Top 5 Lastovo: Best Beaches On and Around the Island of Bright Stars
TCN continues looking at the best beaches in Croatia on April 8, 2018.
Today we take a look at the ‘island of bright stars’, an island 13 kilometers south of Korčula which most of you may know better as Lastovo. Located in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, the island municipality of Lastovo has been coined as the starriest as it boasts one of the less light-polluted skies in Europe. With 46 islands and a population of just under 800, Lastovo covers a land area of 53 square kilometers, and most of the island’s inhabitants live in the island’s largest town, also named Lastovo.
In history, Lastovo was first mentioned by 6th-century lexicographer Stephen from Byzantium who gave it the name Ladesta and Ladeston – though Stephen’s source was the 4th-century BC Greek historian, Theopompus. Lastovo was first settled by Illyrians, who retained control of the island until the 7th century. In 1000 AD, Venetians invaded and demolished the settlement, and after their supremacy, Lastovo became part of the Republic of Ragusa in the 13th century – but that was only until the arrival of Napolean in 1806. Ruled by Austria for the next century, followed by Italy and Yugoslavia, Lastovo finally became part of the independent Republic of Croatia.
Today, Lastovo is known as a foolproof getaway from the heart of the bustling and overloaded Dalmatian hotspots in the summer. Easily connected by ferry and catamaran from Split, Korčula, and Dubrovnik, this island paradise isn’t that hard to get to, either. Croatia’s youngest nature park to boot (circa 2006), it’s no surprise that Lastovo flourishes in untouched nature, and because of that, you’d imagine this island has some of the most sublime swimming spots and striking Mediterranean scenery fit for your next beach holiday.
Here’s a look at some of our favorite Lastovo beaches
We’ll kick things off with Saplun, located on the island of Mladine as part of the Lastovnjaci islets. A sandy beach destined to leave you breathless, Saplun is only accessible by boat, making its appeal that much greater. As you might imagine, there are zero amenities at this beach, and if you’re hoping to find something as small as a kiosk stand, you’re out of luck. Saplun is good for those that don’t care about all the bells and whistles, and if you can enjoy sitting in the natural shade with a packed lunch, then this is the beach to visit. With no toilets, water sports, cafe bars, entertainment, showers, or cars, lucky for you, organized boat trips can be arranged to take you to this pearl of the island, and if you have a boat? We suggest you head there immediately.
A local favorite, Mihajla beach is situated just one kilometer from the Lastovo town. Easily accessible by foot, bike, or boat, this beach is also very popular for tourists staying nearby the area. Unlike Saplun beach where you’re left encompassed by life’s simplest necessities, Mihajla beach at the very least boasts a cafe bar of the same name where visitors can enjoy coffee, a refreshing drink, or ice cream. In the evening, guests of Mihajla cafe can also enjoy a bit of music and entertainment. While this beach still does not offer much for amenities, and yes – the pines will have to shade you over rental umbrellas – there is a shower for visitors which we imagine might come in handy. While water sports are impossible to find at Mihajla, too, beachgoers might be impressed by the volleyball court not too far away.
Located on the southern shore of Lastovo, visitors will find the settlement ‘Skrivena Luka’ – which translates to ‘hidden harbor’. Some of you might already be familiar with the area as it boasts one of the oldest lighthouses in Croatia – the Struga lighthouse built in 1839, located at the mouth of the bay. But let’s get back to the beaches. A popular beach in the area for swimmers is ‘Mali Žal’, a pebbled and very shallow beach great for families. But no, there aren’t any amenities here either. Next up is a small, pebbled beach located by the restaurant and nautical center ‘Porto Rosso’. Here, visitors can find lounge chairs if they please, and as you may have noticed, there is a restaurant (Porto Rosso) serving up Dalmatian classics. We even hear there is a cocktail bar named ‘Fjaka’! Both beaches can be reached by foot, boat, or bike. Another beach in the area recommended for those of you looking to swim in your birthday suits is Kujenčeva striga – a small beach suitable for nudists.
Located about 6 kilometers from Lastovo town and about 500 meters from Camp ‘Skriveni’, bordered by Skrivena Luka, is one of the most attractive and hidden bays of Lastovo – Uska. As you probably assumed, this is another beach only accessible by foot or boat, and no, the pines aren’t the best for natural shade at this beach. Uska bay is, however, excellent for families with children as the bay is shallow. One of the essential props for Uska – apart from drinking water, snacks, and something to entertain you – are water shoes. Because the pebbles at Uska are relatively sharp inside and out of the water, shoes are a must, and bringing a beach mat is highly recommended, too.
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If you happen to be on the northern side of the island, just 2.5 kilometers from Lastovo town, you’ll find Zaklopatica – a favorite destination for yachtsmen. Zaklopatica offers stunning views of the neighboring Korčula island, along with tourist accommodations and tavern restaurants for visitors to enjoy. If you’re looking to go swimming from Zaklopatica, two bays, in particular, are beloved among locals and tourists alike. The first bay, Korita, is located just one kilometer from the town. Easily reachable by foot through the woods or by boat, this beach offers natural shade and is suitable for children. But don’t forget your water shoes! A few kilometers further is another trusted swimming spot, Kručica bay, where two small and pebbled beaches are perfect for families with children. Both beaches at Kručica are shallow and accessible by boat or by foot using the Ubli-Lastovo main road. Both Korita and Kručica offer no amenities for visitors.