INSIDER TIPS FOR A GREAT HOLIDAY

La isla bonita - Lokrum

isla05 panorama

 

It is a perfect spring day in Dubrovnik, the sun is high, the temperature is high and there is no breeze at all. Just one cruise ship in the port and the city is waking up from its winter rest. Narrow streets are becoming more vivid, laughter and guides explaining the history of the Republic can be heard everywhere. Not in a mood for that? Take my advice, walk down the main street, walk below Clock Tower Zvonik and go straight to the old port. There you will purchase your ticket to heaven and embark Skala or Zrinski boats. Tickets can be purchased at the desk in the old port and paid by cash and Croatian Kuna’s only.

Boats are leaving from the port at every full hour, starting from 10:00 AM till 03:00 PM, and from the island from 10:15 AM till 04:00 PM. This is a spring schedule so if you would like to visit it during the high season there will be, of course, more departures and it will start earlier in the morning and last throughout the day.

Embark the boat and the adventure begins. Upon arrival to Lokrum if you don’t see them at the first glance I’m pretty sure you will hear them, your hosts here – the peacocks! There are hundreds of them, living in the wilderness but still have their own guardian angels to watch over them Lokrum Island Rangers.

Once on the island first you will have to choose which direction to follow – to the left path will take you to the public restroom and to FKK beach; to the right it will take you to Fort Royal, built by French on the highest point of the island 315 feet. If you decide to go straight to your left hand side there is a botanical garden founded in 1959 which contains native and imported, tropical and subtropical plants, and other vegetation originating from Australia and South America.

 

 

You will come than to ruins of the old Benedictine monastery from early 11th century. Lokrum is also unveiled by several legends. One of them says the French army decided to evict the Benedictine order from the island and of course the order was not happy about it so they cursed it. The legend says the priest sailed around the island the night before their eviction holding the candles upside down, telling the prayers in revised order to curse all the future owners to die by unnatural causes. The only way how to expel the curse is to collect all the wax that fell into the sea that night. One thing to mention – all the owners did die by unnatural causes but then again they were all highborn and they rarely die in their beds out of old age.

Just next to it lays the Archduke Maximilian Ferdinand of Habsburg mansion built on the island in 1859 with a magnificent garden laid out, criss-crossed with pathways, full of amazing plants and botanical wonders. This is a place where all Thronies will spend certain amount of time since it holds inside Game of Thrones fan center with replica of the Iron Throne. Mansion also holds inside the botanical garden where several scenes from the show were taken – the ancient city of Qarth

Few more steps and something magnificent will spread in front of you - a small salt lake, 10 m deep, known as "the Dead Sea" (Mrtvo More), picture is worth more than 1000 words. 

When I was a kid we often went for a full day tour to Lokrum and I can still remember the struggle carrying all the food and the water on us – forget about it – there are several restaurants and snack bar on the island now, prices are surprisingly not too high (considering the fact it is an islet and there are no stores).

If you are travelling with kids there are also facilities for them, slide, seesaw, swing… Great place to spend a day regardless traveling alone, with kids or maybe on your honeymoon – this island will match everyone’s expectations.vForget about high heels; wear sturdy shoes, hats and sun screens. As the sun falls down behind the ancient town the sky will change its color and the night arises and you will hear the call that the last boat is leaving this paradise and it’s time to go…