Lastovo has a population of less than 1,000 people and is a small island of just 18 square miles in size. It is situated about 9 miles south of Korcula and its main towns are Ubli (where the ferries/catamarans come in) and Lastovo, which is slightly inland. Zaklopatica, to the north, has a number of amenities (restaurants, cafes, accommodation) and is also a good place for a base.
Like the island of Vis, Lastovo was also closed off to foreigners under Yugoslavia as it was the site of army bases, only allowing visitors since 1988. (The bases are also long since closed.) For that reason, and also due to the slightly more difficult nature of getting there, the island has a very remote feel. Even now Lastovo does not receive many tourists each summer. If you therefore want somewhere in Croatia that’s definitely off the beaten track and somewhere where you won’t encounter the holidaying masses, this is the place for you!
Of course, this does also mean that Lastovo has fewer amenities that the other Dalmatian islands. There is only one hotel on the island (private accommodation is of course available) and a handful of restaurants/cafes. But if you want a relaxing time with a bit of activity (cycling, hiking), then do consider staying on the island.
Lastovo and its surrounding islands make up the Lastovo Islands Nature Park, one of the eleven nature parks in Croatia. 70% of this group of islands is covered by trees, which makes Lastovo the second most ‘woodiest’ Croatian island (after Mljet).
The island also markets itself as ‘the island of bright stars’ with the island having been declared by astrographers as the most beautiful starry sky in the whole of Europe. This is due to the island having one of the darkest skies on the continent, as well as having low light pollution.
History of Lastovo
Originally being given a name of Ladesta or Ladeston, it was called Augusta Insula (Emperor’s island) by the Romans when they controlled the region. The town of Ubli was considerably prosperous under their reign. Lastovo was also part of the Republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik), joining it in 1252.
Skipping forward several centuries, the island came under French control in the early part of the 19th century, and was even British for a few years (1813-1815). It then became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as with the rest of Croatia. After World War I, Lastovo (and Zadar) were given to the Italians by the 1920 Treaty of Rapallo. After this time, the population increased somewhat with Italians living in what was now the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes moving to live in Italian Lastovo.
Lastovo was captured by the Partizans in 1943 and became part of Yugoslavia after World War II. It was of course part of Croatia that declared independence in 1991.
Getting to Lastovo
There is a daily catamaran that travels from Split via Hvar and Korcula to Ubli. Journey time from Split is just over 3 hours.
The car ferry, meanwhile, travels from Split to Ubli via Vela Luka on Korcula. Journey time is four hours 15 minutes and the ferry sails twice daily during summer. (Once or twice a day out of season, depending on the day of the week.)
TP Line operates a catamaran from Dubrovnik to Ubli that sails via Mljet (and Korcula too in July and August). The catamaran sails year-round, although only on Tuesdays and Thursdays – even during the peak summer months. Journey time is just 2 hours 45 minutes in winter, 3 hours 20 minutes just outside of season (when there is an additional stop on Mljet) and just under 4 hours in summer.
TP Line also operates a daily, year-round catamaran that sails from Dubrovnik to Korcula and then Lastovo. Journey time from Dubrovnik is 3 and a half hours. (From Korcula it is 1 hour and 15 minutes.)
Getting Around on Lastovo
The are buses operating on the island, connecting Ubli with Pasadur and Lastovo, and Lastovo with Skrivena Luka. Buses do not operate that frequently, however – you can see the timetable on this page from the Lastovo Tourist Office website.
It is also possible to hire a car on the island, or bikes.
Eating and Drinking on Lastovo
Although there are only a few restaurants on Lastovo, there is a good selection of tasty meals to be had!
Augusta Insula has a wonderful location overlooking the sea in Zaklopatica in the north of the island, and is one of the top choices. Triton is another smarter option, located in the same place. Konoba Pece is a good choice for Ubli.
What to See and Do
As mentioned, the Lastovo Islands are one of Croatia’s nature parks, and the official site is a useful resource for what can be seen in terms of flora and fauna.
Cycling and hiking/walking the island is a great way of exploring. The local tourist office can suggest some trails to follow. Bikes can be rented on the island.
Those interested in diving should head to the Diving Centre Ancora in Zaklopatica. They organise dives in the local waters for divers of all abilities (including beginners).
Most beaches on the island are of the rocky/pebble-y variety, but many offer
There are a few beaches by Skrivena Luka on the south of the island that are shallow, pebble beaches good for children. Likewise, close to Zaklopatica in the north there are a few options too. Lastovo tourist office has a good guide to beaches.
Saplun islet, to the northeast of Lastovo, has a sandy beach. However, the islet can only be reached by excursion…or if you have your own boat!
There is also a campsite, Camp Skriveni (located close to Skrivena Luka) on the island.
Search for apartments, villas, guest houses and other Accommodation on Lastovo from Booking.com.