For centuries, until the beginning of the 1970s, the main means of transport in Neretva Delta were two types of wooden boats called
ladja and trupa.
Ladja is 7 to 8 meters long and 2.5 to 3 meters wide. It was used for the transport of agricultural products or domestic animals. Even horses and cows could be loaded onto them.
Ladjas could be moved by rowing or they could be pulled from the ground by several people walking along the river bank.
Trupa is a smaller boat, 4 meters long and 60 cm wide, and was mainly used for the transport of one or two people across the river and along very narrow channels.
The traditional shape and construction of these boats has been preserved to this day and they can still be found navigating along the channels of Neretva Delta.
Local farmers still use
ladjas and trupas to transport fruits from fields all around the valley, through channels and to market places along the River Neretva.
Old ladjas are now living a second life thanks to the
Marathon of Ladjas, an event that takes place every year on the second Saturday in August.
Every year in August over 30 teams made up of 12 people each row on a 22.5 km route from Metkovic to Ploce. Some of the
ladjas in the race are more than a hundred years old.