In the Hutovo blato Nature Park, which has been attracting domestic and foreign tourists for years with its natural treasures, the Water Trail has been established as a new tourist attraction of this pearl in the south of our country.
The Hutovo blato water trail allows visitors to experience the magical world of aquatic habitats and unique flora and fauna, providing unforgettable moments to remember for a long time, and was established as part of the project of the European Union (EU): “Discover transboundary aquatic biodiversity – EXChAngE”.
It is part of a new tourist product – Blue Pass, which, along with Hutovo blato, will enable visits to project partners, as well as their new thematic routes with improved infrastructure in Dubrovnik and Aquarium, Kotor and Boka Aquarium, and the waterway in Mostar and the Neretva River, which will attract more tourists to this region.
With 61 occasional or permanent springs, the Krupa River and six lakes that are connected by canals and ravines, Hutovo blato, as part of the wetland complex of the Neretva River Delta, is a habitat for different rare, endangered, and endemic species.
The Hutovo blato waterway begins in the Karaotok, by boarding boats on the plateau of the pier. Visitors sail from Karaotok through the Sun Channel to the Krupa River, and then along the river to and across Deransko Lake, where they can pass through Brankove vrbe, Skrkina jaruga, Toljevac, Djevojka, Risovic, Galebica Donja, Brzi klanac, Struge, and Deransko Lake.
Then, through the Bjelinska and Deran rivers, through untouched nature, the mentioned road leads further to the lake pearls Drijen and Orah, which are supplied with underground water by the cold water of the Bregava. After rest and refreshment on a well-arranged picnic area on the shore, in the hilly surroundings of Lake Drijensko, visitors return to the Karaotok along the same path.
Prof. dr. Svjetlana Stanic-Kostroman, who worked on establishing the Water Trail, told the route was chosen in a way that provides visitors with a unique experience of the exceptional biological and landscape diversity of this sub-Mediterranean Ramsar site and nature park.
“The most important part of the trail consists of very diverse aquatic ecosystems, such as the Krupa River and Deransko Lake, Orah and Drijen, which represent the best-preserved part of the Neretva Delta wetland complex, ” Stanic-Kostroman emphasized.
Of the 163 bird species recorded in the area, he points out, almost all are under the protection of the international conventions and directives.
Hutovo blato is also a significant fish hatchery in the river basin of Neretva, among which 12 endemic species spawn in this area. Lake Deransko is a habitat for as many as nine endemic fish species, and the ecosystems of Lakes Orah and Drijen are hatcheries of endangered endemic species, Neretva roaches.
The entire ride in both directions takes about three hours, during which visitors can enjoy not only the natural beauty but also the unique local specialties and drinks, Klix.ba writes.