Sailing into the port of Lopud, from afar, on your left, you can already see the Franciscan monastery peeking above the surrounding walls. As the boat comes closer the luxury resort Lafodia, on the right, looks more, and more imposing. As you throw the anchor or catch a spot in the small-town port there it is in front of you, the magical Lopud. Timeless, careless dalmatian heaven, with an amazing sunset. The Lopud waterfront is beautiful. It has the feel of a civilized Dalmatian fishing town, a place of culture and heritage and yet one of relaxation and informality. There is a song about Lopud that translated says something like this: “My friend, if you want to have heaven you should know, come with us and enjoy, Lopud is the place to go!” Maybe these lyrics promise a lot but allow us to justify just how wonderful this island is.
ABOUT THE ISLAND
Lopud is the most developed island between the Elaphite islands, famous archipelago northwest of Dubrovnik. Second island size-wise, known as “the island in the middle” or “Insula media” because, you guessed it, it is situated between Koločep and Šipan. Being so close to Dubrovnik throughout history he was tightly connected to the Republic of Dubrovnik. Today, it delights the visitors with its simplicity but at the same time with a rich history, tradition, and culture. Each of its waterfront buildings has several centuries of stories contained therein.
LIVING IN LOPUD
Lopud’s Riva, known as “Igalo” is a very interesting spot. It gives away an impression of a vibrant town but at the same time, it is somehow peaceful and has a relaxing effect on visitors and locals. So many different people are mixing on this island during the summer months but somehow you will never get that crowded, hectic feeling that you may get in other tourist destinations. The promenade here is like a living room to the locals. You can see tables and chairs right at the promenade in front of the houses and it kind of gives you that welcoming feeling, and a feeling of intimacy. The locals are very friendly.
CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL HERITAGE
As already mentioned, being connected to Dubrovnik throughout history, for sure, Lopud has a lot of interesting stories to tell it is especially rich with different myths and legends that were passed on for generations so be sure to hear at least one of them when visiting. Walking around the island you can breathe in the history, but here are a few checkpoints to explore.
- Franciscan monastery dating from the 15th Century was left to rot for more than 200 years but in 2018. It has been renovated. During the “golden times” this monastery was a library and a pharmacy, so today during the tour you will get a recipe for an elixir of life. The monastery is open for cultural and art exhibitions, but also weddings. When you enter a big metal door the magic begins. There is an angel welcoming you on each side and a Holy Garden with nine stations for contemplation.
- The look-out point inside the Kaštio castle is worth visiting because it gives you a beautiful view of the Adriatic Sea and surrounding islands.
- Sutvrač – the highest point of Lopud with a spectacular view, maybe a perfect spot to catch that amazing sunset that is mentioned in the beginning.
It is forbidden to use the car on Lopud, one of the reasons is that you can walk the whole island and there is really no need for one but the main one is to save that relaxing, calming ambiance. It is a great place to wander around without any goal or plan. Lopud is full of great walking and hiking paths that will lead you through a thick pine wood and give you a much-needed shade from the summer sun. One of these paths leads you to Šunj bay. This sandy beach is one of the most beautiful ones on the Adriatic. Shallow water is stretching up to 100 meters from the shore what makes this bay a safe place to relax with small children. There are several bars and restaurants surrounding the beach so you’ll have it all. If you truly want to get away from everything is there anything better than a day at the beach on this island without cars? In case you don’t feel like walking you can always rent a bike, small golf cart, or maybe even kayak around the island. If you want to see the vegetation of the island in one place the Park Đorđević-Mayneri is a place to go. There is a part of the park that shows the change of the seasons with plants and when here don’t miss the fish pond full of goldfishes.