Baćina lakes is a group consisting of 7 lakes (Oćuša, Crniševo, Podgora, Sladinac, Vranjak, Vitanj and Plitko jezero), 6 of which are connected by passages and canals. Situated just few kilometers from Ploče, city in central Dalmatia, these lakes are inevitable landmark for everyone traveling on the main road between famous cities of Split and Dubrovnik. Still widely untouched by men’s hand they represent a small jungle with flourishing wild life and lush vegetation. Perfect getaway for everyone seeking a moments of peace deep in the heart of nature.
Baćina lakes were much more popular and crowded in the past few decades then they are today. In the times like these less crowded place is definitely a positive thing. With massive tourism flourishing all along the Croatian coast there are not many places where you can find your peace and enjoy undisturbed in beautiful nature while listening only to cricket symphonies. At least in summer. During the other seasons Baćina lakes are even more quiet. When observed from the air or higher grounds, Baćina lakes seem to have different surface colors of some lakes due to the difference in bottoms and depths of the lakes.
As every place on Earth, Baćina lakes have their phases through the day which make them different with every passing hour. During the summer mornings lakes are usually calm and reflective as a mirror and the sounds of awakening nature can be heard. Fishermen boats cut through the still water as they search for nets they cast every day.. As the noon approaches and the heat rises sounds of the crickets intensify and light wind starts blowing, just enough to make the heat bearable. In the afternoon hours winds often become stronger and then drop in strength during the night hours just to repeat everything tomorrow. Nights at the lakes are just as calm as the morning and with little light pollution there is, Milky Way is easily visible. During the other seasons lakes become different as well. In the Autumn it’s a real rhapsody of colors while in the early spring you can witness the transition and growth of the awaken vegetation.
There are numerous activity option you can do at Baćina lakes. We suggest trying some of the guided adventure tours such as kayaking, canoeing or stand up paddling. For those less willing to put their muscles to work traditional boat safari tours are available. Boats used for these tours are replicas of ones used in Neretva valley for centuries. Cycling lovers have a trail around the lakes with info points about the wildlife of Baćina lakes. Water in the lakes is approximately 3 degrees warmer then the sea water so they are perfect choice for swimming, even in the spring time or colder days. For those who would like to stay for a few days there is a possibility of camping in one of the local camps one the shores of the lakes. Swimming spots can be found all around the lakes and if you get tired of all that activities you can find yourself a perfect meadow and have a picnic.
Baćina lakes have a fresh water in them but they are connected with the sea via the underground cave network and there are some sea fish species living in the lakes. They are also a cryptodepression which means that surface of the lakes is above surface of the sea which can be visible through the smaller tunnel dug in early 20th century. Deepest point of Baćina lakes is 34 meters in Crniševo lake. On the largest of the lakes there are often thousands of seagulls just chilling and floating around until something disturbs them and they start flying which makes unique sight.
In addition to rich nature of Baćina lakes, rich cultural heritage is evident as well. Famous Illyrian queen Teuta had her palace here in the times of Antique. She adored Baćina lakes thus giving them synonym still widely used – Queen Teuta’s pearls. After the war with Romans she had lost, queen Teuta fled and then Romans came to enjoy in Baćina lakes. Remnants of ancient settlement Praetoria are still visible today. Praetoria and other Roman settlement were connected with a nearby Narona – second largest Roman city on this side of the Adriatic.
Regarding the newer history, one event is important and that is boring of the 2 tunnels finished in the early 20th century. One tunnel is 2 kilometers long and its purpose is to take away the excess water from the Vrgorac and Staševica valleys behind the hill which often get flooded. Another one is meant to take away that water into the sea. During the summer longer tunnel often gets completely dry so it is possible to walk through it all the way to the other side. A perfect delight for urban speleologists.
To conclude, Baćina lakes are a perfect escape from a crowded world into the embrace of nature. Visiting them won’t take much of time, maybe just a few hours and we suggest combining the visit to Baćina lakes with visit to Neretva river delta and valley just 10 kilometers away. If you want to experience the lakes from different perspective try our Bacina lakes kayaking tour.
So close and yet so different, Neretva river delta is a story for itself. Whole area can make you busy with exploration for few days so you might want to book some kind of accommodation and due to the equal distance from Split and Dubrovnik, Baćina lakes area is a good base for exploration of Central and Southern Dalmatia as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina.