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Lopud is a gem of the Adriatic

By  Dec 18, 2015

I just love the Elaphite islands! I’m guessing it’s probably because I’ve always had a great time when I visit them. It’s hard to say which one I like the most, they’ve all got their own special qualities. This week it’s all about the island of Lopud, a true island in the sun. If you are on the ferry from Dubrovnik then Lopud is the second largest island that you’ll pass. It’s a real green island; Mother Nature was having a good day when she passed over Lopud. A mere thirty minute ferry ride from the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik and you’re a world away in an oasis.

A short ferry ride on the old workhorse Postira and we were miles away from the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik. By the way if you thought you had a good IQ then try to understand the Jadrolinija timetable, I’m sure that they’ve gone out of their way to make the timetable as complicated as possible. The beautiful island of Lopud is situated northwest of the city Dubrovnik and is a part of the Elafiti islands. The Elafiti islands seen from Dubrovnik to the north are Daksa, Kolocep, Sv. Andrija, Lopud, Ruda, Sipan, Jakljan, Tajan and Olipa. Most of these islands are very small and uninhabited. The islands Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan are the only inhabited islands. Lopud lies between the other two islands and is, in our opinion, the most beautiful. Lopud has an area of 4,63 km2, the highest point is Polacica at 216 meters. According to the latest census Lopud has around 220 inhabitants. The village of Lopud lies on northwest side of the bay and has a view across to the island of Sipan. Two hills are connected by a beautiful valley where a footpath goes through to the bay called Sunj on the other side of the island. The Sunj bay is famous for its swimming pleasure and is certainly worth a visit. Sunj beach is one of the kind on the Adriatic, maybe even the whole Mediterranean.

One of the best beaches in the region
It is a sandy beach spreading across the whole bay with knee deep water reaching as far as 100 meters of the beach, ideal for children and for playing all sorts of water sports, mainly picigin, Dubrovnik's favorite summer sport. The sea in Sunj bay and other Lopud beaches, like in the whole of Dubrovnik Riviera, is Mediterranean warm and crystal clear, except on Sunj where it's a little warmer because it is a shallow sandy beach. The bay is almost round with a narrow entrance, totally filled with white sand and gets deeper only very slowly. This is an ideal spot for little children. At this side of the island there are enough possibilities to get something to eat or have a cool drink and there are also sun beds and beach umbrellas for hire. The northeast side of the island is not easy accessible by the rocks and steep cliffs. The island has a coastline of 11,5 km, of which 1,2 km are sandy beaches. Also, the village by the harbour has a sandy beach.

Flora and fauna
While the island annually has over 2584 hours of sun with its own freshwater wells it is covered by many verdure, trees, bushes and plants and many of palm trees. The park is very well known as a former garden of a villa from the 19th century, where plants collected from over the world such as bamboo and various types of cacti grow. The island has already been inhabited for thousands of years and you can find a lot of old Greek, Roman and old Slavic buildings and ruins. According to the Dubrovnik historian Razzi, in 16th century Lopud had 30 churches, a vast number of Dubrovnik aristocracy summer manors, several monasteries and greater population. Today on Lopud you can see numerous remains of early-medieval churches, summer manors and fortifications. You can also visit a Francisian monastery from 1483 with a cloister and a defence tower with walls. The monastery holds many valuable art works in its church of St. Mary of Spilica, with works of Pietra da Giovanni, Nikola Božidarević, Girolama da Santacroce, Bassana and many others. You can also visit the church of Our Lady of Sunj which is a cultural monument with many valuable paintings. Lopud next to Lokrum is Dubrovnik's most treasured and most visited tourist excursion destination. It is also very convenient to visit as ferries leave from the harbour of Gruž on a regular basis. Lopud is certainly well worth a visit, even just for a day trip, to see the day to day life on a typical Dubrovnik island, life in the slow lane.