Viganj – top kitesurfing spot
This year I discovered Viganj, a beautiful Mediterranean village on the southwestern side of Pelješac peninsula, some 120 km from Dubrovnik. It is a famous spot for kite and windsurfing in Europe and…for a good reason. The wind called mistral (cool northwestern wind) is pretty constant and strong from early spring to late autumn making it a favorite destination for kiters and windsurfers for many years now. I don’t know how it’s like when it’s full blown season, but in the summer of 2020 it was very relaxed with plenty of space for kiting. I was told though that in August it is generally too crowded and that May, June and September are the best months for kitesurfing.
Not a beginners spot
The beach for launching kites is small and the deep water starts from the beach, so it is not really an ideal place to learn kitesurfing. For beginners I would recommend Ušće Neretve (close to Metković, on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina) or Ada Bojana in Montenegro as some of the best spots to learn kitesurfing. I will write about it in one of the next posts. However, if you have some kiting experience this place is stunning, with good wind and beautiful views. Right across the Pelješac Chanel you can see the ancient walled island of Korčula and the view at sunset is priceless. Mountain biking and cycling are popular here as well making Viganj one of the top active holiday destinations.
Exotic botanical garden
Viganj has a long seafaring history as it was positioned on an ancient maritime route between north and south Adriatic sea. As the seafarers brought many different types of plants and fruits from their journeys around the world Viganj really looks like an exotic botanical garden. Add 260 sunny days per year, white pebble beaches and crystal clear waters and you have a perfect summer destination. The village is quite small, has around 300 inhabitants and is pretty quiet, with little traffic.
Cool beach bars
There are three cool beach bars right next to each other. Each has its own vibe and style. The one directly on the beach is called Ponta and I would spend time there while waiting for the wind (and to watch other kite surfers). This is the beach where the kites are being launched so be careful. Water Donkey is actually a kite center and not a bar, but you can bring your own drink and enjoy the hammocks. I loved it for the colorful decoration and was usually here after kiting. Finally, K2 was pretty empty while I was there, but I know it is a favorite spot for a few of my friends who have been coming here for years.
The original Italian gelato
Right next to the beach bars sits Croccantino, an artisan bakery and gelato shop with really the best gelato I ever tasted. They come in a variety of interesting flavors, are always fresh and super delicious. The team behind Croccantino mastered their craft in Italy and quickly became quite famous on the peninsula. They have great croissants and other baked goods as well. Don’t miss it :).
Mokalo, another gem of Pelješac
Though I was coming to Viganj almost every day, my accommodation was in another cool little village called Mokalo, some 10 minutes drive from Viganj. The house (booking; facebook) I was staying at with my mom, my sister and two of my friends was 200 meters from the beach, had a big garden and two hammocks perfectly positioned to see the beach. Mokalo is popular among campers due to its beautiful camping spots, peacefulness and crystal clear sea. Our house was a spacious and newly decorated two bedroom apartment which easily fits 5 people, positioned right next to Camp Vala, directly above the tiny but stunning pebble beach. The sea here is really clean, clear and turquoise. Perhaps more than anywhere else I’ve seen. There are two beach bars (one is also a restaurant) to cool off during the hottest time of the day.
The best of the Mediterranean
Pelješac is known as a rich wine-growing region abundant in fresh sea food and some of the best Mediterranean restaurants in Croatia. Though this year we decided to dine in, if you are looking for restaurant recommendations, the guys from Time Out made a good review of the best restaurants of the peninsula. As for us, we had a barbecue in our lovely garden and bought fresh sea food on the local market every morning. The veggies, the fruit, olive oil and wine we bought also came from the local producers. Signs with home-made olive oil and wine are everywhere so take your pick. It is hard to go wrong here.
After seven days of this paradise it was time to say goodbye. We took the ferry from Trpanj to Ploče and continued home to Sarajevo a bit sad that our beautiful summer adventure came to an end, but happy to have discovered a new favorite spot to return to.
|Why go?||Getting there?|
|– kite/windsurfing||– ferry|
|– crystal clear turquoise water||– car|
|– mountain biking||– bus|
|– cool beach bars|
|– original Italian gelato|
|When to go?|
|May – October|
|May, June and September best for kiting|