Neretva river valley: Croatian hidden gem for weddings and elopements

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Welcome to Neretva valley, a golden valley of Croatia. We’ll be your guides through it since we know every single corner of this unique landscape. We basically live in the Neretva river delta and we look at it even at this moment. For a long time, Neretva valley was forgotten when it comes to tourism of any kind. It was known mostly as one of the most fertile agricultural soils of Croatia.

But things have changed in the past years and the Neretva river delta is being discovered by more and more adventurers and other kinds of visitors. Neretva wedding also became a real thing and, trust us, it’s one of the best places for small weddings and elopements in Croatia.

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What is Neretva river delta?

For a long time, the Neretva river delta was a salty desert, a wetland. It was hard to do anything here and locals living here had a really tough time adapting to these harsh conditions. But they didn’t give up, they adapted and made the whole valley into fertile soil by stealing land from the sea. Neretva river delta looks completely different now than some 50 years ago. Today it’s a green oasis and a cool mixture of sand, sea, and numerous canals dug through the valley.

When talking about the valley itself, we are referring to a place that is made by the Neretva river in the last 20 kilometers of its journey toward the Adriatic sea. Neretva river source is located deep in the Bosnia and Herzegovina territory and the other parts of this river are stunning. But there is only one valley.

Neretva river valley is being discovered by more and more people each year and the chance is that you’ll fall in love with this landscape if you ever visit it. Neretva river mouth has become one of the most popular places for kitesurfing in Croatia. Although the mouth of the river is the most visited place, the rest of the valley has some other interesting places too.

Where is it located and how to reach it?

Neretva river valley is located in southern Croatia, right in the middle between the famous cities of Split and Dubrovnik. Both of these cities are some 2 hours of driving away from it. So if you are visiting southern Croatia, you are probably going to pass through the Neretva river delta at some point in your journey. There are 3 larger cities in the delta – Ploče, Opuzen, and Metković. All these cities are still rather small when compared to some other cities in Croatia.

Reaching the Neretva river valley is rather easy. If you are traveling from afar, the airplane is the best way of coming to Croatia. The closest airports to the Neretva river valley are Split and Dubrovnik, both with similar distances from the valley. As soon as you land, we suggest you rent a car since it’s the best and most convenient way of traveling through Croatia and exploring it.

The main Croatia motorway that connects inland Croatia with its southern parts is currently ending at Neretva river valley so the rest of Croatia is just a few hours of driving away. For example, the capital of Croatia, Zagreb, is some 5 hours of driving away which is completely tolerable.

Neretva river valley has good public transport connections with the rest of Croatia too, especially during the summer months. However, we still suggest you rent a car to have complete freedom of traveling and exploring the beautiful delta.

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Neretva wedding: fairytale in the world of sand

So why do we think that Neretva river valley is one of the best places for getting married in Croatia and why Neretva wedding will become very popular in the future. First of all, it’s one of the least explored parts of Croatia, especially when it comes to the Croatian coast.

If you search for the term Croatia wedding on the internet, you’ll see a lot of images of people getting married by the sea or in some other beautiful locations, but you probably won’t see any photos from the Neretva valley. So why not try something new and think out of the box. Read further and you’ll want to start planning your Neretva wedding immediately.

Neretva river delta is one of the most unique landscapes of Croatia. It’s a mixture of sand, adventure, Sun, river, and the sea. This already sounds great, but wait till you see the photos from this place. Kilometers of sandy beaches, something you won’t find anywhere else in Croatia. This combination of elements found in Neretva valley is somehow so relaxing so expect your wedding to be just like that too. And trust us, there is nothing better than a relaxed wedding.

You could organize any kind of a wedding in Neretva valley, but some of the places we’ll cover in the section below are best for small intimate weddings or elopements.

