When visiting Dubrovnik, one of the most popular day trips is to cruise around the Elaphiti Islands just off the coast. The Elaphiti islands consist of 3 main islands – Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan (in both size order and distance from Dubrovnik). There are also about 10 much smaller islands dotted in between which are mostly uninhabited rocky outcrops.
Lopud has a beautiful harbour front lined with shops, restaurants and a monastery. The monastery has just been turned in to a luxury hotel so you can no longer visit inside, but it’s still nice to view from the harbour front.
We decided to enjoy the many hiking trails that Lopud is famous for, and wanted to hike to one of the highest points on the island – the ruin of Sutvrac Fort. You can start the hike from the water front, and just follow the signs up.
The walk takes you up through the steps of the town, in to pine forest, and then to rocky outcrops. The hike to the summit takes around 1-1.5hrs depending on heat and fitness and it’s quite heavy going – I was sweating buckets. But emerging at the top is truly special, a wonderful ‘wow’ moment. The views are just incredible.
The fort itself today is just a ruin, but was once one of the island’s main defenses against the Ottoman Turks and pirates that regularly attacked the area. Lopud was ransacked by the Turks in 1571 with many of its inhabitants carried off into slavery. As the Turkish threat receded so did the care and upkeep of these strongholds, and today its fair to say Lopud is declining in importance with only 200 permanent inhabitants.
Also at the top of the Fort was a little surprise – about 5 or 6 mountain goats using it for shade during the heat. They were our only company up there, other than that we were completely off the tourist trail with no-one around.
After visiting the Fort, we headed back to the harbour front. Lopud is also home to a number of absolutely beautiful beaches including Sunj which is famous as it’s one of the area’s few sandy beaches. It’s the perfect place to relax after a hike with some cocktails and views out over the Adriatic.
After a bit of rest and relaxation, we then hopped on the Ferry back to Dubrovnik port, a journey which took us around 1hr.