several million euros to be able to buy the land, and now Christiania is run independently through a foundation.

They also now pay wages to the around 40 people employed by Christiania, including trash collectors and daycare workers.

“Money is now very important,” admits Lykke, who is an archivist and is currently exhibiting 100 posters chronicling Christiania’s history at a Copenhagen museum.

But it hasn’t forgotten its roots.

“Socially and culturally, Christiania hasn’t changed very much,” he says, noting that the community’s needs still come first.

‘Judged a little’
Christiania has remained a cultural hub — before the pandemic almost two dozen concerts were held every week and its theatres were packed.

But it is still beset by its reputations as a drugs hub.

Though parts of Christiania are tranquil, lush and green with few buildings, others are bustling, with a post office, mini-market, healthcare centre, and Pusher Street, the notorious drug market.

Lykke says it’s a side of Christiania most could do without.

“Most of us would like to get rid of it. But as long as (marijuana use) is prohibited, as long as Denmark doesn’t want to decriminalise or legalise, we will have this problem,” says Lykke.

While still officially illegal, soft drugs like marijuana and hash are tolerated — though not in excess.

Since early 2020, Copenhagen police have seized more than one tonne of cannabis and more than a million euros.

“Sometimes I don’t tell people that I live here because you get judged a little bit. Like, ‘Oh, you must be into marijuana and you must be a smoker’,” says Anemone, a 34-year-old photographer.

For others, Christiania’s relaxed nature is part of the appeal.

“It’s different from what I know, I really want to see it,” laughs Mirka, a Czech teacher who’s come to have a look around.

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