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Saturday, 20 June 2015

Lopud Island, Croatia

The Quest for a Sandy Beach

Today’s quest was inspired by my parents’ visit to Dubrovnik. A few years back they were on a cruise that had one of its stops as Dubrovnik. Their ship docked in the cruise port and they would be shuttled to the Old Town. Chatting to a local they were told about a ferry to a nearby island which was nice and quiet to visit. (Benefits of being able to speak several languages!)

As they had grown up with old buildings made of stone, terracotta roofs and stone flagstones, the Old Town was a bit ‘same old same old’ to them and they didn’t fancy the hordes of tourists. They ended up having a lovely day on their island. I remembered they mentioned that it had a sandy beach, which is unusual in the Adriatic, the beaches are all rocky.

I forgot to ask the name of the island before I left so had to rely on asking at the tourist information, once I arrived. It seemed the island I was after was Lopud Island. It had a well known sandy beach.

So with the promise of a sandy beach, (the fussy Australian here!) I set off to the unknown.

First I needed to catch a local bus to the cruise port, catching buses is always a risk since you need to actually know where to get off, and if you’ve never been there before it can be problematic! And sure enough I missed the stop! In my defence, I did use some problem solving, the bus also had some young backpackers who were obviously going to the port as that’s where the long distance ferries left from. I assumed they knew where the port was! They were as clueless as I was, the bus stopped, there were boats around, we all hesitated and asked ‘is this it?’ Bus took off to next stop where we all got off as ‘it’ was ‘it’ and then had to walk back! For future reference if ever wanting to catch a ferry at Dubrovnik Port, you see boats, get out at that stop!

Once at the ferry port it was easy enough to find the correct office (the Jadrolinja office) to buy the ferry tickets and board the ferry. The trip out to the island was lovely, it first stopped at Kaločep and then onto Lopud. The whole trip took just under an hour.

Leaving Dubrovnik Port

The township beach

Once on Lopud I walked through the small township where the bars and cafes are located and followed the sign to the famous beach Šunj beach. It stated that it was about 2km from the harbour. A reasonable walk, didn’t factor that it was uphill did I?! The first part was just a pleasant stroll inland, then up, once it started getting steep, there were conveniently placed golf buggy taxis that could take you to the beach. My attitude was I’ve got this far I’m going to keep going, my stubborn streak set in!


The path up, with conveniently placed bench!


Once at the top of the hill there was a sign showing the walking path, it would be 450m to the beach, the bike, buggy path 650m, there was no question, the shorted the better! It did start off with steep steps but gradually got flatter until it was quite a picturesque (and enjoyable stroll) through a forest setting.

The walking path going down, phew!

The 'pleasant stroll' part of the path!

Finally the beach, sand! There’s a small bar and the beach and that’s it. I hired a sunlounger with umbrella and had an incredibly relaxing afternoon, it was blissful. The sun, sea, sand, a book in a gorgeous setting, what more could anyone want?

Šunj beach


Looking back inland to the bar area (and the all important toilets!)

The water is really shallow as it's a bay.

 Late afternoon I decided to walk back, rather than taking a buggy, knowing the trail made it an easy decision since I had an idea of how long it was and where the steep bit was. Once in the township found a nice café, close to where the ferry docked, had something to eat, took a short walk up to the church and the Franciscan monastery (which was closed as it is being restored) and boarded the ferry back to Dubrovnik.

The township looking up to church and Franciscan monastery, dating from 1400s.

Upon arrival at the port, again thought ‘a walk will do me good’ I’m fairly fit considering the walk I did at Lopud, the Old Town was about a 1.5km walk away, shorter that what I had done at Lopud. Hmmm note to future self don’t follow the signs that show a car route it’s longer! I ended up on the bypass road, above the Old Town (note the word ‘above’ lots of uphill walking, well trudging). Took a risk since I had the chairlift as a reference point and turned right to go down, wandered a narrow roadway then right again at a flight of stairs and yes! Ended up on the road infront of Pile Gate! (The road I should have been on as it was the shorter route!)

And there ended my quest for a sandy beach!


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