Tuesday 17 September 2013

Croatia Part II: Lopud Island

Like I said before, we were sad to be leaving Dubrovnik.

We got the ferry going to the three Elaphiti islands just after lunch. Lopud is in the middle, so the ferry only took about an hour. We weren't sad about leaving Dubrovnik once we saw our home for the next few days:

One thing that hits you when you arrive is the peace and quiet. There aren't any cars allowed on the island and it feels a world apart from within the walls of Dubrovnik Old Town.

In the high season there are four boats a day that take people to and from the mainland to the Elaphiti islands, so it's perfect if you just want to do a day trip (although I'd definitely advise spending a few nights on Lopud). I also thought the tourists boats made a pretty nice clock to live your life by; to know what time it is according to which ship has docked.

You get off the boat here:

With each ship comes different goods from the mainland: fresh loaves of bread, beer, milk and meat, that kind of thing. It's driven through the island on an electric buggy, trailed by trotting cats and kids toddling after it, trying to catch up.

We stayed at Villa Franka and honestly I can't recommend the place enough.

The owner, Franka, is lovely - she met us from the port and led us to where we would be staying. There are a few bedrooms (I think the villa sleeps eight if I remember correctly..) and it's nice and roomy inside. Here's a few pics from www.booking.com :

It's lovely, isn't it?! Once we'd thrown our rucksacks down it was straight out on to the terrace where Franka cooked us tea and pancakes (uh-mazing). The terrace is a great way to meet the other guests; we all had a quick natter about what corner of the world we were from before taking ourselves off to do our own thing.

That was probably what I liked most about staying at Villa Franka: it was homely enough to really relax and be spoiled by Franka's hospitality, but at the same time offered you all the independence you'd want from an anonymous hotel (plus Franka had a great sense of humour and offered great advice on what to do on Lopud).

The island is covered in dense green forest, so by the time the light has filtered down to people level it's dappled, making your gaze hazy.

Like I said, there are no cars allowed on the island so 'streets' become a term to be used loosely. You can be on a dusty dirt track classed as one of the primary lanes through the island, or you could be on a similar looking path at the dead end of deserted mansion's driveway. There are SO many gorgeous but derelict mansions on the island. We explored one and it's inevitable... I'm going to have to save up and buy one one day!

One of the main attractions of Lopud is the sandy beach, or Sunj Beach, as it's known locally. Because the beaches in Croatia are mainly rocky, when you get a bit of sand they go wild for the stuff.

But by far the best place to get an amazing view out to sea is won hands down by the 360 degree views from on top of the ruined fortress.

It's about a half an hour walk up hill through forest and dilapidated buildings but it's so worth it when you get to the top.

There are no tourist information signs but it's quite nice really, you get to make up your own history.

When the sun is setting, make your way back through the dusty paths to the other side of the island for drinks..

(...and a quick sunset pose)

You'll know it's time for dinner when the last boat leaves at 8pm...


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