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Beyond the Makarska Riviera, the main road southeast to Dubrovnik ploughs across the broad, green delta of the River Neretva, which includes some of the most fertile land in the country. Standing in lush green contrast to the arid landscape of limestone and scrub that characterizes much of the Croatian coast, the delta comprises a dense patchwork of melon plantations, tangerine orchards and reedy marsh. Local farmers get to their fields by boat, navigating a shimmering grid of irrigation channels: it’s not uncommon to see a row of waterside houses with a motor launch bobbing outside each one. Frogs and eels abound in the delta’s waterways, and play an important role in the local cuisine.

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