If you’re looking for a great day trip from Dubrovnik, either to escape the crowds or just to explore outside the old town, you have to take a day trip to Lopud Island. While many tourists don’t know about this island, lots of locals like to retreat to the beach here for a much more relaxing pace. Lopud is part of the Elafiti Islands, an archipelago that also includes the islands of Šipan and Koločep. While it’s the most popular of the three, you’d never know it!
We chose to visit Lopud Island on our Croatia road trip because it used to be a favorite summer getaway of my husband’s grandmother. He had never been there before so during our time in Dubrovnik, we had to check it out. It definitely didn’t disappoint and it made the perfect break from the tourist-packed streets of Dubrovnik’s main squares.
Once you arrive at the port, you can buy tickets at the Jadrolinija Office. This is the main ferry company that operates most of the major ferries in Croatia. You’ll take either route 807 or 831. You can find the timetables here (at the bottom of the page.) The boat journey will take around an hour.
Lopud is a very small island and most people visit simply to enjoy the mellow beaches. Although there is a beach in town where you’ll first arrive, the far superior Šunj Beach is on the other side of the island.
To reach Šunj Beach, you can either walk 30 minutes across the island or hop on one of the many golf carts whizzing around the area, waiting to cart tourists to the beach. Being budget travelers, we opted to walk and what we didn’t account for was the fact that the whole island is hilly. With very little shade or water, an uphill climb left us completely drenched in sweat by the time we reached the beach. If that doesn’t sound like fun to you, take a golf cart for a small fee.
Šunj Beach was great, especially after wanting to swim in Dubrovnik but not loving the packed beaches there. It’s a sandy beach unlike so many other rocky ones we saw in Croatia. We spent the whole day there, eating some great food at one of the beach bars and cooling off in the water.
One other thing to note is that some of Lopud’s beaches are swimsuit-optional, so feel free to leave your bikini at home if that’s your thing!
Aside from the beaches, there are a couple of other ways to spend the day on Lopud, Croatia. We learned from our little hike that there are lots of hiking paths across the sides of the island. For a bit more adventurous excursion, try crossing the island by foot and take plenty of detours along the way.
There are also a number of churches on the island as well as a Franciscan monastery. If you’re interested in religious history or antique paintings, definitely check them out while you’re visiting. The monastery is right by the Lopud port, making it easy to visit.
as well as wander through some of the beach shops in town. We went in search of an old postcard that used to be sold on the island that actually had a picture of my husband’s grandmother on it. Although we didn’t find it for sale anymore, it was fun to imagine her spending time here.
You’ll definitely want to enjoy some fresh seafood while you’re on Lopud Island relaxing and enjoying a magnificent view.
Here are some Lopud Island restaurants to try:
Sunj Beach Restaurant – We had a super yummy lunch here. It’s right on the beach and has a pretty thatched roof to shade you from the hot sun.
Restaurant Dubrovnik – Another place right on the water with a slightly more upscale vibe. It has a big focus on seafood.
La Villa Restaurant – For a very fancy date night, this is your spot.
BAROON – For a sunset cocktail, coffee, or a sweet treat, don’t miss this place right next to the ferry port overlooking Lopud Bay.
If the heat and the crowds in Dubrovnik are getting to you and you want a change of scenery, I’d highly recommend heading to Lopud Island, Croatia. It’s just far enough away to feel like an escape from the city, but close enough that you can easily visit as a day trip. The island’s vibe is so relaxed which makes a great contrast to the frenetic pace of Dubrovnik. It was one of my favorite things that we did in Croatia overall!
Have you visited the Croatian Islands? Which one was your favorite? If not, where would be your first stop?
June 5, 2019