Podstrana – a peaceful small town with a rich heritage and natural beauty

Podstrana, Croatia

If you decide that Podstrana will be your vacation spot, in addition to natural beauty, comfortable accommodations like Villa Bella and friendly hosts, you will also experience a well organized active holiday. Because of its geographical location Podstrana has a wide variety of recreational activities in nature such as walking paths , hiking and biking trails along with the unavoidable tour of cultural and historical sites. Also, you can do various sports at the beach: windsurfing, sailing, sports catamarans, waterskiing and water skating.

Podstrana also offers superb cuisine in local restaurants. You can try the most famous dishes of which are indispensable Dalmatian Podstrana - Villa Bellaprosciutto and cheese, fish and seafood specialties and taste the famous Dalmatian wines. You can enjoy Podstrana in number of ways, walking and exploring the ancient hillsides that surround Podstrana, enjoying the sun and having fun at the beach or go for long walks along the sea.

Podstrana is a small town in central Dalmatia, rich cultural and historical heritage and traditions. The town is located in ecologically preserved eastern part of Split-Dalmatia County, 8 km away from Split. The Municipality of Podstrana stretches along seven kilometres of the sea coast. The Žrnovnica river makes its western border with Split, whereas the town of Omiš is 12 kilometres far eastward.. It is located at the foot of the hill Perun who is a coastal ridge of the mountain of Mosor.

The first known inhabitants of Podstrana were the Illyrians, the members of the Dalmatae tribe. In the end of the 1st century the Romans founded the oldest settlement on this lively area and called it Pitunium from which it is derived its present name Podstrana. With the arrival of the Croats, the villages emerged on the mountain slopes mildly sinking into the sea. The oldest village Gornja Vas, facing the sea and the sun, was established in the immediate vicinity of the Mura spring-water. Podstrana consists of five parts – the Old Podstrana , Strožanec , Grljevca , St. Martin and Mutogras . This is an area of stone, broom, sea and sun, which throughout history has changed its appearance and structure of the village and its inhabitants, who left evidence of their existence .

King Artur - Podstrana - Villa BellaRelicts of the prehistoric époque are the ritual and sepulchral mounds and hill forts on the peaks of Pišćenica, Križ, Obloženica, Perunsko and others, whereas from the Classical period are the villa rustica in Polača and the large archaeological site in Sv. Martin that, besides the Roman settlement of Pituntium and its numerous artefacts, is the site of the sarcophagus of the military officer Lucius Artorius Castus, probably the true King Arthur! The northern wall of the cemetery next to the St. Martin church still keeps the remains of the villa where the Croatian prince, duke Mislav, made the peace treaty with the Venetian dodge, Pietro Tradonico, after the victory of young Croatian state over Venice. From the pre-Christian times comes the mythical drama of the Slavic thunder-god Perun and his rival Dragon. Today, at the site of the Perun’s throne is the church of St. George (Sv. Jure), the patron saint of Podstrana and the entire Poljica Principality, to who is dedicated also the church above Gornja Podstrana. The Dragon killed by Perun with mill stones can still be “seen” in Zmijski kamen (Snake Rock) at Žminjača. The road passing by this site takes to the water mills and on to the spring of the river Žrnovnica, in whose bubble still sound this ancient Indo-European myth.

The original area of Podstrana is Stara Podstrana (the old Podstrana), a longitudinal group of centuries-old houses situated below the steep rocks of Vršina with the spirit of the past pulsating throughout their courtyards and lanes. The old village of Gornja Podstrana is now an ethno-eco village with the preserved traditional commoner architecture and churches with elements of Baroque: the unusual twin-church of Ss. Anthony and Rock (Sv. Ante i Roko), the parish church of The Immaculate Conception (Bezgrešno začeće), the People’ Reading Room (Čitovnica ) with the summer stage where take place all cultural events in Podstrana, the most important one being Dobro jutro, more (Good Morning, Sea).

If you go on a tour around Podstrana walking paths, along the river and the sea, bike and hiking trails along the slopes of Perun you will find gardens and orchards and more traces of past times that are trademark of this space. From the Perun Hill peaks take a look at the coastline and islands, or at Mount Mosor in the hinterland, look for Babina stina, old Croatian villages on the slopes of Perun and the water springs that watered them, or take a walk to the old votive chapel of Ss. Fabian and Sebastian (Sv. Fabijan i Sebastijan) or to the ruins of one of the old Croatian village, town Vilanjskog (Fairies Town) the very name brings on a mystical atmosphere.