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Written by: Captain Ivan Pamić

Viganj lies in the beautiful bay between Cape Liberan (Ponta Liberan) and the Cape of St. John (Sv. Ivan) in the western part of the peninsula Peljesac. In the past times Viganj was often mentioned by its italian name PORTO ROSARIO. Viganj is just 6 kilometers away from Orebic, and it is also accessible from Korcula – the town of Marco Polo. This is very important especially for the local population as the town of Korcula is actually the center of life in this part of Dalmatia.

This small village Viganj (and Kuciste) is suitable for those who wish to spend their holidays in peace, and it is also an ideal resort for lovers of water sports. Because of a specific location there is frequently blowing mistral (Maestral) wind, so there are great conditions for water sports such as sailing, windsurfing and kite-surfing. Viganj therefore is called the windsurf capital of Croatia.

There are competitions in windsurfing every year, and tourists can participate in many schools for sailing,wind surfing and kitesurfing and so become familiar with these water sports.


But water sports are not the only sports that Viganj offers. It is also a great starting-point of many hiking destinations. You can ascend to the 961 meters high Mount St. Elias (Sv. Ilija), or take a walk or offroad bike ride through the beautiful nature, which is significant for the entire peninsula Peljesac. If you don’t like hiking, you can enjoy the beaches and relax with swimming and diving in the crystal clear water. Viganj has a diving school so you can learn how to enjoy in the underwater world.

As the entire peninsula of Peljesac, Viganj is also a great place for tourism. There are many apartments that meet the quality of 4 . Apartments have their own entrance, terrace and balcony, some of them even own a boat mooring. We strongly recommend VILLA PAMIĆ a seafront house divided into 3 apartments  for total 10 + 4 persons.

Because of the excellent sunny position, local people are growing vines and olive trees, and also fruits and vegetables. It is an adventure to come in october picking grapes and in November collecting olives. Also people of Viganj are skilful fishermen, so you can arrange a fishing night and catch your own fish. Therefore food in this part of Dalmatia will not let you down, because there is always available superb local food, fresh fish, vegetables and fine wines.

You can try this delicious food prepared in various restaurants in Viganj. Our recommendation is Bistro Montun.


Viganj as a place was first mentioned in the documents of Republic of Dubrovnik (Ragusa) 1336. as Vigal or Vighen, although it is from a much older origin, going back to the Neolithic times. There is an opinion that the name Viganj originates from viganj (blacksmiths bellow). Because in Viganj, there was never a blacksmith activity, probably the frequency of the wind, especially in summer associated people on the blacksmith bellows, and therefore the place was named Viganj. It is also possible that the name is derived from a local nobleman Viganj, mentioned in that time.

During the ancient times, Illyrians from Nakovana, due to better control of the channel build various watchtowers at the coast in Viganj. There are also remains of couple of Illyrian graveyards. From couple of them one part of Viganj is called Montun (montun=pile of stones). The fate of the Illyrian settlement in Viganj probably followed the fate of the other Illyrians in the area. With the arrival of the Romans in the First century BC Illyrians are either expelled or enslaved, while the rest is romanized. Archaeological remains show that until arrival of the Romans, life in Nakovana was blooming, but in the next few hundred years  life here was extinguished, a center of life moves on shore.

During the Roman rule, retired war veterans received credits, in the form of estates in the conquered countries, where they builld their country houses – villa rustica. Remains of ten villas rusticas can be found in the area from  St. John in Viganj to Trstenica in Orebic. It was a time in which the inhabitants of the Roman Empire enjoyed peace and prosperity and did not fear pirates and other dangers that are came from the sea. Therefore, the villas rustica were built without defensive walls and near the coast, and probably all were conected with roads. Apparently parts of these roads  can be perceived in the shallows of Viganj coast line. Unfortunately, due to modern construction, almost all of the villas rustica were destroyed, and the only remaining evidence of Roman presence in Viganj is the sarcophagus lid from I century., and several amphora.

Until the Dubrovnik authorities came to power in year 1333, Viganj has generally followed the fate of the rest of Pelješac, where was exchanged  ruling of different government entity and nobles. Purchasing Pelješac, Dubrovnik nobility divided among themselves peninsula. Because of the distance from the city, and to protect their property, in year 1336. a group of twenty noblemen decided to built a fortress or city in Viganj. This attempt, however, was never realized.

Viganj was mentioned in 14. c. as a place divided in ten separate small villages located away from the sea, at the foot of the hill, because of the danger of pirates. Those villiges are Brainica, Dol, Pirovića selo, Njakarino selo, Sokolovo selo, Dujmovića selo, Podac, Jerkovo selo, Šapetino selo, Kraljevića selo, Gagića selo, Čikatića (Kovačević) selo, Habića selo and Basiljina. From 17 century, due to the economic blooming houses were constructed on the coast, and a true center Viganj gets in 1671 with the construction of the Dominican monastery together with church Our Lady of Rosaria and later in 1760 parish church of Sv. Michael.

