Kačić family legend
First members of Kačić family built a castle after they arrived to the area of Gradac Riviera. They were shipbuilders also, so quickly they formed a small fleet of fast ships which they used for piracy in the surrounding waters. Kačić tribe left a bloody trail in Hungary, where they came from, so a Hungarian Zagara tribe followed them seeking their revenge. They attacked, plundered, and burned down their settlement while the Kačićs were on a pirate quest. Women, children and old people were captured and taken to Baška Voda. While the Zagars were drinking at a beach in Baška Voda, Kačić revenge was momentary. They attacked them from land and sea, captured the Hungarian ships, and liberated their family members.
Conflicts with the Turks
In the year 1500, after Turkish conquests around Hercegovina, pillaging hordes were advancing to the sea. They were sawing fear along the way by severing heads, and sticking them on stakes. Women, old people and children from Gradac Riviera were fleeing across the sea to the surrounding islands. And brave sons, ancestors of today’s Riviera residents, were making ambushes for the Turkish raiders in the hill passes. After surprising and lightning quick attacks, they would hide in caverns that held enough food and water. To defend from Turks, Lavčanj settlement was built and fortified, with a large defensive tower, which prevented the Turks to get to the sea. Great Bosnian vizier raise an army of 40 000 men, and headed to the area of today’s Gradac Riviera. United Seafolk and Venetians prevailed.
Landscape phenomena of Gradac Riviera
Unique colors of mountain panoramas are melted into green and blue shades of conifer forests in the coastal area, and clear sea of high transparency. Dive in the secrecy of underwater world of Gradac Riviera, and after that, take the well kept hiking routes to the viewpoints on mountain massifs that hide hundreds of caves and sinkholes. That’s Gradac Riviera. Biokovo mountain range that looms over Gradac Riviera is a world known phenomenon for the number, total length and depth of its caves, pits and other karst phenomena.
Along 16 kilometers of Gradac Riviera shore, there are 36 natural pebble beaches scattered around. Total length of Riviera pebble beaches is a dozen kilometers, of which 7 kilometers are in tourist municipalities. More than a hundred thousand square meters of pebble beaches in Gradac Riviera, assure enough intimate space for the guests, even during the main tourist season. So naturally, nudist tourism is a tradition. Beaches everywhere are just a couple of minutes of walk from the camp, hotel, or apartment.
Gradac Riviera is characterized by a year-round pleasant climate, and is by the number of sunny hours per year, alongside Hvar, in the very top in whole of Adriatic. Sea is suitable for bathing 190 days per year. Sea purity analysis is ranking the Gradac Riviera sea with the highest grade.
Special healing properties of sea water in Gradac Riviera in the april-june period
There are preserved newspaper articles in which gynecologists from Sarajevo point out the medicinal properties of this sea water, because of the specific mixture with mountain underground creeks and streams which pour into the sea at this place. They used to bring their female patients before the main season, when the water composition proved to be most useful in relieving many gynecological pains. Many patients that had problems conceiving a child, after regular monthly baths, got pregnant and eventually gave birth. Many of these Gradac Riviera Children are regular guests today. Medicinal properties of the sea in the area of Gradac Riviera have proven themselves with different rheumatic ailments as well.
Valuable Christian traces in the Gradac Riviera area
Gradac Riviera is deeply embedded in history, and is a major historical hub of its surrounding area. Traces of Christianity are leading to the shrines in Vepric and Međugorje, and traces of history are reaching far into history. Monastery in Zaostrog is the oldest preserved monastery in the whole of Split-Dalmatian county. Myriad of valuable exhibits in the monastery museum is complemented with a library with more than 20 000 old books, and a unique botanical garden. In the old settlement above Zaostrog there are three churches. An old gothic church of St. Barbara, a small church of St. Roko from the 17th century, and a newer church of St. Barbara built in 1872.
Remains from the Classical antiquity
Area of Gradac Riviera was settled in the Roman era, of which many of the monuments from Classical antiquity bare witness. For example the relief of the god Mitra, and a gravestone of Aurelio Veturio in the Zaostrog monastery collection.
Bicycle routes are today leading to the hill viewpoints
In the hill massifs above Gradac Riviera there are well kept bike routes that stretch for more than twenty kilometres. Trail is going around many attractive viewpoints.
Gradac Riviera offers accommodation for all categories of tourists: lively camps, traditional type hotels with various activities for the guests, comfortable and pleasant small family hotels with unique gastronomical offer, apartment hotels in isolated locations, and apartments with diverse contents.
Capital of the ancient Pagania
Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogennetos has noted the fortress of Ostrog (to which Zaostrog owns its name: za-Ostrog; behind-Ostrog), beneath the Viter hill, as the capital city of the Croatian state Pagania. Pagania was founded by the Neretva folk, and at the height of its power (9th and 10th century) it stretched from the river Cetina in the west, to the river Neretva in the east. North border of Pagania went along the heights of Ljubuča, Vrana and Čvrsnica. Pagania also included the Pelješac peninsula, islands of Brač, Hvar, Korčula and Mljet. During a fine, sunny weather, one could see from the Viter above Ostrog the whole of Pagania. Today, many hikers and mountaineers flock to these viewpoints with their cameras.
Cultural and historical heritage of Austro-Hungarian Empire in Zaostrog
During the Austro-Hungarian rule, a stone pier was built in Zaostrog, and the village torrent was regulated. In these times, this was the only pier except the one in Makarska, where merchant ships could dock in the wider Riviera area. Sturdy structure of the pier withstood the powerful earthquake in 1962. Village torrent was essentially a trough shaped out of stone blocks through which a hill stream runs to the sea. Pier and the village torrent are both protected cultural and historical monuments.
Only place in the world where sun rises two times in the same morning
Zaostrog is the only place in the world where the sun rises two times during the same morning in a specific time of year. The sun appears for the first time under the Viter hill, after which it hides behind the sheer rock for twenty minutes, and then a second sunrise follows. This phenomenon is a unique world phenomenon which deserves to be captured with a camera.
Legend of Teuta’s therapeutic cove in Zaostrog
Local residents are passing from generation to generation many testimonies about medicinal and therapeutic properties of the Gradac Riviera sea waters. One legend is especially connected with the Zaostrog cove. This is the place where legendary queen Teuta came to swim, in days when she stayed in the area of today’s Sućuraj. According to the legend, swims in this cove contributed to her famous libido and her gynecological health, despite her notorious sex life.