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Best time to have your Neretva wedding or elopement

Unlike some other parts of Croatia that are crowded during the high season, Neretva valley is somewhat less crowded and perfect for a wedding even in the middle of the summer. Still, some places, like the Neretva river mouth, are crowded in this period while some others are not. However, we are not speaking about the number of people you’re going to find in some other parts of Croatia at that time of the year. We always suggest people plan their Croatian wedding in the preseason or postseason periods, but the Neretva wedding could be organized even in the middle of the summer. Which is a great thing.

Summers in Neretva valley is beautiful. It can get rather hot, true, but the proximity of the sea and river makes everything better. If you are planning to organize your Neretva wedding during the summer, we suggest you have it either early in the morning or around sunset time. We just need to point that the wind is blowing almost every afternoon during the summer period. There must be a reason why the Neretva river delta is one of the most popular places for kitesurfing in Croatia.

On the other hand, mornings in the Neretva delta are usually very calm and peaceful. Other good periods for organizing a wedding or elopement at Neretva delta would be the months of May, June, and September. There are almost no visitors at these periods and everything is less crowded. The weather is still very nice, although not as hot as during July and August.

What is elopement wedding? Find out more!

Neretva elopement wedding photograpy 10 | Croatia Elopement Photographer and Videographer

Where to stay in Neretva valley

There are many accommodation options available at the Neretva river delta. There are few hotels and many different types of traditional accommodation or vacation homes. The accommodation options are maybe not as diverse as in some other parts of Croatia, but you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a good place to stay. On the other hand, Makarska Riviera, one of the most developed parts of Croatia when it comes to tourism capacity, is just 15 minutes away from the Neretva valley.

The most famous places to stay in Neretva valley are Blace, Komin, Rogotin…

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Neretva wedding and elopement photographer

If you are interested in organizing a wedding in a Neretva valley, just contact us. Apart from being just wedding and elopement photographers, we are also locals that know pretty much every secret of the Neretva river valley. We’ll be able to guide you through the process of organizing a wedding at this place, suggest local vendors, and finally document the atmosphere of your Neretva wedding.

If you are planning to have a larger wedding, we would suggest you hire a wedding planner who will make sure that everything is going to be organized in the best possible way.

Our top locations for Neretva valley wedding or elopement

The whole Neretva valley is full of different locations and each of them is perfect for some kind of wedding. Some are great for small intimate weddings and elopements, some are good even for larger weddings. Just think about what kind of person you are and what kind of wedding you dream of. We are sure that there is a perfect place for you in the Neretva valley.

Mouth of the Neretva river

We are starting with the most popular place in the whole Neretva valley. Neretva river mouth is the place where the Neretva river meets the Adriatic sea. It is characterized by sand beaches and sandbars, beautiful sunsets, and great vibes. The Neretva river brought so much sand here that you actually can walk on it for more than one kilometer, straight to the sea.

Depending on the tide, these sandbars are sometimes underwater (20 cm or less) and sometimes completely above sea level. We are saying this because we believe that these sandbars are perfect for organizing a small Neretva wedding or elopement. Just imagine having a wedding on a private sand island in the middle of the sea. It would feel somewhat like that.

Neretva river mouth beach is also a great place to host a wedding if you don’t want to bother with the tide.

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Norin river

Norin river is a small, rather short river, that pours into Neretva. It’s one of the secluded and wildest parts of Neretva valley. Some of the best places along this river are reachable only by boat or vessel of any other kind. There are frequent traditional tours that are being organized on this river.

There are some plateaus in the middle of the Norin river that are perfect for a wedding in Neretva valley. Just imagine how cool would it be to come to your wedding in the traditional boat of Neretva valley. Or maybe a kayak if you choose to have an elopement in the Neretva delta.

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Kuti lake

Kuti lake is another secluded part of Neretva valley and you can reach it either by a boat that drives you through the labyrinth of canals or by the road. There are few restaurants located at Kuti lake that can host larger weddings so these are good options if you plan to have a big wedding.

There are some legends about the stone walls that can be seen on the bottom of the lake and some explorers even think that the ancient city of Troy is buried on the bottom of Kuti lake. Whether there is a sunken Troy down there or not, Kuti lake is the perfect location for your Neretva wedding.

