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Thirteen tiny islets make up the Elafiti Islands, which are less than a one-hour ferry ride from Dubrovnik. Historically, they have always been under Dubrovnik's control, first when monks from the Franciscan monastery used to visit the islands to gather herbs for use in their pharmacy; later, the local aristocracy kept summer villas here. Today there are still no cars on the islands, and only the three larger ones—Kolocep, Lopud, and Sipan—are inhabited, with a total population of less than 900. There are regular ferry services between Dubrovnik and Kolocep, Lopud, and Sipan. Any of the three can be comfortably visited as a day trip, but if you intend to stay a night, Lopud is best equipped to deal with visitors. In fact, an increasing number of visitors who wish to escape the chaos of urban life choose to base themselves on Lopud and visit Dubrovnik from the island, rather than vice versa. With a year-round population of approximately 300, tiny Lopud has just one settlement, Lopud Town, made up of old stone houses built around a sheltered bay, plus a handful of seasonal eateries, a large 1970s hotel, several small family-run hotels occupying restored villas, and a tourist office, which is open only from May through October. From town, a concrete footpath leads through pinewoods and herb-scented olive groves: follow the signs, and in 15 minutes you will have crossed the island to arrive at Sunj, a glorious 1-km-long (½-mi-long) sand beach curving around a southeast-facing cove.
Lopud at a Glance
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