Southern Dalmatia is featuring infinite opportunities, not only to enjoy a relaxing run under the sun but also to visit beautiful areas, naturalistic attractions, ruins, and sites that boast over thousands of years of history. A guide to running route along the Ston walls is created with helpful information for all international fellow runners who want to travel and discover the magnificent places Croatia has to offer.
About the town of Ston
Ston, and its counterpart Mali Ston, is nested on the cape of land connecting the Pelješac Peninsula to the mainland. Ston’s world-famous defensive walls were built between the 14th and 15th centuries, as it was an important military fort of the Dubrovnik Republic. Extending over 5 kilometers in length and measuring 5-10 meters in height, the walls were fortified by forty towers and bastions. In fact, Stone walls are the second largest in the world after the Great Wall of China.
Despite its military history, nowadays Ston is a small, laid-back fishing town that is known for salt-producing. The Ston salt pans are among the oldest in the Mediterranean, in mostly constant use for 4000 years. The basic method of salt production hasn’t drastically changed since the Middle Ages. The town of Ston boasts some gorgeous views, such as the crumbling churches, olive groves, and a stunning coastline.
The running route along the Ston Walls
Whether you are a marathon runner or recreationist running for pleasure, this is the right running trail for you! You can choose your own running challenge: 4 km (basic), 15 km (medium), or 42 km (super) at the longest fortified walls in Europe! You can climb on its steep steps from Mali Ston to crenelated stone towers and fortresses. Descend towards packed Ston roofs. The views to the reflecting surface of the oldest European salt pans, to the fertile green fields and the crystal clear sea, are truly spectacular.
The shortest – basic running trail ends in Ston. If you have more energy for a medium running trail, you can run along the slim dam between the salt works and the sea to the South. At the very heel of Pelješac, you can run into the wild realm of the Mediterranean forest and jackals. If you are super dynamic, you can continue the super trail, through the fertile Ston fields to the coasts of Mali Ston bay.
Get ready for the Ston walls marathon
Every year the walls of Ston are used as a raceway for running for the popular Ston wall marathon. This is once in a lifetime experience for both participants and the audience. Ston’s marathon is taking place in this beautiful location that is full of attractions, history, and culture. Accept the challenge and run this unique marathon with a grain of salt. You may forget the result, but you will remember Ston forever!
Friendly locals will welcome you and serve you the famous traditional food, to boost your health. The town of Ston is being popular by the oyster farms. In fact, the oysters here have been commended as some of the best in the world.
Where to eco-stay near Stone walls?
Eco-friendly apartment Olly is a homey eco apartment, located in a small village first row to the sea. Here you can fully relax and rejuvenate after intense training. This lovely eco apartment is surrounded by a picturesque vineyard and ancient fortress. It has a charming garden with lavender, fig-trees and mandarin orange tree, a private beach with 4 sunbeds + umbrella, and free private parking just in front of the house.
Cover photo: Visit Ston
Author Bio: Mia Ivančić is a participant in the Erasmus for young entrepreneurs program from Croatia. She is working as a content creator for run-friendly destinations. Mia is also a founder of cromiarun.com where she promotes marathons and races.