The Maraton Ladja is Croatia’s biggest boat race featuring over 600 rowers battling it out on the water in traditional boats to claim the title. About an hour and a half away from the bustling city of Dubrovnik, hoards of rowers and crowds of excited spectators gather for this annual event with even the Croatian Prime Minister in attendance. With each boat representing one of the nation’s regions, the performance is a matter of pride for the competitors and is a tribal affair for the audience. After watching the hard-fought battle on the River Neretva, enjoy a few beers as the sun goes down over the Adriatic.
The 20th Maraton Ladja takes place on the River Neretva, starting at the town of Metković and ending up 14 miles, or 22.5 kilometres, later at Ploče. The event is free to attend but be aware that, as this is an extremely popular national event, the Metković area in particular is likely to be very busy. There is also a women’s race which takes place the day before the men’s main event. The women’s race is around half the length at ten kilometres, starting at Opuzen and ending at Metković. If you’d like to know more about the Maraton Ladja, please visit the official website.
2017 heralds the twentieth anniversary of the Maraton Ladja so expect some surprises to mark this momentous occasion. Although the race is a relatively recent competition, the original ladja vessels go back to the tenth century. In fact, they were originally used as the preferred means of transport by the local pirates who roamed the Neretva River and terrorised the residents back in the tenth century. These days, the rowers are a tad more friendly but no less fierce in their competitive attitude. The boats must comply with strict regulations - they must be wooden and fit the prescribed measurements down to the centimetre.
If you’re travelling to this historic Croatian city for the boat race, book the perfect rental accommodation for your stay. If you book with Eventful Stays, you can choose to stay in houses, studios, apartments, bed and breakfasts, small hotels, boats or spare rooms.
Make sure you book plenty of time to check out the sights around Dubrovnik during your stay, including: Fort Lovrijenac, the Franciscan Monastery and Korcula Island.
To find out more information about this exciting boat race, please head to the official website where you’ll be able to find out the exact route of the race, find the address of the starting point and find out how to get to the Neretva River.
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