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neretva wedding

Marin vijenac peak

Marin vijenac peak is perfect for elopements and small weddings. It’s a mountain peak that rises above Neretva valley and the view from it is simply amazing. But what’s even more amazing are the herds of wild horses that can be seen in the area around Marin vijenac. These horses are by no means aggressive and they are really great sight we love to witness during our regular hikes to this peak.

The hike to Marin vijenac peak is not so long nor exhausting and it usually lasts for less than 1 hour. The peak is perfect for elopements while the meadow below the peak could be used for a bit larger weddings (10 persons at most).

Check out our best ideas for your hiking elopement

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Any of the local wineries

Neretva valley is becoming more and more famous because of its wine sorts too. Some of the wineries in the valley or on edge of it are perfect for hosting different types of weddings. Few of them even have great terraces that overlook the Adriatic sea and the view from them is simply stunning. Two of our favorites are Rizman and Terra Madre wineries.

Chill beach bar near Blace

Blace is a small fishermen village not so far away from the Neretva river mouth. It’s a good option for accommodation if you want to be near the sea and still very close to the rest of the Neretva valley. Chill beach bar is a small bar on a sandy peninsula and it’s a perfect place for a Neretva wedding. This bar is perfect for chilling and relaxing after the wedding or elopement in Neretva valley too.

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Neretva elopement wedding photograpy 19 | Croatia Elopement Photographer and Videographer

Traditional boat transfer: Neretva wedding with a scent of tradition

Some of the places we mentioned in the sections above are reachable only by boat and the most common boat used in Neretva valley is called lađa. It’s a traditional boat used in the valley for a long time and it’s a great idea to incorporate it in your Neretva wedding in any way. Maybe it will be the way for you and your guests to reach your wedding location or you can organize a tour regardless of your wedding or elopement.

Traditional Neretva boat tours will take you through Neretva canals and show you some of the most hidden parts of the valley. These canals are also perfect to explore by kayak if you are into a more adventurous type of exploration.

We had a chance to have this kind of traditional boat as a part of the wedding and it was simply amazing.

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What to do and see in Neretva valley and near it

As we already mentioned, the Neretva river valley is located in southern Croatia, just in the middle of the famous cities of Dubrovnik and Split. Both of these cities are approximately 1 hour of driving away and they are great places to visit if you are staying in Neretva valley. The city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina is around 40 minutes of driving away and it’s also a great option for a daily visit.

Traditional Neretva boat safari is one of the best things you can do in Neretva valley and it’s a good way to explore the delta. If you want a more adventurous option, we suggest you kayaking through the canals or down the Norin river. Cycling is another great option for exploring the delta in a more active manner.

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Neretva elopement wedding photograpy 23 | Croatia Elopement Photographer and Videographer

Baćina lakes, a group consisting of 7 lakes that form a place of stunning beauty is just 10 minutes of driving away from the Neretva valley. Traditional boat tours are available at the lakes too, along with some others such as kayaking and SUP tours.

Just chilling and enjoying at some of the beach bars in the delta is one of the most relaxing things to do if you visit the Neretva river mouth. There is also an option to take part in a kitesurfing school that lasts for a few days and will teach you all the basics of this great activity.

How to elope in Croatia: a comprehensive guide

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Famous Makarska Riviera is some 20 minutes of driving away from the Neretva delta and it’s a place with the best beaches on the whole Croatian coast. Pelješac peninsula is another great place to visit. It’s a peninsula famous for its great wines and beautiful landscape.

Finally, you have to try some of the local gastro specialties. The gastronomy of Neretva valley is special and revolves around different fish dishes. Eels and frogs are just some of the specialties you can try in Neretva valley.

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Hello there!

We are Mario & Andrea, a photo+video duo, specialised in adventure elopements and intimate weddings. We are based in Croatia but also happy to travel to other beautiful places on the planet Earth. Contact us if you plan an elopement or intimate wedding with a pinch of adventure.