Kapetal Luka Kovačević

From 17th. To 19th century almost all young men from Viganj were included in maritime business and sailed on ships all around the world. Apart of the ships with the flag of Dubrovnik, males from Viganj sailed at the Venetian, Austrian, Russian, French, Spanish and English ships. They were skilful sailors and some of them were included in piracy. One of the famous women-pirate was Sultanija, from Čikatića selo in Viganj. Over time, they become wealthier and wealthier, and they start to builld  magnificent captain’s houses in Viganj. The highlight of Pelješac maritime glory is in  the mid-19th century, when among others, Kovačević family from Viganj established its own maritime company “Brothers Kovacevic”, with its headquarters in Marseilles. In the late 19th c. thanks to increasing competitiveness of steamships, all Pelješac maritime companies broke down. The last sailing ship was sold 1907., so after more than 350 years Pelješac remained without a ship for long voyages. During this period Viganj gave 117 oceangoing captains.

Maritime disaster on the Pelješac peninsula caused general crisis and a wave of migration. So most of the Viganj  inhabitants emigrated to foreign countries like America, Australia and New Zealand. From that time until the boom of tourism Viganj largely stagnated, and major events like the Second World War, the earthquake in 1962, Homeland War, and the Great fire of 1998 only have contributed to its stagnation.

With the development of tourism, especially of windsurfing, Viganj is starting to build up to the past glories of captains from the golden ages of sailing ships.



    • Plaža Ponta is the biggest and most famous beach in Viganj. It is long abt. 1km and over summer crowded with people sunbathing, swimming, surfing, kite-surfing and enjoying in drinks.

  • Plaža Montun is divided in two parts and it is mainly beach for swimmers.
  • Plaža Ploča is mostly unknown beach just south of Basina and for that it is perfect for nudist
  • Plaža Sv. Ivan was one of the most popular nudist beach 20 years ago, but now due to a new grape vineyard it lost its privacy

Restaurants and bars

After having a nice day at the beach Viganj offers various places for a tourist to go out at night.

  • Bistro Montun – restaurant
  • Hrid-Chiringito  – Fast food
  • Bofor – beach bar
  • Bistro Ponta – restaurant and pizzeria
  • K-2 – beach and night bar
  • Konoba Forte – restaurant
  • Opačak family – village food
  • Konoba Karmela – restaurant
  • Konoba Maritimo – restaurant
  • Hotel Mediterane – beach bar


  • Mareta is the only market in Viganj situated in the center. From there you can catch boat ferry to Korčula

Windsurf schools

  • Waterdonkey windsurf school
  • Liberan windsurf school

Cultural heritage and monuments

Dominician Monastery and Church Gospa od Rozarije was build 1671. and it is one of the most beautiful on the Peninsula with its inside garden. The building (except the church) was sold 1912. to the people of Viganj. Inside they organized a 4 grade school, kindergarten, cultural center, library and a restaurant. Unfortunately, due to the reconstruction it is not open for the public.

Church Sveti Mihovil (S. Michovil in Vigan) is the center of the Viganj parish of Saint Michail. It was build at the end of century beside the local graveyard.

Church Sveti Juraj (S. Georgij loci Vigagn) is one of the oldest in Viganj and in this area. It is a very simple build church, probably from or century. In that time it was probably center of this parish, today it is only a ruin without a roof hidden behind the peak of Sućuraj hill.

Church Sveti Ivan Krstitelj (Ecclesia S.ti Jo. Bap. in Basiglina) was first mentioned in 14. century but it is probably much older. It is build at the narrowiest part of the Korčula channel and it is now surrounded by the vineyard.

Church Sveti Liberan was build in 18. century at the beach of Ponta and it is one of the „trademark“ of Viganj

Old villages and „Captain houses“ Viganj consist of several old villages that are conected by a road and an old path. Those villiges are Brainica, Dol, Pirovića selo, Njakarino selo, Sokolovo selo, Dujmovića selo, Podac, Jerkovo selo, Šapetino selo, Kraljevića selo, Gagića selo, Čikatića (Kovačević) selo, Habića selo and Basiljina. In each of these villages you can find at least one „Captains house“ – kapetanska kuća, house of the rich captains who build their house in 18. and 19. century. Most of these houses are now property of foreigners who renovated them. The most impresive village is Kraljevića Selo which was a candidate for UNESCO world heritage.

Old austrian road to Nakovana was build between 1911 and 1914 but was never finished because of the I World War.

II World War Monument was build 1956. to honor the fallen partisans of Viganj during the war

Vidikovac On the road to Lovište you have to stop at the top above Viganj were you can enjoy in one of the best panoramic view in South Adriatic. Just above is an ancient illyrian watchtower.

Olive plantations

Every family in Viganj has olive trees, but only couple of them have a plantation. It is very interesting picking the olives in November and December, so number of tourists arrange that their vacation fall in the period of olives.

Grape vineyard

The biggest grape vineyard is Sveti Ivan vineyard.